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DIY Photo Coasters and Gift Idea!

I pin a lot random things (like DIY photo coasters).  I forget where I pin them. Eventually, I get bored, sift through my pins, and get inspired.

When I needed a wedding shower gift idea for Tom’s brother, I wanted to do something personal.  I had taken their engagement pictures, and I knew I wanted to incorporate them somehow.  Eventually, I found something completely inspired me.  I emailed my trusty sidekicks, Erin and Elizabeth, and decided to push forward on the project.

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journey of doing - DIY Photo Coasters and Gift IdeaP I N I T


DIY Photo Coasters – from Oopsey Daisy Blog

DIY Photo Coasters – Materials

  • 4.25″x4.25″ ceramic tiles (Mine were .16 at Home Depot. .16!!)
  • Photos (I ordered 4″x5″ photos and cut them down to by 4″x4″. I also used matte photos, because the resin is high gloss… and becauseiforgottochooseglossy.)
  • Glue that will adhere to ceramics (I used E3000.)
  • EnviroTex Lite Resin
  • Drinking straw
  • Felt mounting circles

journey of doing - diy photo coasters and gift ideaP I N I T

DIY Photo Coasters – Directions

1. Glue your photos to the tiles. I put a piece of paper over the photo (so I didn’t cover the picture with fingerprints) and used the straight edge of a ruler to make sure it adhered securely and completely.

2. Mix resin mixture in a disposable container using a disposable mixer according to directions. (See my notes below for details on what NOT to do.)  Pour a small amount of resin onto the photo-covered tile and spread evenly.  I used a flat cake spatula to scrape off excess.  Move finished tiles to a clean workspace to let tiles set and dry. Blow out any air bubbles through a straw if needed.  (I didn’t have too many bubbles.)

3. Let tiles set. After 10 hours, mine were “soft set” and no longer sticky.  I moved them to another cleaner area to finish drying.  After 24 hours, they were hard set. After 48 hours, I felt comfortable putting the felt mounts on the back of the tiles

4. That’s it. Seriously.  It’s one of the easiest projects EVER. They dry beautifully with a gorgeous glossy sheen.

journey of doing - diy photo coasters and gift ideaP I N I T

journey of doing - diy photo coasters and gift ideaP I N I T

DIY Photo Coasters – Notes:

If I had more time, I would have done these again just to redo the small imperfections that bugged me. I did learn a few things while doing this project:

  • Use a glue that is ceramic friendly. E3000 is supposed to be, but I think there may be more adhesive glue for ceramics.
  • Mix your resin in a disposable container with a disposable utensil.  It’s really difficult to clean off things.  I pretty much got it everywhere.  I managed to mostly clean it off, but I also ruined a knife by not cleaning it soon enough.
  • Less is more when it comes to the resin. I would use a disposable paintbrush to apply the resin.  I think it would have gone on more evenly and smoothly with the paintbrush – and I wouldn’t have used as much.  Or made quite as big of a mess.
  • Make sure you transfer the coasters to a clean (covered) surface to try.  If you look closely at my pictures you can see I left them sitting in the excess resin, which led to difficulties when trying to loosen them from the surface.

DIY Photo Coasters – Gift Idea

  • Wrap the coasters up with ribbon in sets of 4! (I made 10, lost 1 to sticking on the surface, and didn’t want to give the awkward number of 9.)
  • Add a set of white coffee mugs… because who can’t use a set of mugs??
  • In conclusion, I think this would be a great idea to do with all those travel photos I keep taking!

journey of doing - diy photo coasters and gift ideaP I N I T



  • erin vancura - I seriously love these! And I’m totally going to make them!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - this is fabulous! i’ve pinned these coasters before too, but props to you for actually making them! it makes me want to try them for real too 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Quiddity - Lesson I’m learning right now … make sure your photos are really, really down and secured and dried and STUCK because once that resin goes on, it’ll get under edges. Good thing I got two copies of all of the pictures. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Sara Elizabeth - Quiddity – you are so right!

      It is good to have duplicates the first go around, because there are a ton of lessons to be learned!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Cupcake N Dreams - What an amazing idea! They are useful and I’m sure they will treasure them for years to come!

    Amanda @ Cupcake N DreamsReplyCancel

  • Kasie Chelanne - Hi Sara, it’s so wonderful to be back to blogging and connecting! These coasters are a genius gift idea. I can think of A LOT of family members of mine who would love to get them for Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • All the Fall Days » journey of doing - […] DIY Photo Coasters and Gift Idea! […]ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - That is a pretty awesome gift idea. I need to start thinking about Christmas. Argh. :-/ReplyCancel

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