DIY Cork Coasters Tutorial – Avatar Elements

The other day, Jeff mentioned he needed coasters for his desk at his workplace so I scoured the Interwebs for cool-looking coasters. Sadly, after a half hour of wasted window browsing, I didn’t find any that were worth buying (although I did buy this wizard stress toy for him haha!). So I decided to just make the coasters myself! Coincidentally, I had left over cork boards lying around from a previous project (corkboard puzzle pieces).

So here are the materials I used for this project:

  • Corkboard
  • An image printed on cardstock (I looked online for the Avatar Element Symbols, I did not draw them!)
  • Acrylic paint & paintbrushes
  • Modpodge (or acrylic varnish) & foam brush
  • Scissors, X-actoknife
  • Doublesided tape (not shown)
  1. Find out what size and shape you want your coaster, draw it and cut it out of a piece of paper.

    The ones I made here are 3.5″ x 3.5″ rounded-edged squares. I drew my shape in Photoshop (because I like to be super precise), printed it, and cut it out of a regular piece of paper. You can simply measure and draw out whatever shape or size you want onto a piece of paper, and cut it out.

  2. Trace the square template onto the cork and cut it out.

    (Note: DO NOT USE a box cutter or xacto knife to cut the cork, it will break into pieces!! Use a strong scissor and make sure your hands are steady. Try to cut along the edges using one long motion rather than short spurts because it’ll keep the cork edge smooth). Should look like this:

  3. Choose a background color to paint your coaster.

    This is pretty self explanatory. Only thing is to make sure your paint goes on evenly and covers the entire surface. Wait for it to dry before painting the back (duh). Don’t forget the edges!

  4. Optional Step: Created a stencil of the image by using an X-acto knife and tracing the image out of its background.

    This step is optional if you can draw but since I can’t, I decided it’d be neater to make a stencil. I also used a small scissor to smooth out any sharp edges left over in the stencil. Note: this takes a lot of time and your hand may cramp a little, as mine did 😦

  5. Paint your design onto the coaster after the base has dried completely.

    If you are using a stencil, tape it down with doublesided tape to the position you want it an use a thin paint brush to fill it in. Make sure you don’t have too much paint on the paintbrush or it will spill into the cracks (see second photo below). If that happens, just paint over the mistakes with your background color. (This is why I suggest using cardstock instead of regular paper to print your image because the cardstock is thicker, therefore the paint won’t accidentally seep through.)

  6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 for each image.

    Cut the doublesided tape into small pieces to tape down the smaller sections of the stencil so that it doesn’t move while you are painting (see first photo below).

    Here’s how it looks with all four finished. You can stop here if you want to keep these as art pieces but to make them coasters you should apply a sealer to finish off the project. Honestly I wanted to stop here because they looked so neat!!

  7. Paint on a layer of varnish or sealer after your paint has dried.

    This is my first time using modpodge (matte formula), which I read was a great all-in-one glue, sealer and finish. I used a foam brush to apply my modpodge because I didn’t want to see any brush strokes but you can use a regular brush if you don’t mind. It looks white when you first paint it but it will dry clear.

  8. Wait for sealer to dry and there’s your finished product!

    The coasters will have a harder, plastic texture after the modpodge has dried. In the photo above, the shininess is more apparently because of the lighting from my windows but below is a photo of the coasters with less direct lighting.

I think Pekkle likes it! Hope this tutorial was helpful. Let me know how it goes when you make your own! 🙂


5 thoughts on “DIY Cork Coasters Tutorial – Avatar Elements

  1. Pingback: How To Make Your Own Coasters - 29 DIY Wonderful Designs

  2. Pingback: How To Make Your Own Coasters -

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