DIY Crafts – Painted Coasters

I am so excited to share today a DIY craft for making these painted coasters. They are painted and free-stitched with embroidery, and I love how they came out. 

By now, you have probably realized that I am slightly obsessed with the Free-Stitch Embroidery technique. All projects using this technique on Pinterest involve embroidering over other fabrics. I came up with the idea of painting the fabric loosely and then adding the embroidery for detail. 

DIY Painted Coasters
You Made that?
Painted and Stitched Coasters

Drink Coasters

I have made pillows for spring and Easter, and coasters for summer. These were easy to make, and I love how they turned out.

I call this technique Painted and Free-Motion Embroidery. It’s easy, fun, and very liberating, and yet I decided it was time to use it for something other than pillows.

And bright colored and fun drink coasters seemed like a fun idea.

I have also teamed up with sixteen other bloggers who are sharing their DIY Summer crafts. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see all of their beautiful ideas.

What is Free Motion Embroidery?

machine embroidery

Free-motion machine embroidery is a type of sewing that you do on a regular sewing machine. You can move the material in any direction while sewing it on your machine. 

Usually, when you sew, the machine automatically moves the fabric forward. When you sew free-motion embroidery, you can move the fabric to determine exactly where you want to sew. You can move sideways, forward, backward, and create any shape you want. All you need is a quilting foot.

The free-motion quilting foot, sometimes called a darning foot, is designed so that the sewing machine needle passes through a small ring on the foot. Instead of hopping, these feet float over the fabric without providing pressure.  The Foot releases the fabric when the needle is up, allowing you to move the fabric freely.

This is the free-motion foot for your machine. Although the foot may vary depending on your type of machine, I linked a universal one that should fit!

I read a lot about lowering the “feed dogs” on your machine when stitching free-motion embroidery. Feed dogs are the little teeth on your sewing machine that feed your fabric evenly through the machine. These teeth are extremely important because they help us produce perfectly spaced, even stitches whenever we sew garments, piece quilts, or applique shapes on our machine. Most people recommend that you lower the feed dogs for free-motion embroidery.

I lowered the feed dogs using a lever on my machine for this project. If your machine doesn’t let you lower the feed dogs, use a Supreme Slider instead.

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What You Need to Make Painted and Free Stitched Coasters

How to Make a DIY Craft Painted Coasters

1/4 yard of cotton fabric (I used a dropcloth)

Acrylic Paint (or fabric paint if you prefer)

A cardboard template measuring 5 1/2″ square

Embroidery Thread (I used Sulky Machine Embroidery thread)

Sewing machine 

How to Make Painted and Free Stitched Coasters

To make four drink coasters, trace eight of the templates on the cotton fabric. Trace them in two rows of four squares each.

Cut out Squares

Pick your design and color palette and select the points accordingly.

Mix your colors only using these few paint colors. Add more yellow for warm colors and a minimal white to lighten colors. The key is to mix all of your primary colors with no more than four colors. I added some green for the leaves.

Mix the Paint

Whatever design you choose, paint the coaster very loosely. Do not include any detail, just shapes.

DIY Craft Painted Flower

Paint all four coasters. You can paint them the same, slightly different, or entirely different. It’s up to you. I painted mine slightly differently, with very little detail.

DIY Craft Painted Flowers

I used a dark brown embroidery thread and free-motion embroidery to stitch the detailing in my coasters. 

Sewn vs. Non-sewn

Watch this video to learn how to free-stitch embroidery.

See how they are all a little different but similar? I love how these look with the embroidery.

Painted Flowers Stitched

Once you’re done stitching, iron the painted cloth and retrace the 5 1/2″ square. (The fabric will change slightly from the paint, so it is essential to get a perfect square.)

Measure Squares

Next, cut out the coasters along the pencil-drawn line.

Cut the Squares

Cut out the fabric for the squares for the back, too.

Sew the Fronts and Backs Together

With an iron, fold over all of the edges 3/8″. It doesn’t have to be exactly 3/8″, but you just have to fold over the exact amount on all of the coasters’ fronts and backs. I just eyeballed it, but I have sewn all my life, and this is very easy for me to do.

DIY Craft Iron Edges

Pin the fronts and backs together to ensure the backside doesn’t show. Stitch around the outside of each coaster. My seam allowance was 1/4″.

Pin Front and Back Together

Don’t these coasters for drinks look great?

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DIY Crafts

What if You Don’t Sew or Own a Sewing Machine?

There is an easy alternative to using a sewing machine to stitch the black lines.

All you have to do is use a thin permanent marker and draw the lines! It’s that easy.

These are the perfect DIY coasters for summer and early fall.

DIY Craft Free Motion Embroidery

Everything You Need to Entertain Outside This Summer!


Here are sixteen more DIY Crafts!

Click on any of the links for all of the details.

How to Seed a New Lawn from Scratch at The Happy Housie
DIY Palm Leaf Shadow Art Box (PB Knockoff) at Craftberry Bush
How to Make an Outdoor Pallet Tabletop at My Sweet Savannah
Clean & Scentsible DIY Outdoor Planter with Candle
DIY Hanging Patio Garden at Tatertots and Jello

DIY Outdoor Candle Holders at The Handmade Home
My 100 Year Old Home DIY Painted Coasters
Outdoor Tabletop Herb Garden at Inspiration for Moms
DIY Modern Sun Art at Cassie Bustamante

Finding Silver Pennies DIY Shell Candles
DIY Beaded Garden Markers at Zevy Joy
Easy DIY Macrame and Driftwood Wall Hanging at Dans Le Lake House
DIY Printed Fern Art at Satori Design for Living

DIY Criss Cross Outdoor Planters at She Gave it a Go
Coastal Coaster DIY at Rambling Renovators
Stamped Spoon Garden Markers at Life is a Party
Summer Porch Updates at Taryn Whiteaker Designs

You can pin the images below to your Craft or Decor boards on Pinterest (just click the Pin button in the top left corner) or follow me on Pinterest!

Handmade drink coasters painted and stitched in a flower petal design.
awesome DIY summer projects to try Seasonal Simplicity Summer Series-2

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  1. Absolutely lovely! A great start to make before the pillows. Love your creativity and inspiration!

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