DIY Metal Washer Coasters painted with nail polish. collage of images with text in center

How to Make Metal Washer Coasters – Painted with Nail Polish!

Inside: How to customize metal washer coasters with old nail polish … this is a great tween craft, summer camp craft, or at-home DIY with any nail polish. Yes, you can paint on metal with nail polish!

My grandpa’s garage had rows of baby food jars filled with metal hardware. He’d nailed the jar lids to the bottom of a shelf, filled each jar with it’s own unique metal contents, and then screwed the jars onto the lid, hanging them neatly in rows.

As a kid, I remember sorting through piles of screws, nails, and hardware, putting each type of attachment in it’s own pile. Metal washers have always been fun to play with …

And using metal washers to make crafts is fun for adults and kids alike!

DIY metal washer coaster being painted with pink nail polish

Looking for more kids crafts? These faces are super fun to make and paint … with a surprising ingredient!

This post includes affiliate links. When you click and purchase from these links we may get a commission from the seller. The cool thing is, this doesn't cost you any extra money!

DIY Metal Coasters from Metal Washers

Last month I made a set of really cool coasters using metal washers from the hardware store. I decided to kick those plain metal coasters up a notch with paint – nail polish and spray paint to be exact!

First, let's make the coasters from metal washers.

mug of soda with ice on top of plain metal washer coasters

Supplies to make DIY Washer Coasters:

  • STRONG adhesive like this
  • Assorted metal washers
  • Nonstick work surface – you can use a non-stick craft mat, aluminum foil, or wax paper

I used Aleene's Ultimate Adhesive because:

  • Industrial strength
  • Friendly for crafting
  • Easy to find at most craft stores or order here
  • Can be applied to small surfaces with a toothpick
  • Adheres metal to metal

You might be wondering why you can't use hot glue.

Why hot glue won't work on metal:

  • Metal is not porous so hot glue can't soak in
  • As hot glue cools, it easily peels from non-porous surfaces
  • Hot glue does not allow precision application and would appear like blobs where the washers join together

These metal washer coasters would fall apart if you made them with hot glue.

Reference this glue guide from Dream A Little Bigger for choosing adhesive for all of your projects.

step by step photos of how to make metal washer coasters

These coasters are great for a unique Thanksgiving tablescape or even as holiday gifts. Find more fun fall crafts here.

How to Make Metal Washer Coasters

  1. Lay out the coasters on your non-stick craft surface in a single layer, with edges touching one another
  2. Apply strong adhesive on top of each place the washers touch one another.
  3. Lay a second layer of washers on top of the glue, pressing down.
  4. Allow to dry.
  5. Add a third layer of washers if you desire.
  6. Allow to dry overnight before using.
DIY metal coasters painted with nail polish showing hand painting the washers

Customize Metal Washer Coasters

Customize these super easy-to-make DIY coasters to match your life and style:

  • Add felt or cork to the back to make them absorbent
  • Draw on them with permanent markers
  • Paint the metal washer coasters with nail polish or spray paint

Best Paint for Metal Washers

Nail polish is enamel based paint which sticks to metal well.

Spray paint made for metal can also be used on these coasters.

I chose nail polish because nail polish is:

  • Easy to find in many stores
  • Probably in your bathroom cabinets now!
  • Available in thousands of colors and finishes like metallic or glitter
  • Affordable

I used nail polish I had in my stash from my preferred nail polish brand, OPI. You can find some of my favorite nail polish colors here:

I also love OPI's hand lotion, which is hands-down (ba-dum-dum) the BEST hand lotion I've ever tried and have been using it for years.

Using Old Nail Polish for Crafts

I opened one of my old nail polish bottles and it was super chunky. Have you had a similar experience?

It's easy to fix: here's how.

And guess what else you can use nail polish to paint? Rocks! Get over 50 painted rock ideas here.

How to Paint Metal Washers with Nail Polish

After the washer coasters are finished and the glue has dried completely, they're ready to paint.

Supplies to Paint Metal Washer Coasters:

  • Nonstick work surface – you can use a non-stick craft mat, aluminum foil, or wax paper
  • Nail polish

If you choose to work with spray paint, you'll need masking tape to mask off parts of the coasters if you want to add designs.

Collage image of metal washer coasters painted with different designs and colors using nail polish

Paint the Metal Coasters with Nail Polish

Add variations to your coasters to make them more interesting.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use multiple colors
  • Paint some coasters solid and leave some blank
  • Add dots
  • Paint dashes
  • Add words or details with a paint pen or permanent marker after the nail polish dries

Plan out your colors and designs ahead of time … or just have fun and play! You can always paint over any designs you don't like.

How to Apply Nail Polish to Metal Washers

  1. Apply nail polish to the metal washers with the brush included in the nail polish lid
  2. Allow the nail polish to dry overnight for best results, especially if the nail polish is thick or you live in a humid climate
  3. Add additional colors and patterns as desired
Collage of metal washer coasters being painted with nail polish

Video: DIY Painted Washer Coasters

Now that you know what patterns and colors you'll use, ready to paint?

Watch this video to see how to make the coasters and then 2 ways to customize them with paint:

You can paint the washers in solid colors, add patterns, or mask part of the coaster to a dipped look.

I especially love the effect of matte spray paint on the coaster – the difference in sheen is so striking!

When your coasters are finished, enjoy them with your favorite drink!

Glasses of lemonade on metal washer coasters painted with nail polish.

Want more? Follow me over on Pinterest to get LOADS of inspiring ideas … for free!

In fact, you can PIN THIS idea and SAVE it for later:

Tall graphic with text on top metal washer coasters with nail polish and image of hand painting metal washer coasters with nail polish

About the Author

Author Profile

Jennifer Priest is a 20+ year designer in the arts & crafts industry and home DIYer with a passion for creativity. An Army veteran raised on a ranch, from her experience, she shares smart DIY projects that save money and fun craft ideas that anyone can make. Besides blogging, Jennifer is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and MER, and coaches other online entrepreneurs on money mindset, business, and living an intentional life. When not blogging, Jennifer is having adventures in the wilderness, on road trips, playing with her cats, and making paleo food.

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21 Comments

  1. These are super cute! I can’t wait to make some of my own. I think I’ll put them in a gift basket for a teacher gift with some EXTRA gum! #client

    1. Great idea. Most nail polish in the stores and online are gel, and need a uv light. Can these polishes be used on metal if you don’t have the cuting lamp?

      Thank you

  2. LOVE the coasters! Uber creative, esp. when painted with nail polish. Visiting from Create It Thursday party.

  3. I love this project idea, such a fun way to add a little character to your decor without a ton of supplies. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Fantastic! It looks so creative and I believe that my daughter will love it. Many thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Hey, Jennifer. These are great. I particularly love the one on the right. stunning! Thank you so VEYR MUCH for joining us this week at the Fine Craft Guild’s linky party SHARE IT. A new party will open tomorrow (later in the day) See you there again.

  6. Hey I could make this and put it on the craft table at the office! Sweet! I love crafts that involve sparkle nailpolish!

  7. I have a question, if I may ask? After painting metal with nail polish should it be sealed with something? If so, what kind of sealants would be best? I currently have Duraclear, modge podge, triple thick, clear polish, and 2X clear gloss in a spray can that I could use. Thank you

    1. Yes, you can use any sealer. Nail polish should be okay on it’s own. You can try clear nail polish too.

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