I was never a tea-drinker until I came to Japan for the first time about two years ago. Ever since my first sip of warm, toasty genmaicha though, I have been hooked on tea and can’t get enough. Every morning I start my day with a big mug of the hot stuff while I sit at my desk and check my emails … but a few days ago I realized that I was in need of a coaster! So I did what I always do and headed to my local 100 yen shop to get what I needed. Sure, they had some coasters to choose from- mainly cork- but I knew I could do better than that. I found felt, a needle, and thread (paid the measly 324 yen bill) then headed home to get started on making the perfect coaster.
You will need:
- 3 pieces of felt (1 orange, 1 white, 1 light orange)
- Thread (I used white cotton thread)
- Printer paper
First, I took the biggest mug I had in my cabinet and used it to trace a pattern for the coaster. Use the mug to make 3 circles on the paper. Each circle came to about 4 inches across. Inside two of the circles, make another circle that is about ¼ to ½ an inch smaller. Finally, in one of the smaller circles, make sections using a ruler (I made 8 sections). In each of the sections, make a little oval that will be the seed.
Cut out the 1 large circle, the one small circle, 1 of the orange segments and 1 of the seeds. These will be your patterns to cut the felt.
Use the big circle pattern to cut out the “rind” using the darker orange felt. With the smaller circle pattern, cut the “pith” of the orange using the white felt. Now cut the sections of the orange with the lighter orange felt. In my paper pattern, I drew 8 sections, but when I cut the felt I only needed 7, so just arrange the sections on the “pith” as you cut them to see how many you need. Finally, cut out the white seeds.
Now you can start sewing. To prepare the needle and thread, just put the thread through the eye of the needle and pull until you have about 12 inches of thread through the needle. Double the thread over and cut from the spool. Tie the two ends together. Now sew a seed to each of the sections using a running stitch.
When all of the seeds are attached to the sections, arrange all of the sections on the “pith” so that they form a circle. Sew each section to the “pith”.
Now sew the “pith” and the attached sections to the large orange circle. Stitch around the outer white edges, using the same basic running stitch as with the seeds and sections.
It instantly brightens my morning while protecting my desk … and it cost less than 400 yen. These coasters would also be great to give as gifts, and you could switch up the colors for different citrus fruits- greens for lime, pinks for grapefruit, and yellows for lemon.