Saturday, April 28, 2012

Photo Coasters

I seem to be constantly looking for creative ways to display my many favorite photos without making my house look cluttered. There's only so many walls you can hang frames on!  This Pin I came across looked like a perfect way to showcase a few and I thought could also work as great Christmas gift.  I decided to try them out at craft night with my girlfriend and made a set for myself and a set for my mother-in law. They turned out beautiful! I love them.  My mother-in-law even got a little teary eyed when she opened up her gift. I love the way certain photos can be so sentimental like that!

Here is the Pin I had pinned to my "She's crafty" board: Lee La La DIY tile coasters

They were very easy to make and didn't take much time at all.  The longest part was allowing the tiles enough time to completely dry.  I try to be thrifty so I didn't set out to look for perfect tiles to match the ones in the picture.  My girlfriend had a box of extra 4x4 tiles left over from a home project so we opted to try those. They had a smooth top so I was a little worried that the photos wouldn't adhere to the surface, but it was not a problem at all. The tiles were cream colored and we used colored photos instead of black and white (although I love the look of both). 

There were a couple steps I skipped in the instructions which just goes to show you there's no need to be perfect making these.  They are pretty forgiving.  For example, I didn't use tissue paper or acrylic top coat.  The mod podge was enough of a topcoat for me. I think there can be so many different looks with these coasters depending on images and tiles used. You could print out small images of favorite artwork, use clipart, letters, favorite quotes and use many different tile textures.  Get creative! I bet they will turn out good so many different ways. I would love to hear about any others you may have come up with!

I read that you can use both glossy or matte mod podge. I chose the matte. You start off by spreading a layer of mod podge onto the tile surface and laying your cut to size photo onto it. Call me impatient, but I'm positive I didn't let it dry completely before applying my first layer of mod podge on top of the photo. You would think I would follow directions perfectly to save myself the pain of projects not working out the way they are supposed to! Luckily for me, this time it still worked fine. I did allow the top layer to dry clear before applying each of my next layers. Make sure to swipe the sides of the tile, too. After you feel you have enough layers of coating on top and it's dry use a hot glue gun or craft glue to stick a bottom onto the rough underneath of the tile. The directions used black felt, I used cork backing. Voila! you have a beautiful coaster.

However, remember me mentioning my impatience?  Definitely make sure that the tops have had enough time to completely dry, not just to the touch, but to actually harden all the way through (it might take a couple days) before stacking them on top of each other to tie a ribbon around them.  I accidentally stacked them too soon and they stuck onto each other in spots, lifting a little of the top layer off when I pried them apart.  Perhaps this is what the acrylic top coat helps with?  They still look wonderful, though and now there's no issue with stacking them. They also wipe down with a wet rag nicely.

Here's how mine turned out:
A few of our wedding photos
My mother-in-law and her boys

My friend who was crafting with me used fancy letters instead of photos on one of her sets which I thought turned out really cool, too. One of her tiles said "Live, Laugh, Love".  Here's a photo of her sets drying:

I give this pin two big thumbs up mostly because of how beautiful they look, how easy they are to make and how you can't really mess them up. Also, because I think you can create a variety of looks with them by getting creative. Have fun and Happy pinning... and doing!

1 comment:

  1. Great idea!! What a wonderful gift idea too. I love the versitlity of these. :)