Personalized Mod Podge coasters from Martha Shmartha

How to make personalized Mod Podge coastersHey Mod Podge Rocks readers! I’m Emily from Martha Shmartha, and I am beyond excited to be blog swapping with Amy today. Amy has taught me a lot about Mod Podge, the most important thing being not to say, “Modge Podge.” (Yup, I did that. What shame!) But now I know better and I am so pleased to be sharing a really nifty Father’s Day project with you. I’m going to show you how to decoupage Father’s Day Mod Podge coasters! My coasters spell G-R-A-N-D-P-A, but you could easily make yours to say D-A-D-D-Y. Let’s get started!

Gather These Supplies:

  • Tiles (I got mine for like 20 cents each from Home Depot. They are 4.5″x4.5″)
  • Cardboard
  • Decorative (Scrapbook) Paper
  • Matte Mod Podge
  • Hard Coat Mod Podge
  • Scissors
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Camera
  • Photographs (You’ll take them, then you’ll need to have them printed)
  • Cute kids
  • Cork board
  • Adhesive Spray

Let’s get started!

DSC_0027This first thing we need to do is make our cardboard letters. I opened up a giant box, then freehanded the letters GRANDP onto the cardboard. I chose to use the A twice, for the first and last A, but you could draw A twice, as well.

DSC_0026You do want your letters to be fairly big, as they have to be very visible in a photograph.

DSC_0029Now you need to cut out all of your letters. Please excuse the background of this photo. My husband was on call, blah, blah, blah.

DSC_0032Now we need to cover the letters with decorative paper. I used a different paper for each letter. Lay the letter on the backside of your paper, then trace it with pencil. You want to use the back of the paper so that your pencil marks don’t show on the front. Then cut the letter from the paper. Coat the cardboard letter with Matte Mod Podge, then lay the paper on top. Smooth out all of the air bubbles. Let it dry. Then paint a layer of Mod Podge over the letter/paper. Some of my letters were too big to fit on my scrapbook paper. I just fit what I could tracing, then cut out enough to cover the rest of the letter from the scraps.

DSC_0031This is what you should have!

Okay, the letters are done! Here’s the fun part: Go out and shoot some adorable pictures of your kids holding each of the letters, one letter at a time. We did some funny shots and some normal shots – do whatever Dad/Grandpa would love the most. Choose one picture of each letter and have it printed in a 4×6. I did some cropping before I had the photos printed, just to be sure that the kids/letters were big enough. Be cautious, though, as you’ll have to cut about 1.5″ from the top or bottom of your photo to make it fit on the tile (I ended up cutting my kids feet off in every photo).

DSC_0025To crop my photos, I placed a picture on its tile, then made a crease along the bottom edge, where I wanted to crop. Then I cut along that crease with my paper cutter.

DSC_0036This is what your photo should look like after cropping.

DSC_0030Okay Mod Podgers, it’s time to pull out your Hard Coat Mod Podge! This Mod Podge is water resistant and not tacky, just right for coasters.

DSC_0033Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge onto your tile. I used a soft bristle brush, but you could use a foam brush, too. Lay the photo onto the tile, centering it and smoothing out all of the air bubbles. I didn’t have any trouble with air bubbles after drying, I think because the photo paper is so thick, but I worked pretty hard to rub out any bubbles with my fingers as soon as I placed the photo onto the tile.

DSC_0037After using the Mod Podge, both here and once you paint it on top of the photo, check the ends of your tiles to be sure that there aren’t any drips. You can just wipe the Mod Podge off when it’s wet, but once the it dries, well, at least your coaster will have some texture!

DSC_0042Repeat the previous steps until you have all of your photos cropped and adhered to the tiles. Once the Mod Podge is completely dry (if you go too early, your photos will slip out of place–Don’t ask me how I know that), paint a layer of decoupage medium over the top of the photo. Do this for each tile. Use long brush strokes, going from top to bottom or bottom to top, so that you don’t have smudge marks from the Mod Podge in the middle of your tiles.

DSC_0048Let the Mod Podge dry (about 20 minutes), then give the coaster another coat (x5!) The directions on the bottle said to use five coats, so that’s what I did. When you don’t know what you’re doing, just follow the directions!

DSC_0052The top of the coasters is done – sweet! Since the bottom of a tile is not exactly smooth, and thus isn’t very good for a tabletop, I decided to put a layer of corkboard on the bottom of each tile. To do this, lay your tile on the cork board and trace around the edges.

DSC_0053Cut out the square.

DSC_0060I used adhesive spray to glue the corkboard to the tiles. This stuff makes a HUGE mess, so be sure to cover your entire work area (cover a bigger area than you’ll actually need). Also be careful not to lay your tiles, picture side down, on an area that has just been sprayed. You will end up with sticky tiles! Again, just trust me. Spray the top of the corkboard with the adhesive spray. Lay the tile over the corkboard.

