Custom True Brushed Metallic coasters: a top shelf DIY gift for men

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Are you looking for a cool gift for a special guy in your life? There aren’t a ton of crafts out there specifically for men, so we designed a gift for Father’s Day that has a luxe look but is super easy to make: a set of 4 cork coasters with a brushed metallic vinyl overlay.

The idea for this project came from seeing some coasters made from cut aluminum with a cork backing. The combination of metal and cork is modern and stylish, and we knew we could recreate the look very easily with Cricut True Brushed vinyl.

You can create the 4 King set using our free SVGs, or you can personalize however you like (e.g. sport or gaming logos, icons related to coffee or liquor, monograms, etc.). These would be perfect to pair with a favorite bottle of spirits, a personalized mug, or some gourmet coffee.

Bonus: Make a gift box for the coaster set!

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Materials and tools

  • Cutting machine – I’m using a Cricut
  • Cut filesdownload our free SVGs from the Resource Library or design your own
  • Cutting mat – I’m using a Standard Grip 12×12″ mat for vinyl
  • Brayer or felted squeegee
  • Weeding tool – I use Tweezerman pointed tweezers, use whatever you want
  • Coasters – I’m using extra thick (4″ x 4″ x 0.4″) square cork coasters, I like these specific ones (Kitlab) because they are dense with a smooth surface and a nice beveled edge
  • adhesive vinyl – Cricut Premium Vinyl, True Brushed Permanent (Classics sampler), I’m using the pewter and black metallic
  • transfer tape – I’m using regular Cricut transfer tape; any brand will do (Siser, Oracal, R-Tape, etc.)
  • squeegee/scraper for burnishing
closeup photo of all of the materials required to make this father's day coaster project

Video: Brushed Metallic Coasters: Easy DIY gift for men

Download the design(s)

You can download our free, ready-made SVG files from our Resource Library.

The playing card coaster file includes all 4 King SVGs:

preview of king of diamonds brushed metallic vinyl square coaster SVG
preview of king of clubs brushed metallic vinyl square coaster SVG
preview of king of hearts brushed metallic vinyl square coaster SVG
preview of king of spades brushed metallic vinyl square coaster SVG

Upload the files to Design Space

Open Design Space and start a new project.

1. Upload the SVG (need help? Read our full guide to uploading images to Design Space)

  • Click the Upload icon in the lefthand sidebar
  • Click the Upload Image button and follow the prompts (Upload image > choose the file from your download folder > Upload)

2. Select the image and Ungroup (top of Layers panel at the right side of DS canvas). Now each coaster design is its own layer and can be edited independently.

Resize the coaster designs, if necessary

I created these designs to fit the Kitlab coasters, but because of variation between blanks, I *highly recommend* that you cut a cardstock/paper version of one of these designs before you cut your vinyl to make sure the squares fit the blanks you chose.

Here are a few quick basics to keep in mind when it comes to selecting a coaster and sizing your design to fit:

  • most cork coasters available on Amazon or elsewhere are listed at 4″ wide (true for round or square coasters). This is only mostly true…
  • these coasters are manufactured in Asia, where everything is metric, so in reality, the coaster is actually 100 millimeters wide, or 3.94 inches.

My coaster has a beveled edge and rounded corners. The beveled edge means that there is a 2mm border around the coaster between the flat top surface and the outer edge. This means that the SVG design must be set to 96 mm x 96 mm.

Kitlab coaster blank measurements

To re-size using metric in DS: go to Settings in the main menu next to your profile name, choose the Canvas tab, and toggle to Metric.

Getting the rounded corner to fit correctly

While you can generally expect the width of these coasters to be 100mm, there’s no standard for the radius of the rounded corner. Meaning the corner could be rounded a little, or rounded a lot depending on the manufacturer, or batch. You might even have variation between individual coasters.

Unsure about getting the right corner fit? Increase the size of the design by a couple of millimetres (or add an offset). You can overlay the vinyl and manually trim the excess with a blade after transfer to get a clean fit.

After re-sizing, the design is ready to cut. Click Make It and then arrange your cuts on the mats.

