DIY Coasters for Christmas!

I know that there are approximately 80 gazillion tutorials out there for how to make your very own DIY coasters out of 16 cent tiles from Lowes….but I think maybe the reason for this is that coasters are actually pretty useful (like, if I had any, I wouldn’t always have to grab a random scrap of paper to put my glass on on my dining room table), and even if you have some it’s always okay to have more because they don’t take up much space, and these are super easy and cheap to make, and if the person you give them to doesn’t like them it’s really easy for them to stick them in a drawer somewhere and only pull them out when you come over! Yay!

So I decided awhile back that coasters would be the perfect present for the kids to make for assorted friends and relatives this Christmas. And when I saw that the theme of week 3 of the Dare to DIY challenge would be “give handmade,” it gave me an extra kick in the butt to get going with that already.

So here is the coaster tutorial to end nicely complement all other coaster tutorials! But how many of them have OWLS?! Maybe a few; I don’t know. If you are reading this and you think you might be the person receiving owl coasters, just put that thought right out of your head. You are WRONG!

So first you go to Hobby Lobby, your new favorite store (or to Amazon, where these affiliate links will take you), and you purchase:

scrapbook paper (I don’t think mine’s available any more, but how about these owls instead? Or these Christmas prints?
Mod Podge (I got matte, but you can get the shiny stuff if you want. It’s up to you!)
Spray Acrylic Sealer (again, I went with matte)
Foam Brushes

a glue gun, if you are new to craftiness and don’t already have one
roll of thin cork (according to the other tutorials, you can also use dots of felt)

Then you go to Lowes and get a bunch of white “biscuit” tile for 16 cents a square. This might get more expensive when your kids see the Gatorade and want some. Especially if one of them is getting over strep. He’ll insist he NEEDS one because he’s SICK. And then you’ll spend more on Gatorade than on tile, but that’s okay. Because you love your children and want them to be quiet happy.

ETA: If you can’t find the tiles or just want to make getting things together a little easier, I just came across this kit on Amazon that puts the tiles and most of the other materials you’ll need together for you.

Trace around the tiles on the back of the scrapbook paper and cut out a square. I found out after this that, even if you don’t want a border for aesthetic reasons, it’s best not to go all the way to the edges or you’ll wind up with paper overhanging that’s hard to get all sealed in with the Mod Podge and whatnot.

Put a layer of Mod Podge on the tile, and then put the scrapbook paper on and quickly get it just how you want it. Then put another layer of Mod Podge on top. The Mod Podging is a great job for your almost 7 year old!

Wait 10 minutes or so for the first layer to dry, then put another layer on (waiting for things to dry is the primary time suck in this project).  It will look like this at first, but don’t worry: it dries clear!

Like this!

Then go to work with your acrylic sealer (outside). I did 3 coats, and you’re supposed to do them, according to the label, 2 minutes apart. Which is too long for impatient people like me to just stand there, but too short to actually do something else. I might not have made it to two whole minutes. Then you’re supposed to let it dry for 24 hours before handling, but that’s ridiculous. I’ll bet NOBODY waits that long!

Next you whip out your new $2.99 glue gun, cut out a square of cork (the cork I bought was self adhesive, but I didn’t trust the built in adhesion to do the job by itself), and glue that sucker down. Another fun job for kids. Hot glue! What could be more fun?!

Mod Podging!

Hot glue!

We still have a bunch more sets to make, but here are the first two, all finished!

Let’s call this the homeschool post for the week, too. Multi-tasking!

More Holiday Crafting:

Giant Snowflake Tutorial


Dinosaur Advent Calendar


Cone Christmas Trees

DIY Coasters: Step-by-step Photo Tutorial

Sharing at the Dare to DIY party hosted by: Decor and the DogMaybe MatildaNewly Woodwards, and TwoTwentyOne

And also with: Tuesday’s Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaHookin’ Up With House of HepworthsSomewhat SimpleChic on a Shoestring Decorating’s Flaunt It FridayThe Shabby Nest’s Frugal Friday





DIY Coasters for Christmas! — 114 Comments

  1. I agree with K! Yours are adorable, and I love the pics of the kiddos getting involved. I was going to make these for my DIY gift, but I never made it to the hardware store to get tiles. I still plan on making some for gifts though! Thanks for sharing =)

  2. These are so so cute! I am thinking I need to do these for my grandparents-in-law. Picutres of the kids maybe…and I think some owls would be cute for my sister-in-law!

