How to build a coffee table with coasters?
November 21, 2005 9:35 AM   Subscribe

FurnitureFilter: I have a big collection of beer coasters, and I want to take some of the cooler ones and incorporate them into a coffee table. Any ideas? (More inside)

I want to make a coffee table where the top surface is glass, and the coasters are in a sort of collage underneath it, probably with some kind of wood or other opaque backing underneath them. I've looked at a lot of pre-existing glass tables to see if I could alter them to add the layers but it doesn't look feasible. Any ideas where I can find a good table for this or instructions on building one from scratch?
posted by TunnelArmr to Home & Garden (13 answers total)
think epoxy not glass.
posted by dorian at 9:44 AM on November 21, 2005

If it were me, I'd get a simple coffee table, maybe like this, and have a piece of glass cut to size. I'd then find something to serve as feet for the corners of the glass, something that provided friction to prevent skidding, and short enough to prevent air blowing the coaters around.

For me, I wouldn't want to fix either the glass or the coasters permanently, so I could change them out if I wanted.
posted by o2b at 9:45 AM on November 21, 2005

Or get a piece of glass cut to fit the top of an existing wooden or other opaque coffee table. Epoxy can bind glass to metal or wood.
posted by Rothko at 9:46 AM on November 21, 2005

A display coffee table like this might work, although it seems awfully deep for your purposes.
posted by amro at 9:50 AM on November 21, 2005

You could get a wooden coffee table and shelack it.
posted by nadawi at 10:06 AM on November 21, 2005

Have you considered a poured acrylic tabletop?
posted by TedW at 10:11 AM on November 21, 2005

We have a big square coffee table, and we got a piece of glass cut to size for it, so that we could display things under it. Right now we have a revolving exhibit of postcards sent to use from people all over the world. Before it was a few posters done by local artists, and before that, drawings our kids had done.

So if you want the freedom to change your mind, or add more coasters, just top the table with glass.
posted by iconomy at 10:32 AM on November 21, 2005

get two pieces of glass with the coasters between.
posted by hortense at 10:35 AM on November 21, 2005

Oh and you want to google coffee table "drop-in glass" to see some designs and maybe get some ideas.
posted by iconomy at 11:00 AM on November 21, 2005

You mean like this?
posted by darkness at 11:31 AM on November 21, 2005

I did something similar a few years back. What I wound up doing was photocopying vintage postcards and affixing them to a garage sale found two-tiered table then sealing that. It's very cool. Too bad my ex kept it!

But I agree, a plain table with a cut-to-fit glass seems the way to go here.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:07 PM on November 21, 2005

If you are not up to making the table from scratch:

Choose a flat sided table.
Affix an edge moulding all the way around (a construction adhesive for projects would be an easy way to do this) that is proud of the surface of the table the thickness of your thickess coaster.
Arange coasters on the table. If your enviroment leans rowdy maybe affix with some double sided photo tape.
Cover table with cut to size piece of plate glass. A few drops of silicone will hold it in place if shifting becomes a problem. Or you could use an edge moulding with a rabet the thickness of your glass that would contain the glass to the table. If your table is really large you may want to support the centre of the glass with a small spacer.
posted by Mitheral at 1:07 PM on November 21, 2005

Best answer: Unless you have experience with casting resin, I'd avoid epoxy and acrylic. It's toxic, messy, can scratch easily depending on the variety used, and there is a learning curve. You can't mess up and take it all off to try again.

The cheapest way would be to edge the table as Mitheral says. You could do without molding, and have a thick piece of glass beveled, but that's going to cost more. A local frame shop might order the glass for you from their distributor for a slight markup. I'd try and get them to cut me a deal, considering there's zero labor costs.

As far as spacers go, little rubber feet from the hardware store might serve well.

I'd just find a rectangular topped table to start with.
posted by Jack Karaoke at 2:22 PM on November 21, 2005

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