DIY Cardboard Coasters

These coasters make great gifts, are useful, and are super cute. Let’s start making!

Things You Need:

  • A large cardboard surface (it can be the side of a cardboard box)
  • Anything paper that would serve as a cool design (for example: a map of a favorite place, a funny cartoon, a handmade drawing, cool patterned paper, etc.) You will need twice as many paper cutouts as cardboard cutouts, so you need to know 1) how many coasters you want, and 2) if you have enough paper!
  • Scissors and/or X-ACTO Knife
  • Glue
  • Lamination Paper (these can be hard to find, but you may be able to find them either at a local art store like Michael’s, Staples, or Amazon.) OR if you have some sort of laminating mechanism that would work on about a quarter-inch-thick cardboard, use that!
  • Something traceable that is in the shape of your ideal coasters (like the bottom of a glass, or if you want them square you could use a small frame)
  • Pencils, pens, and coloring/drawing materials

Directions:

  1. **NOTE: Before you start, be sure that you know how to use the listed tools and make sure that you have parent supervision if you are a child.**
  2. Using a pencil, trace the shape of your object onto the cardboard surface. Trace as many shapes as you want coasters (if you want 8 coasters, trace 8 shapes).
  3. Use the scissors or X-ACTO Knife to cut out shapes. Try to cut them out as best as you can, and stay true to the shape.
  4. Take your paper design (or map, or drawing, or cartoon, etc.) and trace the shape of the cardboard cutouts onto the paper. (*REMEMBER! There needs to be twice as many paper cutouts as there is cardboard cutouts, because one paper cutout will go on each side of the cardboard, leaving us with 2 paper cutouts for every one cardboard cutout.*)
  5. Cut out the paper shapes using the scissors.
  6. Now that you have cut out the paper and cardboard, make sure that they line up perfectly. If not, trim either the paper or the cardboard so that they line up exactly.
  7. Glue the two paper cutouts onto the cardboard cutout to make one grouping of cutouts. These will be what your coasters will look like, except that they will be laminated.
  8. If you intend on using a lamination machine, go to step 9 and skip step 8. If you intend on using lamination paper, keep reading this step and later, skip step 9. Take the lamination paper and peel off the lining. Now you should be left with sticky sheets of plastic. Place as many groupings of cutouts (1 group = 2 paper cutouts, 1 cardboard cutout with 1 paper cutout on each side of the cardboard) onto one sheet of lamination paper with one side of paper cutout sticking up. Illustration:Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 8.30.59 AMThen, carefully place another sheet of lamination paper on top of the first sheet of lamination paper and the cutout groupings. Be sure that you line up the edges of the lamination papers as perfect as possible, and try to minimize air bubbles.
  9.  If you are using a lamination machine, make sure that you have glued all you cutouts into groups (1 group = 2 paper cutouts and 1 cardboard cutout, with 1 paper cutout on each of the two sides of the cardboard). Then, laminate them!
  10. After you have either 1) sticking all the lamination papers you need on top of each other with the groupings in between, or 2) laminated the groupings with a lamination machine, make sure that you press down on the sticky plastic and get rid of any air bubbles, gaps, or creases.Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 8.50.17 AM
  11. Now, take your scissors and trim the lamination paper off, remembering to leave a millimeter or two around the edges so that the lamination paper doesn’t peel off. You can choose to leave however much lamination paper you want, but one or two millimeters is recommended.
  12. You’re done! These DIY coasters make awesome gifts (I made my dad one for father’s day, and I drew maps of his favorite places and used those as my design!), and there is a lot of room for creativity. Here are how mine turned out:

IMG_2585 IMG_2584 IMG_2581

Thank you so much for taking a peek at this post, and I hope you had a fun time making these! Enjoy! 😉

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