DIY Tile Coasters: A Great Way To Use Homemade Mod Podge

Now that I have a freshly made batch of my Homemade Mod Podge, I was all set to make a project that’s been on my want-to-do list for quite awhile.  I’ve seen these DIY tile coasters around on Pinterest and some of my friends and family have made them too.  They’re cute, easy, and cheap.  My kind of craft project!

To make these coasters, you get some 4-1/4″ square ceramic tiles from a home improvement store (like Home Depot) and decoupage scrapbook paper to them using a product called Mod Podge.

DIY tile coasters

The ceramic tiles are super duper affordable (usually sold for about 10 cents apiece), and if you have lots of odds and ends of scrapbook paper you might have to fight the urge to make like 50 coasters.

So how did the homemade Mod Podge work?  Was it of the same quality as the store bought stuff?

(For the recipe click here = = > >   Homemade Mod Podge )

I was VERY happy with my homemade Mod Podge.  Loved it, in fact.

The main difference is that it doesn’t have quite as high of a shine to it.  BUT – this also resulted in the brush strokes not being as obvious and gave it a nice smooth finish.  Because this project requires a spray sealant anyway that gave it a glossy finish, everything worked out perfectly.  Based on this project, I’m giving homemade Mod Podge a big thumbs up!

homemade tile coasters made with Mod Podge



You will need:

  • 4.25″ square ceramic tiles

  • Sheets of scrapbook paper in the patterns of your choice

  • Mod Podge  (homemade or store bought)

  • Foam sponge brush

  • White felt  (I used the (9″x12″ sheets of adhesive backed felt)

  • Spray Acrylic Sealer

1.  The first thing you’ll need to do is cut squares from the scrapbook paper that are just slightly smaller than the tiles.  One way to do this is to trace around the tiles and then cut just a little bit inside the lines.  Trim as needed to get the fit you want.

2.  Brush some Mod Podge onto the tile and then lay the square of scrapbook paper on it to adhere it to the tile.  Smooth it out with your fingers as needed, making sure you get all the way to the edges.

3.  Next, brush a coat of Mod Podge over the paper, again making sure you get all the way to the edges.

homemade tile coasters

NOW COMES THE TENSE MOMENT – Bubbles happen with Mod Podge, even the homemade Mod Podge.  If you’re really into Mod Podge, you can even buy these bubble fighting smoothing tools.   You will need to smooth out any bubbles that crop up, pressing out toward the edges.

I just used my fingers for this step and was happy that I got smooth results.  Try not to drive yourself bananas on this step.

4.  Let your coasters set for several hours to dry.

DIY Tile Coasters

5.  To make sure your coasters will be waterproof, finish them off with a coat of spray acrylic sealer (I used Aleene’s Spray Acrylic Sealer with Gloss Finish which worked great.  Krylon also makes a product like this).  This will give your coasters a nice gloss too.


6.  To keep the tiles coasters from scratching your furniture, you’ll want to put some felt on the back.  I used the sheets of peel-and-stick adhesive backed felt that I bought for 99 cents at Hobby Lobby.  Cut a square piece slightly smaller than your tile and stick it to the back.  You can also do this with regular felt and craft glue.

And that’s it!

DIY tile coasters


So . . . . what shall I make next with my homemade Mod Podge?

I’d love to hear your ideas  🙂

You might also like to read: DIY Tile Coasters: The Update


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  1. Is it better to use glue for the felt backing or a glue gun. Which would last longer? Also could I use pictures from a magazine,like flowers,etc?

    1. Either type of glue should work OK for adhering the felt to the back of the tile. You could try using magazine pictures, however it is a glossier and thinner type of paper than scrapbook paper, and I think that might result in the colors bleeding when the wet mod podge is applied.

    1. I love these. They are easy and inexpensive to make and sell great. One tip I have is I use a crumbled up piece of Saran wrap to very lightly tap the bubbles out. so I don’t have to worry about tearing the edges.

