Site icon Joanna Campbell Slan

Upcycle Styrofoam into a Great Coaster

The portions in most restaurants are far too large for me, so I always ask for a carry-out container. Sadly, most of these are made of Styrofoam, or polystyrene, a product that takes nearly forever to breakdown in our landfills.

So I’ve been searching for ways to reuse my Styrofoam containers, and this idea is so simple and easy that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before!

Since I love potted plants and vases full of flowers, I often find ugly circles on my furniture where the damp pots and vases touch the wood. Even glazed pots somehow transfer moisture. I used to put plates under the pots. Then I bought those stupid thin plastic pot “bottoms.” But they got really ugly and often fell apart. One day I realized that all I really needed was a coaster of an impervious material. Enter Styrofoam!

Here’s how the finished project looks–

You can barely see the white Styrofoam coaster under this orchid, but it is there–and it’s protecting the surface of my wooden chest.

Takes at most ten minutes.

An empty Styrofoam “clamshell” container, a ballpoint pen, scissors, and a sanding block.


1. Divide your container into two parts. You’ll be using the flat portion without partitions.

I’ll be using the portion on the left. I simply took a knife and cut the container in half.

2. Carefully clean and dry your Styrofoam container. I’ve noticed that you practically have to pour dish detergent right on the Styrofoam because oils love to cling to it.

3. Set your vase or pot on top of the flat portion. Use a ballpoint pen and trace around the base of your vase/pot. The tip of the pen will lightly carve into the foam. Cut out the shape. (I like to use kitchen shears for this.)

The pen point actually makes a small groove as you follow the curve of your vessel.

4. Use a sanding block to file down the rough edges of the circle and make it more symmetrical.

5. Slide it under your pot or vase. If you did it right, it should barely show.

Look at you, you crafty thing!

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