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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Free Pattern/Tutorial: Quilted CD Coaster Mug Rug [Version 1]

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster by eSheep Designs
A fun upcycling project!
A while back, I showed you the ear warmer headband that I made out of an old sweatshirt that was bound for the trash bin. The remains of that sweatshirt have now been turned into something even more functional: quilted coasters made out of discarded CDs!

I was once again prepping for tax season when I came across several tax program CDs from previous years. I actually checked our city's recycling guide to see if they were garbage items or recyclables and it turns out that (where I live anyway), old CDs are supposed to be thrown away in the trash. That wasn't the answer that I was expecting, so I did a quick search for what one could make out of old CDs.

The first projects that jumped out were well beyond my patience level: people were using broken up pieces of CDs to do mosaics.

Then I came across a project for making a coaster out of a CD. It seemed ideal, since having completed some living room home décor, I had to try — of course — some kitchen home décor.

This project, however, entailed hand sewing a length of bias binding around the edge. I deplore sewing by hand and the addition of bias binding seemed unnecessary (and out of context in an upcycling/reuse project), so once again, I came up with my own method, which I will share today.

The other tutorial resorted to hand sewing because the coaster was sized exactly the same as a CD... making it impossible to sew by machine without sewing through the CD. The binding was to cover up raw edges.

My version is sized just a little larger than a CD, so that you can still topstitch around it with a sewing machine once it's turned right side out (with no raw edges to cover up).

Here's what you need... and you can truly recycle/upcycle your way through this entire project by using old kitchen linens in place of the fleece and quilting cotton.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
An old CD, some circles of old fleece and a couple of circles of scrap fabric is all you need to make this!

The above shows a discarded CD and two circles of fleece cut to the same size, and then two circles of fabric and two circles of fleece, all cut 3/4" (2cm) bigger than the CD.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
Step 1: Pin all materials together...

I'm not going to get too wordy on this tutorial, as pictures will show the process clearly. The first step, as shown above, is to pin all the pieces together, with the larger circles right side out.

Sew all the way around each pinned assembly with a 1/8" (3mm) seam allowance.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
Steps 2 & 3: Sew a seam around each section and do some free motion quilting!

Then do some free motion quilting inside the circle.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
Closeup of my free motion quilting effort...

By the way, you must congratulate me as this is my absolute first time ever doing free motion quilting!

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Next, put both completed circles of fabric right sides together and pin or clip. Leave a big enough section open so that you can slide in the CD later.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
Step 4: Pin both pieces together and sew...

Sew around the secured section with a 1/4" (6mm) seam allowance and then notch the curves.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
Step 5: Notch the curved edge...

Turn right side and out press well.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
Step 6: Turn right side out and press...

Put the CD inside and then use clips to help you fold the remainder of the seam around the open edge.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster tutorial by eSheep Designs
Step 7: Insert CD and use clips to secure the open edge...

Make sure that the CD is centered inside in the middle and carefully sew all the way around the perimeter with just under a 1/8" (3mm) seam allowance. (Sounds hard to manage, but it may be unexpectedly easy to do. I find that sewing a curve with a small seam allowance is easier than sewing one with a large seam allowance. )

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And there you have it... a project that's quick to put together and has that upcycling caché!

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster by eSheep Designs
Step 8: Sew all the way around the perimeter with as small a seam allowance as you can manage...

These are definitely useful to have. We bought a dining table with a tempered glass top a couple of years ago. Because of that, I've been using placemats a lot more than I used to, but now these coasters or mug rugs have a permanent spot on the table.

Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster by eSheep Designs
My three Upcycled Quilted CD Coaster/Mug Rugs!

By the way, did you notice that the title of this post indicates a "version 1"? That's because right after I made these, I thought that a set would be a nice gift for Mom for Mother's Day this year. But then a slightly different thought came to mind, which will lead to a version 2 that I'll unveil in May. At that time, I'll put both versions out in a single PDF.

In the meantime, do you have any ideas for used CDs that are easy to execute? (I absolutely refuse to break them up for mosaics!) Here's another idea to turn them into baskets.


  1. Good recycle or is it upcycle? I am never sure about those meanings. Anyhow nice coasters! I saved old CD's for years. I use them for round templates (I have the regular size and some smaller sized ones too). They are supposed to be great to hang in a fruit tree to scare away the birds who want to eat your fruit, but no more fruit trees and I didn't think it worked that well when I tried doing that. I saw those mosaic things on Pinterest. I have seen old 33 1/3 records made into purses, so maybe you could try that with the CD's only much smaller coin purses?

  2. What a great idea! Gigi got an idea off pinterest to make wind chimes from old CD's and monofilament. It didn't turn out so great and eventually went into the recycle bin. So happy to discover a good use for them, thanks!

  3. The CDs will give stability to the coasters - a great way to reuse them into something pretty and practical.

  4. great idea w/ very good directions/pictures! thanks..

  5. how do you clean/wash them? Can they go through the washer and dryer and stay intact or hand wash only?

    1. I'm thinking they should survive a washing machine if you don't want to throw them into the sink for a hand wash. Haven't attempted it myself, but the best bet might be the top shelf of a dishwasher.


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