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DIY fabric coasters: Animal embroidery designs

Unleash your creative side when you stitch this set of safari-inspired fabric coasters in modern, muted tones designed by Louisa Burtonshaw.

safari themed fabric coasters on a table

Take a walk on the wild side with these gorgeous safari-inspired fabric coasters. They’ll add a stylish twist to your coffee table, and they’re so pretty that everyone will be asking you for a set!

There are four designs we will show you how to create in this guide. There’s a zebra, cheetah, leopard and giraffe print to make. With our quick tutorial, you’ll have four homemade coasters to proudly display.

Two of the coasters are stitched on cinnamon brown fabric, and the other two are stitched on blushed pink fabric. The colours complement each other well and create an appealing contrast to the thread.

Do I need a sewing machine for this project?

No, but it helps! This design only requires one hand stitch: Satin Stitch. That makes it great for beginners in terms of embroidery work. However, a sewing machine is recommended to take on this project as it’s quicker and easier.

These gorgeous fabric coasters were designed by Louisa Burtonshaw and were originally published in Love Embroidery issue 16. Get your digital edition and discover the rest of the issue.

Make your own fabric coasters with four different designs!

What stitches will I need?

Looking for more tips and tricks to upgrade your stitching? Check out our embroidery stitch library.

What materials do I need?

How to make the animal-print fabric coasters step-by-step


You Will Need

  • Cotton fabric
  • Stranded cotton
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • Basic embroidery kit

Total time:

Step 1

Cut your fabric into size

Cut both of your fat quarters into four 25x25cm squares of fabric. You will need two squares for each coaster, one which you will embroider and one for the back.

Step 2

Transfer your animal print designs

Take two squares of the cinnamon brown fabric and transfer the leopard print and giraffe designs from the templates using your preferred method.

Now, do the same with the cheetah and zebra patterns on two of the blush pink squares.

Top tip: Trace the animal print patterns using a lightbox and an erasable fabric pen.

fabric coasters transfer design

Step 3

Stitching the leopard design

Work the leopard print design in Satin Stitch using three strands of blush pink. Fill in the middle sections and then use three strands of grey-green to fill in the surrounding shapes.

Top tip: To add texture, change the stitch direction across the fur spots.


Step 4

Stitching the giraffe design

Work the giraffe pattern in Satin Stitch using three strands of tan. Keep the direction of the stitches consistent throughout.

Step 5

Stitching the cheetah design

The spots on the cheetah design are filled using Satin Stitch in three strands of grey-green.

Step 6

Stitching the zebra design

Lastly, work the zebra stripes in Satin Stitch using three strands of terracotta. Again, try to keep all the stitches across the whole design parallel for a neat finish.

Step 7

Add a seam allowance to your embroidered pieces

Next, take your finished embroidered pieces and mark a 10x10cm square on the back of each pattern around the embroidered design.

Top tip: Using a quilting ruler or a set square is the best way to ensure perfect 90-degree corners.

Mark out a 1.5cm border along all the edges and cut along this line to create a seam allowance.

fabric coasters quilting rular

Step 8

Cut out a square from your plain fabric

Now, take your plain fabrics and cut a square from them measuring 13x13cm.

Step 9

Pin and stitch your coasters

Take a matching plain and embroidered square and pin, RS (right side) together. Machine stitch along the 10x10cm line, leaving a 4cm gap along one edge of the fabric.

fabric coasters machine sew

Step 10

Trim your seams and close the gap

Trim the seams, then turn through. Press in the seams along the gap. Stitch the gap closed using slip stitch.

fabric coasters slip stitch seam closed

Beautiful embroidery for your home with animal embroidery designs

These coasters will add a modern, homemade touch to your decor. The best bit? They’re so easy to make! Using only one stitch, and a basic sewing machine, you’ll have four unique coasters whipped up in no time.

Make your house a home with embroidered decor

Are you looking to incorporate more embroidery into your space? Try these gorgeous embroidered plant pot covers.

plant embroidery