This post shares a tutorial for DIY concrete coasters.
DIY Concrete Coasters Tutorial
I’m not sure I’ve shared it on here yet, but my husband and I recently bought our first home. It’s a lovely little townhouse, and we’re SO excited about it! But since we’re moving from an apartment to a townhouse and we’re first-time homeowners, we have a long list of projects on our radar.
I can’t say that getting new coasters was high on the list, but alas, I went and made new coasters. We’ve had these cork coasters for years, but they always stick to your drink, which is kind of annoying.
One night, my husband said we should get new coasters. I immediately remembered some lovely concrete coasters I had seen on Etsy. But you know I am hard headed and am not going to pay $35.99 + $23.24 in shipping for six coasters. No way. Guys, you can get 10 pounds of concrete for like, 10 dollars. So the next morning, that’s exactly what I did.
The process was actually pretty easy, but I suggest doing a test coaster first to ensure you have the right measurements and are comfortable working with concrete. Not all of my coasters turned out perfectly, either. But that’s okay. There were only a few duds, and the materials are so cheap that it’s totally fine.
Here’s what I used:
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- Concrete mix, water, mixing bowl, measuring spoons, and something to stir with—I suggest popping into a home improvement store to buy your concrete mix because it’s cheaper. I used Cement All Multi-Purpose
- Plastic cup that is the circumference of your desired coaster size—I used 1-quart plastic paint mixing cups, which you can find at most big-box hardware stores.
- Fine sandpaper—I used 220 grit (assorted mix here)
- Kitchen oil and paper towel
- Felt and multipurpose glue—I actually used Aleene’s Fabric Fusion Permanent Adhesive, and it worked very well
- Optional: Americana Matte Acrylic Spray
And here’s how I made my DIY concrete coasters.
Step 1: Prep (because concrete sets fast)
Grab any kitchen oil and a paper towel. Give the inside of the bottom of your cups a light coating. This makes your coasters pop out super easily when they are done setting up. Then decide how many coasters you want to pour at one time.
It’s important to know how many coasters you will pour at a time because the concrete sets up quickly and you need to have a good estimate of how much to make. To keep costs down, I decided to pour only two coasters at once and make them gradually—I didn’t want to buy a ton of the 1-quart paint mixing cups.
Step 2: Mix your concrete
The concrete I used is a ready-to-go powder that just requires water. The ratio of powder to water is 1 tbsp water for every 4 tbsps of powder. After doing a test coaster, I estimated that each coaster would need about 6 tbsps of powder (that means 1.5 tbsps of water). Since I poured two at a time, I mixed up 12 tbsps of powder (3 tbsps of water).
Mixing tip: Pour the water into your mixing bowl first, and then add the powder in scoops, stirring as you add it. You should end up with the consistency of wet sand. And I’m not kidding—this stuff sets up FAST, so work efficiently!
Step 3: Pour the concrete
Pour the mixture into your molds. Then, pick up each cup and “drop” it from about 2 inches high. This will help the mixture settle completely to ensure it dries evenly and with as few air bubbles as possible.
You can also take any sort of utensil and tap the outside of the cup. This will further help the air bobbles to pop.
Step 4: Let dry
Let the coasters dry. I gave mine about an hour before I popped them out, then I let them sit overnight before using sandpaper to smooth out or round edges where necessary.
Step 5: Add furniture protection
Cut out felt circles that are just a bit smaller than your coasters. Use your multipurpose glue to glue them on—this will help protect your furniture!
…and voila! Here are the finished coasters. I ended up going with a set of five. If you want to keep these plain, I suggest giving them a few coats of matte acrylic adhesive. I used Americana Matte Acrylic Spray.
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