  2. Haven’t been in the crafty spirit due to injuries sustained in 019. Btwn 6-7-20 went thru 5 surgeries. Just found out by renowned specialist I will endure another 5-6 months with minimum 2 more surgeries. But all that to say your tile coasters have me back in crafty mood for Xmas gifts. Thank you so so much!

    1. I know some folks have had this problem, but I have never had my glasses stick to these coasters . . . so I don’t know what’s at the root of that problem! I’ve always wondered if it has something to do with different environments or humidity. Not sure!

    1. I suppose you could give it a try without the sealer and see if the Mod Podge is enough of a protective layer over the paper. I’m not sure, however, if just the Mod Podge alone would be enough to protect the paper from the moisture of condensation from beverages sitting on the coasters.

      1. Hi.. I am one that made tile coasters for the first time. After reading & watching turtorials I tried it with photos….put 5 coats of matte mod podge, let each dry before applying more. Michael’s suggested to use Americana acrylic sealer to finish them off. After making about 24….put one with a mug of hot water, the other with a glass of water with ice. MARKED! I was so disappointed! I am going to Home Depot for some help!

        1. I only use inkfet paper to modge podge and it works great. Its never run with anything I have used and I’ve tried everything except photos, but now I’m going to

  3. Hi Bev, I was just researching home made MP and to make it glossy I have read on another site that you add 2 tablespoons of water based varnish. I think this would also give it somewhat of a moisture proof surface since you are using it for coasters. BTW your coasters are really nice. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  4. Clear acrylic sealer will NOT make the coasters waterproof or resistant to heat; I just used 3 coats of Krylon Triple thick Crystal Clear Glaze — it covers beautifully but when I set a hot cup of tea on it, the cup stuck to the coaster! When I pulled it off, it left a nasty permanent ring 🙁

    1. A lot of people don’t realize that acrylic drys fast to the touch but is very slow to cure. It actually takes weeks for it to completely cure.

      1. So I have been doing some coasters also, When I went to stack them the felt on the back stuck. Do I just need them to dry longer?

  5. I just did this the other night actually but with fabric instead of paper. The mod podge I had on hand was the ‘outdoor’ version. The finish is a little tacky. Do you know if that’s normal? I have limited experience with mod podge. I bought it for another project and that was fairly a fail. I was planning to give them a coat of poly and hope for the best. I may have some of the product you mentioned in the basement. Beautiful pattern choices on your tiles!

    1. I used my homemade mod podge and I don’t remember the finish being tacky. Hopefully the coat of poly will make everything good.

  6. I make these all the time, but you need to let the coat under the pic/image dry for a day before you start applying the mod podge top coats. I give it 3 top coats and let them dry completely in between. After the 3 coats are on and they dry for a couple of days, I spray 3 coats of Dupli-Color enamel with ceramic engine paint., (10 mins in between each coat OUTSIDE). These still don’t do well with hot cups… just cold items.

  7. To keep fabric-for-coasters from fraying, mod podge the fabric itself and let dry (easy with a pants hanger) — THEN cut it with an exacto-knife blade and a straightedge. Scissors are not helpful here, even sharp ones.

  8. I made one to try this project. After mod podging i let try then I use mod podge clear acrylic sealer. I did 4 coats. I mod podge a photo. I tested to see what it would do after 4 days and when I set something cold on coaster its ok but when i put my hot coffee cup on there it stuck to tile leaving a small groove. Do you think a brush on Polyurethane sealant would work better. I want to make for christmas presents they are great idea.

    1. Others have told me this happened to them too with hot beverages. This has not happened to me so I’m at a loss to know why that is happening. I used my homemade Mod Podge and did just one light coat of a spray sealant. So the best I can come up with is that perhaps there is some kind of variable with the products being used.

      1. Thank you for your response. I was wondering if polyurethane would work. I wonder if i did to many coats of sealer. I did about 4 light coats. I see you used Aleenes. Where did you find this?

      1. I know that many people have commented they have problems with hot items sticking on these coasters, however I have never experienced this problem. I sit my hot cup of tea of these coasters all the time! I’ve always wondered if my homemade mod podge is making the difference.

