One silver lining to more time at home? An opportunity to spruce up your space—or to help your loved ones beautify theirs. These colorful paracord coasters are as stylish as they are durable, doing double duty as defenders against water stains and an easy way to liven up your coffee table. With a massive range of paracord colors and patterns available, you can customize the perfect gift or create your own bespoke home accessory. This DIY project will show you how to work with up to three colors of paracord to make a set of 4-inch coasters. If inspiration strikes, you can modify the instructions to fashion a mix-and-match set, an eye-catching trivet, or even a dinner party–ready placemat. Cheers!

At a glance:

Time: 1 hour or less

Difficulty: Beginner

DIY coaster-making supplies

You will need

  • Paracord (in multiple colors, if you wish)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • 2mm-thick felt, in a color that coordinates with your paracord
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Permanent marker
  • Acrylic ruler
  • Rotary cutter
  • Lighter

Step 1: Pre-heat glue gun

Plug in the glue gun and allow it to preheat.

Step 2: Cut the felt

Cutting the felt

Measure out four 5-inch-by-5-inch squares of felt. Using the rotary cutter and the self-healing mat, cut the squares (these will become the base of your coasters).

Step 3: Mark each square’s center

Marking the center of the felt

Use the acrylic ruler to find the center of each felt square. Make a small mark at each center with the permanent marker.

Step 4: Begin coiling the paracord

Coiling the parcoard

Take your first color of paracord and begin wrapping it into a tight coil. The initial coil should be a circle about 1 inch wide.

Step 5: Glue the center

Gluing the paracord to the felt

Add a small dot of hot glue directly over the center mark on your felt. Next, line up the center of the paracord coil you just made with the center of the hot glue mark and place the coil onto the hot glue, being careful not to touch the glue directly with your fingers (remember, it’s hot!).

Step 6: Continue coiling and gluing

Continuing to coil and glue the paracord

Working on a flat surface, turn the felt base. As you go, apply a small amount of hot glue while continuing to wrap the paracord and press it onto the glue. Keep going until you’re happy with the size of your first color segment and you’re ready to add another.

Step 7: Add the second color

Using a lighter to singe the end of the first paracord coil
Gluing down the start of the second paracord color

Trim off the first length of paracord and use a lighter to singe the end of the cord (this will help keep it neat and prevent fraying). Glue the finished end of your first color down to the felt, then glue down the beginning of the new color where the first color ends.

Step 8: Continue gluing

Coiling the second paracord color

Continue gluing your second color to the felt as you did the first, turning the felt as you go and guiding the coil as it grows. If you wish to add a third color, follow the same process. Tip: Changing colors at the same spot each time gives the coaster a nice, neat look.

Step 9: Finish the coil

Burning the end of the second paracord color

When you have only a half-inch border of felt left around all sides of your coil, it’s time to stop gluing. Cut and burn the loose end of your paracord near the same spot where you changed colors before. Glue the burned end to the felt.

Step 10: Trim the felt and repeat

Trimming the felt around the finished coaster

Trim the excess felt from the edge of your coaster so you’re left with a circle. To make an identical set, count the number of coils per color and use that number as a guide, matching the number of coils in each subsequent coaster.

Finished coasters displayed with a glass of water
Assorted colorful paracord coasters

Looking for more bright ideas for your home? Try these ready-to-shop picks:

Collage of colorful home decor pieces
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Yellow portrait print from gotapaintbrushhew, $13; summer-scented candle trio from Curious Candles, $60 for three; wood hanging planter from OITENTA, $59; pink shibori lumbar pillow from Adroit, $87

Project and photographs by Julie O’Boyle, Aleksa Brown, and Clare McGibbon.

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