How To: Make Photo Coasters
Photo coasters make fun and personalized gifts and decorations. This is a project that requires time and patience. If you take your time and don’t rush this craft, you’ll have a memory that can be used for a lifetime.
Step 1: Gather the Materials
To make a photo coaster, you will need the following material:
- A ceramic tile – a 4-inch square tile is a good size for a coaster.
- Mod Podge – a water-based sealer and finish used for decoupage projects. An alternative is a 50/50 mixture of Elmer’s glue and water.
- A color printer
- A water-based white paint
- A small paint brush
- Ruler and scissors
- A sheet of felt
- Glue gun
- Polyurethane or other clear protective coating
Step 2: Prepare the tiles
Plain white ceramic tiles are a good choice for a coaster project. Also, look for tiles with a flat surface. This will keep the glasses from falling off the tile.
- Paint the rough or unfinished edges of the tile white to make it more attractive.
- Before you begin, make sure the tile is clean and completely dry.
Step 3: Print the photograph
Your photo coaster is a showcase for your best photographs. Select a photo that is eye-catching. If you are familiar with computer graphics programs, you can sharpen the image, adjust the color saturation, type a few inspiring words and draw a frame around the photo.
- Do a test print to make sure that the ink will not smear on the paper when the Mod Podge is applied.
- Print the photo to fit on the tile. The photograph can be printed on either photo or regular paper.
- Let the print dry completely.
- Make sure the photo will fit on the tile properly. Trim if necessary. The photo should not be larger than the outside edge of the top of the tile.
Step 4: Attach the photo to the tile
Before you begin this step, make sure the photo fits on the tile and that the Mod Podge will not smear the photo ink.
- Spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the top of the tile.
- Place the photo on top of the tile, smooth out any bubbles and press down the edges.
- Add a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the photo and let dry before adding a second coat. This will secure and protect the photo.
Step 5: Add a glossy shine
Applying polyurethane, a clear acrylic gloss coating spray or other protective coating helps prolong the life of the print and makes the coaster waterproof.
- Make sure the Mod Podge is completely dry.
- Paint a light coat of polyurethane on the top and sides of the tile.
- Let the polyurethane dry.
- Paint a second coat of polyurethane.
Step 6: Add a backing to the tile
A felt backing will keep the coaster from scratching furniture. An alternative to a felt backing is to purchase a package of felt mounting circles.
- Cut the felt so that it is slightly smaller than the bottom of the tile.
- Apply hot glue around the bottom edge of the tile.
- Affix the felt backing to the bottom of the tile.
Once everything on your coaster is dry, it's ready to use!