Repurposing Old Floppy Disks into Drink Coasters
As technology advances, many once-useful items become obsolete and get tossed out. Floppy disks, for example, were a staple of computing for decades but have now been replaced by USB drives and cloud storage. Instead of throwing out those old 3.5″ floppy disks, repurposing them into funky and functional drink coasters is a creative way to reduce waste and make use of nostalgic objects.
In this article, I’ll walk through the entire process of transforming floppy disks into coasters – from gathering supplies to decorating and sealing them. With just a few simple tools and techniques, you can give new life to outdated tech!
To get started, you’ll need to collect:
Old 3.5″ floppy disks – These are the hard plastic squares with the metal shutter that exposes the black magnetic disk inside. Look for ones in good condition without any cracks.
Scissors or craft knife – For cutting the disks. Scissors work fine for straight cuts. A craft knife will allow you to do more intricate shapes.
Sandpaper – A medium grit sandpaper will be used to smooth the cut edges.
Adhesive – Super glue, epoxy resin, or clear craft glue will all work to seal and decorate the coasters.
Decorative materials – Stickers, paper, photos, glitter, etc. Get creative with materials to customize your coasters!
Cutting the Floppy Disks
Once you’ve gathered supplies, it’s time to cut the floppy disks into coaster shapes. Here are some options:
Circles – Trace around a circular object like a cup or bowl, then cut out the circle from the disk.
Squares/Rectangles – Cut the disk into square or rectangular coasters. Rounded corners look nice.
Fun Shapes – Get creative by cutting the disks into shapes like stars, hearts, lighting bolts. Use cookie cutters as templates.
Be sure to cut through only the black plastic part of the disk, leaving the metal shutter intact. This gives a nice two-tone look. Sand all cut edges smooth.
Decorating and Sealing
Now for the fun part – decorating the coasters! Here are some ideas:
Apply stickers – Great for kids’ rooms or playful themes.
Add photos – For family pics or themed images like favorite bands or movies.
Attach paper – Scraps of giftwrap, maps, pages from old books all look cool.
Coat with glitter – For sparkly, glamorous coasters. Apply glue first, then sprinkle on glitter.
Brush on paint – Get creative with paints and colors. Let dry fully before sealing.
Once decorations are added, it’s time to seal and protect the coasters. Choose an adhesive like super glue, epoxy resin, or decoupage medium. Apply a thin layer evenly across the entire top surface and edges. Allow to fully cure per adhesive directions.
Apply multiple coats for an ultra smooth and waterproof finish. The sealant also prevents decorations from scratching off.
Displaying your Upcycled Coasters
Now simply set out your unique floppy disk coasters and enjoy! They make great gifts or functional art for:
Game rooms or man caves – Ideal for video game and tech enthusiasts.
Offices and workspaces – Nostalgic decor great for desks and cubicles.
Bars, coffee shops, cafes – Fun, quirky vibe for tabletops.
With a little creativity and effort, those old floppy disks have been repurposed into cool new coasters! Upcycling outdated tech is an eco-friendly way to reduce waste while making fun handmade items.
Frequently Asked Questions
What size floppy disks work best?
The standard 3.5″ square floppy disks are ideal. Avoid larger 5.25″ floppy disks – they are too big and bulky for coasters.
What about floppy disk internal components?
When cutting, only slice through the outer black plastic portion. Leave the metal shutter and inner magnetic disk intact for looks.
How can I make round coasters from square floppy disks?
Use a circular object like a cup or bowl to trace a round shape. Cut it out using scissors or a craft knife. Smooth the rounded edges with sandpaper.
What kind of glue is best for sealing?
Super glue, epoxy resin, and decoupage mediums all work great. Apply multiple thin layers to seal and get a smooth finish.
Can I use paint instead of stickers to decorate?
Absolutely! Acrylic craft paints in any color can be brushed on prior to sealing. Make sure paint is completely dry before applying sealant.