#AtoZChallenge | Pom poms take my tea coaster from boring to brilliant

My locally made mug with the speckled glaze and original Maine flag imagery is the perfect size. It holds exactly a cup and a half of tea which is the just the right amount. The handle has a flat spot at the top where I can rest my thumb when picking up the mug. It’s a good mug. I use it every single day, sometimes multiple times a day.

While there is no shortage of coasters in our house, I wanted something unique that would be worthy of my mug. Felted wool balls  came to mind. They are soft, cozy, and would make a safe base to rest my mug.

I’ve felted wool. I made a felted heart with some small wool ball accents. Driving the needle into the wool again and again was easy but you need to do it for a long, long time to get that beautiful felted look. It is not for the casual crafter.

I was balancing so many craft projects that I didn’t want to invested hours creating the felted balls I would need for my coaster. Fortunately, one Etsy search later and I discovered a multi-colored world full of wool balls in any color and combination you could ever imagine.

I quickly placed an order for 50 1 cm balls in a bohemian color palette from CutestLittleGarlands. I loved the pastel blue and blush combination. The wool balls shipped right away so within a week I was ready to dive into my project.

We finished the Maine Beer Trail this year. We visited 50 craft breweries during our quest. One by-product of this journey was that we have a number of beer mats. I gathered some of my extra beer mats and picked one from Allagash Brewing because I liked the square shape rather than the circular style. If I hadn’t had beer mats handy, I would have made something out of chipboard.

After playing around with my design, I knew that you’d be able to see part of the coaster below the wool balls since I wasn’t planning to nest my design. I wanted a more geometric pattern with the colors. Because of that, I glued a piece of teal felt that complemented the bohemian colors to the top and bottom of my beer mat.

I laid out a rough design playing around with the order of the colors. Once done, I wanted to keep the general design in place, so I used my craft tweezers to pick up each wool ball one at a time, dab some hot glue to the bottom and return it to it’s spot in the design. This allowed me to keep my design intact and eliminated any extra glue seeping between the wool balls. It was a more measured, meticulous process.

I was three wool balls short of completing my design. It felt like every home renovation project I’ve ever done. They always require at least two trips to Home Depot. This craft project required a pause but only a short one. I ordered another set of wool balls from the same seller and then finished up my coaster.

** Tip: 50 1cm wool balls may not be enough for a square coaster. It’s surprising how quickly you use them up. Although, if I hadn’t been concerned with the color order of the design I would have had just enough. **

The original beer mat was still visible between the layers of felt so I glued teal twill ribbon around the other edge. It was the perfect width and added a nice finished look to the coaster.

Now when I enjoy my daily tea, I have the perfect spot for my mug. I also caught the bug and think there will be more wool ball projects in my future. They are so cute!

Have you ever done any projects with wool balls?

I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2021. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Craft Projects for my Home. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.

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32 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge | Pom poms take my tea coaster from boring to brilliant

  1. Crackerberries says:

    Brilliant, what a great idea and it looks simple enough for the impatient, lack of attention to detail scatter-brains like myself. I may have to try this. I bought some of them little wooly balls for decorations to some kiddie slippers but never finished that project, like so many that I try to start. Any hoot skip on over and see about the people I talk about today.


    • Weekends in Maine says:

      Before doing this project I had no idea how big the market for felted wool balls was. There are so many cute things you can do with them. I bet the kiddie slippers will be wonderful if you end up deciding to finish them.

      I have my fair share of unfinished projects too although the A to Z is a great motivator to finish my projects so I can write my blog posts.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Weekends in Maine says:

      While I knew about felted wool balls, it was eye opening to see all the Etsy sellers. I had no idea they were so extensive. You can get them in every size and color you could possibly need. It’s quite the thing!


  2. Arti Jain says:

    Now that’s a mug that deserves a pom-pom coaster for sure. The coaster and the mug look worthy of each other. I’m still in the ‘wedding’ mood inspired by your origami doves.
    I’d say: they’re a match made in Maine (by Karen;)


  3. Anne M Bray says:

    LOVE pom poms. I remember seeing a ginormous one in Portland, OR in a shop. It was maybe 2 feet in diameter. Too expensive to purchase, definitely memorable.

    I bought a bag of multi-size synthetic poms somewhere (Michaels?). I “marinate” them in a jar of catnip and then periodically hurl one at the cat. When he tires of it (and the cat drool dries), I “recharge” it back in the jar.


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