Real Estate

DIY: Coasters made from Scrabble tiles

Here's a fun gift to make for the word lover in your life

Whether they're made as a gift or project with the kids, simple and fun Scrabble® tile coasters can add a personalized touch to any party or meal.

If done around holidays, four four- or five-letter words can be chosen to create combinations that fit the mood, or if done with young children, they can choose words from their school spelling lists (older children can help find words to fit the theme).

For gifts, these coasters can focus on a passion of the recipient.

For the golfer, try coasters with: BALL, WOOD, TEES and FORE; SHOT, IRON, HOLE and FLAG; PUTT, SAND, TRAP and DROP; and GOLF, CART, BAGS and CLUB.

Baseball fans will love: BATS, BALK, FOUL and OUTS; GAME, MITT, HITS, and RUNS; HATS, FANS, ROOT and PLAY; and JACK, HOME, BASE and BALL.

And, drink-themed coasters could contain words like: BEER, BREW, HOPS and ALES; WINE, AGED, VINO and VINE; SHOT, LIME, STIR and SALT; and BRUT, POUR, ASTI and CORK.

They can even be created with short four-word sentences and blank tiles. ("Have A Nice Day," for example, could be glued to a coaster).

The possibilities are endless, and they'll make a fantastic conversation starter. The tiles are made of wood, and can be purchased online from in batches of 100, 200, 300 or 500.


corkboard coasters/thin corkboard

Scrabble® tiles

permanent glue

X-acto knife/scissors

clear polyurethane spray

1. Choose the 16 four- or five-letter words that will be used to create the coasters.

For this project, words that will resonate with a home cook or professional chef were chosen:





2. Test the polyurethane spray. Using leftover tiles, spray the sealant onto a couple to make sure there isn't a reaction between the choice of spray and tiles. Some sprays have caused the tile letters to dissolve (Krylon® brand was used to create these tiles with some damage to the tiles. A permanent marker can help fix any damage caused by the spray).

3. Use the Martha Stewart Crafts Permanent Glue® to glue the Scrabble® tiles to the corkboard, using the corkboard edge as an alignment guide. It also helps to glue between each tile for additional adhesion and coaster strength. Three glues were tried for this project -- E6000®, Martha Stewart Crafts Permanent Glue® and Mod Podge Wonder Glue®. The Martha Stewart Crafts Permanent Glue® was runnier and felt less sturdy, but the product worked and the hold was strong. The E6000® and Mod Podge Wonder Glue® were equal in thickness and quick drying ability. However, E6000® and Mod Podge Wonder Glue® contain perchloroethylene, which is a possible cancer agent. If either of these glues are chosen, make sure the project is completed in a well-ventilated area and contact between the product and skin is avoided. Because the Martha Stewart Permanent Glue® is non-toxic, it is recommended if children are helping complete the project.

4. Once all 16 words have been glued to the four coasters, place each coaster under a heavy book and allow to dry completely, between 24 and 72 hours. Once coasters have dried, use the X-acto knife or scissors to trim away any excess corkboard.

5. After trimming, place finished coasters on newspaper or butcher paper and spray with the clear polyurethane spray. Let dry approximately 15 minutes and spray again. The spray will not only give the coasters a glossy appearance but will protect them from any possible water damage from cold beverages.

Package them with a ribbon to give for a bridal, housewarming or holiday gift or add the coasters to holiday decorations and bring them out each season. Wipe down with a warm cloth when needed, as the coasters are not dishwasher safe. Once finished, the coasters should be strong enough to withstand hot and cold drinks.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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