How to Make Coasters with Ceramic Tiles and Paper
Everyone always has a need for coasters to protect their surfaces from wet drinks. It can be hard to find the perfect coasters to match your decor or to reflect your interests. This is a great method to make your own coasters and personalize them for your own home. It is simple and easy.
- 4-inch square white ceramic tiles (at least four)
- Scrapbook paper (8-1/2 by 11-inch or 12” x12”) – Digital Papers Patterns can be used as well if printed onto the correct paper
- Acrylic paint and paintbrush
- Wax paper
- Mod Podge or other decoupage medium and sponge brush (or brush)
- Paper cutter or scissors
- Adhesive backed felt or regular felt and glue
- Matte finish permanent, protective spray (Krylon brand was used here – optional)
- Twine or ribbon (optional)
Light weight papers
There are so many different scrapbook paper designs to choose from to match your personal taste. The lighter papers are a better weight for this project rather than cardstock weight papers. The cardstock paper will work though if that is all you have. It is just easier with the lighter weight papers. Ideas are endless as to which paper you can choose. They can be made with florals, sports themes, animals, holidays and more. It would be fun to make coasters for every season and holiday. Make coasters with baseballs, footballs, fishing, or other sports for you husband’s man cave. Make coasters with food themes for your kitchen or dining room. Farm animals, especially roosters, are a popular décor item also. You can find papers with all of these designs. Smaller designs work better than a large, overall design. Once you begin searching you will be surprised how many subjects you will come up with. These would make the perfect hostess gift or a special holiday or birthday gift. Be sure to make some for yourself and make more than one set. These are made in sets of four but a set of six would also be a great idea.
Where to get the ceramic tiles
You can purchase 4-inch ceramic tiles at most home improvement stores. They can be found in the bathroom and kitchen tile section. These are usually used for backsplashes and shower stalls. They are very inexpensive to purchase ($.15 for these particular tiles). There may be other colors available, but the white is the most versatile. This same technique would work with larger tiles to make trivets to put under plants or under dishes on your table.
How to begin with the project
Select your scrapbook paper and then chose a coordinating color of acrylic paint. The tiles used for this project had printing on one edge of the tile that needed to be hidden. Painting the four edges with acrylic paint covered up the printing and gave the coasters a nicer, finished look. It will take one to three coats of paint, depending on the color and coverage. Don’t worry about trying to get a perfect edge when painting. After you paint the first side, use a wet or dry paper towel on your index finger and rub along the edge. This will give you a finished, straight edge. Repeat for remaining sides. You don’t have to worry if you get paint on the back because that will be covered with felt. You will want to use some wax paper or something similar on your workspace to protect it from paint. Let paint dry between layers.
Cut the paper so it fits the tiles
Measure the top surface of your tiles. You will want to cut your paper into squares to fit this surface. The papers for these were cut to 3-7/8-inches by 3-7/8 inches. You don’t want to have to wrap the papers over the edges so smaller is better. You can use a paper cutter to cut the paper but if you don’t have one, draw the measurements on the back side of the scrapbook paper and cut out with a pair of scissors. There are probably other papers that will work also. Perhaps wrapping paper or music sheets would work but have not been tested. If you have used different papers when doing decoupage, go ahead and give it a try. If you don’t like it, you can usually wash the paper off the tile if done immediately.
Attach paper with Mod Podge
Using Mod Podge and a brush or sponge brush, cover the top and edges of the tile with a light to medium coat of the decoupage. This can get a little messy, so the wax paper really helps. Immediately place your paper square on the flat surface lining up on all four sides as best as you can. Some products recommend coating both surfaces with the decoupage medium but that didn’t seem to be necessary for this project. Do what works best for you. There will be a white edge showing but that is okay. Make sure paper is smooth and there are no wrinkles. Brush on another coat of Mod Podge on the top of the paper and smooth out any air bubbles. Also cover the edges again. Place on a sheet of wax paper to dry. Once the decoupage medium is dry apply another coat. Apply two or three additional coats allowing to dry the recommended time as indicated in the directions. Mod Podge is water-based so it is recommended that you spray the coasters with a matte finish permanent, protective finish once they are dry. This will provide an additional protection against moisture. Spray additional coats as needed.
Another option is to use a dishwasher-safe decoupage medium. This will take longer to dry in between coats. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the container. You would not have to spray an additional finish on coasters made with this Mod Podge but you need to allow them to cure for four weeks before using. The coasters should then be safe from any moisture.
Add felt to the tiles
Measure the backs of the tiles and cut felt to those measurements. If you can find adhesive-backed felt it would be the easiest felt to use. Draw measurements on the paper backing and cut out with scissors. Remove backing and adhere to the back surface. Adhesive-backed felt can be found at most craft stores or on Amazon. If you can’t find adhesive- backed felt, regular felt could be used. You would need to glue these to the back with an adhesive that works for both ceramic and felt. Cork would be another option you could use as a backing. Cork that comes in sheets can be found at craft stores also. This would also have to be glued to the back surface with an appropriate adhesive.
If you are giving your coasters to someone as a gift it would be nice to package a set together with twine, as shown in the image above, or with a pretty, coordinating ribbon. These would be a very much appreciated gift by anyone. Remember to change out your coasters for different occasions and different times of the year. Enjoy!