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101 Days of Christmas: Photo Coasters

photo coaster

This is a really fun project, inspired by Lee La La!

Make custom photo coasters for your own home or as personalized gifts for pretty much anyone on your list. I love the look of portraits on them, but you could really use a variety of images depending on who you’re making them for. I think cool detail shots of ornaments would make great Christmas coasters, or you could choose some of your favorite still life photos from your resident photographer to display their work in a new way.

These are not difficult, but I would recommend that you plan on practicing a few times before working on your final set, because you’ll need to get a feel for working with the tissue paper (or at least I did!). You can always just wash the tissue paper right off as long as you haven’t sealed it with any top coats!


  • 4″x4″ ceramic tiles
  • white tissue paper
  • cardstock
  • tape
  • Mod Podge
  • foam brush
  • felt
  • white glue
  • acrylic spray clear coat


Choose and edit your images so that you have a 4″x4″ black and white photo for each coaster.

Carefully tape white tissue paper to a piece of cardstock. Be sure that the tape isn’t in your print margins. You also want to get the tissue paper as smooth and straight as possible so that there aren’t wrinkles and creases in your photo!

Print your photos onto the tissue paper and cut each one out.

Using your foam brush, spread a very thin layer of Mod Podge on your tile. Carefully lay the tissue paper photo on top, smoothing it as you go.

Note: This is now wet tissue paper, so your ink will smudge if you touch or rub too hard. It will also tear very easily. To avoid either scenario, go slowly when laying the tissue paper on the tile to make sure that it’s aligned and smooth.

To get ragged/torn edges, slowly tear the edges, using a straight edge as a guide.

Let the glue dry completely and then brush a thin layer of Mod Podge across the top. Let dry and repeat 2-3 more times.

Once your final layer of Mod Podge is dry, spray with an acrylic clear coat to seal and protect from moisture.

Cut out a 4″x4″ felt square and glue to the bottom of your coaster with white glue.

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