Holiday Gifts From The Heart: DIY Photo Coasters

I love making personal gifts for the holidays. However, one must be careful to not be that friend that knits everybody an ugly, over-sized sweater. Sometimes sentiment is lost in failed DIY gifts. These photo coasters are a very safe bet. Who doesn't like photos and having a place to set their drink?

For this coaster set in the photos below, I used photos of bicycles I had taken over the years and made a set for my bicycle-loving mother. Some photos were taken with my professional camera while others were simply camera phone pics that I had put on Instagram. Any time mom said she liked one of my bike pics I made a mental note and had them all printed when it came time for the project. She absolutely loved them and uses them everyday!

Photo crafts are a great way to display your photography outside of the traditional wall hangings. If you are a photographer and have strong crafting confidence, these coasters could be a great gift to clients, using some of their favorite photos from their photo session.

Don't worry if you aren't a photographer. The coasters are perfect for your favorite Instagram photos and they already have the square cropping so no need to resize any of your images. I did another set in beach scenes from another recent trip. If you don't have theme in mind, just mix it up.

Oh, and the best part: its under $20.


What You’ll Need:

– (6) 4×4 white ceramic tiles (found at Home Depot) $.40 each
– (6) 4×4 printed photos (I use ProDpi but any lab should be able to print this size) $.45 each
Mod Podge $7.00
– Small, 1-inch foam brush $1.00
– Self-adhesive felt pads $4.00

Step 1:

Remove backing from felt pads and stick 1 to each corner of each tile. You can do this step last if you wish but be sure that the tiles have completely dried before flipping them over to add the pads.

Step 2:

Brush a layer of Mod Podge on the front of the tile. Make sure to brush all the way to the corners so that the photo sticks well.

Step 3:

Place the photo on the wet tile and allow to dry in place while you apply the other photos to their tiles.

If you are feeling brave, I have also done photo projects like this using epoxy instead of Mod Podge. It would render a smoother result but does take more skill and can be more time consuming.


Step 4:

Apply the Mod Podge to the top of the photo with the foam brush. Use long strokes and be sure to go over the edge of the tile to cover the edges of the photo.

Step 5:

Allow the Mod Podge to dry for about 3 days. It can be a bit tacky to the touch before that.

I love these coasters and may have to make a few more sets before the season is up. Hope you enjoy the project.

Happy Holidays!

Durango Colorado Photographers Blog - Alexi Hubbell Photography