I don’t know about you, but rather than just getting someone a gift card for every occasion, or checking something off of their Amazon wish list, I like to make something a little bit more personal. Homemade gifts, or gifts that are truly tailored to a person, show how much thought and care went in to them.
This year for Christmas, I thought I would follow this idea and make a homemade gift for my best friend. She was recently married this year, and her wedding photos were beautiful. I’m sure she has some framed, or some are tucked away in a wedding album, but I thought a creative way to have some displayed would be on coasters. Even if they aren’t used as coasters, making photo tiles is a cute way to display pictures on walls or shelves.
To make these photo coasters you’ll need:
- Modge Podge
- Foam Brush
- Acrylic Setting Spray
- Hot Glue
The photos I used for this project were 4 x 6 and I just cut them down to fit on the 4 x 4 tiles I purchased at a craft store. First things first, cut your photos so that they fit on your tiles, with room to spare on the sides if you’d like. Once everything is in order, apply a thin layer of Modge Podge to the back of your photos, and adhere to the tiles. Press firmly and wait for this to dry completely.
Once totally dry, you’ll want to apply thin layers of Modge Podge to the top of the photos. You’ll be able to see the white residue until it dries completely, so don’t panic. Apply one full layer, moving left to right on the photo, and using even brush strokes. After each layer dries, repeat until you have 3 layers on top of the photos.
Next, we will want to seal the photo in and make it waterproof. Place newspaper or something underneath your tiles so that you don’t get acrylic spray everywhere (or take your tiles outside). Evenly spray each tile with acrylic spray and let dry completely. Take your time with this step, you want each layer to be totally dry before you continue moving on to the next. Overall, you’ll want to apply about 4 layers of spray to make sure it’s finished.
Let your tiles dry and sit before trying to apply a backing (I let my tiles sit overnight to make sure they were totally dry and not tacky). You can either apply felt, cork pieces, or hot glue. I chose to do hot glue squares for these tiles, I think they make a cute barrier so the tiles don’t scratch tables. For this I just applied a little square on each corner of the back of the tile, let this dry, and flip over. Your tiles are done!Wrap up and get ready to give a personal gift everyone will love!Notes:
- It’s important not to rush the process. Let everything dry between steps to make sure all of the layers go on smooth. You’ll be able to get these done in one day, but I’d advise letting the spray dry over night before applying a backing to your tiles.
- When you first apply the Modge Podge to the photo, it will look like it’s got a harsh white residue, this will go away, but make sure your brush strokes are even because you will be able to see some signs of lines once it’s dry.
- If you’re planning to have your photo tiles hang on walls or be more of a display piece rather than sit on a coffee table, you can skip the step of applying a backing to the tile.
- Mix things up, cut your photos in fun designs, add a filter to the photos, or decorate the tile afterwords… Personalizing your coasters is the best part!
- When I used the acrylic spray on my tiles, it ate away at the white coloring. I didn’t mind this, I actually liked the distressed look, but if you want sleek tiles, or an alternate color, try painting your tile first.
- For reference, I used glossy Modge Podge, and my acrylic spray was Tree House Studio Clear Acrylic High Gloss Coating. I also picked my coasters up from Michaels in a little bundle.
Hope you enjoyed this easy DIY. These are coming in handy for me for a few personalized, and even last minute gift ideas! If you end up trying, tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see (@whatpaigeblog).
Until next time,
*This post contains links that will re-direct you to find the products I used in making these tiles. They are not affiliate links, just a helpful resource for you!