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DIY Wood Burned Coasters with Watercolor

These wood burned coasters are beautiful AND easy to make! Burn in your design, then use watercolor pencils to make them pop!

DIY wood burned coasters with watercolor

Want an inexpensive way to create a personalized coaster set? Combine wood burning and watercolor techniques for gorgeous wooden coasters in any design you want! Make a set for yourself, and another as a gift!

Don't have a wood burning tool? Try one of these other DIY coasters instead!

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Materials Required

How to make wood burned coasters

Check out this short video of the process before you begin to see how easy these are to make!

Cut wood into squares

Start by cutting a piece of ¼" plywood into 4" squares. I dug out a piece from my scrap pile, making this project practically free! You can also use blank wooden coasters like these.

cutting plywood squares for coasters

Sand down the surface and any rough edges.

sanding the edges of the plywood coasters with a sanding sponge

Draw your design in pencil

If you're artistically-inclined, you can draw out your design by hand. But I can't even draw a stick figure, so I used stencils instead. DecoArt was kind enough to send me a few of their botanical themed stencils for me to try out for this project.

I wanted to offset the design off the edge of the plywood, but you could center it if you prefer. Trace the design onto the plywood in pencil.

tracing a floral design onto plywood with a stencil

Trace your design with a wood burning tool

Heat the wood burning tool up to high. Trace over your design with the tip of the tool, making sure it burns in deep enough to create a channel in the wood. This will prevent the watercolor from seeping out of your design in the next step.

using a wood burning tool to create a design on wooden coasters

If you make a mistake with your wood burning tool, you can sand it out with 120 grit sandpaper if it's not too deep. When you're finished burning the design into the wooden coasters, erase any remaining pencil marks.

Add watercolor (optional)

Using watercolor pencils, color in your design. I like to layer a few colors in the same range on top of each other, so they'll blend when you add water to them. If you don't want to add color, you can skip this step.

applying watercolor pencil to wood burned coaster

Then, the magic happens! Add water to each colored section, using a brush to blend the colors. You may have to repeat this process a couple times to get the effect you want.

adding water to watercolor on wood burned coaster to blend colors together

If the color bleeds past the burned lines, allow it to dry, then carefully sand those areas with a folded piece of sandpaper. This also helps to clean up any lightly burned areas that you want to remove.

Apply a protective finish

When you have the design exactly how you want it, spray it with multiple coats of polyurethane or shellac to protect the wood from condensation. The spray works better than a brush, because it won't cause the color to bleed.

spraying polyurethane onto wood burned coasters

Let them dry overnight, then they're ready to use or give as a gift! I can imagine so many different themes for these wooden coasters...florals, holiday, monogrammed. The sky is the limit!

set of four DIY wood burned coasters with botanical designs
DIY wood burned coasters with painted floral designs under glass of water


Sunday 29th of April 2018

super cute diy! Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party @DearCreatives pinned, and sharing. See you again soon.


Saturday 28th of April 2018

Saw this on the SIOMTInspiration link party. Super cute idea! Pinned!


Wednesday 25th of April 2018

These are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing on To Grandma's House We Go!

Victoria @DazzleWhileFrazzled

Monday 23rd of April 2018

Great project and great gift idea!


Thursday 14th of December 2017

Cool project! I’ve seen people decorate spoons like this too, but I love the warecolour element.

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