Dead Simple Ways To Coast
Here’s a DIY secret: when you’re rushed for time, or totally out of ideas, or need to make a cheap but awesome gift, coasters are where it’s at. There are a million different ways to make a coaster, in all honesty, so I *suppose* you could just stop reading now and go experiment. But if you did, you wouldn’t see how to crochet a cat butt, transfer photos onto tiles, turn tool chest castoffs into silver accent pieces, and more. So keep reading!
These coasters actually fit my requirements for a perfect craft: super fast and easy, made with stuff you probably already have, and resulting in a really bright, cool finished product. As long as you have some comic books around the house you don’t mind cutting up (or a scanner / printer) and some Mod Podge, this can be a fantastic birthday gift. (Not that any of my friends fall into that category. Nor I. Not a bit.) Note: The link says “Crafts for men” but I think it is incredibly dumb to assume that only boys would want comic book coasters, so plz do ignore that. They are cool enough for all. (And just a heads up: if you click through to buy mod podge there, or other supplies on the site, Amazon throws some beer money my way. So thanks!)
Crochet a Cat Can
Any Bob’s Burgers fans out there? I can’t help but think of the episode with the butt paintings when I see this craft.
While it requires a basic knowledge of crochet to execute, the finished product is great enough to justify learning. (There’s even a printable PDF of the pattern. What more can you ask for?) Any cat-obsessed pal should BE so lucky as to get one of these! (Plus, animal butts are all the same, you could get away with calling these dog butt coasters if you so desire.)
This is one of the easier options for DIY coasters, and one of the ones with the greatest payoff. This transfer technique can be used to put almost anything on a tile, so you can personalize your upcycled coaster however you want. Whether it’s photos of the two of you from small times, the city skyline or the logo to a favorite manga, this kind of handmade coaster can be a way to really show how well you know the person you’re making them for. (Or you can make one for every kid on your daughter’s soccer team. However you roll.) Just grab a few of these tiles and your favorite images, and check out the DIY here!
It’s A Wash(er)
You probably have a jar somewhere of miscellaneous nails, screws, bolts, and washers. I know I do! Maybe you’ll end up using them all for their intended purpose… someday… Or instead, try this quick DIY that actually ends up with a really clean, modern look. I really think these look like the kind of overpriced stuff you’d see at Anthropologie, but for almost no cash. Take it a step farther by painting some of the washers: I bet using nail polish to paint just a couple of the washers light or bright colors could really make it pop. If you try it, take a pic and let me know!
Since word nerds are often wine nerds and book nerds are often beer nerds, it’s hard to find a better gift than personalized coasters made from Scrabble tiles. Go for random letters or spell words based on the occasion you’re giving them for (“LOVE,” “BDAY,” etc) or their intended purpose (“BREW,” “BEER,” and so on). There’s a summary here but all you need is some backing and some glue. And Scrabble tiles, of course. (Oh cool! Here’s a 200 pack of replacement letters for cheap. Think of all the scrabble stuff you could make!)
This could also be a really sweet gift to give to a romantic partner, using words that bring up memories you’ve made together, passions you share, dreams you are working towards. Or hell, write about your dogs– whatever you want. The choice is yours! The sky’s the limit! Another cliche!
Perler Beads: you probably played with these bad boys when you were ten (I did, at least). But I’ve rediscovered them as an adult because they’re cheap, easy, and lend themselves really well to pixel-type images, old 16- or 64-bit graphics where you can count out each color square of the picture. This set on Amazon is a solid starting choice with a lot of color options. A quick search on Pinterest will find you a ton of different patterns to fit your particular geeky yen. For me, I’m a traditionalist: I roll with Mario. My Mario patterns were found in a forum, though Pinterest and instagram are both probably good options. What kind of coasters are you envisioning?
I grew up going to rock shows. I also grew up saving all my ticket stubs for Memory reasons, thinking that someday I’d figure out a neat way to display them. It only took a couple decades, but I got there with these ticket stub coasters. The actual construction is easy; what’s hard is choosing which shows to emphasize on each one! But avoid calamity: use more coats than you think you should; those tickets are precious.
The Coolest F*!@#$ Coasters Around
As I am a Lady, I never curse. But if I *did,* I might find these typographic coasters pretty adorable. To kids and the terminally uptight, they are just random characters from the top row. But when you put them in an order, they can magically stand for any dirty word you want! (Or just hold your drink.) This is one DIY that you certainly can do yourself, but it’s a lot easier if you just happen to have access to a laser cutter. (Do you know what a MakerSpaceis? There could be one near you!) They’re just so dang cool though.
These are only a few of the literally thousands of ways to upcycle amazing things into neat coasters, or to create and DIY from scratch. Even the ideas in this post can be taken with a grain of salt and expanded on: collage something different on your comic book coasters, cut out a different shape with your typographic coasters, use a beautiful geometric pattern on your tiles instead of a picture of your cat. There are a hundred directions to go in, so comment and let me know what you’re excited to make!