Wrapped Coaster Tutorial

I love making stuff out of unusual things like clothesline!  So today I thought I would show you how to make a set of coasters using clothesline and fabric.  I  have been making bowls, purses, hot pads and coasters using It's a Wrap by Susan Breierfor a few years now.  She has written a second book, It's A Wrap II.  I find it so relaxing to make these items - I think you will too once you make a couple of coasters. 

Supplies for 4 coasters approx. 3 3/4" - 4" dia.:
1/4 yd. fabric (I used Batik fabric)
approx. 16 ft. of cotton clothesline
sewing machine with a zigzag

1.  Cut about eight 7/8" strips across the width of the fabric - selvage to selvage. 
2.  Cut four lengths of clothesline 48" long.  You can vary this length depending on how large you want your coasters.  Double the recipe and make hot pads!

To begin this project, pull out the middle fibers of the cord and cut off about 1". 
Pull the outer fibers back over the inner core.  This helps taper the end of your cord.
Begin to wrap the clothesline with a fabric strip, overlapping fabric as you wrap, holding the strip 1/4" above and behind cord at the angle in picture.  Begin wrapping so you can fold the extra fabric over the top edge of the cord - see picture.  I pin the end and continue to wrap the cord with fabric until about 1 1/2" of fabric is left.
This is my setting for the zigzag stitch - Susan suggests a 1/4" zigzag. 
Begin coiling wrapped clothesline and secure with a pin.  Make sure its as tight a coil as you can make.  I wrap the entire fabric strip down around the cord using tension to keep it tight and secure with a pin once in a while.  This will take some practice but it will be obvious if the fabric isn't wrapped tight enough.  Some people use glue to secure it in places but it isn't necessary - just work with tension on the fabric as you wrap, securing it with a few pins.
Place the coil under a see-through presser foot if you have one and zigzag across it to secure the middle.  Note that the cord is always to right of the foot. 
Begin zigzagging between cord edges, securing one side of cord
 to the other as you keep turning the coil. 
I line up the middle red line of the foot between the cords as per picture.
When you need to add a strip, lay it behind the attached strip.  I pin it together on a diagonal and continue to wrap the rest of the cord.  Secure fabric at the point of adding a new strip and then once every 6" or so with a pin.
Continue zigzagging until there is about 2" of cord left...trim the inside cord fibers as you did in the beginning, then continue to wrap 1/2" or so over the end of the cord and trim off the rest of the fabric.
I use a pin to hold the tapered end to the coil as I sew and then zigzag around the outside edge of the coaster to finish the edge.  Make sure you catch the very edge of the tapered end but if there is a little fabric not caught in the stitches, just carefully trim off the extra. 

This is a good beginning project - I like making smaller projects when I'm learning a new technique.  It's a good way to find out if you want to make more!  I like using batiks...the thread count is higher and the fabric frays less.  The last step is to trim threads if you want to, otherwise leave them for a rustic look.

I think you would enjoy this craft and It's A Wrap by Susan Breier has other great examples to inspire you!

Take care - let me know if you have questions!



  1. Hey girl! I dropped off the map there for a long time. I'm an appalling blog friend. But I've missed seeing what you're up to, and these coasters are seriously cool!

  2. Dani-
    Thanks for the comment! I still can't post a comment to my own blod except by Anon. I really have to figure this out one of these days!

    You are a busy lady! Have fun!


  3. I really love the look of these! I'm trying to figure out how I can make my own coasters without the clothesline...

    Blue Eyed Beauty Blog

  4. Where did you buy the clothesline? I can only find the polyester stuff that is much thinner.

    1. I have found the cotton clothesline at Fleet Farm mostly - Walmart used to carry it but not anymore...Amazon has it but it gets expensive. If you don't have a Fleet Farm in your area, look at farm stores - maybe a Menard's, or Home Depot - you just have to search. Usually Ace Hardware but more expensive too....good luck, Joan!

    2. Jo Ann has 100 feet of clothesline for under $6.

    3. Looks like JoAnn's is only 40% cotton. I've found 100% cotton at Walmart but it's only 50 feet. I get it on Amazon. I bought two in August and the price has gone up over $3 each when I ordered last week!! Guess I need to stock up before their next big increase!


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