DIY | Leather Tangram Coasters


Raise you hand if you remember tangram puzzles. You know the ones I mean? No? Okay, well, a tangram is a dissection puzzle made up of seven shapes, which can be put together to form different shapes. You start with the pieces put together to make a square and you need to rearrange them to form a specific shape using all seven pieces, without any pieces overlapping (they look like this.) So anyway, I love these things! Hours of entertainment (mainly because I’m not very good at solving each puzzle, but who cares, right?) I was thinking, they would make pretty sweet coasters. You can put them together to make a larger coaster area for bowls and dishes, or keep them separate for cups and bottles!

Unfortunately, I only had a small amount of leather for this DIY, so my coasters are a touch smaller than I would have liked, but they still get the job done. Backed onto an old table place mat and you have the perfect materials to make your own clever coasters!


What You Need:
Place Mat
Craft Glue / Mod Podge
Sharp Scissors

What You Do:
1. Draw or print out a template for your puzzle. I used grid paper to draw mine out easily, but if you prefer you can use this image as a guide.

2. Using your template as a guide, cut out a square of leather, around 1cm bigger than your template.

3. Apply a generous coating of glue to the back of the leather, making sure you cover right to the edges. You want to make sure that the leather sticks down properly so don’t be afraid to use a lot of glue.

4. Stick the leather down onto the face of the place mat. Using a ruler smooth the leather down, making sure there are no air bubbles. Clean away any excess glue from the leather face.

tangram-25. Set aside to dry and weigh down with something heavy. I used a couple of books and a chopping block (that was the same size as the leather). Leave to dry completely overnight.

6. Once dry, gently trace the outline of the square with a pencil and cut out, trimming away the excess leather and mat.  This will leave you with clean edges rather than if you had cut out two separate squares and glues them together.

7. Line up your paper template on the back of the square (the place mat side) and mark where the each line intersects. You can press through the paper to mark the line joins in the center of the square. The rubber mat will not be damaged by doing this.  Once you have marked each spot, use a ruler to draw out the lines.

8. Take your scissors (or a very sharp blade)  and carefully cut out each piece of the tangram.

9. If you have any pencil marks left on the back of your pieces, you can clean them off by spraying a cloth with windex and wiping smudges away.


My favourite thing about these coasters is that I can play with them while having drinks. I’m totally that person who is always fiddling around with coasters, or attempting to peel the label of my drink bottle. It’s not even that I’m bored, I just cant help myself sometimes! I’m like a little kid who needs to be constantly entertained! These coasters have been perfect for not just keeping me entertained, but actually pretty fun for when we have guests over as well!



What say you?