How to make personalised photo tile coasters

Last Christmas I was debating what to get my best friend for a present…I’ve exhausted a lot of my brilliant ideas, and the pressure’s on because she’s been really pleased and chuffed with the really thoughtful presents that she’s loved and been totally surprised at.  I had some nice photos of her son and some of the places we’d met up over the year, so thought I’d use those to create a handmade present.

Of course time moves on so quickly, that I never got round to actually making anything, but I’d stored up some of the ideas I’d seen on Pinterest to try out at some point.  I’d spotted some photo tile coasters and decided I fancied trying those.

homemade photo tiles - Bubbablueandme

You can’t beat a bit of modge podging, so tiles duly bought (the young guys on the till thought I was very strange just buying 6 individual different tiles), and photos sized and printed off, I was set to make them.  For me printing is always the nightmare part because my printer doesn’t work (too dust filled I think from being on the floor), and work is all about resource efficiency, so printing isn’t really meant to happen.  Coloured printing in print shops is seriously expensive, so it’s definitely important to plan if that’s you need to do.

I loved the way the coasters turned out, it’s a great way to show off abstract, scenic or macro photos, and they’re useful too.  Great for new home presents and birthdays.  Or even thank you presents for teachers – especially if you use nice photos rather than ones of the children.  I’m not sure teachers want hundreds of pictures of past students watching them from around their house

There’s a couple of ways you can make these.

The first method is much easier and quicker. The second creates a more muted look on the tiles requires a bit more effort, and one I’m going to try soon with our leftover tiles.  .

Easy photo tiles coasters

photo tiles equipment

  • Tiles – any size, we used standard size 4×4 inches.  White’s sensible to make the photos pop, but you could go for different colours if you want.  Aim for a matt finish, rather than gloss.
  • Photos – resize to the size you want.  You can go right to the tile edges, but it’s nice to have a border round
  • Modge podge, or similar glue/varnish.
  • Foam brush or similar – I just used a normal thick cheap paintbrush
  • Sealant spray or varnish if you want to make them water tight and sit hot drinks on them.
  • Felt pads, or felt

felt pads for photo tiles

How to make your coasters:

  1. Wipe clean your tiles, and dry, making sure there’s no fluff or dust left on them

  2. Cut out the photos and put a thin layer of modge podge on the tiles.

  3. Place photos on tiles and brush a thin layer of modge podge over the photo to stick it down firm.  Watch out for any air bubbles and wrinkles.  They’re easily removed.

  4. Underneath, write a little message, note or description with a Sharpie.

  5. Add further thin layers on top allowing them to dry in between

4 homemade photo tile coasters

  1. Spray sealant on.

  2. Turn over the coasters and stick on the felt pads for protectors.  If you can’t find felt pads (I got mine in a pound shop), just cut felt to size and glue gun it on in the corners.

stick the felt pads on the back of tiles

I think the coasters look stunning.  You could use one photo for the set, or like I did, choose photos along a theme or colour.

photo tile coasters 2

I’m looking forward to making more of these.  They’re really easy, cheap to make, and brilliant for gifts.  They just need some twine wrapped round and a nice gift tag and they’re ready to give.  Just choose photos of either the recipient’s occasions, or just abstract photos.

4 homemade photo tiles

Do you use photos in your crafting?  What do you make?

Why not try these posts

make a pretty origami flower notelet   make your own reusable bags   science party and make science bunting

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