Make Coasters to Sell
By Steve Gillman
easy to make coasters to sell from sandstone, but of course you
need a supply of the basic material. Fortunately for me, we live
in an area of Colorado which has pockets of sandstone scattered
throughout many of the places I hike. So although I have not
tried selling them, I have occasionally made drink coasters for
our own use. You can see a few of them in the photo here.
I'll explain briefly how it's done. Essentially you just look
for appropriate pieces of the rock when you find the right collection
area. The closer it is to already being the size and shape of
a drink coaster, the less work you'll have to do. The yellowish
stone is common here, but I like the white and red ones even
Test a small piece to be sure that you can easily grind it
down to shape. You can do this by rubbing it on a harder rock.
It should be easy to smooth it out and shape it in this way.
In fact, one of the primary ways I have made these is to just
find a flat rock to work them on while I am out there. To make
them with more efficiency though, you should bring them home
and designate a work area where you can grind them by hand on
a cement tile (you can buy one for less than $2 at any home improvement
Make each one large enough for the bottom of even big coffee
mugs, and smooth them down simply by rubbing them on the flat
cement piece. There may be some tools that will help with this,
such as a electric grinder, or an attachment for a power drill
which can be used to shape the rock quickly. I prefer round designs,
but square is common too.
Any of various basic craft glues will work for attaching felt
to the bottom so the drink coasters will not scratch the tables
they are used on. The felt can also be bought at a craft store
or Wal-Mart. Buy a large piece and cut off what you need for
How Much Can You Make?
If you collect your own sandstone, the total cost for materials
(felt and glue) comes to less than 20 cents each. In the right
gift stores they should sell for about $15 for a set of four.
I would aim to get at least $8 wholesale per set. If you are
artistic you might etch something into the face (a flower?) and
so retail them for $24 or more for each set at craft shows.
As mentioned, I have not done this, so I'm not sure about
the demand for these coasters or the profit potential (but they
do sell them on numerous websites).
Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities
You can look for other natural materials while you are out
collecting your rocks. Pine cones are sold by the bag for decorative
purposes, for example, and pinion pine seeds can be sold for
$10 per pound.
Qualifications / Requirements
You will need to live near or travel to an area with sandstone
that you can collect. Collection may not be allowed on some public
Get some sandstone and start grinding it into shape.
Sandstone Coasters - An example of sandstone
coasters (square ones) can be seen here.