Set up your designs on the mat preview screen

Cricut True Brushed vinyl has a textured grain to it that makes it look like brushed aluminum or steel. To get the best appearance, I wanted to have the grain of the vinyl going horizontally across the design.

When you unroll the vinyl, the grain runs with the direction of the roll. I cut a 4″ strip off the end, with the grain running horizontally between the short sides. Instead of putting the vinyl horizontally across the mat, I placed it vertically.

Now the grain of the vinyl is running left to right. In Design Space, I stacked the coaster designs one above the other on the mat, so the grain will be horizontal on each coaster.

screenshot showing how to align the coaster designs on the mat preview screen so that the grain of the vinyl runs horizontally across the vinyl.

DO NOT mirror your mats

Cutting your designs: protect your vinyl and do a test cut

closeup image of vinyl being placed on cutting mat using a felted squeegee to ensure it is smooth without any trapped air bubbles and protecting the surface from getting scratched
A felted squeegee prevents scratching of your vinyl

Whenever I use adhesive vinyl, I use a felted squeegee to stick it to the mat and remove any bubbles underneath. A felted squeegee protects your vinyl from scratches and is the industry standard for signage and vinyl wraps. I highly recommend this cheap and invaluable tool.

DO A TEST CUT if you haven’t used this vinyl before.

Our tested cut settings for Cricut True Brushed vinyl:

  • Cricut Explore Air 2: True Brushed vinyl w/ More Pressure
  • Cricut Maker 3: True Brushed vinyl w/ More Pressure

Weed your vinyl

It shouldn’t take long to weed these designs, True Brushed weeds easily and the designs aren’t complicated. The little ovals in the King of Clubs crowns are the only small details you need to watch out for.

closeup image of true-brushed vinyl being weeded with a pair of tweezers

Transfer your Vinyl

Cut a piece of transfer tape to fit your coaster designs and remove the backing paper.

closeup image of transfer tape being peeled off the backing sheet

Lay the transfer tape over the vinyl and burnish with your scraper/squeegee. Flip it over and burnish from the back, too.

closeup image of transfer tape being burnished to brushed metallic vinyl

With the transfer tape/vinyl facedown in the table, remove the backing paper from the vinyl. I like to use my scraper to press the vinyl down as I pull off the backer at a very low angle.

screenshot showing closeup of removing the backing sheet from the vinyl after applying the transfer tape

Place the coaster on the table and position your vinyl over top of it. Align the top edge of the vinyl to the edge of the bevel on the coaster.

True Brushed vinyl can be repositioned, so if you need to lift it and shift it, you can move it around before you burnish it. When you have the vinyl aligned on all four sides and corners, use your scraper to smooth it over the coaster. Make sure you push out any air bubbles and press the vinyl firmly into the coaster.


Remove the transfer tape and burnish under a piece of the backing paper to protect the design and make sure the vinyl is firmly adhered. Your coaster is finished!

Do you need to coat your finished coaster with Mod Podge?

No! The best way to ensure the longevity of adhesive vinyl on any surface is to make sure the vinyl is adhered properly by applying it to a clean surface, then letting it cure (we recommend leaving your coasters for 72 hours before using).

If you want, you can hit the vinyl with a heat gun or hairdryer to warm up the adhesive, then burnish again.

Bonus: make it special with a gift box!

We have included an SVG to make a custom gift box for these coasters, and you can download it from the Father’s Day section of our Resource Library. Included in the SVG file is the bottom of the box and 2 alternate tops, one with a spade cutout and one with a round cutout for the box top.

These boxes fit 4 thick coasters or 8 regular/thin coasters.

side by side view of two different box designs for the coasters. The first features a round window in the box top, the second features a spade-shaped window. Both boxes are embellished with metallic vinyl.

