DIY Photo Tile Coasters

It’s Thrifty Thursday and through the month of December I am showing off some inexpensive gift ideas. Today I’m showing a tutorial for DIY Photo Coasters.
I have seen a few versions of photo coasters around but most of them seemed far too complicated. I knew their had to be an easier way….and I was going to find it! I gathered up my supplies; pretty stone tiles, Mod Podge, and some photos.
I decided to just print out the pictures that I wanted to use on white cardstock. I cut them down to size, which was a tad smaller than the surface of the tile.
I used Mod Podge to decoupage the fronts of the tile and the backs of the photos. Once that was dry I gave the top a couple more coats of Mod Podge.
I really wanted to seal the coasters well and protect the images from sweaty drinks. I decided to give the Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer a try. I gave each coaster several coats of sealer, making sure to cover the entire tops.
Once I felt that there was enough layers of sealer on the tiles I added some thin cork to the bottoms of them to protect my table tops.
Very inexpensive but what a beautiful finished product! To top it off, I did successfully find a simple way to create these stunning gifts!!!
I love the stone tiles so much, they add a fun rustic feel to the coasters and the colors just happen to work perfectly with the photos that I choose.
So what are you waiting for? This gift idea is both personal and inexpensive! What’s not to love?
Maybe using pictures for your coasters isn’t really an option. What about some beautiful sheet music coasters? I have some for sale now in my Etsy shop!
Linking up to these great link parties!!!


  1. Cute! Mod Podge is my new favorite thing.

  2. These are so cute! Thanks for sharing. I’m dying to try this with my favorite photos! I am a new follower and your blog is too cute. I look forward to reading more posts. I’d appreciate it if you stopped by my blog and followed me back. Thanks!

  3. These look so great. What a personal, inexpensive gift 🙂


  4. So fun Courtney! Great last minute gift idea too!

  5. I am your newest Follower. I LOVE this blog, you have such great ideas:D Hope you will take a minute to visit at

  6. Love them

  7. I am going to make these! Last night, I happened across 4 nice stone coasters that a friend was getting rid of. Score! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  8. I would love to make these..but can’t seem to find the plain coasters. Any suggestions on where to look? Thanks!!

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  10. Go to Lowes, Home Depot, etc. and buy inexpensive tiles. I have been giving coaster sets as gifts but now will try some photos!

  11. Purchase inexpensive tiles from Lowes, Home Depot, etc. I have been making monogrammed coasters as gifts but can’t wait to try the pictures!

  12. Did you use actual photo paper? I’d imagine that would cut down on the bleeding that might take place if you use regular printer paper with an inkjet printer. I love this tutorial! Thanks for putting it up 🙂

  13. They make modge podge in a spray can?! You just changed my life. Using photos is such a cute idea!

  14. I’ve seen other ideas just for black and white pictures. What keeps the color from smearing? Is it because you spray the modge podge and not brush it on?

  15. Wow, these are beautiful. And they would make great Christmas gifts. Thanks for a great tutorial.

    I would love it if you would share this at the Smart Solutions linky party. You can link up here:

    Have a great day!

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  17. Just using the acrylic sealer doesn’t work as well over time to protect the photos when used as coasters. If you were just using them as photo tiles to hang, it’s perfect. For a proper waterproofed seal use resin! Michael’s just started selling it for about $16 a can.

  18. I tried this and they turned out super cute, but when I put a hot coffee mug on them, it seems to be melting the modge podge, leaving an indented ring, ans sticking to the mug. Any suggestions or how to stop this?

  19. I tried this and they turned out super cute and it was a fast and fun project. However, I have found that hot mugs sort of melt the modge podge, causing an indented ring and the mug to stick to the coaster. Any suggestions on how to avoid this and has anyone else had this problem?

    • I did not have this problem. Did you do several layers of the sprayable Mod Podge clear acrylic???

    • I read that for the final spray you should spray with Rustoleum Crystal Clear Enamel. They sell it in call parts stores like AutoZone and Oreiley’s and it is supposed to protect up to 500 degrees! 😉

      • I seal with an enamel engine paint (3 coats) and yes the can says it is good up to 500 degrees, but a hot coffee cup will still leave a mark on the coaster.

        • I can’t speak to the effectiveness of engine paint because that is not what I used. I made mine the way the tutorial states and have used hot and cold drinks on the coasters without issues.

        • Michael Beseau says:

          We just purchased Dupli-color engine enamel to use on our trivets and we were told that after you spray them you need to cure them in the oven. I am now trying to find out more details – how long and what temperature? This stuff just goes on forever.

  20. Me too… Help!

  21. Anonymous says:

    how long should the modge podge be left on for until you start to remove it. I have done transferring pictures to wood and know you have to leave that over night is this the same? Thanks so much for sharing, and your page is so cute!

  22. Did you like the pray sealer you used? I tried to make these one time and they did NOT turn out. It was almost like the Mod Podge didn’t dry. Even after several days they were sill sort of tacky. After two weeks I figured they were dry and stacked them up. They STUCK together! I’m wondering if the spray sealer is what did the trick. Any thoughts?

  23. I attempted these once, but it was almost like the Mod Podge never fully cured and the coasters stuck together when they were stacked! I’m wondering if the spray acrylic helped to keep this from happening. I might want to try this again as I was a farmer’s market on Sunday and some guy was selling these for five bucks a pop! I could be making some serious cash here!

  24. I just made many of these as well and used 3 coats of mid podge left to dry at least 12 hours each coat then used the sealant at least 5 coats so far and they are still all tacky and will leave marks if you touch. Doing research online many people talk about using spray polyurethane. May try that next.

