Larslove's Blog

I’ll drink to this eco-friendly success!

This is it! The big reveal!


My first attempt is still my favorite.

Here they are. The three coasters I made in a week. They are in order from left to right of when I made them. Despite gaining speed with the second two, my original is still my favorite.

The Process:

I started by going through a few magazines and randomly tearing out pages that caught my eye. I chose pages that were heavily saturated with bright colors. I tore out about 30 pages. Then I sorted them by color. See below:

My torn pages (not perfectly) sorted out

Next I folded each page length wise 4 times. This gets you a very narrow and thick band of paper. Once you fold, you can see what color is going to show in your coaster by looking at the exposed bent edge of the folded paper.

My folded paper ready to be transformed!

I then resorted my paper post-fold in order to create a gradient look. I started with pink and began rolling! Glue and roll with the folded part of the sheet up. In the beginning you have to keep the roll pretty tight and apply the hot glue often. Watch out for your finger tips! I immediately noticed the importance of applying the glue towards the bottom of the strips. If you place the glue too high, you then squeeze the roll to tighten and the glue oozes out of the top creating ugly blobs on the top of your soon to be coaster. So if you glue towards the bottom, any glue that overflows comes out the bottom and you won’t see it anyway!

The start of my coaster. Its a little rough at first but as the diameter grows the paper becomes much smoother.

As each folded paper ends you have to start with a fresh sheet. To keep these interruptions from being to noticeable, I just tried my hardest to match the end of one paper to the next and enforced with a little extra glue. You don’t want to go crazy with the hot glue though because it can bulk up your layers.

So here was my first coaster. Completed. After about an hour nap courtesy of Noo-noo.

the size of the coaster compared to the size of a cocktail napkin

I’m not going to lie. After completing this one, I was pretty hooked. For the rest of the week I found myself folding paper like a maniac so that I could dive into the next attempt as soon as possible. So for the next one I folded my paper while Noo ate her lunch. I used 12 sheets of paper for each circular coaster. So that takes all of 10 minutes to fold those 12 sheets. Then, the next nap I created my second circular design.

There are endless color combinations you can try.

For the second, I went with yellow through green-blue-purple. Lastly, I wanted to try my hand at a square coaster. I actually made it this morning. Lars and I ate breakfast while I tore out my pages. Noo loves watching mommy rip paper. She offered her assistance several times. I folded and glued while she took her usual late morning nap. The square served to be the most challenging. I had a hard time creating the shape in the beginning. It is much easier to bend the paper than fold it crisply. But I eventually got the hang of it. Here’s how it turned out:

materials for the square coaster

ah...the tricky square

I definitely want to try the square again, making it sharper. My fingers suffered the most during this attempt.


$5.00- tiny RoseArt glue gun from Target

$1.50- glue gun refills from Target


Hot glue gun, glue sticks, magazines (12 pages for a circular coaster, 16 for the square)


1 hour per coaster. From selection of the magazine pages, to the folding, to the assembly.


I already gave a few tips on glue technique. Other than that I would just pay attention to color selection depending on how you want each coaster to turn out. Also, to finish these off I am going to paint them with some type of Mod Podge or gloss. This will provide a nice shine and a protective seal, they are meant to hold sweating drinks after all! I was also thinking that, since the underside ends up pretty ugly, a little felt would be perfect to hot glue onto the bottom. It would be pretty easy, just trim the felt to the size and shape of your coaster and then apply.

My Verdict:

I LOVED everything about this project. I loved using my hands. I loved the simplicity of it. I also enjoyed the fact that while there were a million other things I could do, this project forced me to have some down time while Noo had her down time. Usually I run around like a mad women seeing what I can accomplish in my 45min-1hour time slot. This project allowed me to sit in front of our sliding glass doors and enjoy some sunshine while I worked. Most times, I was actually able to complete the coaster and even unload a few dishes before my little monster called. 😉


Okay so I really want a name for my eco-friendly craft project. I want something to refer to it by when I blog about it. I have been racking my brain. I’ve come up with nothing. The best I can do is LarsLove Craft Challenge, but Lars says that sounds too much like Kraft foods or something. SO…comment name ideas on this post. If I choose the name you came up with, I will send you a set of two coasters (colors and shape, circle or square, of your choice)! So start brainstorming!

Next week’s project:

Magazine Bowl. This idea also somewhat originated from Etsy. There are tons of great sellers on there, so check them out! The real nuts and bolts of this project came from a book Lars bought me, CraftCycle by Heidi Boyd. This book is full of awesome ideas on how to reuse household goods and make them something useful and gorgeous! If you have lots of random game pieces, playing cards and puzzle pieces laying around, you must check out Heidi’s “Games-to-Play Serving Tray”. SO cool! The magazine bowl is a similar concept as the coasters. In fact, the base for the bowl is a coaster like the ones I created. The bowl will prove to be more of an ongoing project than the coasters. The coasters were easily completed in one sitting, while the bowl will definitely take me several sessions. So here we go! Thanks for checking out my project!

This entry was published on April 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm. It’s filed under Everything and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “I’ll drink to this eco-friendly success!

  1. I really like the idea of using the word home-spun.

    then every project can be home-spun coasters, home-spun bowls. etc. You call it the home-spun alone or the home-spun project.

    just a thought!

  2. pretty crafty, I have to say!!! Love how they came out!

  3. Stephanie on said:

    I really love the square coaster. The way that it is not perfectly tight and even at the corners is part of the hand-made (not sloppy) design.

    I thought Mag Coaster would be a good name.

    One more thing- cork for the bottom, eco friendly, easy to get, nonslip, won’t need to cover edge with trim

    • Thanks Stephanie! I was actually worried about the square coaster, but my mom said the same thing about the cool look it had being “not so perfect”. LOVE the advice on using cork for the bottoms! I will definitely be doing that.

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