How to Make Photo Tile Coasters

Show off your photography with these DIY photo tile coasters
Show off your photography with these DIY photo tile coasters | Source

Prinstagram Prints are Amazing

This Hub isn't a plug at all for Prinstagram, but I have to say that I am so amazed by their site.

The photos arrive within 2 days of ordering and are printed on cardstock. I bought 4x4 Instagram prints, which were exactly the right size for the coaster project. I also ordered some 4x6 prints from my Facebook page, which are of such high quality, I can use them as postcards.

My only dilemma is how to part with my printed photographs, let alone my completed photo tile coasters! And now, I am ordering additional photographs for future projects, as well.

These Tile Coasters are a Fun Way to Show off Instagram Photos

If you are like me, you probably have taken hundreds of cell phone photographs, which have never seen the light of day.

Recently, I decided that I wanted to make prints of my Instragram photographs so that I could share and enjoy them. Not only did I find an amazing site from which you can order prints of your Instagram and Facebook photos (Printsagram) but I also came upon instructions to make photo tile coasters.**

I did some additional research and noted that there are a number of different ways to create these personalized photograph keepsakes. As I shopped for the supplies and reviewed a variety of suggestions, I decided to make this project my own - following some of the advice, and disregarding other tips.

The end result is amazing! My kids are thrilled to have their images on the photo tile coasters. We have memorable gifts for Mother's Day, school teachers and - of course - grandparents!

**Note that you may also order Instragram prints from sites such as Shutterfly and Foxgram.com, although I have not personally used their services

Applying the first coat of Mod Podge on my photo tile coasters
Applying the first coat of Mod Podge on my photo tile coasters | Source

Items You Need to Make Photo Tile Coasters

  • Your favorite photograph prints, either ordered or trimmed to 4x4 inches
  • Plain white ceramic tile squares 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches square (I got mine at Lowe's for 19 cents each)
  • Mod Podge - I used Matte finish, but you can experiment with glossy, as well
  • Sponge brushes
  • Clear acrylic coating spray
  • Newspapers or paper towels on which to work
  • Self-adhesive felt pads for the bottom of the finished coasters (4 each)
  • A ruler or credit card for running across the photos after they are glued on the tile
  • A scrapbook paper cutter for trimming photos (optional)
  • Super fine sandpaper (optional)

Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Photo Tile Coasters

1. Select and crop (if necessary) photographs you wish to use for the project

2. Purchase the supplies you need (listed to the right)

3. Prepare a clean, dry work surface and cover with newspapers or paper towels

4. Make sure the tiles are clean and free of debris - a smooth surface is required

5. With a sponge brush, lightly apply Mod Podge to the entire back of a selected photograph, focusing on the edges and corners, and position on the top of the tile, face up. Minimize bumps and excess adhesive by pulling a ruler or credit card over the top of the photo; remove any glue on the edges of the photograph.

6. Allow tiles to completely dry for at least 30 minutes, then apply a light, thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the tiles and photographs.

7. When the first coat is dry (approximately 1 hour), apply another coat, allow to dry again, and repeat 2-3 times.

8. Tiles should dry overnight and then lightly spray acrylic gloss over the tops of the tiles

9. Wait an hour and then apply four small felt coasters on the bottom of the tiles, in the corners to prevent scratching

10. If desired, lightly sandpaper top of photo tile coasters with super fine sandpaper

Get Ready to Make Photo Tile Coasters

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Plain white ceramic tiles are a bargain for this DIY photo coaster projectItems you will need to make photo coastersUse a ruler to help securely adhere photos to the tiles and remove excess glueYou may need to trim your favorite photos to a 4x4 inch size for your coastersSelf-adhesive felt circles applied to the bottom of the coasters
Plain white ceramic tiles are a bargain for this DIY photo coaster project
Plain white ceramic tiles are a bargain for this DIY photo coaster project | Source
Items you will need to make photo coasters
Items you will need to make photo coasters | Source
Use a ruler to help securely adhere photos to the tiles and remove excess glue
Use a ruler to help securely adhere photos to the tiles and remove excess glue | Source
You may need to trim your favorite photos to a 4x4 inch size for your coasters
You may need to trim your favorite photos to a 4x4 inch size for your coasters | Source
Self-adhesive felt circles applied to the bottom of the coasters
Self-adhesive felt circles applied to the bottom of the coasters | Source

How to Use Instagram

What Photos Will You Use for Your Coaster Project?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Nature shots work well for photo tile coastersMy favorites are created using photos of my family, pets and special placesTwo coats of Mod Podge on the tile coasters
Nature shots work well for photo tile coasters
Nature shots work well for photo tile coasters | Source
My favorites are created using photos of my family, pets and special places
My favorites are created using photos of my family, pets and special places | Source
Two coats of Mod Podge on the tile coasters
Two coats of Mod Podge on the tile coasters | Source

Are you Inspired to Be Creative with your Photographs?

What Happens to the Digital Photographs You Take?

  • Nothing - they stay on my camera, computer and/or phone
  • I sometimes share them on social media sites
  • We make photo books, scrapbooks and frame our favorite shots
  • Any project like this looks amazing! I cannot wait to make these photo tile coasters
See results without voting

Tips for Success in Making Photo Tile Coasters

Through trial and error, we learned a few things that will help your photo tile coasters look the best!

First, use fresh, new Mod Podge. It's a waterbase sealer, glue and finish. Like other similar products, the quality deteriorates over time. Mod Podge is relatively inexpensive and can be found at just about any craft store for about $5 for 8 fluid ounces.

