How to Make Ceramic Photo Tile Coasters
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 Instagram 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! We store our personalized tile coasters on the lower shelf of our coffee table for easy access and use. I always get compliments on the coasters and questions on how to make them!
**Note that you may also order Instagram prints from sites such as Shutterfly and Foxgram.com, although I have not personally used their services. I have not been compensated for any comments or opinions concerning any services reviewed in this article.
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)
- - I used Matte finish, but you can experiment with glossy, as well Mod Podge
- 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 CoastersClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Use Instagram
What Photos Will You Use for Your Coaster Project?Click thumbnail to view full-size
Are you Inspired to Be Creative with your Photographs?
What Happens to the Digital Photographs You Take?
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
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 Marshall