Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY Custom Coasters

I've been working on a bunch of coasters lately. Not really anything original or new, but lot's of fun to make and very practical to have around.  When I first started making these I realized there was going to be some trial and error to get them just right. Some of the problems I ran into were: too many wrinkles in the finished product and some real sticking problems after the coasters was completed.  I tried clear spray and polyurethane but the coasters still were sticky.  I finally tried Polycrylic and it worked perfectly.

Here is what I used:
1. 4" X 4" white tiles.  Plain, cheap tile .17 cents each at Home Depot.
2. Mod Podge-matte finish works best. (found that out the hard way). The gloss dries and remained too sticky.
3. Polycrylic by Minwax This is a must for coasters.  All the other finishing products do not prevent the Mod Podge from remaining sticky. So, if you stack the coasters, they stick together or if you place a hot drink on them, the cup sticks to the coaster.  The Polycrylic works perfect.  No more sticky Mod Podge.  I have always found that to be a problem when using Mod Podge. I also helps to allow them a few days to cure.

4. felt buttons for the bottoms of your coasters.  You can use cork too but for me, it was too much work.
5. Acrylic paints if you want to add some embellishments.
6. Decorative tissue.  I used tissue napkins for these, but you can also use decorative papers.

Here is the tricky part.  Getting that paper napkin onto the tile without a lot of wrinkles left on the tile.  How to do this? Applying the napkin a little at a time.....

Start at the bottom of the tile.  Apply a line (about 1") of Mod Podge and place your napkin onto the tile. Carefully (and I mean carefully with patience) smooth out the wrinkles with your clean, dry finger.  Continue up the tile.  Add one section at time until your tile is covered with the tissue. 

You only have a small window of opportunity to smooth out the wrinkles.  You won't be able to get them all out either, but it gives the tile character.
If the tissue was larger than your tile, don't worry, let it dry and use sandpaper to remove the excess tissue from the sides.

I landed up painting the sides with a coordinating paint.  Sometimes I added some hand painting to the coaster.

Apply two coats of matte Mod Podge on each of the coasters.

Let the tiles dry overnight and then apply 2 coats of the polycrylic. A small can of Polycrylic costs about $10.00.  Seems like a lot, but the can I purchased lasted a very long time. These coasters make great gifts.  They can be custom made for just about anyone that has an interest as you can see from the pictures.
 Here are a few that I just finished:

People seem to love the sports themed coasters. Just about anything goes!

01 02 03
04 05 06
07 08 11 12


  1. Great idea, I am going to try it with old flower prints on tissue. Thanks.

  2. Christy, I am sorry I know this post is old(er), but if you are available, I have to ask. I have made coasters for some family for Christmas, and I am concerned. Does the polycrylic (I used the minwax also) work for the coaster if a hot beverage is applied? I had an "experiment" coaster, and 40+ hours after the 3rd coat of polycrylic, my cup of coffee stuck to the experiment coaster. Does the polycrylic need weeks of cure time?

    1. Hi Heather!! Hope is all well. Got your Christmas card (thanks for thinking of me). The boys are getting so big. I have had that problem with the coasters as well. Usually happens in the warmer/humid weather. I suggest you seal them with a clear spray. That may help the cups from sticking to the coaster. The polycrylic dries pretty quickly. So after you apply that (and it dries), add a top coat of a clear spray. See if that helps.-Christy-

  3. Hi Christy,
    I used the gloss mod podge before I read your post. If i put the correct sealant on will they still be sticky? I just made 150 so I really want to try to save the project if I can.

    1. This is what you can try. Spray them with a few coats of clear glaze. The spray kind that you can get at Home Depot or Walmart. Set them all up, spray, dry and spray again. Let them all dry somewhere that is low humidity (air conditioned room would be great). Hopefully, this will keep them from becoming sticky. Let them sit for a few days. Good luck. Hope this helps! -Christy