Christmas Coasters for the Holidays

Christmas Coasters for the Holidays

I’ve always loved finding sets of book coasters at thrift stores. Sure, I don’t see them as frequently as I used to. But I have a hard time leaving them behind whenever I do. And when I recently spotted this set while thrifting, I decided to make them over into Christmas coasters for the holiday season.

vintage coaster set

Why Christmas coasters, in particular? The green and gold coloring of the book coasters gave me a holiday vibe! I thought that a touch of red and more gold embellishments would make for a fun and festive project.

book coasters at a thrift store

The set was well-loved, but the cork insets were still in really good condition! So I snapped them up and got straight to (upcycling) work.

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Wooden Coaster Set Gets Festive

First things first, I needed to prep the coaster holder for paint. And to do so, I needed to remove the upholstery tacks (or so I thought) from the top.

giving a christmas makeover to vintage coasters

Turns out they were pronged pins instead of tacks, but easy enough to remove with a butter knife. A butter knife because I was too lazy to go into the garage for an actual tool.

removing decorative tacks before painting a coaster holder

Then, I wiped down the coaster holder with a damp towel and grabbed some festive red chalk paint.

red chalk paint for a wooden coaster holder

After it was sufficiently painted, I gave it a light sanding with 320-grit sand paper and wiped it down again to remove the dust. Now it was time to stencil!

I decided that one of my midmod starburst stencils would be perfect on the coaster holder. In this instance, it reminded me of how the Christmas Star looked when illustrated in the Christmas children’s books I had as a kid.

christmas star stencil on a wooden coaster holder

And yes, I’ve used that stencil twice before! Once on these cigar boxes and once on the key bowl by our front door.

Using matte gold craft paint, I stenciled stars on the top and sides of my coaster holder. And when the stenciled designs had totally dried, I buffed the entire coaster holder with clear furniture wax!

wooden coaster holder from a set of vintage coasters

Now that the wooden holder was all done, I could focus on the Christmas coasters themselves.

Finishing the Christmas Coasters

Now, I didn’t want to paint the book coasters and lose the vintage patina their green spines had developed over time. But I still needed the coasters to be individualized in case we ever used them with a group of friends. (They’d be easy to remember and keep track of drinks that way!)

So, I decided to write a Christmas word on each one with a gold paint pen.

a gold paint pen to label the christmas coasters

While my handwriting on those rounded spines left much to be desired, this is how they ended up looking!

christmas words to identify the coasters

And though the cork insets were in good shape, some of the coasters’ wood surfaces looked a little sad (i.e., dry). So, I grabbed my trusty tin of furniture salve!

vintage coasters that need to be conditioned with furniture salve

Boy this stuff is magic, it makes such a huge difference on wooden surfaces (that won’t directly touch food). I just rubbed a little on the coasters with my fingertip and buffed the excess off with a soft clean towel.

conditioning old wood with wise owl furniture salve

Lastly, I did the same thing to each of the Christmas coasters to freshen up the wood. Don’t they look fantastic?

book coasters after restoring with furniture salve

Christmas Coasters for the Holidays

One final step before the set was done. I rubbed some gold rub-n-buff on the heads of the pronged pins so that they matched the stenciling. Then, I carefully pushed them back into their original prong holes.

christmas coasters from a wooden coaster set

And that was it! Now my Christmas coasters were all done and ready to be put to good, festive use all holiday season. I seriously love, love, love how they turned out…despite my slightly wonky handwriting!

wooden coaster set that was painted in christmas colors

And yes, I found the perfect vintage Christmas high ball glasses on Etsy to make this photo come to life!

If I have several friends over, everyone  would just need to remember their Christmas word so that they always know which drink is theirs! And let’s face it, I think we’ll do anything to avoid sharing germs while finally spending the holidays together again, right?

christmas coasters for the holiday season

So, what do you think? If you see one of these wooden coaster sets at the thrift store, will you be giving it a festive makeover? I mean, they’re certainly cute enough to leave alone, too (or with just some wood salve here and there).

But this makeover as Christmas coasters is awfully cute (and easy), though! And I love that with the holder, they’ll pack away nicely with all the other Christmas goodies for the rest of the year.

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for Christmas coasters, then you may also enjoy these ornaments that I made with vintage paper coasters. Remember those things?

Wood ornaments or retro Christmas ornaments that are made with paper coasters

Craft on!


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painting a set of vintage coasters for christmas parties

christmas party coasters

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Amanda lake says

    The coasters turned out beautiful

  2. Miss Sadie,those are so cute!The furniture salve made them new again. Great job! Have a blessed Christmas.

  3. Great save. I’ll be looking for these too. The “Wonky Donkey” would really like your “wonky” writing. Merry Christmas.

  4. So festive and cute!

  5. I am in love with this project! I think it is my favorite of all you have done. I hope I can get my hands on a similar set of coasters at the thrift store.

  6. Danielle McClure says

    Very cute!

  7. What a fantastic way to upcycle those! Merry Christmas!

  8. I love love love these! A little paint magic goes a long way!

  9. I just loved these. I’m so glad you refreshed the wood, too. I would be tempted to write names of Christmas stories on the spines. I hope you can find another set and do a Halloween-themed spell/charm/potion/monster set!

  10. Nancy Walls says

    These are so cute! And the handwriting fits right in with with the vintage feel😄

  11. Naomi Shelton says

    Very creative, Amanda! I’m inspired to look for a set of these next time I thrift shop!

  12. Naomi Shelton says

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to call Sarah Amanda! I don’t know what I was thinking–anyway, just insert Sarah where I said Amanda! The coasters are a definite win!

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