I wanted to make gifts for my mother and mother-in-law for Mother’s Day so I searched Pinterest (of course!) to find ideas that were creative yet not too expensive. I found many posts for DIY photo coasters and decided that would be perfect! Personal and useful, the best types of DIY gifts. Since I decided to make photo coasters, I also wanted to have a stylish, cute way to display the coasters, so I decided to make wooden display box for the coaster sets. For each mom I made four photo coasters and a wood holder to display and store the coasters.
DIY Photo Coaster Instructions:
To make the tile coasters, you will need the following materials:
- 4″ x 4″ tiles
- Laser Printer Photo Paper
- Mod Podge
- Clear Gloss Acrylic Spray
- Foam Brush
- Small Adhesive Felt Pads
To make my coasters, I purchased a pack of nine 4″x4″ travertine tiles from Home Depot for just under $4. These were the tiles I used:
I also purchased photo paper that can be used in a laser printer (photos printed on an inject will likely have the ink smear when the Mod Podge is applied). I purchased a pack of 20 sheets for $6.99 at our local Fry’s, but you can likely purchase laser compatible photo paper at an office supply store or online.
Using my color laser printer, I printed four 3.75″ square pictures onto a one sheet of photo paper then cut out each picture:
I then applied Mod Podge to the top of the tile using a foam brush, and then applied a picture onto the tile using a credit card to smooth the picture on the tile and remove bubbles. Once the picture was smooth and centered, I used the foam brush to cover the picture in Mod Podge.
Once the Mod Podge has completely dried, spray five coats of Acrylic spray onto the tile, allowing the acrylic to completely dry between each coating. Make sure to spray the acrylic in a very well ventilated area. I used Krylon ColorMaster Acrylic Crystal Clear spray. It claims to dry in 10 minutes or less, which the first couple of coats did dry quickly, but each additional coat took longer to dry. Here is a pic of the can of spray acrylic I used:
Here is a pic of one of the finished photo tiles:
DIY Photo Coaster Display Box Instructions:
I wanted a cute storage and display box for the tiles, so I decided to make one out of scrap 1/4″ plywood that I had laying around. Here are the materials needed for making the box:
- scrap piece of 1/4″ plywood
- Compond Miter Saw (or circular or jig saw)
- 4-Inch Hole Saw (or jig saw or band saw)
- Ryobi Cordless Brad Nailer (or you can use finish nails and a hammer)
- Wood Glue
- decorative items for the front
Here are the cuts I made for each box using my miter saw:
- 2 @ 2 3/4″ x 2 1/8″ (these are the side pieces)
- 1 @ 2 15/16″ x 5 5/16″ (bottom piece)
- 2 @ 2 3/4″ x 5 5/16″ (front and back pieces)
To make the circular cut in the front, which allows the front photo coaster to be visible, I used a 4″ hole saw on the drill press. I measured 11/16″ in from each side of the front piece, and then cut a half circle into the wood:
Once all the pieces are cut out and the semi-circle has been cut into the front piece, your boards should look like this:
I then assembled my box using my Ryobi Airstrike Brad nailer and 1/2″ finish nails and some wood glue. (If you don’t have the Ryobi Airstrike, I highly recommend it, it makes building SO easy, it’s a great tool!). I first attached the two side pieces to the front, and then attached the back piece to the two side pieces. Once the four sides were all nailed and glued together, I attached the bottom piece using my nailer and wood glue.
Once all sides of the box are attached, it should look like this:
I filled in all of the nail holes with wood filler and let it dry. I then sanded the display box with fine grit sand paper until it was completely smooth. Once all sides were smooth, I added on my wooden decorative accent pieces that I purchased from Hobby Lobby (they were 50% off so they were only $1 per bag which included four pieces, enough to decorate both coaster display boxes!) These were the accent pieces I chose:
I used wood glue to attach two wood appliques to each box and let it dry. Once the glue was dry, I chose Minwax Dark Walnut stain to stain the boxes.
Once the stain had completely dried, I added some metal wording saying “family” that I found at Hobby Lobby as the final touch. These were in the scrapbook aisle at Hobby Lobby and think they add a nice touch to the storage boxes:
And here are some more pics of the photo coasters in their display box:
Overall, this was a very quick and inexpensive gift to make and both moms absolutely loved them!