DSC_0065It won’t stick without some pressure, so you’ll have a little bit of time to move the tile around before it’s adhered for good. Repeat until all of your tiles have a cork bottom.



How to make personalized Mod Podge coastersGuess what? You’re done! Now wrap those suckers up and give them to the Daddy/Grandpa in your life. Thank you so much, Amy, for inviting me to Mod Podge Rocks today. And thank you Mod Podge Rockers for checking out my Father’s Day coaster tutorial! Come visit me at Martha Shmartha to see an amazing tutorial from Amy, and also lots of other snazzy crafts!

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    • chelsea says

      you don’t know how many times I’ve said the same thing and then recently realized I was doing it wrong lmao…

  1. Ashley says

    Wonderful! I think I will do this for my son’s grandpa as well. I lieu of time, I might go shopping around for some coasters at a dollar store, then just podge the photos on top. But I love your idea of coasters from scratch, and your instructions were perfect.

  2. Amanda@The Hand Me Down House says

    These are adorable! I just did my first Modge Pod project yesterday! And now I found this site!?! I know what I’ll be doing for a while!!!

  3. Hannah says

    Emily, this might be my favorite thing you’ve done. So cute. And now I know how to say Mod Podge. :)

  4. Scatter says

    That is one of the most clever ideas I’ve seen in a while. We all know how wonderful Mod Podge crafts are…but the way you had the kids hold the letters..that is inspired!!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  5. says

    uh… i’m going to be late… for dinner…
    no, really those coasters are tooooo adorable!
    i’m going to do some serious glueing today!
    thanks for the fun…

  6. VickiT says

    Great idea. Awesome project. This would even be perfect for holiday gifts using photos from past family holiday get togethers. Thanks so much.

  7. says

    Love this! But I especially your frugal and earth-friendly use of cardboard. Great job!

    I’m going to adapt this and use it for Christmas presents since we’re all set for Father’s Day. Thanks so much for guest posting today. :)

  8. Stephanie says

    such a great idea! I made stamped coasters a few years ago for Christmas gifts, I used the Red Sticky tape for the cork bottom. Spray adhesive would have been quicker and less expensive I bet!

  9. Ammie says

    I love these! How did you come up with such a great idea, snapping photos of your kids spelling out “Grandpa”!? 😀 Fabulous idea!

  10. Fonville Farm says

    What a cute idea! I’m going to have to try this sometime!
    I’m from the weekend wrap up party. I happened to come across your blog yesterday, from Made. I live just outside of Atlanta, in Douglasville. I wish that I had been able to join you all at Whipstitch! I haven’t gotten a chance to go by there yet, but will be heading there tomorrow!
    Love your blog!
    Robin :)

  11. a little bit of everything says

    Fabulous idea ! They came out so cute! I love Mod Podge too…

  12. TLynn says

    I know this is an old post, but I was researching how to Seal or waterproof modge podge and you’ve answered my questions!!!The cork on the bottom is a great idea!!! I use tiny little stick on “feet”

  13. Amy says

    I found this craft on Pinterest and made them last week for my husband, and my children’s grandpa’s. The kids are 3 and 1, so trying to make a lot of the coasters (with all of the letters) was asking a lot. So we made one for each guy and used stickers to put their chosen names (Daddy, Grandpa and Poppy) on them. WE gave them to them last weekend and all 3 of them loved them. Thank you for a one of a kind, personal gift!

  14. Mel says

    Im just coming across this now…but when do you use the matte mod podge? I see it on your list of things we will need but dont see it mentioned in the instructions!!??

    • Emily says

      Hi Mel! I used the Matte Mod Podge in adhering the scrapbook paper to the cardboard. Hope this helps!

  15. Rebecca says

    Hey, I am making something like this for a wedding coming up that I am going to. I was just wondering if you used printer paper for the photos or photo paper? Any suggestions from anyone who has done the craft, which did you use?

  16. Heather says

    On the photos does it need to be an actual photo or does the photo need to be printed on computer paper??

    • Amy says

      Hi Heather! You can use the printed photo paper from places like Shutterfly, or you can print it on computer paper. If you print on computer paper, you should use laserjet, otherwise you’ll need to spray seal with acrylic sealer before Mod Podging (inkjet bleeds if you don’t). Thanks!

  17. Alexis says

    I came across this post on Pinterest and thought they old mke great Christmas gifts. So I printed off a buch of my engagement pictures and appiled them to the coasters just like you did. Initially I just used regular mod podge due to that’s what I had available and when I tested them the glass left a ring of white on the coaster. So I got the hard coast mod podge and did the five layers on top of the coasters and retested. Again, they left a white ring on the coaster. Are your directions waterproof or did yours have rings when they got wet as well?

    • Amy says

      Hi Alexis! These are not waterproof (Mod Podge isn’t waterproof). You’ll need to add an outdoor sealer (brush on preferrably) like Minwax Polycrylic to make them completely waterproof.


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