  9. I am about to follow your recipe for making modge podge for candles. I use a paint brush to apply the glue. Could you please tell me how I can clean my brush satisfactorily because at the moment I use nail polish remover and all I end up with are hardened glue bristles?

    1. I have not had a problem with the homemade mod podge hardening my brushes but I think that might be because I always clean my brushes right away after using them. I just rinse them with water. So perhaps it might be more about cleaning them quickly rather than what is being used to clean them.

  10. Finally got around to trying this, and it worked so awesomely! Thanks so much for it. I got the 6×8 version of the white tiles at Home Depot, and made a plaque for my wife commemorating our anniversary, with a photoshopped image. I can’t wait to give it to her, and I’m now going to make a bunch of coasters with my favorite album covers on them. Thanks again!

  11. I have made these before and loved the look of them! However, even after being finished for weeks and sealed with acrylic sealer, any time I put a warm mug on them, the coasters stuck to the bottom of my cup 🙁 I ended up trashing the whole set because it was really annoying. I know they were completely dry and they didn’t feel sticky to the touch, only when they were heated by a hot mug. Any ideas on how to make them again without them being so sticky?

    1. I’m having the same problem after spraying with acrylic. Even after it drys, warm mug sticks to coasters. Any remedy??

      1. I’m wondering if it might be tracking back to a certain variety of Mod Podge perhaps ?? I know there are quite a few varieties out there now. I’m not having this problem with the coasters I made (and used my homemade version of Mod Podge). Other than that, I’m not sure what could be causing this.

  12. Hi thank you for your lesson. I have tried making my own Mog podge the same way as you describe with little success. Quite possibly it was what I applied it on. When I purchased some it worked great! I use it on my Polymer Clay. If mog podge is a sealer which I believe that it is, why do you suggest purchasing another sealer?
    You’ve now inspired me to make my own tiles! Thank you! I rent a apartment and would love some new tiles in my kitchen on my counter top, is it possible to remove them? Is there possible another proceedure you would recommend? Thank you once again.

    1. While the mod podge adheres the paper to the tile, it really does benefit from the protective coat of acrylic sealer to keep moisture and heat from doing any damage to your finished coasters. I’m not quite sure what you mean by “removing them”. *sorry*

  13. I’m in the process of making some right now with natural stone tiles and a map split into 8 coasters. My concern is that with a wet or hot glass, the mod podge won’t hold up. Has anyone else had this concern? I was considering a coat of polyurethane on top, but I’m not sure how that will interact with the mod pidge.

    1. The spray acrylic sealer has worked well for my coasters and has done a fine job with any thing wet or hot on my coasters.

    2. I had problem with mod Podge spray acrylic sealer with hot cups of coffee. Stuck to the cup and left small indentation. Did you try the polyurethane? And if so how did it work.? I want to make these for Christmas gifts.

    3. I just began using roofing slate to make coasters. I have tried several different layers of spray urethane, mod podge and wood urethane to avoid sticking. The most inexpensive way, I’ve found by trial and error, is using pictures printed on standard paper printed off a ink jet printer, making sure the ink is completely dry. I then cut out the pic to size, use a sponge to apply a thin layer of mod podge to the area the picture will be placed, then mod lodge over the top of the paper and lightly rub my (clean) finger over the paper to press out any air and secure the paper against the surface. Rubbing to much can cause the ink to run. Then to be sure the surface will be heat and water resistant, I use wood urethane. I’ve found the best way to apply it is with sponge brush. First apply a thin coat in one direction then another in the opposite direction. Because of the rough slate surface, applying two thin coats in opposite directions while both are wet assures that the urethane gets into every little nook but is not a thick coat which could dry with bubbles. A high gloss urethane looks best, and there really isn’t a need for more than one coat. Now, after reading other posts, my concern is applying felt pieces on the bottom, and having them stick. I’m hoping by letting the urethane dry for a good 3 days will prevent any sticking. 🙂

  14. I’ve heard you can use inkjet printed designs to Decoupage successfuly by spraying the paper with aerosol hairspray before applying the glue.

