Monday, 12 December 2011

Cosy Coaster Tutorial

Firstly I apologise for the dark pictures, it just wasn't a nice day when I was making these and the gloom shows through!  Hopefully they are just a guideline though. 

I came up with this method of making my own coasters, there are lots of them out there but this is a simple way of making fabric coasters.

Finished and ribbon tied coasters
First you will need a template.  To make one the right size I drew on to some scrap cardboard, a cereal box would be perfect, and traced around an existing coaster.  If you don't already have one then draw around a mug to get the right basic size then draw your square coaster shape around it.
Draw around coaster
Coaster template
This is now the actual size you want your coaster to be.  Use this coaster to cut out 2 pieces of felt for each coaster you are making so that you will have a double thickness.  To allow the coasters to be washable use a light or white colour fabric so the colour won't run in the wash.  Making them washable was important to me so that if a drink spilt on them, which is after all their purpose, it can be washed out. 

After cutting out the felt I roughly hand stitched the 2 layers together.  This technique is called pad stitching but I only did it roughly with long running stitches as it is only to secure the 2 pieces of felt. 
Hand stitched double thickness felt
Now back to your template.  Draw around the template in cardboard again and add a seam allowance.  I used a 1cm allowance but if you can prefer you can make it more or less.  If you feel confident you can just use the original template and just add the seam allowance when you cut.
Template with seam allowance
Cut out 2 squares per coaster with your fabric.  You can use two different fabrics to make your coasters reversable if you wish.
Cut out fabric
Once cut out, move to your ironing board and iron and place your original template in the centre of your fabric.  Then using the iron fold the seam allowances over the template creating a fold line on the top  and bottom. 
Ironing seam allowances
Once you have folded and pressed the top and bottom, do the same to the sides making sure the corners are folded neatly and don't overlap the edges.
With all sides pressed
Remove the template and place the felt pad in the centre of the square.  I needed to trim it a little bit to make sure it fit and get rid of any wobbly edges.  Pin in place making sure all corners are tucked in neatly.
Once side pinned around felt
Once you are happy line up the second fabric square and re-pin.  I found it easiest to to pin and the re-pin to ensure all the corners are kept nice and neat and the felt doesn't slip around.
All pinned and ready to sew
Lastly sew all around the edge of the fabric using a thread that blends in or if you are feeling brave a contrasting colour.  Make sure you keep close to the edge and sew through the top and bottom layers. 
You are done!  I made a set of fur and tied them with a ribbon for a gift but you could make 6 or 8 or however many you need for your family.  Next I would like to try some with bias bound edging which would give a really neat finish and you would not need the seam allowance then.  I couldn't find any that matched this project so that is why I came up with this method or making coasters.  It is really great for using smaller pieces of fabric and fat quarters. 

I would love to see any that you make using this tute!

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