SuperCrafts: DIY Photo Coasters

I gave away a LOT of photo gifts for Christmas last year, all of them homemade. One of the neatest projects I did was photo coasters, made very inexpensively with simple tiles from Lowe’s. Here’s a quick overview:

Photo Coasters: What You’ll Need:

  • ceramic tiles (4.25 x 4.25) (found mine at Lowe’s for about $0.15 each)
  • photos (sized to 3.75 x 3.75)
  • Mod Podge
  • sponge brush
  • hot glue gun
  • felt squares (3.75 x 3.75)
  • clear acrylic sealer

Okay, these were very simple to make and they came out absolutely beautiful. First, brush a thin coat of Mod Podge onto the top of a tile. Place a photo in the center, smooth out, let dry about 10-15 minutes. Then cover the entire photo and tile again with a coat of Mod Podge. Let that coat dry, and repeat 2 more times.

If you’re planning on actually using these as coasters (and you should!), the next step is to take the tiles outside and spray with the acrylic sealer. Let the first coat dry about 10 minutes before adding a second coat. When all is dry, bring the tiles back inside.

Next, adhere the felt to the bottoms of each tile with the hot glue – I just went around the perimeter with a thin line of glue, and an “x” in the center to prevent lifting. Once this all dries… you’re done!

I gave the coasters as gifts in sets of 4, and they’re still holding up! I see them at Ellie’s grandparents’ houses each time we visit. 🙂

15 replies
  1. ann marie
    ann marie says:

    Did you have any problems with stacking your coasters? Mine keep leaving felt imprints, even though they have been completed over a week ago, it seems like the sealer spray just isn’t curing/drying completely…very frustrating, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong…

  2. SuperwifeJenny
    SuperwifeJenny says:

    Hi Ann Marie – Sorry I didn’t see this comment sooner!
    I think mine were sticky for a while, but I never had any issues with them leaving permanent felt marks. Perhaps try a different brand of acrylic sealer?
    I still see (and use) them every time I go to my in-laws house – and they’re holding up wonderfully even 9 months after I made them. I hope you’re able to have some success – they’re such a good gift! 🙂

  3. cindy
    cindy says:

    You may want to try using craft foam on the back. It adheres very evenly with glue, is washable, and leaves no marks on anything.

  4. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Ann Marie: I had the exact same problem. I used the Treehouse brand sealer. I am thinking about re-doing all of my coasters and using the mod podge brand sealer to see if that makes a difference. Besides – the smell of the sealer just won’t go away.

  5. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    if you do the photos in color, when adding the mod podge, does it change this color of the photo in any way??

  6. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Also, what it is the best way to print out of the photos? Did you size them then print out on photo paper??

  7. SuperwifeJenny
    SuperwifeJenny says:

    Lauren- I saw a teeeensy amount of a color change when adding the mod podge… it might depend on the quality of papr you use for printing the photos though. I used Kodak photo paper and it seemed to work just fine. Oh and yes, I sized them on the computer (just in a word doc) and printed out a few per page (I had letter size photo paper), then cut them out or the coasters. 🙂 HTH, Good luck!

  8. SuperwifeJenny
    SuperwifeJenny says:

    Hi Jen – The sealer I used was just an acrylic sealer I bought from Michaels – I can’t remember the brand though! It did have a very strong smell – I had to spray the coasters on the floor in the garage bc the fumes were pretty bad, but once everything dried the smell went away. Good luck and if you find something better let us know!

  9. Kristy
    Kristy says:

    I used the mod podge spray sealer and the felt left imprints on mine as well. They had also been dry for a week

  10. Roxanne
    Roxanne says:

    I am having a problem with my sealer it is not drying flat there are not bubbles but it is more like holes. I live in Reno and I am wondering if it is happening because of the cold in the garage. Has anyone else had this problem?

  11. courtney
    courtney says:

    I just made these coasters! They were fantastic! I used the Krylon brand acrylic sealer and it worked really well! They are completely dry within 12 hours and easily stack able. The Krylon spray was very strong straight out the can but I it did not leave the scent on the coasters after they dried.

  12. Melody
    Melody says:

    Help! Smell of acrylic spray is bad! I just made 1 coaster as a “test” beefore our church youth group makes them. I bought the Tree House acrylic spray sealer. It has been on about 6 hours now and is dry…but the smell is very strong. I’m hoping after 24 hours the odor goes away. Any advice. Should I take this sealer back and get Krylon? The coasters are for the elderly and shut-ins and we don’t want that odor lingering on the coasters. Other than the sealer odor, the coaster looks great. I got thin self-sticking cork in a roll that we will cut to fit the bottoms of the coasters.

  13. Erica
    Erica says:

    I am also wondering about the smell – I have had some problems making mine – after I sprayed them with Modge Podge acrylic spray, I left them outside to dry and it rained completely ruining some of them. I tried my best to cover it and re-sprayed but basically they won’t dry because of the damp weather and I can’t bring them in to dry because of the smell, which quickly fills the house. I spent a lot of money gathering the crafts and would really like to salvage some of these and was wondering what would help the smell go away because the last time I sprayed was over 24 hours ago and I still smell the acrylic so much, it’s so strong

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  1. […] Coasters – Are you looking for a creative way to display your Denver holiday pictures?  We have a simple and inexpensive solution! Make personalized coasters for your parents, significant other, children – the options are endless!  Need some help getting started?  Monty Nuss found a great tutorial here. […]

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