A crafter’s world is much different than that of others. Most people go to a store, browse what they offer, then select what they want. With crafters, they envision what they want, then set out to make it happen. You don’t have to be a seasoned crafter to sometimes act like one. Think of a design you’d like to see on a coaster. A lighthouse? A tepee? A puppy? If you can think it up, you can probably make it, especially if you use ordinary pony beads.
Have you ever seen pony beads? They’re small and round, available in many colors, and they have a very large hole in the center. Use can purchase them in small packs or much larger packs at any craft store. The packs can be found with beads of all the same color or of assorted colors and styles. They’re available in neon colors, glitter varieties and even metallic-look types. These beads are perfect for creating coasters that are unique and made to order.
There are several different things you can use to make the base of the coasters. Thin cardboard works great, but when it comes to thick cardboard, you’ll end up having to create a design around the sides of the coasters, too, rather than just on top. Another thing you can use is a flat square of plastic. Other options include a piece of flat craft foam, cork or even felt. However, limp materials like felt will create a coaster that is limp as well. Although the coaster works fine to keep moisture from ruining tables, when you pick it up, it goes limp.
Creating themes for the coasters is as easy as finding a pattern. Coloring book pages offer a great selection of possible themes and are easy to transfer to the cardboard, plastic or other base material. Set a piece of carbon paper on the cardboard, position the coloring book image on top of it, then draw around the outlines of the pictures. Now you have a pattern that you can use for placement of the pony beads.
Use most any adhesive except hot glue to attach the pony beads. Fill in the main objects in the picture with pony beads, placing them with the holes facing the cardboard. To get the best look for the coaster start in one corner of the coaster shape and add the first bead. Continue adding another bead and another, butting them together side-by-side, as you create the first row of the design. When you enter into the outline of a particular object change the color of the bead until you exit outside of that outline. So, as you begin, you’ll start placing the background bead color on the cardboard, but as you approach an image, you’ll switch to its color. It’s important to keep the rows perfectly straight as you make another row and another, all the way down.
Create themes that match those of the rooms in which they’ll be placed or just make designs you like. You don’t need a lot of talent to cover the entire cardboard square with a certain color of beads, then remove one here and there, and replace them with other colors. The finished coasters are very unique and look fabulous on a coffee table, end tables or even night stands.