guest post: from a miss to a mrs {diy photo coasters}

Please join me in welcoming Nikki to this side on the Internet! She blogs over at From a Miss to a Mrs, where she shares money saving tips, crafts, and stories about life in general. Lucky for you, she’s sharing wonderful DIY photo coasters on my blog today:


Hi bloggers!! Thank you soo much to Rachel for letting me introduce myself and share my blog and my new project with you!! I blog over at From A Miss to a Mrs. and I talk about… life in general. I’m 25, a newlywed, mom to 3 dogs, homeowner, budgeter and wedding planner. I like to read, shop, use my crock pot and blog about real life trying to balance all my jobs with being a good wife. We have a lot of fun over there so come visit!!

For my guest post, I wanted to share with you a crafty and money saving project I’m doing for the holidays: photo coasters. I saw these from a facebook friend awhile back, and found so many different tutorials for how to do it when I googled it. None of them were the same, so I decided to just make it up as I went along and hope it worked.  I got really lucky, and the below is what worked for me!!
We’re trying to save money and have big families and lots of friends, so this project as gifts is amazing. I spent a total of $55 and I will get 52 total coasters ( for 13 people/families) which I think is pretty good :)

So to do this project you will need:
*Photos -4×6 or so. Walgreens prints 4 x 5.5 ones for digital camera or phone photos which work perfectly.
 ( I recommend getting them professionally printed from CVS or Walgreens as opposed to printing them yourself. They seal them differently so the photos take the sealant and mod podge better without smearing).
*4×4 tiles (I got these at Lowe’s for .16 apiece. They are just plain off white bathroom tiles)
*Mod Podge (I used glossy)
*Clear acrylic sealer (I used Patricia Nimocks clear acrylic sealer in gloss from Michael’s Craft store, but Tree House Clear Acrylic was also recommended)
*Hot glue gun
*Sponge brush

A few notes: make sure you select photos with plenty of background since you’ll need to trim them to fit the tile. I had one that was too zoomed in and I didn’t realize it til I got home to start my project.

Also, you don’t HAVE to do the felt portion, I just like it because it keeps the coasters from sliding around, or scraping people’s table (the back of the tiles is really rough) so I thought it was an easy step in the long run.

1. Lay a few tiles at a time out on cardboard or newspaper.  Mod podge is sticky and the acrylic spray..sprays so make sure you have plenty of usable are. Then, to start, take the picture and lay it on the tile, then trim around as needed till the photo is slightly smaller than the tile.

2. Use the sponge brush and lightly brush a coat of mod podge onto the tile. Now, you can do this two ways- brush the mod podge onto the photo or brush it onto the tile.  I found that brushing it directly onto the tile was easier, then I just SLOWLY put the photo down and pressed it down evenly to stick.  When I tried putting it on the back of the picture I mod podged my fingers.

3. Let that coat dry for awhile ( like, 12 hours) then come back and do a light coat of mod podge on the top of the photo.  Make sure to use light and even brush strokes, and only go from left to right. The lines will show slightly after the project is done, so it’s important to keep the strokes even and light. No globbies of mod podge!

4. Let it dry another 12-16 hours, and apply a second coat of mod podge to the top of the photo.
Let THAT dry another 12-16 hours and apply a third coat.

5. After the third coat, I let the whole thing dry for a full day, just to make sure it was allllllll good to go. I don’t want smudges or anything.

6. Then I took them outside and laid out newspaper. I used my spray and did light and even coats on the top of the coasters, and made sure I included all 4 sides too (without getting too close or spraying in one spot too long) as with anything in a spray can, keep it a safe distance from the project and use even and light coats. No globbing!!

7. I did a total of 5 coats of acrylic spray since this is what seals the project and keeps it waterproof.  I let each coat dry for between 2 and 8 hours (depending on work) before doing the next coat. and after the 5th coat dried, they were glossy and mostly hard.  When I sprayed, it looked brown on the cardboard but it’s not.  I also made sure to get around the sides on each coat so it was completely sealed.

I would definitely recommend letting them dry for another 2-4 days after the final coat is applied, just to make sure everything is nice and hard before you stack them together or turn the over!

8. Then I flipped them over, and cut squares of felt to fit slightly smaller than the back of the tile. Side note: felt has a grain, so if you’re finding it hard to cut, turn it around. Some ways it’s impossible but other ways it’s super easy! (I just used brown felt since it was neutral) then simply heat up your glue gun and put hot glue in wiggly lines down the back of the felt, then stick it securely to the tile and let dry for another few hours.

Now that they’re all dried up, I’m going to stack them in groups of 4 and tie them in ribbon, then put them in gift bags with nice paper.  I do think I’m going to let them sit out for a few more days though, since I’ve got time till the holidays and I want to make 100% sure they don’t stick to each other once stacked.

I apologize for the bad iphone photos, my new camera is coming in a few weeks and then there will be all sorts of amazing photos to share!! I hope you all enjoyed my project and can’t wait for you to come say hi :)


I hope you enjoyed today’s guest post — I know I did, and I can’t wait to make my own coasters! Be sure to check out Nikki’s blog for other fun posts. :)


Filed Under: DIY, Guest Post, Sponsors7 Comments
  • Helene

    love this!! what a great idea!

  • Karla

    I love Nikki and I love this cool DIY! =)

  • Helen Woodward

    Ooh I am doing something similar for Christmas presents, but didn’t think of using photos, great idea! Just found your blog through the GFC blog hop :)

  • Stephanie F

    Such a sweet idea!

  • Maria Lipkin

    What a great idea! I’m stopping by and following along from the followers to friends blog party. :)

  • Bailey- I Know All the Words

    that is such a cute project!

    new follower, found on the F to F blog hop :D

  • Bunny Girl

    Great DIY!