Making Your Own Bus Coasters

A while ago I made a set of Christchurch bus map coasters and someone asked for a tutorial.

Start with a set of old coasters you don’t want.

Give them a sand down with some rough sandpaper (mine is around 100 – sound official??)

Select your print, fabric, map….. I drew around mine so I could get a sense of exactly what they would look like – with pencil so I could move it. Cut them out and check they sit nicely on the coaster.

Apply a good coat of PVA – you can water this down a bit.

Smooth the print on – I use a ruler to get rid of air bubbles.

Let it dry completely.

Now I used polyurethane (varnish) some people have asked me if I used modge podge, which I have heard of but never used. Warning this stuff seems very expensive to me so you might want to have a rummage in the garage or decide if you want to work with a friend.

I do 2 coats of water based clear varnish. Let it dry thoroughly between coats.

Then 1-2 coats of enamel based varnish for the really glassy finish. Again patience and commitment between coats is going to give you a better finish. Also you should probably do at least the enamel based outside or in the garage, it’s pretty stinky.

I’d love to know if you do some and see your work too. If you want to share this tutorial please link back here. Thanks

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5 responses

  1. They look great! If we weren’t leaving we would be doing a batch! 😀

  2. This is awesome! Great way to re-purpose old coasters instead of buying a whole new set. Yours look great.

  3. I have used Modge Podge for a few things but as you say it is rather expensive. I tend to buy stuff like that when Spotlight have the ‘ Spend $100 & get $40 off’ which is effectively a 40% discount. I don’t find it difficult to spend $60 there in 1 go & they seem to have that coupon about 3 or 4 times a year.

  4. I can add this to my ever growing list of things to try………when I ahve more time to sit and ponder……..which by the way I am slowly working on.

  5. Thanks so much for doing a tutorial on these. I have a few placemats and coasters that have seen better days and new ones are quite expensive. It will be good to recycle the ones I’ve got already. I like the idea of using old maps, or maybe I can find an old fashioned picture book to use – decisions, decisions… x

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