This was inspired by my husband, who saw that I'd cut into a fallen pecan branch and was using the round end slice as a coaster in my shed. He decided to slice more rounds from the pecan branch and turn them into coasters!
We sliced eight pieces, approx. 1" thick each, and were careful to keep the bark intact. We progressively sanded using finer and finer grit sandpaper, ending up with 600 grit. We made sure the bark was clean (no spiders to be polyurethaned - ew!), and then coated them with several coats of water-based poly.
In between coats, we built some coaster holders out of leftover pallet cubes - slicing them to approx 1" thick as the base, and then used those flimsy, rounded-over pieces of pallet wood for the sides to give it that illusion of roundness. We sanded and then polyurethaned the coaster holders as well.
The final bit was to use some peel-and-stick black felt. We traced the shape of the coaster holders onto the back paper of the felt and trimmed them with scissors. Then peel-and-stick! We did NOT do this for the coasters themselves, as each side of each coaster is unique, and we wanted everyone to be able to enjoy that. We put four coats of poly total on all the items, ensuring a complete dry between each coat, and lightly sanded with 600-grit between each coat.
They were well received for the holidays! :D