Cork board, paint and geometric lines are all you need to create these gorgeous color block coasters. Plus, they're a cinch to make, and won't cost the earth in materials.
- Cork board sheet 20cm x 30cm (8in X 12in)
- Masking tape (or washi tape)
- Acrylic paint
- Flat paint brushes
- Acrylic varnish
- Paint palette
1. Cut the Cork Board Into Squares
Lay your cork board sheet 20cm x 30cm (8in x 12in) on your work surface. Make sure your cork board is at least 0.3mm (0.1in) thick. Use your ruler to mark your cork board at 10cm intervals horizontally. Make two sets of marks: one at the top of the sheet and one at the bottom.
Join the marks you made with vertical lines.
Now follow the same procedure to create three horizontal lines, marking each 10cm (3.9in) interval.
You have now divided the sheet into six squares, which will make a good set of half-dozen coasters.
Place the cork board sheet on a cutting mat. The cork is a soft material so it is really easy to cut without a lot of pressure. Use the ruler as a guide to keep the cuts straight and keep your cutter perpendicular to the working surface for straight edges. Cut along all the lines of the design you created.
Well done! You've transformed a cork board into a set of six coasters.
2. Design With Masking Tape
Now's it's time to have some fun by creating random geometric designs on your coasters. Try not to over-think it. Just improvise. Stick some washi tape on the top surface of each coaster. For example, I've placed two diagonal lines and divided the square into four triangles.
Cut the washi tape a bit longer than the coaster's surface. Make sure you wrap the tape around to the back face of the coaster. Press with your fingers to keep it in place.
When you're happy with the design, press along the tape firmly with your fingers to ensure it's fixed tight along the edges. You don't want any paint to slip under the tape and mess up your neat lines!
Now create six different designs by taping the coasters. These are the six designs I came up with. I used up to three pieces of tapes on each coaster.
3. Paint the Coasters
Prepare for painting by covering your working surface with scrap paper to avoid a mess. Now, define your color palette. Place the acrylic colors of your choice on the palette and be generous with the quantities.
I wanted to create a color palette of white, black, mint and peach. White and black were ready made. I created peach by mixing white with a little magenta and adding a pinch of mustard yellow. You can see the quantities in the photo if you wish to reproduce the same color. Then I used some pale olive mixed with a pinch of blue to create the mint shade.
Keep a small bowl of water handy, as acrylics are water-diluted paint. Add a few drops of water and start mixing your colors.
Mix until you have beautifully blended paint in a homogenous mix and your desired hue.
Place the first coaster on the working surface with the taped side facing upwards. Paint the first unmasked area with one color of your color palette. Use a flat paint brush that will help you apply the paint to the surface easily.
You don't need to be careful and precise while applying the paint. The only thing you need to be careful about is staying within the masked area.
Don't forget to lift your coaster and paint the side face of the area as well. But be careful and avoid painting the back side of the coaster.
Add a different color to each area of your coaster. It's best to have different paintbrush for each color.
Paint all six coaster in the same way. Once done, leave them to dry.
When the coasters are dry, you will notice that the paint has become a bit dull, because cork is a porous material. You need to apply a second coat of paint. Go over all areas and repaint them with the same colors.
Nice job! Now, leave the coasters to dry.
In the meantime, rinse and clean your equipment before the paint dries on your brushes and palette.
4. Reveal and Spray
Once the paint is completely dry, it's time to reveal the design. Carefully peel off the tape.
You should have beautifully defined blocks of color!
Continue to remove the tape from all of the coasters.
If you notice any imperfections in the design, now is the time to correct them with little touch-ups.
Place your coasters outdoors or in a well-ventilated area and spray them with the acrylic varnish (either matt or glossy). Spray from a distance of 40cm and apply evenly to the whole surface.
This is an important step as the varnish makes the paint water-proof, so your coasters will be perfectly functional.
Allow your coasters to dry according to the instructions on your varnish.
That's it. You're done!
Enjoy Your Drink Coasters!
In this tutorial you learned how to make a set of geometric cork coasters for your home or for a friend.
We showed you how to create your coasters from a cork board sheet. You also learned how to create geometric designs using tape and how to use the color blocking technique.
The color blocking technique is a cool and easy way to create precise geometric designs without much effort or skills. Surely you can find many more projects to do with this technique. For now, enjoy a warm or cold drink on your new cork coasters.
Hope you enjoyed this easy and fun home-ware project. Please let us know what you think in the comment's section below!