DIY: Make Your Own Instagram Coasters

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Ever since I moved into my first apartment, I’ve been obsessive about using coasters, even though my first coffee table was made of cheap laminate and basically impervious to water stains. I used to take those paper coasters from bars and restaurants home to use. Not exactly the fanciest thing in the world.

I’m not sure if I thought those paper coasters were cool, or I was just too lazy to buy a set of nice ones, but now that I’m a little older and own a table that I actually need to use coasters on, I decided it was time to have a proper set! So when I saw that I could print out 4 x 4” square photos with Kicksend, I had a great idea: why not print out some of my favorite Instagrams and turn them into beautiful and functional coasters?

Not only are these Instagram coasters perfect for my own place, they’ll make a fun and wallet-friendly gift for your closest friends and family. Each coaster ended up only costing a little over $1 in materials and it took me less than an hour to finish all six coasters I made. Every time your loved ones pull out a cup, they’ll be reminded of the effort you put into creating these gifts for them!

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What you’ll need:

  • 4” x 4” square ceramic tiles (Mine are actually 4¼” x 4 ¼”, but I like the border around the pictures. I found them at Home Depot for 13¢ each!)
  • 4” x 4” photos (printed with the Kicksend app)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Felt or adhesive cork for the backs of tiles
  • Scissors

Let’s get down to business: 

1. Using the paintbrush, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to one of the tiles.

2. Center a picture on the tile and use your fingers to press the picture down firmly, especially focusing on the corners, so that the edges don’t end up lifting later on.

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3. Once the picture is adhered to the tile, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge directly onto the photo and use the paintbrush to spread it around. Don’t worry if it looks a little white while you’re painting it on, the Mod Podge will be clear once it dries. The important thing to focus on is to make all your brush strokes consistent (i.e., in the same direction) for a polished look.

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4. Repeat steps 1-3 for all your tiles and photos.

5. Let the Mod Podge dry for 20-30 minutes, then apply another 1-2 layers of Mod Podge to the tops of the photos (how many layers needed will depend on how thick you apply it).

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I like to apply additional coats of Mod Podge in the opposite direction that I applied the previous coat (so if the first coat was horizontal, I’d apply the second coat vertically) to give a textured look. If you want a smoother finish without brush strokes, lightly sand in between coats of Mod Podge with a fine-grit sandpaper.

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6. Once your last layer of Mod Podge has dried completely, you’ll want to apply some sort of backing to the bottom of the tiles to protect the surface you place them on, since the back of the tiles are rough. I found some sticky-backed felt at a crafts store, which ended up being perfect. I cut the felt into squares slightly smaller than the tiles, centered it to the bottom, and stuck it on. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

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7. Your coasters are all finished and ready to use!

I keep mine stacked on my coffee table so they’re easily accessible whenever I need  them. I’m so happy with how they turned out – they look awesome and they’re definitely an upgrade from what I had before.

Have you come up with any fun DIY holiday gift ideas using Instagrams? Let us know in the comments below!

Laura is a freelance writer in Michigan who is inspired by the beauty in everyday life. In her free time, she enjoys cooking (and eating), DIY projects, and binge-watching Netflix.

1 Comment

  • Reply December 17, 2013


    I am all over this. I’ll make themed sets: grandchildren (for my parents), nature (for my brother), food, yooper stuff etc. I live in the upper peninsula, btw. Thanks Laura


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