How To: Make Upcycled Quilted Coasters

How To: Make Upcycled Quilted Coasters

Gregory Han
May 7, 2009

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We've got an ever-expanding collection of cute patterned dishtowels in our kitchen drawer, but some of them are starting to show their age. One of our favorites is this sunny daisy-printed cotton, which we decided to "upcycle" by turning it into a set of simple quilted coasters. Even if your dishtowel has a few rips or stains, you can cut around them to salvage enough fabric to make some coasters. Use another dishtowel or some other scrap of fabric for the backs—we went with some plain linen left over from another sewing project. These make a perfect housewarming or hostess gift and have the benefit of being both attractive and useful. Here's how we did it.

You Will Need:

  • 1 cotton dishtowel for the top of the coaster (flat cotton types are best—don't use terrycloth)
  • A second dishtowel or fabric scrap for the bottom of the coaster
  • 100% cotton quilt batting (we prefer Warm & Natural brand) — an 11" x 11" square will do it
  • Rotary cutter and cutting mat (or you can mark your measurements with chalk and cut your pieces with scissors)
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Iron and ironing board


  1. Wash, dry, and press your fabric. Cut four pieces each from the dishtowel ("top fabric") and the second fabric ("bottom fabric"), each measuring 5 1/4" square.
  2. Cut four pieces of quilt batting, each measuring 5 1/4" square.
  3. Place the top fabric and bottom fabric right sides together, and top with a square of quilt batting. Repeat until you have 4 stacks of fabric and batting, then pin layers together.
  4. Sew around all edges of each square, starting on the middle edge of one side and leaving a 2" opening for turning the coaster right side out. Once all squares are sewn, turn each one right side out and press with iron.
  5. Topstitch around all edges of each square, sewing about 1/8" from the edge. Continue sewing through all layers in a geometric pattern, remembering to leave your needle down in the fabric when you turn the corners (so as to not lose your place). Ending your stitching in the center of the coaster, making sure to backstitch. Now pour a tall glass of iced tea and drink up.

    And remember: stay thirsty, my friend.

Be sure to check out Jenny's previous DIY project, How To: Sew an Envelope-Back Pillow

Jenny Ryan is the recent author of Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish and also and is also co-owner of the Home Ec. Department at Reform School.

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