DIY Sea Shell Coasters


Create a coastal theme for your table with these attractive Sea Shell Coasters. The coasters are made by wrapping a clothesline with fabric strips and coiling the line into place. You may have made baskets using this technique.  Coats Jeans Topstitching thread holds the covered coiled clothesline in place and adds a pop of color.


Designed by Lori Harder

Finished Project Size: 4” x 5” (10 cm x 12.5 cm)


Coats Dual Duty Jeans Topstitching Thread– 1 spool 7260 Mimosa or a contrasting color

Print fabrics in 3 coordinating patterns

Clothesline – 1 package

Seam Sealant or glue

Additional Requirements

Sewing Machine

Topstitching needle, Size 14 or a size 16 Jeans needle


  1. For a set of 4 coasters tear 4 – one inch strips each of 3 fabrics. Trim off selvage ends. If using fat quarters, 8 strips each of 3 fabrics will be needed. Each coaster will take one each of three coordinating colors of fabric. Cut a piece of clothesline cord 78“ (198 cm) long.
  2. Hold end of clothesline cord at the top in a vertical line. Take one strip and lay it across cord horizontally with long end extending to left. Bring strip behind and wrap over starting end of strip tight enough to hold it in place. Secure with a pin at top through fabric and cord. Wrap strip diagonally around cord, working down the cord for about 4-5 inches (10 cm or 12.5 cm). Place top of wrapped cord under sewing machine needle and lower needle through start of wrapped cord and fabric.
    Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Continue wrapping toward your body as far as the strip will go and secure with a pin. Each strip will wrap about 30” (78 cm) of cord. Each strip from a fat quarter will wrap about 15” (38 cm) of cord. (Figure  1)

  3. Thread the machine with Topstitching thread. Be sure to insert a topstitching or  size 16 jeans  needle. Set sewing machine for a zigzag stitch at ¼” (6 mm) wide and 9 stitches per inch (2.5 cm). Fold wrapped cord from the top about 2 ¾” and zigzag starting from the fold. Leave about 3” of top and bobbin threads loose to tie into a knot at back when finishing. Zigzag with the crease in center of sewing machine presser foot so it catches cord on right side of fold and cord on left side of fold to hold together. Once this is stitched into place, stop with the needle in wrapped cord on opposite side of starting end. (Figure 2) Pivot and turn work upside down.

    Figure 2
    Figure 2
  4. Fold wrapped cord into a loop at top of shell even with starting end and wrap around the U formed with the first fold. Stitch, placing this new fold in center under presser foot and zigzag catching right and left cord to hold together. (Figure 3)

    Figure 3
    Figure 3
  5. Once at the end at top of the U, stop and pivot again with needle in cord at opposite side away from the piece. Continue folding and stitching, working back and forth around the U, building it as shown in Figure 4 until there are 9 upper folds in the piece. When there is about 4” left of the wrapped cord, stop with the needle down. Pick up the next fabric strip and begin wrapping the line. Continue in same manner.

    Figure 4
    Figure 4
  6. After building 8 – U’s, wrap cord around bottom of shell and build a base with two folds on each side as in diagram. After final fold, when at center of base of shell, cut end about 1” (2.5 cm) extending from bottom of shell and wrap to back of piece. Pivot and zigzag over this end to secure. Pull threads at start and finish to tie off at back. Secure with a dot of Fray Check or glue on each knot.(Figure 5)

    Figure 5
    Figure 5
  7. Cut off ends of upper folds to get the same shape at top of shell as in diagram. Zigzag around top edge of shell and tie off ends. Secure with a dot of Fray Check or glue on each knot.

Printable Pattern Download.

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