  3. These look great and I love the fact that you got your boys involved in the crafting! I’m totally going to steal this idea for my mother-in-law’s Christmas gift (I’ll leave the hot gluing to myself but my 2.5 year old could totally handle some mod podge)!

  4. this craft is awesomely easy – i made a whole slew of these coasters a few months back. my favorite part of your is the OWL paper you chose!! ps – found you through the dare to diy challenge 🙂

  5. I’m going to steal this too for my MIL and Aunt gifts! I love them, they turned out so great! Imagine my dismay when I learned that I won’t be receiving them. D:

    • While you won’t be receiving them, you might just know someone who will. But I think she doesn’t read my blog, and her reward is not ruining her teacher present Christmas surprise.

    • Honestly, we never ended up making any to keep for ourselves, so I have no first hand knowledge! But, I do see a couple of the sets we made for other people on a regular basis, and, as far as I can tell, they’re holding up well 🙂

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    • I haven’t tried that, but I don’t see why not :). I’ve seen where other people have done it and gotten good results

  7. I love these, I just found your blog an made my own coasters. My have set for a few days now and our glasses are sticking to the coaster, but the tiles don’t feel sticky. Did you notice this happening with your tiles?

    • Hmm….I didn’t notice that with ours. I wonder if an another coat of the spray sealant would help? Or maybe just letting them sort of cure for a few extra days?

      • I had the trouble with sticking also so I put my brain to I went to Autozone and bought a can of clear engine sealant ( great for the hot coffee cups). 3 light coats then bake to cure. Time is on the can. Works like a charm,no sticking!

    • I thought I responded to this the other day, but it’s not showing up now! I haven’t tried that, but I’ve seen where other people have done it with good results, so seems like it would work fine!

    • I haven’t tried that….I would guess that a thin fabric would work fine as long as you use enough mod podge. I bet if ou google you could find some tutorials out there where people have made them with fabric to get some tips 🙂

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  10. Hi there,
    I live in Alberta Canada and cannot seem to find these tiles at any home improvement store so I ended up buying some from a smaller company which cost me a lot more… Anyways, my question is whether your tiles had a glossy finish on them? If so did you just modge podge over? Someone mentioned sanding them a bit..?

    • honestly, it’s been 2 years now since we made them, and I really can’t remember! I just checked lowe’s website, and it looks like they sell them in either matte or glossy, so I’m GUESSING I would have picked the matte ones. I would think that mod podging over the glossy ones would also work fine, though…but again, just a guess. Sorry I can’t be more help!

    • Hi, I found some tiles that already had an ugly design on top at the Dollar Store, for obviously a $1. Don’t know if you have those stores in Canada but they worked great for me and already had the cork on them.

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    • I can’t say for sure since I’ve only done it with it…it’s possible the mod podge would protect them enough. They should have the sealant at any Michaels or Hobby Lobby or other craft store. or you could also brush on polycrylic from a can (from home depot or wherever)….I think it’s the same stuff but in spray form. good luck!

  13. I saw another person comment that the drinks were sticking to the coasters and I’m having the same problem with mine. Has anyone figured out how to fix this issue?

    • Sorry you’re having trouble, Kadie! I’m not sure what else you could do, other than maybe a couple extra coats of the spray sealant?

  14. I made 4 sets, and the recipients loved them. For myself, I stamped a quote on the scrapbook paper and let it dry before beginning the process. I love how it turned out. Thank you for sharing your tutorial.

  15. I made a BUNCH of these last year. I did NOT seal them with anything because I didn’t know I was suppose to & it WAS NOT a good thing!!! They cured for weeks by the way. When I stacked them up they all stuck together & ended up destroying the paper. What a waste! I had made SO SO many 🙁 A friend recently made them & put water-based polyurethane as a sealer so– I’m gonna TRY IT AGAIN….cause I love them!!

  16. Has anyone had any issues with the acrylic sealer “yellowing” their photos? I actually doing this project now and my husband said he has heard of it causing it to turn yellow over time.

    • I checked in on one of these sets when I was at the friend we made them for’s house the other day (she got the owls), and they appear to be holding up well….no yellowing that I noticed. In my experience with painting furniture, you use polycrylic instead of polyurethene when you’re going over light paint specifically to avoid yellowing, so it would seem like the acrylic sealant would be pretty safe. That said, I haven’t used photos for coasters, so I can’t say for sure!

