The Crafty Football Blog Hop: How to Make Fantasy Football Team Coasters

24 Oct 2013

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So, I'm in a fantasy football league with a number of other crafty folks, and some of us decided to have a little blog hop today. We invited some crafters from outside the league as well, and we're all posting a project celebrating our favorite team. At the bottom of this post, you'll find thumbnails and links to everyone.

My project is based on the fact that I got into football and fantasy football at roughly the same time. So I don't really have a hometown team I love – I love a lot of individual players on a lot of different teams. (Although, with that said, GO BRONCOS!!!) This makes Sundays a lot of fun, because no matter who's playing, I'm usually a big fangirl of someone on the field.

…So I thought I'd make myself a set of coasters representing the team colors and player numbers of some of my very favorite players. That way, during the course of a Game Day, I can switch coasters as the games happen in a tiny act of support.


(Nerd Note: I know football crafts are usually staged with beer and chips and things, but here in the Pacific time zone, Game Day starts at 10am. So we always celebrate with the coffe-snobbiest cup we can make, and some freshly-baked muffins.)

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This is one of those use-up-your-scraps crafts. So first, find two fabrics representing your chosen team's colors. Solids or subtle prints work equally well.

• Cut a 3 3/4" square from your first color.

• Cut a 1 1/4" x 18" strip from your second color.


You'll also need:

• A scrap of fusible webbing (I like Heat n Bond)

• A roughly 3" x 3" scrap of solid white fabric

• A scrap of low-loft cotton batting

• A scrap of backing fabric (whatever you like)

• A removable marking pen (I prefer a FriXion, which removes with the heat of an iron. Don't use a water-soluble for this project.)


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I sewed the coaster tops together using a Log Cabin quilt block method. It's super easy. Just sew that 18* strip to one side of the square and trim away the excess strip. Then line the strip up with the next side of the square, sew it, and trim it again. And repeat that process twice more, as you see above.

(If you'd like more detail on Log Cabin-ing, take a look at this tutorial on Sewing School.)

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OK, so did you know that different NFL uniforms use different fonts for the numbers? Neither did I. So you'll need to make sure to use the right style number for each of your coasters.

I went into Google Image Search and searched on "[Player Name] Jersey 2013." When I found an image showing the number clearly at a head-on angle, I saved it to my computer. Then I brought it into my photo editing program and cropped it square around that number. I set the crop size so that there was a little space around the number, but not too much.

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From this point, all you need to do is size that square-cropped photo to 3" x 3" (which is roughly the center square size of your coaster at this point). I use Pages, which is a page-layout program on my Mac. You could also do this pretty easily in tools like Photoshop or Google Docs. Just place the image on a page, make sure it measures 3" x 3", and then print it out on a sheet of regular old paper.

(I just set all five of my numbers up on the same layout, as you can see below.)

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Now, take your solid white fabric and fuse the webbing to the back, following the package directions.

Place this fabric over your print-out (with the fusible webbing side facing down). NFL jerseys are super contrasty, so you should be able to clearly see the number through the fabric. If not, you can tape the paper and fabric to a sunny window, or use a light table. Carefully trace around the number with a removable marking pen.

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Cut out the number now – I like to use a small, sharp scissor for this, like an applique scissor. That fusible webbing makes the fabric nice and substantial, so it's as easy to handle as paper.

Then, place the digits on the coaster top, making sure they're centered and straight. Fuse them in place with your iron, again following the package directions for the webbing. Take your time with this bit - you want those numbers fused on there but good.

Just a note on that FriXion pen: see how nicely my tracing lines vanished during the pressing?

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With the number in place, it's time to cut some backing and batting. Cut your backing fabric to a 5" square. Cut a 4 1/2" square of batting.

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Center the batting square over the back of the coaster top and pin it in place.

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With the batting and top pinned together, do a little quilting on the top. I just stitched "in the ditch" right where the two fabrics meet.

(Laziness Note: since I was making five coasters at once, and working with umpteen different colors of fabric, I opted for a medium grey thread so I wouldn't have to keep changing colors. It's a reasonably good solution that doesn't show too much. But if you're a fancier person than me, by all means match your threads and fabrics!)

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Some NFL uniforms have a border of color around the numbers and some don't. If the one you're working with does, you can just embroider that at this point. I'm using four strands of a six-strand embroidery floss and a split stitch here.

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The rest of the construction is really easy. Pin the assembled coaster front to the back with right sides facing. Sew around three sides with a 1/4 seam allowance, leaving about a 2" gap in the fourth side for turning.

Clip the corners and make sure you haven't caught any of the batting in your seams. (If you have, just trim it out.) Then turn the coaster right side out. Poke a chopstick or something into the corners so they turn out as sharp as possible.

Lastly, sew the opening closed with a ladder stitch. Give the finished coaster a good pressing and you're all done!

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These little guys go together very quickly, so you can easily make a whole pile of them in an afternoon. They'd make a fun stocking-stuffer gift for your favorite football lover – if they're not into the fantasy game, you could just make a whole set using one team's colors and player numbers.


Want to see what the rest of the blog-hoppers made?

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