By now, you’ve probably had the opportunity to see and use many different kinds of coasters in your life. Have you ever seen a beaded coaster? A coaster made almost entirely from beads? You don’t need to have any beading skills or experience to make the unique coasters and they can be made in several different ways.
A simple piece of felt can become the base for the new coasters or you can make something more elaborate. Cut squares of silver or gold lame fabric and use them as the base. With the felt, you just have to cut a single square, the size of the coaster you want. With the lame, cut two identical pieces, then stack them with right sides together. Stitch around three sides of the material then turn it right-side-out.
Use sticky, double-sided tape inside the fabric layers. Don’t just roll up pieces of Scotch tape; use the sticky type used for craft projects. Cut a couple of strips of the tape and position them inside, across one of the fabric pieces, then press the other piece of material against the tape. This will hold the two shapes together. Stitch the end shut by hand or by machine. Or, just cut another piece of the tape and use it, on the inside, to close the opening.
Another option for the fabric part of the coaster is to cut a piece of thin cardboard to slide inside. Since the coasters are never immersed in water this is a quick way to stiffen them without worrying about future damage. After positioning the cardboard inside the pocket simply stitch the end shut.
Apply Tacky glue to one side of the lame and spread it so that it covers the entire area. If one spot of the fabric is not covered the finished coaster could be missing a bead. Make sure to well-cover the corners and the rest of the material with a fairly thick layer of the glue.
Place the desired beads – preferably the new type without holes – on a Styrofoam meat tray or inside a shallow, square, plastic bowl. Position the fabric, glue side-down, in the beads. Press to secure the beads. Carefully lift the arrangement and set it, bead side-up, on a flat surface to dry.
Instead of lame or other fabric, and instead of felt, you can also use cardboard or even cork as the base for the coasters. Follow the same technique, applying the glue, then pressing it into the beads.
The beaded coasters are elegant enough to feature at a dinner party yet simplistic enough to be used any day. Make them in solid colors or arrange the beads to create a particular design. An easy way to do this is to arrange one color of beads in a single layer in the container. Now remove a bead at a time, and replace it with a different color, to create simple shapes like geometric designs or colored polka-dots.
Coasters are available in zillions of different types and styles but rarely, if ever, do you see beaded ones that require no actual beading talent! They’re fun to make, very cheap, and the perfect project for adults and kids alike!