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  18. I just refinished an old coffee table that I didn’t used to care what happened to it because it’s been around for so long and my kids pretty much scratched it, colored on it, even nail polish was on it. It was a mess…but I was determined to make it a gem again. So after alot of sanding and sanding and sanding I got everything off, even the deep scratches and nail polish. That was the hardest part. My table is beautiful and I have threatened that if anyone gets water marks or a scratch on it, they will have my wrath. So, with all that being said, I am making coasters and using them for the first time. My kids are older now and wont use them as hockey pucks! Yay. the owls are adorable. I hope I can find some. Thanks!

    • I tried to track down the owls on Amazon to link to, but I couldn’t find them…hope they’re still out there somewhere for you! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

  19. I just had these wonderful coasters.pop up on my Pinterest. I have a friend (grown man) who loves Bateman. Do you think this would work with comic book pages? Thank you

    • Well, using a foam brush helps with that, but they probably weren’t perfect….I’m okay with not quite perfect in most things 🙂

  20. I’ve made lots of coasters but never with the paper & these are gorgeous. I’ve always rubber-stamped images and colored them with markers or coloring pencils. Finished with spraying the sealer. That being said—ÑONE have ever yellowed. and the 1st ones made was 2008.

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    • All of mine went out as gifts, so I don’t have much experience with using them after making them. I wonder if just a thicker finish/more mod podge would help?

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  23. Hi Gretchen, I’ve been on a quest in my area to find some inexpensive tiles to try this project, but all that I find are either almost $1 a piece or glazed, are yours glazed or unglazed? I’m worried the mod podge won’t stick right if I try to use glazed/glossy ones. I also can’t seem to find reference to “biscuit tiles” anywhere except for non-square tiles.

    • It’s been so long now that I honestly can’t remember if they were glazed or matte–sorry! I want to say they were matte, but it’s really just a guess. I would think the mod podge would stick well to either, though. I like to think that I’ve gotten better about documenting what I use in detail since this post 🙂 I’m not sure what to to tell you about the tile….I found mine at Lowes in the section with all the other tile; they had tons of them there and you could buy a bunch of them in a box or loose individual tiles for 16 cents…but it’s been nearly 3 years, so it’s certainly possible they don’t stock the same ones anymore. Sorry I can’t be more help!

    • Hi Traci. I read your question about tile prices. If you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore, that would be the place to look. I bought 4 4×4 tiles and one 6×6 for about .79 total. They were having a 50% off sale on all tiles. They were just plane white glossy and my pictures stuck just fine. I think biscuit is the color…They had all kinds of colors, sizes and styles. I hope this helped.

    • I believe I bought it at Hobby Lobby (there’s a link to the same stuff I bought on Amazon in the post). I don’t think it has to be that specific one or say “outdoor,” though–that’s just what I found at the store. HTH!

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  25. Your tutorial was terrifically entertaining and educational! Not to mention your kids are adorable. EVERYBODY is getting coasters this year! !

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    • Gluing the cork down was my last step; I did all the adhesive and sealant for the tile and scrapbook paper before adding the cork. HTH!

    • I’ve never used anything but the scrapbook paper, so I’m not sure….regular paper might be harder to work with and keep from getting wrinkled with the mod podge….

    • I waited about 10 minutes between layers, so I think it should work. You also have to wait in between layers of spray sealant…I think it said longer on the can, but I just waited a couple of minutes. HTH!

  30. Hello!!! I purchased the .16 tile yesterday at Lowe’s so they still have it. What I am wondering is if you sanded the sides where there is 2 bumps per side??

    • so sorry not to get to this earlier; we’ve been out of town! I don’t remember whether there were bumps on my tiles or not, but I’m positive I didn’t sand anything down. It’s been awhile, so it’s possible the tiles have changed….

  31. You can get the clear sealant at Walmart. I Use KRYLON triple thick clear glaze. I use 2 coats of this on top of the modge podge ( yes you need the sealant) . For the sticking problem I went to Auto Zone and bought a can of clear engine sealant. 2 coats of this then bake to cure. No more sticking coffee cups,no yellowing.

  32. when you bake them to cure you may get little bumps on them. This is ok since it helps keep the cold drinks from sliding off.

    • hmm….maybe! I’m not sure if that’s the problem or not (I didn’t notice this problem with mine), but another coat couldn’t hurt!

  33. I picked out some really cute Christmas wrapping paper to do this project.. As soon as I spread the mod podge on it wrinkled. Anyone else have this issue??

    • I’ve had that problem with mod podge with other projects. In my experience, it’s easier to work with mod podge if you have thicker paper like the scrapbook paper. Sorry you ran into trouble!

  34. Is there such a thing as too much mod podge?? Mine is taking forever to dry. I loaded up on it first set. Wondering if a lot will be better or worse?

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