This is a project I’ve done before. In fact it was one of my first projects I did, along with cloth napkins (here) once I got into sewing. We have used the coasters in our living room for over a year and they are still going strong – even with occasional washes. When Mr. Canada and I decided to host our college “family” Christmas dinner, I decided I needed festive coasters and napkins for the occasion.
Coasters can really be whatever size you prefer. I start out with a 5×5 inch square, so they end up being about 4.5×4.5 inches in the end. Perfect for mugs and cups of all sizes.
Step 1: Fabric
Decide which fabric you want. I have always used cotton fabric for this type of project, but I don’t know that you necessarily have to use cotton. Really, deciding on one pattern or two matching patterns is what hangs me up. Don’t forget to get batting for inside your coasters! Otherwise you will have marks on your coffee tables from the heat of your mugs. When I bought my batting, way back when, I knew nothing about batting (although I can’t say I know much more now), and guessed which batting to get and use. I ended up going with cotton needled batting, luckily I have used it for two sets of coasters and it has seemed to work out both times.
Step 2: Fabric Preparation
Prep your fabric. Find my post on that here.
Step 3: Measure and Cut
Decide your size and start cutting! You may actually want to decide your size before you buy a length of fabric to ensure you have the right amount, but you get the point. I start with a 5×5 inch square for my coasters. Cut your fabric pieces as well as the same size square in the batting material. If you have a rotary cutter and a self-healing mat it will save you a lot of time in the cutting stage. I don’t (dear Santa…) so I use a square piece of card stock to measure my fabric squares. You could also use a ruler or yardstick. Whatever is easiest for you. I use chalk (it washes off with water) or regular pencil, depending on the color of the fabric to make my cutting line and go from there with my scissors.
Step 4: Sew Edges
Once all of your pieces of fabric and batting have been cut, you want to align 2 pieces of fabric wrong sides OUT (you should not see the designs) with 1 piece of batting on either side. The batting should be covering up one of the wrong sides that was showing.
Using about a 1/4 inch seam allowance (your sewing line should be about 1/4 inch in from the edge of the fabric). If you have a serger, you can certainly use that for this step – I don’t, so I can’t speak much to how that would work here. HOWEVER!!! Don’t sew all of the way around – you want to leave about 2 inches open to be able to turn it right side out.
Step 5: Trim
Cut the corners on 45° angles. This will help make your corners even more crisp when you flip them.
This is also the step to trim edges with pinking shears if you feel the need. I did on just some of my edges. Pinking shears help decrease fraying, and since I don’t have a serger and didn’t use a zig zag stitch for this project, I chose to trim. It also helped to even out a couple of the edges that didn’t end up lining up quite right.
Step 6: Flip
Time to turn your coasters right-side-out. Use the bit that you didn’t sew around to turn them. I use a chopstick to help me you could also use a knitting needle or crochet hook. As you are turning out the corners, make sure you use your chopstick to get the corners as pointy as you can.
Step 7: Iron
To be honest, this is NOT my favorite step. However, it’s a really important step if you want your finished product to look as good as possible. Basically, you want to iron it in such a way that the side seams of the coasters are flat. You can use your chopstick to help you with this step too, if you find it helpful.
Step 8: Finishing Seam
Sew another seam with about a 1/4 seam allowance – although this is more of a “choose your own” based on how you want your finished product to look. This would be a good time to use any sort of fancy stitches you may want to add. Add the seam all of the way around being careful to close the opening appropriately – making sure to get the edges of the opening folded in enough to be closed by the seam.
Your coasters are now finished. Time for drinks!