DIY Christmas, Alma Style!

Alma coasters!

Looking for a unique and personalized Christmas gift, or a great coffee table conversation piece? Making coasters is pretty simple, even for those of you who may be craft challenged. I gave this craft an Alma touch, and if you so desire, you can, too!

What you need:

  • 4-inch tiles (one per coaster.) They sell for roughly $.10 each at hardware stores.
  • Mod Podge. You can find this just about anywhere that sells craft glues.
  • Photos of your choice. I printed mine in color on standard computer paper.
  • A sheet of felt, foam or cork for the bottom of the coasters.
  • Polyurethane, also found near the craft glues section.
  • Glue gun
  • Sponge paintbrush
  • Ruler and scissors

Step 1: Choose and Print Your Photos
You need one photo that looks good when cropped and cut approximately 4″x 4″ for each coaster. You can use a regular 4×6″ photo or a printed photo from your computer. You don’t have to use photo paper for this craft, though, because Mod Podge will give it a nice, glossy finish.

Optional: Get creative! If you have a photo editing program, you can add borders or text. To do this, crop the photo just slightly smaller than the top of the tile. Double check your measurements, as different tiles could be slightly different in measurement. When you are happy with the way it looks, flatten the layers, and it is ready for print!

Download the images that I used. (Right-click your mouse or hover over the image until you get a menu that allows you to save the image. Each image is 1200×1200 ppi.)
Remick Heritage Center Dunning Memorial Chapel Bahlke Gate McIntyre Mall

Step 2: Cut Your Photos
Measure, then cut your photos into a perfect square. You can use the top of the tile as a template, or you can measure. It is up to you, but be precise! You don’t want the photo to be uneven on the tile.

Step 3: Apply Base Layer of Mod Podge and Attach Photo
Spread a thin and even layer of Mod Podge onto the top of your tile using your sponge paintbrush. Place your photo on the tile, being careful to center it. Once you have it placed, smooth the photo, pushing down all the edges and making sure that no air bubbles get trapped.

Step 4: Apply Top Coats of Mod Podge
Once your image is attached to the tile, coat the top of it in Mod Podge. The key here is smooth, even layers. Also be sure to cover the edges of the tile in Mod Podge, so the the corners won’t peel. Allow the Mod Podge to dry, and then add a second coat. Mod Podge dries pretty quickly, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long!

Step 5: Polyurethane
Do this step outside or in a well-ventilated area. You’ll thank me later! Like the Mod Podge, the key to polyurethane is to apply a couple of thin coats, allowing it to dry between coats.

Step 6: Attach the Bottom Cushion
Tiles can be rough, so I applied some cork to mine to stop them from potentially scratching on furniture. You also could use foam or felt. Simply cut a square from your material for each coaster, and apply your glue to it. Attach it to the coaster.

Step 7: Enjoy!
You’re finished! Sit back and enjoy your new coasters, or package them up for someone else to enjoy. Scots, this would be a great gift for your parents this Christmas!


Note: This project also can be done with decorative napkins, invitations, ticket stubs, and pretty much anything else you would like on a coaster. The options are endless. If you make a set this Christmas, be sure to tweet #AlmaDIY, or post a picture on the Alma College Facebook page!

3 thoughts on “DIY Christmas, Alma Style!

  1. I keep hearing about how easy these tile coasters are to make but I haven’t tried them yet. Thanks for the tutorial, I really want to try and make them for my sister for Christmas.

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