Second, don't over-saturate your sponge brushes! Remove excess fluid before applying to prevent bubbles and streaks. Between coats, be sure to rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Also, make sure the cap to the Mod Podge is securely tightened.

Third, when originally applying the photograph to the tile, use a ruler or credit card to carefully pull over the top of the photo from left to right, and then top to bottom. Any excess Mod Podge that is pushed to the edges of the tile should be immediately wiped with the sponge brush to remove.

Fourth, when applying Mod Podge coats, use light, even strokes in the same direction. This way, even though it will appear cloudy/white when you initially apply, it should dry clear.

Fifth, allow each coat to fully dry before applying another coat, at least 1 hour for the first coat, adding an additional hour to dry for each additional coat. Do not apply acrylic coating until the photo tiles have dried overnight.

Finally, using superfine sandpaper over the top of the tiles when finished is optional. We think that the finished product looked shinier and more impressive!

Use Art or Scrapbooking Supplies to Create Other Tile Coasters

My kids enjoyed making these photo tile coasters with me!
My kids enjoyed making these photo tile coasters with me! | Source

Enjoy Your Photo Tile Coasters or Gift Them!

We made about 20 tile coasters with our Instagram photos in a single weekend. I'm keeping 4 of them for our family and we will be giving the others, in groups of 4, to my in-laws, parents and sisters.

Be very careful in transporting the tiles, as they are quite breakable. If you are giving the coasters as a gift, be sure to carefully wrap each one in ample tissue paper, individually, before placing into a gift bag or box. My mother has already requested her own instructions for making photo tile coasters, so you may wish to include a note with this URL for your gift recipient's reference.

Let me know in the comment section below if you create the photo tile coasters, and how they turned out!

© 2014 Stephanie Hicks

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24 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I had to check to see if that was really you writing this. LOL You are just full of surprises, aren't you? Nice craft project here; still way beyond my capabilities, but I know some people who will greatly enjoy this. Nice job, Steph!


Robie Benve profile image

Robie Benve 2 years ago from Ohio

What a great project/idea! I love the photo where you show your kids doing it. :) I wonder if there could be a less breakable base than ceramic tiles, it would make sure people actually use them without being too afraid to ruin them (as my mom would be, for example ;)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

hahaha Bill! :-) Yes, full of surprises. I love photography and this project was right up my alley. Super easy, by the way. Just like building those $1 greenhouses of pallets!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Robie,

Good question - I am sure there are plastic/resin alternatives available for this photo coaster project. Let me research and I'll post a link for you! Cheers, Steph


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Very cute idea. I like anything that includes getting photos off the computer and back into our lives. Memories are made to be relived! Pinning this onto my Crafts board!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you! I appreciate the read, comment and pin. I'm very excited to make more of these photo tile coasters. They turned out great!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub and thanks for sharing.

Eddy.


prestonandkate profile image

prestonandkate 2 years ago from the Midwest

GREAT project! Thanks for sharing! -Kate


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Kate! It was easy, fun and the coasters turned out so amazing! Cheers, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you so much Eddy!! Best to you, Steph


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Very nice tutorial on this project, and inspiring. Neat idea to include url with gifts. :)

You've got me thinking about making these with mini art prints--thanks!

Thanks, too, for sharing re your Printstagram experience.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you very much! I have lots of craft ideas for these Instagram prints. So appreciate your review and comment! All the best, Steph


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 2 years ago from Philippines

This is way cool Steph! I tried making some photo coasters before but I used cork board. However it was rather hard to trim the board perfectly. Maybe I should try the tiles as you used here. Thanks very much for sharing! Rated up, useful and beautiful!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Jill! Thank you, and do let me know how the tiles turn out. I brought 4 to my parents when I visited them this weekend for a hostess gift. They loved the photo tile coasters! :) Best, Steph


Rozalyn Winters 2 years ago

This is a great gift idea. I thought about maybe using Facebook photos that my friends have and putting them on the tiles.


Whidbeywriter profile image

Whidbeywriter 2 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

I have been wanting to make these, so glad I found this hub thank you so much. I have some awesome photos I can use especially floral and lighthouses, so excited. Thank you again - I will share this hub with others as well.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Wow! These coasters look awesome, sound easy to make and compared to the $20 to $30 per set of 4 costs of similar coasters in gift shops, are a real bargain to make.

Your directions are very clear and I like the tips you provided.

Voted up across the board except for funny, and shared.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 2 years ago from America

I just remembered my daughter-in-law has some wood coasters in her yard sale. I think I'll go get them and try this on wood. Enjoyed your hub thanks for sharing. Voted up.


bettyshares profile image

bettyshares 2 years ago from Lighthearted Musings

I like this because I have a lot of photos from my summer vacation that I want to put into a photo album or collage. I like this photo tile coasters.


SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

Great project, terrific instructions! Reminds me of my Cub Scout den mothering days.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 2 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you Susan - excellent idea for scouting groups! Cheers, Steph


AprilApril profile image

AprilApril 23 months ago from England

This looks good. I will have to try this :)


Marie Gail profile image

Marie Gail 23 months ago from Olathe, KS

Love this idea, Steph! I've been playing around a lot with the camera on my cell phone to get pics for HubPages and my blog. There are certainly a few of those shots that need to be printed, and incidentally I could use a new set of coasters.


Blessed Success profile image

Blessed Success 12 months ago from Kansas City, Kansas

Great idea for gifts! Thanks for sharing.

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