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Concrete Coasters


Everyone and their puppy’s cousin has made personalized stepping stones for their gardens and lawns. Making the decorated discs is as easy as buying a kit-in-a-box at the local craft store. But why be limited to grass and tootsies? Here’s an idea that breaks the plastic mold: Shrink the concept.

In an afternoon, you can whip up mini-versions that work wonders as playful drink coasters that carry the fun to patio parties, backyard bashes and the family room. Escalate the whimsy by gluing small pictures under clear, flat pebbles, and then embedding them in the wet cement. It’s easy enough to follow up with a whole new set of the concrete stepping stones to match.

Wilma Flintstone would be impressed!

1 bag of large, flat-sided, clear glass pebbles.
Small pictures or stickers.
White glue.
1 box of cement mix.
Plastic disposable bucket.
Popsicle sticks.
Plastic coaster molds.
1 bottle of water-based varnish.
1 sheet of colored felt.
Optional: acrylic paints and brush.

Directions: Add a dab of glue to the flat side of the pebble and set it on top of the picture. Have both on a flat surface so the pebble won’t slide. When dry, trim the excess paper. Add a layer of white glue to the back of the picture to secure it and seal the edges. Each coaster will hold eight to nine large-size pebbles, so be sure to fashion enough pebbles for the number of coasters you wish to create.
Mix the cement in the plastic bucket (or bowl) according to the manufacturer’s directions. Pour the mixture into the molds and let set for five minutes. Press the pebbles into the wet cement in desired pattern and let dry for 24 hours. The glue under the pebbles will turn white but will eventually dry clear. Carefully remove the coasters from the molds. Turn them over and let them dry from underneath for several hours. Add a coat of varnish to the visible cement areas on top and sides. Apply felt to the bottom of each coaster to protect furniture.
Variations: Instead of clear pebbles, press colored pebbles or other objects into the wet cement. Add a layer of paint on the back of each pebble so the color will show through or paint borders around the coaster edges for a brighter look.

* All content/photos copyright, © Kathy Cano-Murillo, 2008.


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10 thoughts on “Concrete Coasters”

  1. Couple of questions:

    Does the rounded top of the glass pebbles make it unstable for glasses?

    And does the glass on the pebbles make the condensation run off onto the table, the whole reason for coasters in the first place ; )

  2. Good questions! I actually use these on my patio, and I use plastic tumblers out there (and coffee mugs too!), they’ve always been study, no accidents yet… It’s just like using tiles as coasters. I wouldn’t use the tiny pebbles (I should mention that!). I wouldn’t use expensive champagne glasses on them, but otherwise they have been pretty cool to have! Now that I think of it, I have these coasters inside too.

  3. Thanks for the inspiration! I have a wire plant stand that once upon a time probably had a ceramic tile as a top. There’s nothing now and I need a 10″ square to use as a new top for it.
    Surely I can find (or make) something to use as mold that size and make my own top. I have a stash of broken ceramic/pottery/china/dishes that I might utilize for this project.
    It could be a plant stand, or it could be a side table for drinks as well.
    Can’t wait to see what I can come up with.

  4. Hello! Thank you for this DIY. This is great! I’ve heard palm sanders without the sandpaper work really well for degassing concrete. I’d really love to see a video on how to make a DIY vibrating table. Probably would make your lives easier since you’re casting so many coasters! I need to make one to agitate plaster molds I’ll be casting in silicone master molds, just like you’re doing!


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