Est. 2011

May 1, 2012

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diy | cement coasters

Today’s DIY is one of my favorites ever. Recently inspired by my friend’s architecture studio, I’ve been on an industrial kick. Last week I made copper and steel candlesticks, and today I bring you cement coasters. Perfectly smooth & darling cement coasters. 
To make your own, all you need are these supplies:
Rockite (a fast setting expansion cement; I tried it first w/another product, and they didn’t turn out the way I wanted)
– Water 
– 2 tablespoon measuring spoons – one for the Rockite, one for the water (if water gets in the bag of powder, it will activate the chemicals)
– Plastic container for mixing cement (I used a yogurt container)
– Stir stick (I used a plastic knife)
– Mold for coasters (I used 6 cardboard soup containers from a local convenient store – they were nice and wide at the bottom; you could use yogurt/sour cream containers, a bucket, etc.)
– Sandpaper
– Paint (optional)
– Felt 
– Elmer’s glue
And then follow these simple steps:
– Gather all your supplies and have them handy.  Once you mix the cement, you have to be ready to pour within 10 minutes – it sets very fast!  
– Mix the cement. I used about 13 tablespoons of Rockite and 5 tablespoons of water for two coasters. The neat thing about Rockite is that there is no perfect consistency – the thicker the cement, the stronger the coaster will be. My mixture felt like runny peanut butter. 
– Pour the cement. I kinda guesstimated the amount of cement for each cup, but the above ratio (13 tbsp Rockite to 5 tbsp water) will make two nicely sized coasters.  
– Wait for cement to set. I waited about one hour, then gently but firmly squeezed the sides of the mold. Then, I turned the mold upside down and tapped on the bottom of the mold until the coaster slipped out. I was working over a rag so that the coaster landed on a soft surface. When your coasters come out, they will be a light grey. They eventually turn (after drying overnight) into this lovely whiteish cement.   
– Gently sand edges until your coaster is just the way you like it. I ended up only sanding the top “lip” to make it less severe.  
– If you feel like giving your cement coasters a dose of glamorous, tape off a region and then go wild with paint (I chose gold…I’ve kinda been obsessed with gold spray paint for months). 
– Cut a circle of felt for the underneath side. Glue felt to coaster using Elmer’s glue. The felt will prevent the cement from scratching surfaces. 
– Enjoy your coasters. They are perfect for entertaining, for giving as a gift, for decorating your home, etc. 

Let me know if you make these – I’d love to see. Also, if you have any questions about the process, please let me know!

Happy May, friends!
Rebecca

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  1. cevd

    May 1st, 2012 at 11:39 am

    this is a REALLY good idea.

  2. house of earnest

    May 1st, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    These turned out great! I love that there could be so many customizations and iterations of this project!

  3. Jenny @ Hank + Hunt

    May 1st, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    This is AWESOME! Such a cool idea! You could make trivets or even a cake stand!! So cool!

  4. Rebecca

    May 1st, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Erin and Jenny, stop reading my mind 😉 Standby for some other cement DIYS very soon….I think it's my new favorite supply 😉

  5. Lindsay @ Delighted Momma

    May 1st, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Oh I love this!! They turned out perfect! So creative Rebecca!

  6. Terry

    May 1st, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I really like how these turned out. Pinning. 🙂

  7. Kate

    May 1st, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I LOVE these! Especially with the gold spray paint. They're so cool!

  8. Ella

    May 1st, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I've only just recently started reading your blog, but I've already decided that you've got THE best DIYs. So good! Want to try this. Maybe make placemats? Just need to find the right mould

  9. Amy Turman

    May 1st, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Very rustic and adorable. I love the idea of adding spray paint for a pop of color!

    xoxo,
    mon amy

  10. laurenjeanallece

    May 1st, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    LOVE! Yep, need to get on this immediately!

  11. Vale ♥

    May 1st, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    This idea is so creative and useful, love it =)
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  12. rebecca

    May 1st, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    oh, these are right up my alley.

  13. Alice

    May 1st, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    ooh la la this looks awesome!

  14. sarah

    May 1st, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    MAKE ME SOME! for my new hope chest / coffee table 🙂

  15. Lena at A Crimson Kiss

    May 2nd, 2012 at 12:35 am

    They're absolutely stunning!

  16. Elba Valverde

    May 2nd, 2012 at 12:50 am

    Those are awesome!!!! I would love to try some with neon splashes!!!

  17. Rebecca

    May 2nd, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Ohhh yes, neon would be incredible!

  18. Kyboe USA

    May 2nd, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Can't wait to try this!

