My mother has been using the beaded half cross stitch technique to make pictures, handbags and shoe vamps for many years.  She uses cross stitch aida cloth - which kind depends on the size of the beads - they have to fit within the space demarcated by the four holes. The bead is picked up and sewn with the thread going into the diagonal holes.

Recently, Mathew of Bead Spider in UK shared this demonstration on how to make really lovely snowflakes using the same technique but on tapestry or needlepoint canvas.  He calls it the arazzo method. Arrazo is Italian for tapestry. 

There are more holes in the tapestry canvas he used than there are in aida cloth. So Mathew shows which holes to use in order to secure the beads. This type of canvas also comes in different mesh sizes so the right one needs to be chosen for the beads on hand. 

Mathew does not show how to finish the coasters but his have a felt backing and interfacing - something like Pellon interfacing. Perhaps Thermolam?

H/T Aims of BigBlueBarnDesigns and Wayne Wiley.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM