Coaster Sewing Tutorial

I started making these with some scrap fabrics that I had left over from other projects. They are quick, simple to make and a great way for a beginner sewer to get their feet wet and to learn what you can do with fabric.

First, gather your supplies.
You’ll need the following materials for this project:

  • 2 – 5″x5″ pieces of fabric
  • Piece of contrasting fabric to hold your design
  • Heat Bond (or other product for applique)
  • Pellon (or other heavy-duty fusible)
  • Seam Ripper (for mistakes)
  • Scissors
  • Black Marker
  • Iron (not pictured)
  • Chalk Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Star and cutting templates

This will make one coaster. If I know I’m going to be making a lot of things. I do all my cutting first just because I don’t like the up and down from the sewing machine once I get sewing.

Step 1) Cut your main fabric into two 5″ x 5″ squares. You’ll need two squares for each coaster you are making. Since we’ll be sewing these into squares they don’t have to be perfect but they should be close. I find the 5″x5″ squares make the best coaster size but you can cut them into the size you want. Just remember that you will be taking a quarter-inch off of each side during the sewing process.

Step 2) Cut your heavy-duty iron-on fusible into 4″x4″ squares. You’ll need two for each coaster you are making. All that my local fabric store sells is Pellon but it works fine. Use your favorite brand or if you don’t have a fabric ask the person at the fabric counter what they like and they will help you. (Seriously, some of the nicest people in the world are those with very sharp scissors.)

Again, these don’t need to be exact since they won’t show in the final product. I was making a bunch of these so I cut a bunch at once.

Step 3) Trace, cut and iron your applique onto your contrasting fabric. I use Heat Bond for iron on applique projects. Again, use your favorite or ask you friendly person at the cutting counter what they recommend. Don’t be shy. Be friends with them. They will tell you how to get remnants at a portion of the cost, they will turn you onto new fabrics, they will help you with just about anything related to sewing.

Follow the directions on your applique product but it should have a side with paper on it and a side that is somewhat sticky. You’ll want to draw your cutout on the paper side. Cut it out and then iron it sticky side down on the wrong side of your fabric. Then you’ll want to cut out the fabric. This is where it might be good for a lesson on right and wrong sides of fabric. Some of fabrics (like the one pictured here) have a distinct wrong side (back) and right side (front) but some don’t. If I have a project where I’ll need to distinguish a front and back side of fabric I just mark it with chalk on the fabric so I don’t get confused as the project is sewn.

Again, you’ll want two of your appliques. One for each side of the coaster. You’ll end up with a pile that looks a lot like this one pictured here. You’ll have your right side of the fabric showing and underneath you will have a paper with your design showing from the applique.

Next, you’ll want to take the applique to your fabric and position it where you want it. Remove the paper backing and place it on the fabric with right side of your fabric up and press it with your iron. You’ll want the right sides of both of your pieces of fabric facing you.

Now finally we get to sew!

Step 4) Stitch over your applique with the zig zag stitch. You might have been able to purchase an applique product that doesn’t need to be stitched, in that case you can just skip this step but if you didn’t then you’ll want to stitch. You can use the strait stitch but I like the look of the zig zag stitch.

Step 5) After completing the stitching put the two sides of your coaster together with the right sides facing each other. Then with your strait  a quarter-inch margin around three sides of your coaster. A quarter-inch margin on most machines is the length of your needle to the edge of your foot. If you want a wider margin or shorter margin that is fine. I just like a quarter-inch because it is easy to measure.

Step 6) Head back to your iron and iron on a 4″x4″ piece of your heavy-duty fusible that we cut out earlier to each side of your project. Follow the directions on your package but usually there will be a slightly shiny side to your fusible. You’ll want to put that side face down and iron over it.

Next is where it all comes together for us.

Step 7) Flip it inside out. We’ve purposely kept that one side open so we can flip the project so the right side is on the outside and the wrong side is on the inside. When you are done flipping it you should have your pretty applique on the outside and your fusible on the inside. (Please ignore the week old painted fingernails).

I find that everyone has a preferred poking tool. Some use scissors. Some knitting needles. I like my chalk pencil or the non-pointy end of my seam ripper. You will use whatever you find works best for you.

Now fold the open edges into the envelope and press them with your iron so they stay inside. We’ll be sewing these closed in the next step.

Step 8) Go back to your sewing machine and stitch a quarter-inch line around the outside of your coaster. This will close your open end of your project, secure the fusible inside of your project and create a nice finished look to the coaster.

Now go fix yourself a nice cold drink and test them out.

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