Pallet drinks coasters... How to make them

I started this blog post a while ago, but felt unsure about putting it on here, but they are quick and fun to do..

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen these already.

These pallet coasters I made from Ice cream sticks, I've been using the sticks for applying and removing glue for ages now, but the collection of sticks seems to grow quicker than I can use them.. So I made the pallet coaster as a perfect 'second use' item, I just wash them in warm water as I clean up my coffee and tea cups.

After making these two, I was thinking of what other wooden sticks could have a second purpose.. then it hit me.. coffee sticks, as I was in the cafe at The Ruskin Glass Centre, where I have my workshop. They have a small table top bin, for sugar wrappers and these sticks..  lots of them..

Now, I see people making these out of new wood and selling them for all sorts of money.. £20.00 for four, just Google it and see.. new wood, at least these are made from used sticks about to be thrown away..

This to me is madness.. what's happened to using spoons anyway ..

Anyhow, while they are still around I'll make them with the students from the Glasshouse college. I have a couple of work experience sessions each week with a student and this type of item gets them to focus on what they are doing. It takes me a few minutes to make one, it can take a student a lot longer than that. But it also helps the student with where to put their cup when we have a cup of tea. Because they then have an association with the item.

So, over the next few photos I'm going to show you how to make them. But you must use used (and wash them properly) and if you are pleased with them, send me a pic and I'll put it on here after the instruction.

Here goes

And read through it all first

You will need
  • 16 Sticks to make one pallet
  • PVA or white glue
  • 9 blocks to fit the width of your sticks (can be made up of small squares of extra sticks glued together)
  • Heavy weight (I used a brick)
  • A saw of some type preferably with as few teeth as possible
  • Some sandpaper, fine grade will do

Start with 13 sticks as shown. Try to use the straightest you have
The bent ones can be used for underneath.. 

Now put a spot of White glue (PVA) on the ends of the sticks.
Start at the corner and place glue on every other stick as shown

Place the first stick onto the glue. Then place 5 more sticks next to it as shown. 
I put the next stick to be glued down, a stick width away from the last one, 
this leaves me a gap to put the glue. Place the 7th stick onto the glue.

Then place another 5 sticks. Glue the next stick down, this should be number 13. 
Place a heavy weight onto the assembly for a while
I leave about half hour.

Remove weight, and take out the spacing sticks. That last one has a little glue on it, 
so I'll just 'pop' it off..making sure I support the glued one next to it.

Then turn over, and while supporting the fixed sticks, 'pop' out the spacing sticks..

Now put a spot of glue on each of the intersections as shown

Place the small blocks as shown,
then put a spot of glue on the top of each on them

Place these sticks in the same direction as the ones directly beneath the blocks

Then glue the next layer of sticks in the opposite direction to the last.

Then place under a weight again
Here I'm using a previously made pallet with two being pressed.

Leave overnight or as long as you can, then very carefully, cut off the ends
then sandpaper all over, seal with a varnish if you want. I just leave them..

And remember, those ends can still be used for glue sticks 
or blocks for the next pallet coaster you might make

Here they are done.

So, if you follow this and make some for yourself, 
email me a pic and I'll put it on here.. and share designs and ideas etc. 

And remember use USED sticks, don't cheat ..  

Have a great day


* * * * *
Gallery of Pallet coasters

Isaac 13 & Naomi 10, are the first to get their Pallet coaster on here. Very well done, It looks great.
Andrea, can you tweet me to let me know you've seen this, Jamie.

Who's will be next...


Greg Palmer said…
That's a great idea, Jamie. I think I'll make some of these as Christmas gifts.

I've got a couple of pallets I got from some shipments. My wife wants me to hang on to them to make some kind of project. Any ideas what I should make?
Jamie said…
If you make some of the coasters, let me know, I would love to put pictures of other coasters on here, just to show other people..

But remember.. USED coffee stir sticks, a before and after shot would be great.

Have a great day


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