Sunday, April 10, 2011

DIY Spackled MDF Coasters

Here is the full tutorial for these coasters if you missed my post over at Everyday Mom Ideas last week.  These are painted by hand using fonts found in Word so if you are like me and you don't have access to a Silhouette or Cricut machine you can still easily make these!

These coasters are an easy project with many possibilities ... use this technique to make a trivet, group several smaller plaques together for an eclectic piece of wall art, and kids can get involved in painting and personalizing their own room decor.     

Step 1:  Cut a remnant piece of MDF into 4” squares using a miter saw.   My remnant piece cost me a dollar at Home Depot.  If you don’t have a miter saw, no worries … from experience I have learned that taking the time to do your makeup and style your hair means the guys over at Home Depot are always willing to help :o)

Step 2:  Paint the top and bottom of the MDF squares with acrylic paint.  I like using acrylic because it dries quickly. I chose black for my coasters but I’m a monochromatic kinda gal and you might be more colorful, so you decide what you like best. 

Step 3: Place blue painters’ tape in about  ¼”  around the perimeter of the MDF to give your coasters a border.  I eyeballed this by holding it up near a window – the light coming through the tape will give you a good idea if your taped line is straight.  The blue tape works best because it is made to adhere to recently painted surfaces without lifting your paint when you take it off.  Love this stuff!

Step 4: Take a wide putty knife and apply about a 1/8” thick coat of spackling to the exposed part of your coaster.  If you want a smoother coaster in the end, aim for a smooth application of spackling compound.  I did both smooth ones and textured ones and ended up preferring the smooth.  The spackling I used (Dap Dry Dex) goes on pink and dries white which helps take the guess work out of knowing when it is dry.

Step 5:  Using a fine grit sandpaper, sand the spackling.  Be careful not to sand too much or you will expose the wood underneath.  I sanded in all directions to give a cross-hatched textured surface to mine.  You can see below (I hope) the rough coaster versus the smooth one.  

Step 6: Slowly and carefully peel away the painter’s tape.  Some spackling along the taped edge might come off with the tape so if you are a perfectionist, beware!  I happen to like a little texture.

Step 7: Select the design for your coasters.  I chose to monogram mine with the letter M in different fonts (size 200 in Word).  The simpler the image or wording the better.  Print the letters onto paper, then hold the paper up to the window (wrong side facing you) and scribble over the entire letter.  Turn the paper right side up and trace its’ outline onto the center of the coaster.

Step 8:  Using acrylic paint, fill in the traced letter or image.  This is where my cross-hatched sanding job came in handy:  it gave my letters a slightly distressed look, one that you might get on wood if you were to sand well painted letters.

Step 9:  Seal it.  You could spray the coaster with several coats of clear lacquer for protection against chipping and moisture, but I didn't have any and used several coats of Mod Podge in Satin to add some shine instead.    

Add cork or felt pads to the bottom, tie them up using colorful ribbon and you have a wonderful hostess or teacher’s gift, or if you are like me, hoard them for yourself!  

- Kristin -

Linking to some of these great parties this week:, diyshowoff,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


  1. Great tutorial! Thanks for showing how to do something like this without a Silhouette!

  2. I really love these and think they would make great gifts. In fact, I did a feature on them!

    Extreme Personal Measures

  3. These are so cute!
    I love the way the letters look!!

  4. This is an awesome tutorial (cute) and I am so on it next trip to the craft store, thanks for sharing this...I'm a new follower from the Mad In Crafts Blog Hop hope you will stop by and enjoy my blog as much

  5. These are fabulous! I love that you used the spackling. Thanks so much for giving detailed steps so I know exactly how to do this!
    Wonderful job!

  6. These are great! What a great housewarming, wedding, whatever occasion gift!!

    Now following from Not Just A Housewife!

    Heather @ Catfish Kisses

  7. Hey I love these, I think I'll try this,great idea about the lettering.
    I'm visiting from DIY, come over to LazyonLoblolly and check out what we made for the herb garden.

  8. Thanks for sharing this! My Mom is looking for coaster ideas plus I have an upcoming MDF project, so this is perfect.

  9. the coasters look great! I love anything black and white!

  10. Such a fabulous AND practical project. I love it!

  11. Oh my goodness, I love how you added the spackling to give it a nice stone/tile look. And the letters are another great touch! Great job!! Thanks so much for linking up to Terrific Under Ten!

  12. That would be a great gift idea! Love! Even to do this on a smaller scale for children would be a fun way to teach letters...

    I'd be oh so happy if you could share this with my readers @Creative Juice Thursday. Get your crafting shoes on... Hope to see you there...

  13. I just love the use of the different fonts! Very nice :D

  14. Kristin-

    Thanks for stopping by and linking up!

  15. Kristin, I really loved how you made these coasters. My favorite part is the spackling, it's just brilliant. You gave so much texture, and character to an otherwise flat surface, I just love it. The monogrammed letters really turned out pretty too.

    I loved it so much I FEATURED you, I hope it puts a smile on your face.

    Come grab a button girl, and display it proudly!

    **Features from week #32** @ Bella Before and After
    Also I would LOVE to invite you to check out my new PINTEREST BOARDS let me know what you think!!
    Thanks girl :)


  16. Thanks for sharing the interesting piece of information, your post is simple yet smart. I have gone through all your posts and got a lot of experience.

    MDF | MDF Suppliers

  17. Will be making those for gifts ! Thanks for Sharing this


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