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 the photos somehow. Eventually, I found something completely inspired me. I emailed my trusty sidekicks, Erin and Elizabeth, and decided to push forward on the project. This would be the perfect DIY travel souvenir using your own photos, too.
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Materials Necessary to DIY Photo Coasters
- 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
Directions to Create Your Own Photo Coasters
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.
Notes on Making Photo Coasters:
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.
How to Gift It:
- 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 or coffee mugs from your destination. (These would be really fun with a variety of mugs from different European Christmas markets!!)
- In conclusion, I think this would be a great idea to do with all those travel photos that we keep taking!