  25. What kind of spray can you use so that they can be used as hot plates. I.e. put a hot sauce pan on them?

  26. I am so glad I found you! I have been wanting to experiment with photos, but was afraid that the Mod Podge would “run” the colors in the photos. Thanks for this information 🙂

    I made several sets for Christmas gifts and on the tutorial that I read, they said that you can start using the coasters after 3 days for cold drinks, but the Mod Podge won’t be fully cured for 30 days. So no hot drinks for a month I guess.

    I haven’t sealed mine with the sealer spray yet, but did notice that the matte Mod Podge didn’t get near as tacky as the glossy for me this time. Happy crafting everyone 🙂

  27. Anonymous says:

    the LEAST amount of coats you apply of a sealer, the less they stick! just have to make sure you get 1-2 really even coats and you’re golden. i’ve been making these for awhile now and it took me some time to get a get a few tricks up my sleeve 🙂

  28. I started this project yesterday with the exact same tiles used in this tutorial….and I had a major problem with air bubbles even if I had smoothed it out when applying. As each coat of mod podge would dry, new bubbles would form…I think it’s because of the holes throughout these tiles (allowing air to get under the photos). I loved them but it didn’t work so I switched to ceramic tiles, which don’t look as cool..but they work better!

  29. Do anyone know if you put you put the mod podge of the photo once its dried to the tile? or do you just use the spray?

  30. I’m so excited to try this! I have all I need. I got resin for top coat. That will help against sweaty glasses or mugs.

  31. What type of stone did you use?

  32. I had problems with brush strokes showing up. Do you use a brush or a sponge to apply modge Podge?

  33. I made coasters for my mom for Christmas and completely ruined them when I sprayed the mod podge acrylic sealer on them. I had air bubbles everywhere! Are there any teniques you recommend so this doesn’t happen again?! I’m scared to spray the sealer on anything now because I don’t want to have to redo them.

  34. Anonymous says:

    What specific kinds of mod podge did you use? I can’t tell from the pictures and I would like to order some from Thanks!

  35. Made several sets for Christmas and to my embarrassment the hot of cups stuck to them and the cold ones made the pictures start to bubble with use..Help!

  36. can someone tell me what modpodge is? where do I buy it? is that what glues the photos as well as protects them? if its not glue what glue is used for this?

  37. April Shapley says:

    I want to do quotes that I have printed on cardstock. Tried one and the picture wants to buckle. Any suggestion? Feeling frustrated.

    • The only thing I can think of is that you got your paper too wet. What kind of paper did you use? When you put mod podge on to attach the paper to tile, don’t use too much. Then wait to top with mod podge until that mod podge dries. If the paper is thin or just gets too wet it will bubble, ripple, and tear. Hope that helps!!!

  38. brian johanson says:

    I did these a have brush strokes with lines on the tile. I use a sponge brush to apply the mod podge. what went wrong?

  39. I have made several sets of these and watched many different videos. All the instructions are pretty much the same. Glasses/cups leave imprints on the coaster image and hot cups of coffee/tea are out of the question. How do you make these imprint-proof? I have used the spray sealers suggested, also engine paint as suggested by some and let them sit for 7 days and then tested them. Nope.. still have imprints. What to do?

    • No response? Why have this comments section at all?

      • I have a comments section so that I can communicate back and forth with my readers. I offer tutorials on my blog as a way to help other crafters like myself….because who doesn’t love a tutorial? At the end of the day I’m a stay at home mom, small business owner, and military wife. Some things fall through the cracks as I try to do my best. Thank you for your interest in my post!

    • Why have a comments section if you wont’ reply to our questions?

  40. Can you use photo paper or is the card stock better?

    • I’m not sure. My only fear with the photo paper would be that the Mod Podge could smear the color on the paper. I guess it would be worth a try on at least one picture/tile. If it doesn’t work you’re not out much money.

      • Shasta Van Dolah says:

        I tried it with regular photo paper and it seemed to work fine . The mod podge didnt smear the color all. The sealer top coat is still drying so i cant wait to see the finished product. Thanks for sharing this . I cant wait to make more . Do u use the mod podge to stick the cork rounds to the bottom too ?

  41. Deb Sischo says:

    I love these! Thanks so much for sharing!

  42. sue40lucky says:

    I get imprints as well on the tile from drinks! Tried sealer, still imprints.

  43. I’ve started a set of these. I’ve done three coats of glossy mod podge. The cold drink leaves a white ring on the photo that goes away once it gets back up yogemperTure. Do yours do that? I also have the spray sealer, just wanted a thicker finish. Any advice will be appreciated.

    • Did you do the coats of Mod Podge spray acrylic after you did the paint-on Mod Podge? If not, I would do several coats of that and make sure to let it dry for several days before using! Hope that helps!!!

  44. I only just found this! So much easier looking than I had seen! I’ll be trying this! Thanks! Feel free to stop by my blog ! Thanks!

  45. Do you only use the mod podge to cover the tile and how does it handle a little wet and heat from a coffee mug. Want to make as a gift but want to make sure just using mod podge will be just fine.


    • I use the paint on Mod Podge and SEVERAL coats of the spray on Mod Podge. I made this set of coasters using the tutorial I included 5 years ago and they have had both hot and dripping wet glasses set on them. They have held up great! I can only speak to the method and products that I used, but they have held up great! Good luck, hope they turn out great!!!

  46. I used stencils and chalk paint to do 4 beach themed stone tile coasters. I am not sure about sealing them because while researching this I found there’s conflicting information on whether to seal stone tiles. Someone said the stone
    tiles will discolor while others have used anything from Mod Podge spray sealer to a clear enamel spray. I don’t want the chalk paint to “dissolve” if a cold drink is on it. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

  47. I am going to try this with sheet music. All the songs that were played at my husbands grandfathers funeral. Awesome suprise for him and some for his family as well. Greaat idea and looks easy to do!


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