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DIY Wood Coasters with Dyed Veneer Stripes

These DIY wood coasters are super easy to make, and feature a fun pop of color with vibrant wood veneer stripes!

DIY wood coasters

I'm so addicted to dyed wood veneer! It's usually found in skateboards, but I'm finding lots of uses for it in other projects (like these wooden Christmas ornaments and this DIY candle holder). The dye is saturated into the thin wood, so unlike paint, you can cut it anywhere and the bright color will still show through.

bell shaped wooden ornament

This time, I'm combining a thin piece of maple with tiny strips of hot pink veneer to create these fun DIY wood coasters!

Check out more DIY coaster ideas here!

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Materials Needed for DIY Wood Coasters

How to Make Wooden Coasters

Cut the Wood Strips

I used a piece of paper to play around with different configurations for the coasters. I wanted the stripes off center, but close together. I settled on one 1" strip, two ¼" strips, and a 2" wide strip. A 1/16" stripe of pink veneer will go between each one.

strips of maple wood and dyed wood veneer for diy wood coasters

It can be a bit nerve-wracking to cut those itty bitty pieces on the table saw! The Grr-ripper push block has a ¼" wide leg so you can apply even pressure to that little piece throughout the cut (they even have a separate ⅛" leg if you want to get really tiny!) I highly recommend one for anyone who uses a table saw on a regular basis.

cutting ¼" strip on the table saw with a Grr-ripper

Cut the Dyed Veneer Strips

The veneer should be cut into strips slightly wider than the thickness of the maple wood. This way you don't have to be quite so precise with your glue-up, and you can sand it all flush later.

This stuff is so thin, it can be almost impossible to push through the table saw with a traditional push stick. Again, the Grr-ripper makes this much easier and safer to cut.

Grr-ripper for cutting wood veneer strips safely

These veneer strips are really easy to break, so I suggest cutting a few extras just so you don't have to set everything up again if one snaps!

Sand the Cut Edges

In order to get a tight seam between all the stripes, you need to make sure you don't accidentally sand the edges unevenly. Use a big sheet of sandpaper on a flat surface, and just run the cut edges of each piece over it a few times. I'm really glad I recently replaced my workbench top with a fresh laminate sheet, so I know it's perfectly flat!

sanding edges of ¼" maple with a full sheet of plywood on a workbench

Glue Up the Stripes

Parallel clamps are the best way to apply even pressure along the length of a glue up while keeping all the pieces flat. You can also use pipe clamps, but they're a little trickier to use.

Apply wood glue to one edge of the widest strip, and lay it across the bars of the parallel clamps. Then coat both sides of a veneer strip with glue and stick it to the edge of the first piece.

adding pink wood veneer stripe to DIY wood coasters during glue up

Continue alternating strips until you have the full width of the wood coaster laid out on the bar. The glue will absorb some of the dye and turn pink, but it won't soak into the rest of the wood.

Final glue up of DIY wood coasters

I had plenty of room on these clamps for a second glue up, just by omitting the wood glue between the two sets of coasters.

Unfortunately, the thin wood pieces started to buckle when I applied pressure with the clamps. I used these little trigger clamps to hold the wood to the bar while the glue dried. It worked like a charm!

glue up of DIY wood coasters with Bessey clamps

Cut and Sand the Wood Coasters

Once the glue has dried, give both sides a good sanding to make sure the veneer stripes are flush with the surface of the wood. I cheated and used my new jointer that I got for Christmas instead, but sanding works just as well!

DIY wood coaster with clean stripes after running it through a jointer

Trim off any excess from one end of the strip to create a straight edge across all the stripes. You can use a miter saw or a table saw with a cross cut sled for this step.

cutting off excess from DIY coasters with table saw

Now measure the exact width, and set a stop block at the miter saw or cross cut sled to that dimension. Then cut the perfectly square coasters!

cutting out wood coasters on a table saw crosscut sled

Sand off any rough spots, and round over the edges slightly if desired.

sanding DIY wood coasters on a blue silicone mat

Apply Finish

These wood coasters will get damp from condensation, so a protective finish will help keep them looking great. I prefer to use Polycrylic on maple because it doesn't turn the pale wood yellow, and it really makes that bright pink color pop! This article compares polycrylic to polyurethane in more detail.

applying polycrylic finish to DIY wood coasters with a foam brush

Sand in between coats with 220 grit sandpaper for a super smooth finish.

Enjoy your New DIY Wood Coasters!

I'm so happy with how these coasters turned out! The stripes give them a fun pop of color that won't wear or scratch off like paint does. I'm thinking of making a few more sets to keep on hand as gifts!

DIY wood coasters with pink stripes on gray table with glass of ice water

Print out the step by step instructions below!

Want more colored wood veneer projects like this one? Check these out!

DIY wood coasters with dyed veneer stripes
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