  15. Homemade mod podge also works great for preserving puzzles! I completed a poster sized puzzle and could imagine it would have cost me a small fortune to use the store bought mod podge. The coasters are a great idea also. I am thinking of doing family picture coasters for gifts.

    1. I have not tried this project with fabric, but it could probably work. The most challenging thing would be to not have the edges of the material fray.

    1. I was able to find my tiles at Home Depot, in the back part of the store where floor tiles and other tiles were sold.

  16. Beverly,

    I made these this past weekend and they turned out great. I bought a package of holiday-themed drink napkins from Hobby Lobby and used those to make my coasters. I will be giving these as presents for my co-workers at our Christmas party this week! Thanks for the instructions! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  17. To clarify my earlier question about clean edges, the paper is cut properly and is not the problem. My tile edges look unfinished with uneven coloring. Your edges appear so white and even! How did you get such a clean and finished result?

    1. Melanie – I wonder if it might just be the type of tiles you used?? My tiles had a smooth white finish on top so there was nothing extra that needed to be done. Not sure what might have caused that problem.

  18. Any suggestions on how to get those nice clean edges? My edges are uneven and look like a grammar school project. Thanks!

  19. I am trying to make these with Verses and Quotes printed on resume type paper, but the ink runs when i put the mod podge on. Do you think it would help if I used a different type of paper? Maybe card stock or something? Just wandering if it is even possible to do with printed ink….:/

    1. Tammy – I have heard of this same type of coaster project being done successfully with photographs. Perhaps you could try printing your verses and quotes on the glossy photo paper and see if that works.

  20. I just made these and they turned out great. However, when I staked them together the felt stuck to the coaster below. Any ideas on how to correct this and stop it from happening?

    1. I had someone else email asking me this too. I didn’t have this problem so I’m not sure what it might be. A few thoughts are to be sure to leave enough time for the Mod Podge to dry completely before putting on the sealer. I also know there are different varieties of Mod Podge (gloss, etc.) and perhaps different varieties might react differently?? Another factor could be the temperature or humidity where you live that might affect how things are drying up.

    2. That happened to me as well – how did you get the felt off of them? I was so happy with how great they were and now they have felt pieces in each corner – I don’t know what to do from here – I’d hate to redo them all over again…

      1. I made about 30 of these coasters last year for Christmas gifts and put felt on the bottom I had know problem stacking with felt. I did spray them with a clear acrylic spray and let dry for about 3-4 days before adding felt. had no problem with sticking when stacked

    3. Use the little rubber dots on the back of the coasters instead of felt. You can find them in the aisle with furniture protectors, chair/sofa glides. I use these so that my wall doesn’t get scratched from whatever I have leaning get against it. Love them and they are unnoticeable

  21. Coasters look awesome…love the designs! I have made from pictures printed from my ink jet printer and the colors do not run! They look pretty great:-)

    1. That is good to know! I would have guessed that wouldn’t work, so it’s nice to hear first hand that you’ve used pictures from an ink jet printer with success. Thanks for sharing.

      1. I make paper crafts all the time and the ink jet image may run however if you take the image and let it sit for about 10 minutes then very lightly spray a polyurethane finish before crafting the ink doesn’t run

    2. Las fotocopias (de fotografia u otros) para los trabajos deben ser de impresoras LASER y no de impresora de tinta, caso contrario se corre la tinta y mancha el trabajo.

      1. English translation of above comment: Photocopies (of photography or other) for the work must be of LASER printers and ink printer not, otherwise there is ink and stain work.

  22. Those are really pretty, but can you do this with other paper, not just craft paper. I visit covered bridges and wondered if a printed picture or even a glossy would work as well as craft paper. Always thinking of gifts and love your ideas.

    1. I have seen this project done with photographs and they turn out great. I think if you tried it with a paper just printed off your printer, the printer ink might run when you added the mod podge.

      1. I just made these! Printed pics off on regular letter paper and mod podged them on, great last minute Christmas gifts!!!