Drink Rings, Begone! – DIY Wallpaper Coasters

Drink rings shall no longer be regular visitors in our household, for I’ve finally made us some coasters.  (And the crowd goes wild.)

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

There are a million and one great tutorials on how to do this project, such as ones by Prudent Baby, The Cottage Home, and Two Girls Being Crafty.  And believe me, I wanted to just post photos of the finished product and direct you to the tutorials, but then I kept thinking of tips and things I wanted to add…and I guess it’s the teacher in me, but I just had to make my own tutorial.  So, here you have it: how to make your own wallpaper coasters.


  • Wallpaper samples, scrapbook paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, stationery…any fun paper will do!  Just be wary of using any paper from an ink jet printer that might bleed.
  • Stone tiles.  You can pick them up at Home Depot; they start as low as 16 cents each.
  • Mod Podge – glossy.  I recently threw out my old bottle of M.P. because I had originally bought it when I was in middle school…we’re talking many many moons ago.  So, I picked up a new 16 oz bottle of gloss-lustre podge for $7.99 at Hobby Lobby.  I expect it to last me at least a decade.  {B.t.w. I think the people who started Hobby Lobby also invented the name Mod Podge.  But it’s just a hunch.}
  • Felt or cork board.  Enough to cover the bases of your tiles.
  • Water-resistant glue like the Amazing E-6000.
  • Water-resistant clear acrylic spray or shellac finish & sealer.  This costs around $5 at can be picked up at most craft and hardware stores.
  • Other sundries you’ll want: ruler, scissors, pencil, index card, foam brush…hot drink of choice.

1.  Gather your supplies!  So, I found out that you can request free wallpaper samples from Anthropologie.com, and with wallpaper being my medium of choice in the original Thinking Closet, I knew I needed to get my hands on some.  The samples are 4″ x 6″, however over an inch of the length is glued to a piece of cardstock, so I knew I only had about a square to work with…perfect for square coasters!  The prints are so unique and pretty in Anthropologie-fashion, and I was able to cluster my samples into two stacks of 8 according to color; one set for us, and one set for a gift.  If you look closely, you can see I incorporated two of my free samples from Farrow & Ball into the second theme, as I had them on hand, and they fit better than some of the other Anthropologie samples.  (Farrow & Ball will send you 8.25″ x 11.75″ sheets of 5 different wallpapers free of charge.  How very nice!)

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

In terms of tiles, I had Mark pick up some for me at Home Depot.  We opted for MS International stone tiles in Ivory Travertine.  They measure 4″ x 4″ and cost $5.49 for a box of 9, which is about 60 cents a tile (you can go even cheaper, but Mark really liked the texture on these).

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

2.  Prep your paper.  I created a 3.75″ x 3.75″ square stencil using an index card, so that I wouldn’t have to measure and re-measure each one.  These dimensions seemed to work well with my 4″ x 4″ stone tiles, allowing for a thin rim around the edges.

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

3.  Mod Podge Time!  After cutting out all of my wallpaper samples, I rinsed off my tiles in the sink to remove their dusty residue; I gave them about 20 minutes to dry before going all Mod Podge on them!  Using a sponge brush, I adhered the paper to the tile using a thin and even layer of Mod Podge on the tile.  It dries pretty quickly, so you want to make sure you’ve centered it right, then press it flat with your fingers.  Don’t try removing it to re-set it; you’ve got to just commit when it comes to Mod Podge or you’ll ruin your paper in the process.  To avoid puckering, really press that paper flat and keep coming back to it to check on it.  I found that there were a few I had to continually press and re-press to get them to lay flat…and some air bubbles will just be stubborn and become part of the project.  Embrace them.  They add “character” to your coasters.  Once your paper is lying flat and seems secure (after at least 20 minutes), then start your first layer on the surface.  It will look white (as you can see in the picture below), but I promise, it dries glossy clear.  You will, however, see the texture of your brush-strokes, so definitely brush in one direction.  Let your Mod Podge dry for at least 20 minutes before adding the the next coat…and then the next one…and the next one…until you’ve got at least 5 coats on there.  This can be time-consuming…but surprisingly, very therapeutic.

