How To Make Tree Limb Coasters

created at: 2009-04-30

We find high glossed coffee tables made out of tree slices to be organic, modern and very appealing. DIY-ing a coffee table would be a hefty task. However, slicing up a tree limb,

created at: 2009-04-29

sanding it, and sealing it was surprisingly easy and resulted in a unique set of natural tree limb coasters for morning coffee or a long tall glass of iced tea.  You only need a few tools to make your own old tree limb set of coasters. 

Materials and tools:

created at: 2009-04-29

  • old tree limb that's dry
  • miter saw
  • sandpaper or sander
  • natural stain
  • sealer or finish
  • felt or cork for bottom (not pictured)
  • glue (not pictured)
  • nice ribbon to wrap up the set (not pictured)
  • safety goggles (not pictured)

What you do:

1. Carefully slice up 5 or 6 pieces of a tree limb about 3/8"  thick

created at: 2009-04-29

2. Sand one side until it's nice and smooth

created at: 2009-04-29

3. Brush on natural or light wood stain

created at: 2009-04-29

4. Use a craft spray or polyurethane to give the coasters a sealed, waterproof finish

created at: 2009-04-29

5. Cut out felt or cork to fit the bottom of each coaster and glue them to the bottom of each

created at: 2009-04-29

6. Wrap up your new set of nature's coasters with a pretty ribbon and give to your dear Mom to show her you still like to make her handmade gifts for Mother's Day.

Optional: Throw in a set of coffee mugs or iced tea glasses.

created at: 2009-04-29



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Craig MW on Feb 05, 2014:


In my family, we have a motto: You can never own too many clamps. 

For miter sawing a limb, I use one or two very small wedges to get the limb set, then clamp the limb in place. I put my left hand on the limb pretty far from the blade so I can keep a keep for what's happening, then saw with my hands and body fairly clear of anything that might go wrong. 

Be safe

richard on Jun 22, 2012:

any thoughts on the view that the coasters should not be sealed?  the theory is that sealed, non-absorbant coasters allow condensation from a cold drink to run onto the surface the coaster is supposed to protect. 



Anonymous on Feb 21, 2012:

what siez miter saw do you use for the 4" or so coasters?

Kara on Nov 11, 2011:

Question(s): Can I use fresh/green wood? Does it need to be dried (and if so, then how?). Also, is the stain necessary step? Thanks!

Anonymous on Jul 12, 2011:

Please explain how to get branches to be consistently the same thickness. I end up with slanted, not flat, various sized discs that are uneven. How do you begin the first cut so all following are uniform in thickness? Is there a trick to this I just haven't figured out?

Leah on Mar 23, 2011:

I love this project! It's so unique and beautiful. Thank you very much for sharing the tutorial. I just featured a link to this on my blog which you can check out here. I don't have a miter saw, so I'm going to have to wait until I visit my parents so I can use my dad's saw, but I can't wait until I can make this!

ModHomeEcTeacher on Oct 16, 2010:


Looks like it was just some glue I had on hand for glass and metal but you could use that really sticky fabric glue too.

Marley on Oct 16, 2010:

What kind of glue did you use to put the felt on the bottom?

Rebecca on May 04, 2009:

Simply lovely

Melissa H on May 02, 2009:

This is super cool but I have to add a word of caution. I have made several items out of tree limbs and after lots of successful cutting on my chop saw I had one limb twist unexpectedly and, fortunately, just give me a major bruise and a broken saw, not a missing digit. Since then I have always cut uneven wood pieces (like limbs) by hand using a japanese hand saw. It takes forever but is totally worth it and much safer.

CreativeOrigins on Apr 30, 2009:

Fantastic!!!  What a great finishing touch to rustic decor!

I totally love the simplicity, and the gorgeous results!

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