New This Month


Fern Coasters

Coasters featuring fern-inspired designs add a rustic touch to the living room or porch, and they make a great gift.

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, May 2010


  • Iron-on transfer paper for light fabrics

  • 1/4-inch thick sheet of balsa wood, 4 or 8 inches wide

  • Iron

  • Mat knife

  • Fine (about 150-grit) sandpaper

  • Clear gloss oil-based polyurethane

  • Adhesive cork drawer liner


  1. Download and print fern coaster clip art onto iron-on transfer paper. Cut away all excess paper around four coaster designs.

  2. Note: All four designs are a perfect 8-by-8-inch square; if using 4-inch-wide balsa wood, split designs down the middle to make two sets of two designs, which should fit lengthwise along the slimmer wood.

  3. Place balsa wood on a flat, hard, heat-resistant surface (do not use an ironing board). Pressing firmly with a hot iron, iron designs onto balsa wood, following transfer paper manufacturer's instructions. For best results, align edge of paper along edge of wood, and tack down with hot iron; continue ironing across paper to other edge. The paper should completely adhere in about 30 seconds -- do not scorch paper.

  4. Allow paper to completely cool (at least 10 minutes), and remove protective backing. With a mat knife, cut out squares along white lines. Sand edges lightly with a fine sandpaper.

  5. Coat front and sides of coasters with five coats of a glossy oil-based polyurethane, allowing to dry completely and sanding in between coats. Coat back of coaster once with polyurethane. When polyurethane is completely cured (about 24 hours), place back of each coaster onto sticky side of adhesive cork drawer liner. Trim cork around coaster with mat knife. Place a book on top of cork-backed coasters for a few hours to secure adhesive.

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