· Homekeeping Tips · Crafts & DIY Projects · DIY “Polaroid” Photo Coasters

DIY “Polaroid” Photo Coasters

diy photo coasters

Wow….two crafty posts in a row for me! That might be a record! :-)  It must be this time of year. It brings out the hands-on creative side of me. I just LOVE handmade gifts and decor! I guess it’s because you can make things exactly the way YOU like them, they are usually better made than anything you can buy, and there’s that personal satisfaction of being able to say…I did it!

I saw this idea for making photo coasters on Darkroom and Dearly over a year ago and have had it on my “To Do List” since then. Since we recently bought a new dining table, this seemed like the perfect time to cross it off the list.

It’s such a simple idea and yet the result is so impressive! It might just be my favorite craft post thus far!

I’m thrilled with this set I made for myself….now my mind is racing with the gifting possibilities! :-)

diy photo coasters

DIY “Polaroid” Photo Coasters

What you’ll need:

How I did it:

For MY version of this DIY project, I used photos from my Instagram feed. I simply took screen shots of photos I wanted to use, resized them to 3.75″ x 3.75″ in a photo editing program (they are already square by default), then printed them on regular paper in my home printer. (See the Darkroom and Dearly tutorial if you are using regular prints.)

diy photo coasters

To make the photo coasters appear as “polaroids” on the tiles, you will need to trim 0.50″ from the HEIGHT of each 3.75″ x 3.75″ photo. Depending on the composition of the photo, you can trim the bottom, the top, or some of both! To be honest, I eyeballed this part of it. Not every one of my pictures are EXACTLY the same height, but you really can’t tell. :-)

Once you have your photos cut out, the “hard” part is done. The rest is easy and fun!

diy photo coasters

Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge onto your tile and then place your photo on top. Make sure there are no bubbles or wrinkles, then paint another layer of Mod Podge over the top of the photo. Because I printed mine on regular paper from my home printer, the colors wanted to run when I started applying the Mod Podge. Just make sure to apply it in one or two fairly thick and even strokes and you won’t have a problem.

(Comment from Susan M. –  “Printing on a laser printer will alleviate the problem of the ink running when you apply the mod podge. Or, you can do what I do and spray your pictures with a bit of hairspray (aerosol), let dry and then apply. Voile – no more running ink!” THANK YOU Susan!)

diy photo coasters

Once the first layer of Mod Podge is dry (which doesn’t take long!) do another layer and let that dry thoroughly.

diy photo coasters

When your photo coasters are dry, spray them with some clear acrylic finishing spray. I did one thorough coat, let dry for about 15 minutes, then did another thorough coat. Sitting in the sunshine on my front step on a beautiful November afternoon, they were thoroughly dry within 20 minutes!

diy photo coasters

Last step:  attach the little felt circles (one on each corner, of course) and stand back and admire your work!

diy photo coasters

Impressive huh??

diy photo coasters

I have to say, I was pretty jazzed by how these turned out.

diy photo coasters

I am already thinking about more I want to make for gifts. I think a set of wedding picture coasters for my daughter Britta would be fun! (Don’t anybody say anything to her!) :-)

diy photo coasters


What do you think? Any other ideas?


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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • […] DIY Polaroid Photo Coasters – A cute and nostalgic DIY that would make a beautiful personal gift for any member of the family. […]

  • […] DIY Polaroid Photo Coasters – A cute and nostalgic DIY that would make a beautiful personal gift for any member of the family. […]

  • I just finished this project and I have to say, it came out great! Mod Podge and finish spray are so easy! Thanks so much for sharing, my mother-in-law will love them! They are her bday gift :)

  • Hey Jillie,
    I was wondering…I loved this idea. I even made some for Christmas presents for friends and family. But I received feedback that when a hot drink was placed on the coaster, it left a ring, from where the sealant got tacky again….any ideas on what kind of sealant I could use that wouldn’t become tacky again with a hot drink?

    • That’s exactly the result I got when I made mine, Sarah. I was so bummed because they were super cute. I recently bought Rust-Oleum’s Ultra Cover 2X Gloss Clear. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet though because it’s too cold to use outdoors. I’m hoping it solves the problem but won’t know until I get a chance to try it. Hoping the weather warms up this weekend so I can spray my NEW monogrammed coasters. lol Will update when I do!!

    • I used Photoshop but you could easily use Microsoft Powerpoint if you have that. There are ruler lines on the side of the Powerpoint pages that you can use to measure out the picture.

  • spent the morning making a version of this idea – sent my hubby out for the tiles – he came home with 6×6 tiles so the coasters became trivets. no mod podge at the store so a very nice clerk sent him home with glue and instructions on making our own – lol –
    basically a success – my grandkids girl 9 – loves to craft – boy 10 – not so much but he persevered. they did great – we still have to spray them but as its winter here I will do that later when kids are gone – in the garage :)
    we will be doing this again another day as we still have about 6 more to make (I may go and switch some of the big tiles for smaller ones LOL) -I was trying to send a pic but can’t figure out how.
    thanks again for the idea

  • These turned out really nice. Not sure they would keep the condensation off the table, but like the look.
    I have 2 thoughts– making with photos from the 70’s or with family/friends wearing all that vintage style Tshirts.
    Or making a set to honor all of our past and present family pets. It think they would nice in my herb garden.

  • I’ve also made these with scrapbook paper and they didn’t work so well. I used the wrong clear spray I guess because my coffee cup would stick to them. Very irritating! So be sure and use a hard type of clear spray…not sure what kind to get but don’t use the stuff that Hobby Lobby sells in the art dept. lol Maybe Rustoleum or Krylon. Love the idea of the polaroids!! Thanks Jillee for another awesome idea! :)

  • I like this idea. I’ve also used scrapbook papers on the coasters
    And they turned out great. Also one year for our super Saturday
    We used the front of old Christmas cards and they turned out

  • Love this. I will do this with my grand kids as gifts for their
    parents and with the Polaroid idea they cud sign it or write a note with a marker on the front before the coatings. Simple.

  • I did these as thank you gifts for my wedding. I put a pic of my husband and I on them and used an editing program to add our wedding date and a small thank note. I also put a sheet of cork on the bottom instead of felt dots. Everyone loved then and the were very reasonably priced to make. Such a great gift idea as well!!

  • I have made these with photos and also with scrapbook paper, if I’m trying to match a certain decor. Never thought of the Polaroid look, though. I’ve also used cork to put on the back- makes them look like the coasters you buy at the store. You can buy thin cork by the roll-I get mine at a hardware store in the Midwest- Menards. I cut it slightly smaller than the back side of the tile. Fun, meaningful gifts!

  • I love these! They look just like polaroids. You could find some cool printing ideas like making one or two bright colors pop with ink which would add to the old polaroid look. Also jotting some silly one liners with date of photo like we used to in the “old days”…..did I just say that! Love your site Jillee

    • Angie,

      I made a bunch of these last year for gifts and the water is not a problem. You might end up with a bit of water on the coaster, just like if you were using a glass coaster, but it wipes right off.

  • Just an FYI – printing on a laser printer will alleviate the problem of the ink running when you apply the mod podge. Or, you can do what I do and spray your pictures with a bit of hairspray (aerosol), let dry and then apply. Voile – no more running ink!

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