Handmade Hostess Gift: Initialed Coasters

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How to make monogram or initial drink coasters. These can be used when entertaining or to make and give as unique customized hostess gifts.


The holidays are coming which means two things:

1. You will be entertaining family and friends in your home and will need a place for your guests to safely place their drinks.

2.  You will be invited to a holiday party or two and will need a hostess gift.

These easy and affordable initialed cork coasters covers both. No matter if you have people coming or you’re going  – there will be a need for coasters for all the holiday drinks that will be served.

Protect your tables in affordable style by making a set for yourself and another to give as a handmade hostess gift.

Have fun with the designs – draw your own, use initials,  your monogram, stencils of snowflakes, holly, Santa, something your child drew, or print a favorite design out on your computer to transfer.

Permanent markers come in a wide range of colors -use one or more colors to coordinate with your decor. There is no limit as to what you can draw on them.

How to Make Initialed Drink Coasters

Supplies-needed-to-make-initial coaster

supplies needed:

  • Cork coasters – I bought these in the garden department at Walmart
  • Printed initial – I used the font – David in 30o pt. size  It is very similar to Times New Roman or Georgia.
  • Transfer paper – craft store
  • Pencil
  • Sharpie or permanent marker
How to trace lettering on a surface

1.  Lay transfer paper face down on coaster. Center cut out letter on top. Make sure it is straight.  Using a pencil make an outline of the letter. The pressure of the pencil point will transfer graphite on the transfer paper to the cork.


2.   When you are done, remove letter and transfer paper to reveal a graphite outline of the letter.

Handmade-Gift-Ideas---Initial Coasters

3.  Fill letter in with a permanent marker.


If needed, repeat filling in with marker until you have a nice even color in your letters.


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  1. Wow!!! love this hostess gift thank you for the info and I will have to check out your other posts

  2. hi, i am new to this but the transfer paper you use is it the one that is used to iron-on prints to t-shirts or is there another kind of transfer paper, thanks a mill

    1. Hi Breda –

      I use graphite transfer paper, not iron-on transfer paper. It is grey paper that will leave a mark on the coaster when you draw over your image. I buy it at the crafts store. The Martha Stewart brand of paints carries it at Michaels. I think it is rolled up and hanging on the wall display.

  3. Love this idea! I have a question though, will the ink bleed at all if you actually put it to the test as a coaster?

    1. Hi Melissa – If you use a permanent marker there will be no bleed through at all. I have used my coasters for a few years now. There is no bleeding of the ink at all. One coaster has discolored over the years in some spots from sitting on a table that got a lot of sun. I simply went over the letter again with the black marker to make it as good as new. :-)

  4. I love personalized and customized stuffs! :) I will try this out. This is a good idea for christmas gifts!

  5. love the idea and preparing to make some for holiday gifts. However…would the color run when it gets wet? should I attempt to seal the color with ??? modge-podge?

    1. Hi Rhonda –

      Before I posted the project, I tested them out under running water and placed cold and hot drinks on them. No bleeding or running of the ink at all. I used a Sharpie brand permanent marker – no sealer needed. I have been using them for 2 weeks – we use them everyday and they look perfect even after something wet is on them.

  6. Another easy and fantastic idea! I would love to make these with seasonal images of Santa and snowmen! Might even be able to use cookie cutters to make the outlines. Thank you for the idea!