How to Sew Fabric Drink Coasters

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Fabric drink coasters are a great project for beginner sewists. You get to sew with different seam allowances and have multiple opportunities to use most of the 8 basic sewing skills. If you’re new to working with rotary cutting tools, you’ll have the opportunity to practice this skill, too.

In addition, fabric drink coasters don’t take long to make. When you’re done, you have something that’s functional. You’ll look at them with pride knowing you made them with your own two hands.

How to Sew Fabric Drink Coasters

After following the directions in this lesson, you’ll have 8 fabric drink coasters that are 4 x 4-inch square.

Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin so you know what you’ll be doing.

Preparation

Gather the Supplies

supplies for fabric coasters
  • 1/4 yard of 100% cotton for fabric A
  • 1/4 yard of 100% cotton for fabric B
  • Enough felt to make 8 – 5 x 5-inch squares. (Felt can be purchased off the bolt as well as in smaller size sheets.) Select a color that won’t show through the fabric.
  • thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • rotary cutter, mat, and ruler

Get Your Sewing Machine Ready

Put the all-purpose presser foot on your sewing machine. Wind thread on the bobbin. Insert the bobbin and thread the machine. Set the machine to do a straight stitch (a width of 0 and a length of 2-3 for a medium length stitch).

Prepare the Fabric

  • Prewash the 100% cotton fabrics in warm water and dry in the dryer. Press to get the large wrinkles out and square up both fabrics.
  • The felt doesn’t need to be prewashed.
  • Use the rotary cutting tools to cut 8 – 5 x 5-inch squares from both fabric A and B.
    • If one of the fabrics has a print and you want a specific part of it to be fully on the coaster, you’ll want to fussy cut it.
  • Cut 8 – 5 x 5-inch squares from the felt.

Construction

Tip: Read all of the steps before you begin so you know what you’ll be doing.

  1. Layer 3 fabric squares. First, lay down fabric A right side up. Next, lay down fabric B wrong side up. (Right sides of fabric A and B are together.) Last, place a felt square on top.
three fabric layers

2. Pin the three layers together using a couple of pins on each side. Make sure the edges are lined up.

pin the layers together

3. The seam allowance will be 1/2-inch. Place the pinned squares under the presser foot. Start the seam about an inch from one of the corners. You won’t need to backstitch here. You’ll leave an opening to turn the coaster right side out. Without a backstitch to secure the seam, it’ll be easier to turn. Sew almost all the way around the perimeter of the square. Stop about one and a half inches from where you started.

seam allowance with opening

4. Trim the point off at each corner. Be careful not to cut any stitches. Clipping the corner removes extra fabric and helps the corners have a crisper point.

trim corners

5. Find the opening. Separate fabric A from fabric B and the felt. Turn the coaster so the right sides are out. If the stitches on either side of the opening loosen up a little, that’s okay.

turn right sides out

6. Push the corners out. The fabric coaster should now look like this with the right sides out.

right sides are turned out

7. Fold the edges of the opening to the inside of the coaster. The outer edges of the coaster should be lined up with each other. Pull the threads from where you started and stopped the seam so they aren’t loose. Now, either tuck them in or cut them off. Be careful not to cut the fabric. Pin the opening closed.

tuck or cut threads and pin opening closed

8. Now it’s time for some topstitching to close the opening and add a little decoration to the fabric drink coasters. Sew approximately a 1/8 of an inch from the edge of the coaster. I use the edge of one of the feed dog holes as a guide for the 1/8 inch. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the topstitching to make sure the opening stays closed.

Use feed dogs as a guide for a small seam allowance

Note: This part of the coaster is thicker than the rest of it because it has felt in the seam allowance. The thickness could make it difficult to continue sewing after you pivot. Watch the video below to see how to solve this problem.

Video – Hack for Sewing Corner Humps

9. To give the drink coasters a little personality, sew a second line of topstitching inside the first one. Use the right edge of the presser and align it with the first line of topstitching you did. Hold on to the thread when you start sewing so it doesn’t get caught up underneath.

second seam

That’s It. You’re Done!

fabric drink coasters

These fabric drink coasters work great to protect tables from glass rings by soaking up condensation. 100% cotton absorbs water and felt is water-resistant.

Sew a Coordinating Storage Bag

Sew a coordinating storage bag made specifically to hold the fabric drink coasters when they aren’t being used. It’s lined on the inside and has topstitching around the top. The best part is the storage bag can double as a gift bag, too!

Coordinating storage bag

Celebrate with Fabric Drink Coasters

Fabric drink coasters are an easy way to celebrate sports, seasons, and holidays. Just look for themed fabric that is 100% cotton.

University of Southern California fabric drink coasters with coordinating bag
Texas A & M fabric drink coasters with coordinating bag

Consider using different fabrics on each side of the coaster to make them versatile for different times of the year.

Coasters with different fabric on the front and back
The coasters on the left are from one set celebrating football and Day of the Dead. Coasters on the right are from another set celebrating Christmas and spring/summer.

Cleaning the Fabric Coasters

Over time, the fabric coasters will get dirty. Apply a stain remover to any stains before washing them.

Because you prewashed the 100% cotton fabrics and not the felt, wash the fabric coasters in cold water. When I wash mine, I like to put them all in a washing bag for delicates. I’ve washed them in both a normal and delicate cycle but always make sure the water is set to cold.

Lay them flat to dry. Do not put them in the dryer.

Let’s Connect

My main goals are to support, empower, and inspire you to discover the joy of sewing.

Need help or have questions on this project, pattern, or tutorial? Send me an email at nicki@theruffledpurse.com and we can work together to get it figured out!

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More Sewing Education

Looking for more sewing projects? Here are a few other posts you may like:

Pinterest image of fabric drink coasters

This post was updated on December 15, 2020.

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6 Comments

  1. I like the way you explain things. Your voice is not grating and is very understandable. I like your methods a lot. Thanks for sharing your sewing skills. Cyber hugs for you, Irene

  2. Hi Nicki,

    I absolutely loved your video and hand appliqué techniques. One of the best videos I’ve watched so far during the Sewing summit. Keep up the great work and thank you for sharing your knowledge! You are making the pandemic period more tolerable. Sending you a virtual hug from Sudbury, Ontario Canada. Please stay safe ! XOXO

  3. Hi Nicki,
    What a pleasure to get into sewing again with you. You have inspired me like no other. You have made this summit wonderful, and I have been enjoying your emails from the last summit. I have only made one sewing project in the last 3 years even though I bought a new sewing machine 3 years ago. Thanks for your easy directions on both the summit presentations and the written directions. I plan to try a lot of your projects. I make custom greeting cards so I am renovating my craft room as we speak. However you have set a new spark in me that I have not had since I used to sew before I was married 57 years ago. WOW. thanks again and you will be seeing a lot of me on your blogs and in your online store as I purchase items. Be Blessed and safe.
    Harriette

    1. Thank you, Harriette, for sharing this with me! ❤ I’m so happy to be a part of your rediscovery of the joy sewing!

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