How to Make a Wood Mosaic Coaster with Popsicle Sticks

This post may contain affiliate links.

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend about our nostalgia for popsicle stick crafts that we used to make as kids. From that conversation, I got this idea.

What if we make a DIY wood mosaic coaster out of popsicle sticks?

To make this geometric wooden coaster, you’ll simply cut craft sticks to size, glue them to a wood plank, and stain or paint the color of your choice. This may sound like a doomed kindergarten project, but I assure you, the results are nothing short of fabulous.

Try this cheap and easy wood mosaic DIY. This geometric mosaic wood coaster project looks very expensive but actually costs just $0.30 per coaster! The edges are trimmed in a very unexpected material…

How to Make a Wood Mosaic Coaster

Gather your materials: craft sticks, wood glue, coffee stir sticks, and a wood square

Step 1: Cut your popsicle sticks

Cut the ends from the craft sticks, perpendicular to the edge

First, cut the rounded tips off your craft sticks. There are endless possibilities for wood mosaic patterns. For this tutorial, we’ll use a simple stacked chevron pattern to learn the method, but I encourage you to experiment and have fun!

For this coaster, you’ll need 12 craft sticks. The shortest pieces will be taken from a single craft stick cut in half.

Cut the rounded end off one side of each stick, taking care to make your cut as close to perpendicular as possible. If you have any rough edges, you can sand them with the rough side of a cheap nail file.

A note about selecting your sticks: choose the straightest, flattest sticks for the best results. These are very cheap wood, so you’ll find that many are warped or cupping a bit. I buy these in a pack of 100, so it’s very easy to find good sticks. Just save the less-than-perfect ones for a different project.

Step 2: Dry fit your sticks

Dry fit the craft sticks onto your wood craft plankr

Mark the center of your wood square and dry fit your cut craft sticks. Take two craft sticks and butt the flat end of one stick along the long edge of another to create a “V,” then align the center of the “V” with the center line you just marked.

Continue stacking the sticks along the centerline until you reach the top edge, then fill in the bottom two corners with your half sticks.

Swap sticks until you get the best fit and look.

I like to mix in some heavy wood grain for interest but you may prefer a more smooth and consistent look.

Step 3: Glue your popsicle sticks

Apply wood glue to your wood craft plank and adhere craft sticks

Using wood glue, attach your sticks to the square wood plank. To remember where I had my sticks dry fitted, I numbered the sticks at the ends I’ll be cutting off in pencil. Spread a thin layer of glue over the entire top surface of the wood square. Working quickly, press your craft sticks into place.

Place a book and a heavy object on top of your coaster to hold everything in place while the glue dries, which should take around 30 minutes.

Step 4: Trim the sticks

Trim off the excess craft sticks

Next, cut the excess material off all four sides of the coaster. Our wood square will provide a nice straight edge for our cuts. Now that the glue is set, we can cut off the excess sticks with our craft knife.

Make multiple shallow cuts rather than one deep cut for the cleanest cut.

Step 5: Finish the edges

Glue coffee stir sticks around the edge of your wood mosaic coaster

Using coffee stir sticks (yes, seriously), create a clean finish edge around the coaster. Sure, you could skip this step, but without it, this looks like an unfinished craft rather than a designer piece you might have spent way too much on.

As with the craft sticks, you’ll want to sift through the stir sticks and find the straightest ones that fit your coaster edges. The width of each can vary, so look for the widest ones to get the best coverage.

Using a thin bead of wood glue, adhere the stir sticks along each edge, trimming the length to fit. You may need to hold each in place for a minute or two while the glue sets up.

Step 6: Paint or stain

Paint or stain your coaster the color of your choosing

Finally, stain or paint the coaster in your chosen color. Since we’re using cheap popsicle sticks, I’d strongly recommend testing your finish on a few of your imperfect sticks. You can use traditional stain, watered-down paint, or solid paint.

small angled artist’s brush is perfect for the job.

Once the paint or stain dries, finish with a couple of coats of polyurethane to protect the wood.

Your wood mosaic coaster is complete!

Here's the finished diy wood mosaic coaster -- in espresso stain and whitewash.

Make a set of these to gift or keep. This project is so versatile that you can really make these to suit any decor style. Whitewash for coastal, walnut stain for midcentury, a mix of pale pastels for boho—the possibilities are endless!


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *