How To Make Tree Limb Coasters

By: Modhomeecteacher Apr 29, 2009

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,

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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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Comments

Melissa, 

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

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. 

 

 

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

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!

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?

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!

Marley,

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.

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

Simply lovely

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.

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

I totally love the simplicity, and the gorgeous results!

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