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DIY Wood Coasters Using Scrap Wood

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by
December 15, 2023
Zoe Hunt

If you’re looking for a DIY gift that doesn’t take too long to make, you’ll love these DIY coasters. With just a few cuts, a few holes, and some wood sealer, you’ll have yourself a beautiful set of 4 coasters. It’s also a fantastic way to use up some scrap wood!

We used some scrap “fumed white oak”. I actually have no further details to share with you about what that means or the process of “fuming” it. This was a scrap piece of wood that was used in someone’s custom home for their stair newel posts. The scrap was given to us to turn into a custom cutting board as a gift for the homeowner. Now we’re turning some more of the scraps into these wood coasters! 

Alright, let’s dive in and start DIYing some coasters! 

How to Make Waterproof Wood Coasters

Recommended Tools: 

  • Miter Saw 
  • Drill
  • ¼” forstner bit 
  • Random Orbital Sander

Shopping List:

  • ~3.25” of 4×4 wood* (or see note in step 1) 
  • ~10” of ¼” dowel 
  • Painter’s tape
  • Wood glue
  • Waterlox to waterproof the coasters 
  • 220 grit sandpaper 

STEP 1: CUT YOUR WOOD

If you don’t have a 4×4, you have a few different options:

  • Glue together (4) 2x2s to create a 4×4. This would give a cool checker pattern! 
  • Glue together (2) 2x4s to create a 4×4.
  • Cut a 1×4 board with a pretty grain pattern into 3.5” squares for your coasters instead. Your coasters will be slightly thicker, but not by much!

Once you have a 4×4 piece of wood, cut it into (5) ⅝” pieces. This will make 4 coasters and the coaster stand. 

Next, stack your 4 coasters on top of each other and measure the height. Cut (4) ¼” dowels to match this height. I ended up using miter shears for these since they tend to want to snap when cutting on the miter saw

cutting 1/4" dowel with miter shears

STEP 3: MAKE COASTER HOLDER

Cover one of your ⅝” thick pieces with painter’s tape. This will help prevent tearout when drilling into the corners. 

Mark ⅜” from each of the corners. I like to use my multi-mark tool for quick and easy measuring.

using multi-mark tool to mark where to drill

Line your forstner bit up with the mark and drill approximately ¼” into each corner. 

drilling into wooden coaster holder

Add a dab of wood glue into each corner and insert a dowel into each hole. 

inserting dowel into coaster holder

Note: if you were planning to stain your coasters or dowels a different color, do that before assembling the coaster holder.

STEP 3: SAND 

Our wood was very smooth already. If you are using a piece of wood that’s not already super smooth, start with a lower grit sandpaper (likely 120) and work your way up to 220. 

Once you’re at 220 grit, sand the edges at an angle to create a nice rounded edge. 

Free download wood sizing cheatsheet

STEP 4: SEAL 

Apply 3-4 coats of Waterlox to waterproof your coasters. You need to wait 24 hours between coats, so plan accordingly. This is a quick project, but it’ll get dragged out for a few days! 

Waterlox says there is no need to sand between coats for adhesion purposes, but I still give them a light sand between coats for an extra smooth finish. 

Once you apply all your Waterlox, the water will bead right up when it touches the coasters! It’s great–we actually used it on some DIY wooden countertops on a bathroom vanity we made years ago. 

There you have it! Now you know how to make some beautiful wood coasters using scrap wood! It’s a great gift, or a perfect addition to your own decor! 

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