  19. Donna Huisinga

    May 2nd, 2012 at 5:31 am

    Great idea but wish you had included more pictures for those of us who are visual learners.

  20. Rebecca

    May 2nd, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Hi Donna! So very sorry about the lack of instructional photos – I'll email you in just a minute with some photos of the process!!!! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  21. Krishawn Ridenhour

    April 11th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Could you please email me photos too? I would like to make them for my boyfriend for his birthday.

  22. Monica Mllenorvegienne

    May 2nd, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I LOVE this idea!! 🙂 really want to try this. great for gifts too.

    mlle norvegienne

  23. Shoko

    May 2nd, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Coolest ever! Love these, Rebecca!

  24. Vickie

    May 2nd, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I love these!! I'm thinking of making my own stepping stones. Does the mold material matter as far as what will the cement stick to and what it won't stick to?
    My mind is beginning to spin with possibilities!
    Thanks so much!

  25. Rebecca

    May 2nd, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Vickie! Stepping stones sound incredible (if you make them, send me a pic!)! I think the material just needs to be somewhat flexible (think: plastic or lined cardboard – which is what I used) in order to gently loosen the cement from the mold, without breaking the mold or cracking the cement. The mold shouldn't absorb the cement either. I think a 5 gallon plastic bucket would probably work well for the stepping stones!

  26. And Live

    November 10th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    We've used disposable pie pans for stepping stone molds, though something a little deeper would be better, I think. They sell plastic molds especially for this at AC Moore, so you'd probably find them elsewhere.

  27. Krissy B

    May 4th, 2012 at 2:41 am

    These are so brilliant! I love them and I love your brain for thinking of them! haha. Simple and lovely and a great combination of contrasting materials. I'm totally going to give these a try once I'm through finals. 🙂

  28. Anonymous

    May 31st, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Dear Rebecca, cement is only the power substance, when it hardens it is concrete.
    I have been in the concrete business for 35 years, just thought you would like to know the difference. Linda

  29. Rebecca

    May 31st, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Thanks for the info, Linda!

  30. Ms. Very Stupid

    October 17th, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Actually @Anonymous, that is not true. Cement does NOT turn into concrete when it hardens. Hardened cement is just hard cement. Concrete is the COMBINATION of cement AND an aggregate – typically sand or gravel or sand and gravel. When you combine sand, gravel, cement and water, you make concrete. If you use regular cement WITHOUT an aggregate, you end up with a weak product with no tensile strength. The combination of all items give the finished product, concrete, strength. However, without that aggregate – you do NOT have concrete – even if you do have cement and water! Cement is nothing more than an ingredient.

    http://www.cement.org/basics/concretebasics_faqs.asp

  31. Anonymous

    June 10th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Do these absorb the condensation from your beverages if you leave them unfinished? We live in a very humid climate. Love the idea!

  32. Rebecca

    July 9th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I'm in NJ which can be relatively humid, and I haven't had any trouble with the concrete absorbing the condensation… There are a few marks on mine now, but I kinda like the look!

  33. Laura

    June 23rd, 2012 at 6:05 am

    I <3 your blog, especially your DIY ideas! Thanks for testing out the spec of cement to use, so that saves us all the trouble! Can't wait to try this & use the coasters to style my interior projects.

  34. corinnawraps

    June 28th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Brilliant idea. I'm going to have to make some for myself.

  35. Rebecca

    July 9th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Kathy! Your concrete vs. cement explanation has made the MOST sense of all the explanations I've heart! Thanks for clarifying 🙂

  36. Anonymous

    July 19th, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    where did you get those paper containers. i cant find them. i tried to get them from a few restaurants and they wouldnt sell them to me.

  37. Rebecca

    July 19th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Great question!! I found mine at Quick Chek…a local convenience store. They were the cups they sell soup in…when I asked if they'd sell just the cups, the manager told me to take as many as I needed…. Do you have a local convenience store? Or maybe Costo or Sams?

  38. Anonymous

    July 27th, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    ill check sams, costco doesnt have any. i guess i will also try to go frozen yogurt store

  39. PattyP

    September 12th, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    I'm going to use lids from pint ice creams.

  40. Rebecca

    September 12th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Such a great idea, Patty! Anything around that shape will work!

  41. hallo

    July 22nd, 2012 at 5:37 am

    I love this idea! I'm going to try this and and might end up making them as a favors/escort cards for my wedding. (Wish me luck!) If it's as easy as you make it sound, the next step would be figuring out how to label them (with names and table numbers). Suggestions?