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

4.  Seal it!  Then, I sprayed the surface with clear Bulls Eye Shallac, which is a finish and sealer for crafts.  Any waterproof acrylic sealer would be great.  Read the instructions on your can for specifics.  This step will help make your coasters waterproof; however, know that Mod Podge takes about a month to fully cure, so avoid putting hot drinks on them until then.  And expect the surface to be a bit sticky.

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

5.  Adhere your felt to the base of the coasters.  The last step is to add a layer of cushion to the bottom of your tile using either felt or cork-board.  Felt is definitely the cost-effective method, and I had some on hand leftover from my felt flower wreath.  You can cut four circles for the four corners or one square for the entire bottom as I did.  The square stencil from step 2 comes in handy here.  I had on hand the very powerful E-6000 glue, which I purchased for repairing jewelry.  It’s great because it’s waterproof and extremely strong; however, I’m sure most craft-glues would suffice.  If you use E-6000, do it outside or in a well-ventilated area.  That stuff is serious.

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

Flip ’em over, and you’re done!  Your coasters are ready to defend the integrity of table-tops everywhere.

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

DIY Wallpaper Coasters via The Thinking Closet

Just doing my part to make this a drink-ring free nation…one wallpaper coaster at a time.  Hope this is helpful for when you tackle your own.

I’ll be linking up here.

This is Lauren, signing off.

Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    What a great project that I can individualize for gifts and I love your tutorial with photos. Very easy to understand. Hope to join your drink-ring-free campaign! Travertine tiles are very popular right now and everyone wants them!!

    • says

      Thanks for joining the campaign! We need all the help we can get. (wink.)

      Yes, they would be fun to make as gifts…though with all of the layers of modge podge, they are definitely time consuming. So, I would do a big bunch at one time and give them away in clusters of 4 perhaps.

      Hadn’t heard of travertine before, but I guess we’ve never shopped for tiles before. Love that you’re up on the tile fads, Mrs. Kitchen Renovation Queen!

  2. says

    I love it!! I so want to make some. Just gotta find some cool wallpaper and tiles now.. 😉 I’m a new follower, found you via a linky party over at Sew Many Ways!

  3. says

    Love these! They’re adorable! I definitely need to make myself some coasters…we have yet to get any rings on our tables, but we also don’t have any way of stopping it.

    • says

      Trust me, those drink rings can show up unexpected. We didn’t think we needed them because we have a glass-top coffee table and a sealed wooden table…but they found a way! 😉 Fun for gifts, too.

  4. says

    Love it! Cant wait to try! Also thank you so much for sharing tips on blogging. I’ve started many blogs before and don’t stick to it long term. This time I’m doing it only for myself and then we’ll :)

  5. says

    So stylish and pretty! They are little works of art. I am for sure pinning these! -Hopefully they will make it to the completed projects board one day 😉

    • says

      Thanks, Lauren! You are the reason I got my hands on the samples in the first place, so thanks so much for the tip, girl. B.t.w. your idea books are on my to do list (hopefully before Christmas), so you can bet I’ll be returning to your tutorial for inspiration.

  6. Nettte says

    What a fantastic idea.

    I am currently decorating, so will have a go to make some to match the decor:))))

    I have sparkly paper, so they should zing!!


  7. says

    Oh my goodness, this may be my favorite craft project you’ve done yet! They look so good, Laur. Really professional and artsy and awesome. I think I especially love it because of the amazing anthro designs, plus its something that I’ve been wanting to do/needing lately, so it feels more personal! I won’t forget this post when I get some free time to make my own…hopefully this summer! xo

  8. says

    There adorable! :) I would love to try this out. I also hate those ring marks leaving on the table – I am so in to your Drink – Ring – Free Campaign!!! :)

  9. Carmen Cassis says

    I absolutely LOVE theese and I have been wanting to make them since forever, I love coasters!!! Do I have to use wallpaper or any kind of paper is fine? which is the best alternative to wallpaper? LOVE THEM!!

