One of my favorite weekend afternoon projects is making cedar coasters. I’m lucky to have a few downed trees of eastern cedar near where I live (on family land, don’t steal wood, y’all), so I’ve gotten into the habit of making coasters and trivets from them. They make great gifts, and they’re unbelievably easy to make!


  • Chop Saw (or hand saw)
  • Sandpaper or Sander (I use a ROS for tougher knots and blemishes on the wood)
  • Polyeurethane or Shellac (or any preferred finish)
  • Cedar log (find one as wide in diameter as you’d like your coasters to be)


  1. Chop or saw your cedar log into discs that are 1.5 – 3 inches thick.
  2. Sand all sides of the coasters, removing the “hairs” off the side of the tree and exterior bark. I like to keep a few threads of bark for character.
  3. Use a course grit sandpaper first, then a finer sandpaper to smooth the finish.
  4. Wet the wood with a wet/damp rag, to clean the coasters of any and all dust.
  5. Cover/paint the coasters with shellac/polyeurethane (or preferred finish).
  6. Let them dry for an hour or two.
  7. Done! Wrap a pair with some twine and give to some friends.