Personalized Coasters: Time Saver for Big Families

2013-10-14 08.17.53If you have several children, or even any children at all, your kitchen counter might be covered in cups and glasses. Someone once took a half sip of water out of one, promptly forgot which one it was, and grabbed a new one to get their next drink. This was happening ALL THE TIME in our house. Even the toddler was in on the action, flinging sippy cups all over my kitchen. My husband and I were the only ones who could manage to keep track of one water glass per day (in my case because I only drink out of fancy chalices), so there were 5 people abandoning drinking vessels all over the house every day. It was a mess.

I’ve liked the idea of personalized coasters for some time, but hadn’t really put together the whole idea for how to use them yet. Until now! On the same day that a friend mentioned giving her kids a designated place to put their cup for the day, I saw this idea for using magnets to stick cups to the fridge. And then I looked through my bookmarks and remembered this tutorial for DIY custom tile coasters.

An idea was born. What if I made a coaster with each person’s name on it? Then they could just put their glass or sippy cup on the coaster, and no one would be confused about which one belonged to them!

Shopping options are limited around here, and the best thing I could find to work with was a set of 8 glass coasters. They had some writing on them and a space for a photo, but I didn’t love the idea of 7 or 8 coasters in a row with the same words on them. Plus I felt like getting fancy and creative. I hauled out my ancient stash of scrapbooking papers and went to work.

For each coaster, I cut out a square of paper that was just slightly smaller than the coaster size. I used zig-zag scissors on the edges, because then you can’t tell that I’m not good at measuring and the edges aren’t perfectly straight.

Then I added some scrapbook tags or letters on top. I just glued them wherever I wanted onto the square of paper. Once I had all of my coaster-tops ready to go, I got out the Mod Podge and a paint brush. This part is easy and messy and fun!

Throw some Mod Podge down on the coaster. Stick the paper on top. Brush more Mod Podge over the top of the paper. Nicely. Don’t leave big bubbles or crazy glops. Use a sponge to wipe the sides of the coasters if you have drips. Rinse the sponge if you ever want to use it again. Unless you want to use it as a rock, in which case, do not rinse. Let the coasters dry. Put cups on them. The end!

2013-10-14 08.39.57Most of my scrapbook papers are from a company that no longer exists. They’re really old. The adorable elephant paper is part of a download pack that I purchased from The Lilypad. The paper pack is called Project Mouse (Fantasy). It has 25 printable papers for $5. If you’re into scrapbook stuff, they also have loads of cute accessories for that Project Mouse line.

The Verdict: This is working pretty well in our house. The kids like having their initials on things, so for now, that’s a draw to them. There are fewer stray cups and glasses all over the kitchen, so I’d say this was a half-hour well-spent. For a large family, the coasters do take up a lot of counter real estate (though they take less room than the previous trainwreck of used drinkware) . If you have more kids than I do, the fridge magnets may be a better option, space-wise.


  • Square glass coasters
    or small square ceramic tiles
  • Scrapbook paper or other decorations
  • Mod Podge Outdoor Glue or other decoupage glue
  • Paint brush or foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Clean-up sponge, towel, possibly a bib if you’re feeling very messy


  1. Melissa A says:

    We got each person a different plastic cup from the party section at the store. They all go on the windowsill above the sink when not in use, and get put in the dishwasher at bedtime three times a week. Works for us :-)

  2. Heather says:

    That’s a great idea, Melissa. I’d prefer not to take up the counter space, but most of my kids can’t reach the windowsill in the kitchen yet. Filing that idea away for the future!

    On the flip side, adding 7 coasters to my counter prompted me to clear a bunch of other stuff off, so that was nice.

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