Wednesday, January 2, 2013

DIY Tutorial: Ribbon Coasters

One of my favorite projects, I decided to upcycle all my old curling ribbon from the holidays to make myself a fancy new coaster. I've made these in the past but this was definitely the best result I've ever gotten, hopefully you all will get a great result too!

Here are your materials - curling ribbon and clear nail polish. I actually used two varieties of nail polish during the project, a quick-drying variety for "checkpoints" and whatnot while I was actually curling the coaster, then a normal variety to cover and seal the whole thing. Any type of curling ribbon is fine and you can use as many colors as you like, just remember that all the ribbon you use must be the same width.

 Then you start curling! It is a little trick to get the curl started so I recommend pinching it vertically (the opposite from what is shown in the picture) and wrapping the ribbon around it like a column at first. Once you have enough to hold on to, switch your grip to match the one shown and keep wrapping. Every once in awhile you should pull on the end to tighten the coil, but no matter how much you tighten there will always be a small empty space in the very middle - don't worry about this.

When it comes time to switch colors, simply place a dab of nail polish below and above the loose end of the old color. Then slide your new color under (keeping it perfectly in line with the old) and very carefully wrap it around once or twice until it makes firm contact with the nail polish you dabbed on top. Once you feel it is secure, pull on the new color to tighten it and keep wrapping. In the picture above I used the butterfly clip to hold it all together while I took the picture - unfortunately these coasters are easy to unravel at first so don't be afraid to make polish "checkpoints" by dabbing a bit on every once in awhile. If you ever need a break, butterfly clips do a great job of temporarily securing things so you don't have to worry about the whole coaster coming apart.

Once you are satisfied with the size/pattern of your coaster, generously apply polish to the loose end and hold it on until it dries - this is why quick-dry polish is very helpful here. Then, use a book or something similar to flatten the whole thing and make sure there are no major ridges or spots that are slipping as seen above.

Once you are satisfied with the smoothness of your coaster, it's time to seal it! I used my trusty plastic bag as a surface so to not get any polish on the table but that's really not necessary. This part is simple - just basically coat the whole of one side in polish. I actually ended up just pouring some on and spreading it out because the polish does tend to sink into the cracks a bit, making it hard to just apply it with the brush. You can even pour a little extra into the middle to fill up the hole there. You can do both sides if you'd like a double seal, but it isn't necessary. After you are done, just let the coaster dry and enjoy!


  1. This is cool! I'm gonna have to keep it in mind for next Christmas (because I'm poor xP). I'm glad you're doing crafty things here too, I love learning how to make things =D

    1. Thanks! This is definitely one of my favorite things to make because it is so simple. I'll be uploading more like this soon!