  42. Micholgirl

    August 15th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    having boys, and wanting to do an all homemade Christmas, I was thinking of gathering up stones that they have collected or shells we have gathered from traveling and putting them in the cement, would that work?

  43. Rebecca

    September 12th, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I think it'd work – especially if your mold is large enough! I think it might be best to do an outer circle along the perimeter of the coaster, rather than filling up the entire coaster. That way, your cups will still be flat!

  44. The Thin Thread

    August 27th, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Such a good idea! They simple and hardy at the same time!

  45. PattyP

    September 12th, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Great idea! One could add a drop or two of food coloring to the water to make pastel coasters. I'm going to do "beach" colors. Thanks so much for the tutorials!

  46. Rebecca

    September 12th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Patty, that's a fabulous idea – I might have to make another batch just to have colors now 🙂

  47. Pam McFarland

    November 12th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Love this. I will definitely have to try it myself!

  48. Claire- theSITSgirls.com

    November 30th, 2012 at 4:52 am

    What a great idea! I assume the untreated cement absorbs some condensation, no? So many coasters just collect the condensation and end up sticking to the glass or wetting the table anyhow. Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.thesitsgirls.com/get-paid-blogging

  49. Jamie

    April 4th, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Hi! What a GREAT project!! The kids and I made these (with painted chevron, polka dot, etc. patterns) as a housewarming gift, and I blogged pics (with a link to your tutorial, of course!) here: http://jamiezanotti.com/blog/diy-concrete-coasters/ Thanks bunches for the inspiration + how to! :0)

  50. Rebecca

    April 4th, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Jamie! I love your coasters … great idea to paint geometric patterns 🙂 Thanks for providing the link – it's such fun seeing other's take on my diys 🙂

  51. Anonymous

    May 2nd, 2013 at 12:34 am

    after the rockite cured my coasters had tiny black spots on the surface that smudged when touched.
    any thoughts on what went wrong…
    thanks

  52. Rebecca

    May 2nd, 2013 at 1:20 am

    Hmm, strange! Hasn't happened over here, so I'm not sure what it could be. For how long had they been drying when they smudged? Did they come in contact w/something…like a bug? Did you try using a very fine sandpaper to sand off the smudges?

  53. Anonymous

    May 7th, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    yes, very strange. the coasters were dried over night. i used sandpaper, but the flecks were at different levels so sanding didn't help. as i sanded, the black dots continued to smudge across the rockite. i decided to open a second bag of rockite, but i had the same problem. when i mixed up batch number 2, i took note that black specks were in the mixture. if i pressed a plastic spoon against them they would break up a bit, streak and then mix into the rest of the cement. there were too many black specks to do this throughout the wet mixture. i have asked a few friends who have experience with cement projects, but so far no one has any clue what is going on. i may try calling rockite. thanks……………

  54. Anonymous

    August 13th, 2013 at 2:19 am

    I made some of these and they are so fun, but they tend to shed a bit. Like little crumbles of cement will just come off and leave a dust. Did yours do that?

  55. Gravel suppliers

    September 7th, 2013 at 8:46 am

    Very informative!!!! Great topic you have discuss here, I am very impressed your work, Keep up the good job…

  56. Curing Compound for Concrete

    November 26th, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Really its a wondering type of information about Curing Compound for Concrete is renovate here to satisfying all curing process.This is one of the regular pannel expanded by the building contractors and use frequently.

  57. Anonymous

    April 1st, 2014 at 6:39 am

    what kind of paint can i use? can i just use acrylic or does it have to be spray paint??

  58. Anonymous

    May 1st, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Rockite is not hazardous but it is VERY much not food safe. Ladies and gentlemen please do not put your spoons or food on these coasters.

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    March 27th, 2015 at 6:40 am

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  60. David

    October 31st, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I love these!! I'm thinking of making my own stepping stones. Does the mold material matter as far as what will the cement stick to and what it won't stick to?
    My mind is beginning to spin with possibilities!
    Thanks so much!

  61. Archie

    December 13th, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Love this. I will definitely have to try it myself!

  62. John

    March 22nd, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    I LOVE this idea :3 what kind of paint can i use? can i just use acrylic or does it have to be spray paint?

  63. Matthew

    May 8th, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I ABSOLUTELY love this!! I'm bookmarking this post for sure! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  64. Trudi Taylor

    May 19th, 2016 at 4:31 am

    These look fantastic. Do you need to apply a sealer over the paint so it doesn't wear off or scratch?

  65. Rebecca

    May 19th, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I didn't apply a sealer, but a spray-sealer might be a good idea & layer of protection!

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