DIY Photo Coasters

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I’m so excited to share this DIY project with you all!!! I saw the idea here on Pinterest (of course) first and just knew it was a perfect fit for the grandparents & great-grands in our family! (Have I mentioned my obsessionwith Pinterest?) I know it seems pretty straight forward, but there are some tips I’d like to share with you. And some pictures too!
* 4×4 Tiles ($4.98/9 @ Lowe’s) – I chose Travertine ones from Lowe’s. You can use ceramic or whatever. I just liked the color of these!
* Mod Podge (you can use either gloss or matte)
* Felt Pads (or rubber ones, which is what I will use next time – more on that later)
* 4×4 printed picture(s)
* Foam brush
* Photo Trimmer (you can use scissors, but the trimmer makes it so much easier)
**Insert 3-hour heart-attack delay here. We had to rush my 35m son to the ER because he was having trouble breathing! Yes, he is doing better. Yes, we are back home. He has severe RSV with possible asthmatic wheezing. Oh. JOY! (insert completely sarcastic voice)
Okay, back to our DIY project! (I need to decompress and blogging is the perfect solution!)
After you’ve gathered your supplies, you’ll want to make sure you have a clear space to not only apply the Mod Podge to your tiles, but also a place to lie them flat for drying. So, here we go:
Step 1: Paint the back side of your tile with a generous coat of Mod Podge. I used the matte for this step since it wouldn’t be seen. If you have to buy Mod Podge, I recommend buying the Gloss-Lustre since you’re going to put it over the photos too. Or try making your own using this recipe – I’ve not tried yet, but will as soon as my supply runs out. (Sorry I don’t have a picture of this step.)  Why are you coating the back side? Well, I found with my travertine tiles that the “dust” was coming off when they were handled. So, just a simple coat of Mod Podge will seal all that “dust” in!!
Step 2: Take your 4×4 pictures and your photo trimmer. We’re actually going to trim them down so they will have a small border of tile for the Mod Podge to really adhere to. Plus, I think it looks better with a border rather than just a full picture tile (at least for this project).  Start by lining your picture up ½ way between the 4” and 3 ¾” mark (view 1).

This will trim off about 1/8” each side and shrinking the picture about ¼” on the top & side. (view 2)

If you do enough pictures, you’ll have a nice little pile like this one! (Not sure why I took this picture, but I guess it was important so I should include it.)

Step 3: Center the picture on your tile (pic) to make sure you know where you’re going to place it once the Mod Podge is on and to make sure you’ve trimmed it evenly. (This may be an extra and anal step, but I’d rather be safe than sorry!)

Step 4: Coat top side of tile with Mod Podge going in one direction. So, if you’re stroking down, continue stroking down all the way across the tile. Then, you can go the opposite direction to ensure you’ve coated it completely.

Step 5: Carefully place picture onto coated tile. And set aside to dry. Approx 15 minutes. If you’re doing multiple coasters, you can probably do an assembly line and by the time you’re done placing the pictures on you can go back to the first tile & move on to Step 6.

Step 6: FIRST make sure your picture is really stuck down good. (Now how hick did that sound? Even typing it I hear this nice, sweet hick voice – obviously not mine, but one I’d like to have!) Once you know its ‘secure’ you can begin the first of two top coats. I always start with the downward stroke, so that’s what we’ll say – Start with the downward stroke & continue across the entire tile. This coating is very thin & just enough to cover the picture (see photo). DO NOT OVER COAT or your picture will wrinkle & bubble. Also, try to make your lines as straight as possible, as it will enhance the overall effect of the finished product. Set aside & continue on down the assembly line. Let them dry at least 30 minutes this time.

Step 7: AGAIN, make sure the last coating is dry before moving on. Once you know it’s dry, you’re going to do another thin coat of Mod Podge – only this time you’re going to go from side to side. (see photo – this is my husband finishing up for me AND taking a picture!! Isn’t he the GREATEST?!) I usually turn the tile so I’m stroking up & down again, only the picture is turned. That’s just the way my brain works, but apparently the hubster’s brain is far more advanced & he can do it this way! WOW!!! Aren’t you ladies jealous now?!

Now, I left them overnight to dry at this point. I wanted to make sure they were completely dry before packing them up for gifts.

This is what your final product should look like up close. A nice linen-type look. Isn’t it beautiful? Of course, the cutie-patootie little girl with her tongue sticking out makes them just that much cuter, right?! I love that girl! And yes…her tongue is out pretty much all the time!

Step 8: Adhere the felt (or rubber) pads on the bottom 4 corners. (no picture, sorry)
TIP: If you use the felt pads, make absolutely sure the Mod Podge is COMPLETELY dry before you stack them. My felt pads stuck to the Mod Podge. See where there are smudges in the bottom corners? Yep, that’s from the felt sticking to the pictures. I think I can fix them with another coat of Mod Podge, but I honestly haven’t tried yet. (I’ll be sure and post how that turns out.)
NOTE: Given the choice, I would go with the rubber feet.They shouldn’t stick to the Mod Podge andthey would not slide around on the furniture either. WIN-WIN!!
Now, sit back & admire your handiwork!!!!
Let me know if you try these fun and easy photo coasters!
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Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet all her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating fun and engaging printables, unit studies and curriculum for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about marriage, parenting, and homeschooling all while maintaining her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers, where she shares free printables and resources from around the web as well as deals on curriculum and homeschooling resources. You can also keep up with her via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. the coasters are so cute !! Thanks for sharing the "how to". Love it !

  2. Thank you!! I love how they turned out!! I even did larger "family" picture tiles that I just might have to post sometime. Super simple and FUN!!!

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