You will need:

  • 2 pieces 12×12″ cardstock (I used black 80lb Cricut cardstock)
  • Scoring Stylus/Scoring Wheel + Fine Point Blade
  • 1 piece acetate (4×4″)
  • Optional: vinyl to decorate the box. I used Cricut True Brushed and Textured Metallic

Upload the box file into design space

Follow the prompts to upload the SVG to Design Space. Once the file is on the canvas, ungroup the SVG. Select the SVG on the canvas and click the Ungroup icon at the top of the right hand Layers panel. Here are the basic components inside the file:

  1. Box top #1 (with circle cutout)
  2. Box top #2 (with spade cutout)
  3. box bottom
  4. bottom reinforcement (light blue square)
  5. acetate cutout shape (pink square)

The embellishments (ace of spades and art deco corners) for the boxes are also included in the file.

Change operation type to set score lines

Each of the main components of the project (box bottom and box tops) remains as its own subgroup. Start with the box base in the layers panel. Click the arrow next to the small icon to reveal the contents of the group. There are several single lines and the base shape.

In the Layers panel, click the first single line, press the Shift key on your keyboard and click the rest of the lines in the group. When all of the lines are selected, open the Operations menu in the top Edit Bar, and change the operation from Basic Cut to Score.

All of the lines in the design should now be dashed score lines.

Attach score lines to the box base

The next step is to select the box base group in the Layers panel. When the group is highlighted, click the Attach icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and all of the score lines will be attached to the base layer.

Repeat these steps for the box top of your choice

Feel free to delete or hide the box top you aren’t going to use before you go to Make the project. For the box top you want to use:

  1. open the subgroup in the Layers panel
  2. select all of the single line layers
  3. change operation type from Basic Cut to Score
  4. select entire group and click the Attach icon

Cut your cardstock

The bottom reinforcement panel and the box top can be cut out of the same piece of 12×12″ cardstock, but Design Space won’t automatically place them on the same mat even if they are the same color. You can move the reinforcement panel to the bottom corner of your mat in the Mat Preview window.

screenshot of design space preview window, showing how to fit reinforcement panel and box top for coaster box on the same mat

Your cardstock will be cut on 2 mats. Stick the cardstock on a blue Light Grip mat, use a brayer or whatever to smooth it down, and cut the bottom, top, and bottom panel of the box. (I used Medium Cardstock setting)

Cut the acetate

I’m using the Cricut 12×12″ clear acetate sheets, which have a protective plastic film over both sides. The default setting for cutting these sheets will include a multi-cut, and I’ve always just used the default setting/pressure when cutting this on either the Explore Air 2 or the Maker 3. Acetate can be sharp so I rounded the corners off.

Once your acetate is cut, you will have to remove the protective film on both sides before you use it. Never use a weeding tool to do this, it will scratch the surface.

closeup image of a sheet of Cricut clear acetate demonstrating the two protective films being peeled off

Fold the box and assemble

Start by folding all of the score lines on the top and bottom of the box inward, folding each score line towards the center. Flatten each fold with a brayer or scraper as you go.

You are now ready to start gluing your box together using tape runner or glue.

I’m starting with the top. Flip the lid over, and apply adhesive to the backs of the 4 corner tabs.

closeup image showing the folded box top with adhesive applied to the 4 corner tabs prior to assembly

Fold each corner tab inward and stick to the inside edge of the lid to form the corners.

Apply adhesive along each side flap, then fold inward (this creates a double-walled side for the lid).

photo of steps to fold and glue coaster box lid sides

Finish by applying adhesive around the inside of the lid cutout and lay down the acetate window piece. I like to smooth it down from the inside using a felted squeegee.

photo of applying acetate window to inside of coaster box lid

Next, repeat these steps to make the bottom of the box:

  • apply adhesive to corner tabs and fold inward to form the corners
  • apply adhesive to side tabs and fold inward
  • apply adhesive to bottom insert panel and lay in the bottom of the box. All done!

Optional: I cut embellishments for the box out of vinyl. You can decorate your box any way you like, in any style that’s going to compliment the coaster design. This creates a great looking presentation for the gift, and the box can be kept to use as a storage for the coasters when not in use.

The project is now finished!

Before you go…

Hey, thanks for reading our coaster making tutorial. If you’re looking for more ideas for Father’s day gifts and cards we’ve got some projects and lists that could be a big help!

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