DIY Coaster Set That Doubles as an Art Piece....and a conversation starter

It all started with a daughter is moving into her first off campus house.  She and her roommates have divided up the things they need to bring to furnish their house.  One of the smaller items we will be putting into a U-Haul next week is a set of coasters.  Now that they have their own "place", they want to protect the coffee table from all those college beverages!  I've made this college preparation a bit of a game, really.  What can we find/create/repurpose for Anna's college house that costs little to no money?  I've been picking up furniture on the side of the road and hitting the summer garage sales with much success.  I will post photos soon!  With coasters on my to-do list, I found inspiration from our backyard maple tree as I was sitting on the deck enjoying a clean"ish" summer drink.  I wanted to create a set of coasters that looked like an art piece when they weren't being used.  After much trial and error, I came up with the following:

tree coasters

The steps to create this set are simple:

1.  Find a branch you that is a good size.  If you don't have a tree to trim, look on the curb during brush pick up.  There are always tree trimmings piled up.

2.  Cut the branch into disks using a chop saw.  If you don't have a chop saw, you can buy wood disks and logs at all the craft stores now.


3.  Straighten a wire hanger and cut an 8" piece of wire from it.

4.  Drill a hole in the center of each disk using a drill bit the same size as the wire from hanger.


4.  Drill a hole in the center of the  branch base using the same drill bit.

5.  Put a dab of gel super glue in the hole in the branch base and put the wire in the hole.

6.  Now comes the creative part!  Find old maps, stamps, magazine pages and cut circles in 2 sizes.  One a bit smaller than the diameter of the wood disk and one about an 1" or so in diameter.  Using Modge Podge and a foam brush, glue the larger circle to the disk and then glue the smaller circle on top.  

7.  Using another piece of the wire hanger, poke a hole through the paper circles where the center hole was drilled.

8.  Brush the top of each disk with a clear coat of varnish or another coat of Modge Podge to seal the paper and the wood using a foam brush.  Let the disks dry.

9.  Stack up the disks on the base and there you have it!  A unique set of coasters that is also a conversation starter!

DIY Coaster Set