    • says

      Any kind of paper is fine! I have even seen people use tissue paper, so thickness should not be an issue! The Mod Podge will react differently with different paper – – so just do a tester one first to see the best technique. Photos printed on paper would also create great coasters, I think. Let me know what you end up using! I’d love to see them.

      • Carmen Cassis says

        Thank you so much!! and do you know any alternative to mod podge? I live in South America and I can’t seem to find it. :(

        • says

          Your question intrigued me, so I did some internet searching. Here’s what I found: a great post that suggests watering down Elmer’s Glue All. I also read that gel medium in semi-gloss or satin finish is a great alternative if you can your hands on that at an art supply store. It is also sold on Amazon.com. Best of luck, Carmen!

  10. says

    Drink rings has been one of my problems ever since because my husband and my dad used to drink in our veranda and the rings will leave its mark. It is so hard to get sometimes it stays there forever. This is a good solution. Let the Drink-Rings be gone. Thanks for sharing this.

    • says

      I knew I wasn’t alone in my drink-ring plight! We went so long without coasters that we developed bad habits of putting our drinks directly onto our glass coffee table…even when the coaster is RIGHT there now. Sheesh! Still room to grow, I suppose. 😉

  11. says

    Lauren, I missed this amazing post until your latest about page revamp directed me here. These coasters are fabulous! I may just have to make a few; I’m thinking teachers’ gifts. My kids’ poor unsuspecting teachers…the recipients of many a homemade gift. We’re only a little over halfway through the year and every time we give them a gift they smile and say “You made this didn’t you?” But I digress as I am prone to do.

    Thanks for the tidbit of info that we can request free wallpaper samples. I’m on it!

    • says

      I just love the fact that you give your kids’ teachers gifts throughout the year. Maybe that’s more typical in those early years of education but I had a couple roll in at Christmas and the end of the year…but rarely handmade. What a treat!

      And I bet the coasters would be a great gift for them – – in clusters of four, tied with a pretty ribbon perhaps? We still use ours (my drink is sitting on it right now). I’ll just re-emphasize the importance of letting the mod podge cure for about 1 month (at least) after you make them. Otherwise, they’ll have that tacky feeling and hot drinks might make a mark. So, you might want to make your end of school year gifts now! 😉

    • says

      We’re lovin’ ours and use them every day! And don’t worry too much about perfection…there will sure to be air bubbles (Mod Podge can be tricky for the first few coats), but thankfully, if you have a busy enough pattern, it’ll blend right in. Have fun!

  12. Tricia says

    Love your tutorial. My Farrow & Ball samples just came in. I wanted to know though can this be done with smooth glossy tiles or should I stick with the stone? Hoping to get this done over the weekend :)


    • thethinkingcloset says

      That’s a good question, Tricia. I don’t see why it couldn’t be done with smooth glossy tiles…but I haven’t tried it myself. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a go. :-)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Thanks, Vanessa! And yes, getting anything free from Anthro is somewhat mind-blowing, isn’t it? Enjoy your samples! Do let me know if you create anything with them. I’d love to see what you do!

  13. Kate says

    I was wondering if cans leave rings on your coasters? I have been trying to make coasters myself but every time I think I am finished I put a can on the coaster to make sure that it doesn’t leave a ring but every single coaster has failed. I have used 5 or 6 different products without any success. Is there a solution to this or am I going to have to become accustomed to rings on my coasters?

  14. Deloris Bessegato says

    Thank you so much for these instructions. I saw these several weeks ago and wanted a refresher on how to do it before starting my own.

  15. Avery says

    This looks really fun! Quick question: how long does the clear finish spray stay sticky? Does it go away eventually? Thanks!


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