DIY Coasters in Mid-Century Modern Style (With Cats!)

These mid-century modern coasters are sure to spruce up your living room or bar, and they make adorable gifts. Grab a paintbrush and learn how to tackle this quick DIY project.

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How to Paint Cork Coasters


Step 1: Mix Your Mid-Mod Paint Colors

Have fun and get creative with your paint colors. Just make sure you mix enough to finish the whole project!

I chose mod turquoise and orange with classic black, white and gray. My turquoise is a blend of Apple Barrel parrot blue, bimini blue and new shamrock, and my orange is a blend of flag red and bright yellow.

Step 2: Paint Your MCM Coasters

Atomic Kitty Coasters

Start by giving the mod cats bowling pin bodies, triangle ears and curvy tails, along with football heads, eyes and pupils. Choose a bold accent color for the collars. Wait between each layer to let the paint dry.

Mid-century modern painted cork coaster with gray atomic cat and Sputniks

Then add some mid-century pizazz with retro diamonds, Sputniks or stars. You can learn more about how to paint mod cats in this tutorial.

DIY painted cork coaster with mod cat

Sandpaper Trick: If you get a bit of unwanted paint dripping over the side of your coaster, wait until it dries and then lightly sand the edges wherever you want to remove paint.

Sputnik Coasters

This coaster is the easy one. Yay! Make colorful asterisks or eight-pronged Sputniks. Give them circles in the middle and at the tips of the prongs. Then add a contrasting dot in the middle of each Sputnik for interest.

DIY painted cork coaster with retro orange Sputniks

Space Cat Coasters

This coaster is a little trickier. Start by painting a spaceship, leaving room for the intergalactic passengers. I chose a rocket shape with a dome on top.

Mod cats in spaceship painted on cork coaster

Next paint the kitties similar to how you did above, but tiny! For the pupils, I dipped a sewing pin in black paint and carefully dabbed it on the white eyes. A toothpick would probably work as well.

Step 3: To Seal or Not to Seal?

After your coasters dry, you might want to seal them before use.

Cork is naturally absorbent, which is why it’s a popular choice for coasters. So it’s a tough call between keeping that absorbency or sealing the cork to protect your work.

I decided to use a couple of light coats of matte clear sealer spray paint. But I also made peace with the fact that these are coasters and they will wear out over time. On the bright side, that means a lot of opportunities to paint more!

Retro atomic coasters with Sputniks and mod kitties

More Fun With Mod Cats

Every room needs cats! Keep the fun going and fill your home with these feline-approved DIY projects.

How to paint cork coasters in mid-century modern style
DIY coasters painted with retro cats and Sputniks

4 thoughts on “DIY Coasters in Mid-Century Modern Style (With Cats!)”

  1. So talented! Such a cute and clever idea! I bet Eric was very impressed with this birthday gift you made him!! A nice whimsical addition to your L.R. You could also make some for your Tiki bar and if you didn’t want kitties you could do some of the Tiki statues. 😉 (I can’t believe you can just paint them on the coasters without having to draw them on first. Your’e good!!)

    • Thanks, Judy! Yes, Eric was surprised and excited about the new coasters! They are so cheerful with the retro kitties and bright colors in the living room. I got a bunch of blank coasters so I can definitely see making more for other rooms like the tiki bar. I used to always draw the cats first, but I’m getting so used to painting them at this point, it is second nature! 🙂


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