DIY Coasters including the fails!

How to make colourful cut out coasters from felt and pleather.

This post has been updated

I had some scraps of pleather left over from a coat repair and used them to make some coasters. This whole coaster making from pleather tale is a bit of a saga, not everything went quite to plan initially. I think it can be fun to see a crafting fail now and again; sometimes you learn as much from what doesn’t work as you do from what does. I know when I see other people’s craft fails it makes me feel a little better about my own mishaps too, so with that in mind I’m happy to share my coaster making fails as well as the colourful peek a boo butterfly coasters that worked out well.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin...

Making a plain octagon shaped coaster from pleather

When we first moved house in 2015 I wrote a little about reusing what we already have rather than buying lots of new things for our new home. This included a photo of my bedside table which was missing an essential - a coaster for my cup of tea! 

To make a simple octagon shaped coaster simply glue a piece of pleather to a piece of felt with Mod Podge, then press it under a pile of books so it dries flat.

To make an octagonal template either google Octagon Template or open Word, click “Insert” then “shapes” then select the octagon. You can then size it as big as you’d like your coater to be.

Use the template to cut out the felt/pleather sandwich and you have a perfectly serviceable octagonal coaster.

Now this is the point where my fails began:

I thought I could make coasters that were better, prettier and more classy!

I used a gold paint marker type pen to mark a simple jewel pattern on the basic octagonal coasters. I was really happy with this until I used it for my tea, oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! Somehow the gold paint pen never quite dried properly on the pleather. FAIL!

Not to be deterred I tried again. This time I used a gold spray paint and a doily.

Slightly better but after a few uses you can see where the bottom of the mug lifts and smudges the paint a little. FAIL!

Whilst making these crafting mistakes I did like the effect of the layers of felt and pleather, seeing the felt layer underneath the pleather from the side. That made me think maybe coloured felt and some sort of cut out to let the felt show through would be a fun way to go with this coaster project. 

How to make Cut Out Pleather Coasters

This tutorial was originally shared as a guest post over at The Pinning Mama in 2015.

What you will need to make these felt and pleather coasters

  • Start by drawing around a lid or old coaster on the back of your pleather. You can make an octagon template as described above if you prefer

  • Punch a shape

  • Cover the back of the pleather with Mod Podge

  • Press down onto a piece of felt. Leave to dry under a heavy book to keep it flat

Once the glue is dry cut round coaster to remove the excess felt your coasters are finished.

Because I was using pleather I found my punch left a few tiny wispy threads where it cut, I simply snipped these away with sharp embroidery scissors before glueing on the felt.


Do you enjoy seeing craft fails? I’m pretty sure everyone makes things that just don't work out sometimes, it's perfectly normal. What do you do with your fails? Throw them away quickly before anyone sees or leave them out to give everyone a good laugh?

I have one more final confession. This is an update of a tutorial from 2015 and I actually don’t use any of these coasters on my bedside table any longer. I’m actually using one of the Terrazzo coasters I made from the Cosy Craft Club kit now! The cut out coasters are still in regular use though, and still looking good.


I’ll be sharing this tutorial at some of these link ups