Travertine Photo Coasters

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Happy Birthday to my sweet Mama today!   For one of her birthday gifts I made her these travertine photo coasters which turned out so cool (it was one of those projects that got my heart-rate up because I was so excited about how they turned out)!

This is a personalized handmade gift that anyone can make!

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You will need:

4"x4" travertine tiles (I got mine at Home Depot)

1 sheet of white tissue paper (wrinkle-free)

card stock printer paper



paint brush

clear sealer (I used spray-on Minwax Polycrylic in satin finish)

1 sheet of felt

The first thing you need to do is print your photos on the tissue paper.  I found it is easiest to cut a piece of tissue paper smaller than the card stock...

and tape the tissue paper to the center of the card stock, then print your photos on it. I used Photoshop to crop my photos to 4"x4" and make print layouts that would print 2 photos in the center of each page.

When cutting out the tissue paper photos, it is easiest to just cut it along with the card stock.

Once I had all my tissue paper photos printed and cut out, I painted a layer of Mod Podge on the tiles and adhered a photo to each tile, then allowed them to dry thouroughly.

I painted 2 more coats of Mod Podge over the photos, allowing each to dry completely.

Then I sprayed 3 coats of the clear sealer on top (allowing for drying between each one).

To finish the coasters I cut squares of felt and glued them to the back.

What a lovely and special gift!!

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Looking for more awesome DIY gift ideas?  You have come to the right place!

You might also like:

personalized photo frames

Photo Key-chain

Mirrored Photo Ornaments


  1. OM Gosh ! That it awesome….I’m so going to have to try that for my grandparents for xmas!

  2. These look neat- would love to try making them sometime! I’m coming over from the linky party at You Had Me At Craft. :)

  3. Great idea and wonderful tutorial. Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to give these a try!

  4. Stopped by from Made It Myself Mondays! Great idea, thanks for all the info. They turned out just beautiful! If you have some time I would love for you to stop by my blog.
    Peace & Harmony,

  5. Your coasters look fab – and what a great little piece of nostalgia for your Mama as time goes by and everyone grows and changes. :) Nice little reminder of family when she sits down for a cuppa or an iced tea.

  6. Love it! Please post this, and anything else you may have,in my link party at



  7. That is so cool! How easy is it to print on tissue paper? Are there any tricks to it? These would be so fun to make for my parents.

  8. Okay, I’m an idiot. I must of slid right past that part. Part of the danger of reading this on my Nook. :)

  9. Such a great idea! Especially with Christmas right around the corner! :) Would so love for you to share this at my link party going on…

    Hope to see you there!
    Clydia {}

  10. I am looking forward to trying to make these!

  11. These are so sweet! I love it when I have another excuse to decorate the house with more pictures :)

  12. Wow! These are gorgeous! Mod Podge can do just about anything, can’t it?! I’d be so excited if you’d share this great idea here:

  13. Hi, Kate,
    I just wanted you to know I’m featuring these tomorrow! Stop by and grab a ‘featured’ button!

  14. We loved your photo coasters so much we’re featuring you today at our {{What I Made Wednesday}} Linky Party! If you’d like, come and grab a featured button!


  15. HI! LOVE this idea and tried it once already so far…the tile was only $2.oo at Lowes so I figure I can always get more lol…but I have a quick question….do you take the tissue paper photo back off of the card stock and then put it on the coaster or leave the card stock on and modge podge both on to coaster…I put just the tissue paper with photo printed on it onto the tile and the photo got kind of blurry and “lost” type thing but maybe I just need a diff pic?…any advice would be great! Thank YOU!

    • I only mod podged the tissue paper to the tile (the card stock was just to help the tissue paper go through the printer). When you say it got “lost” do you mean the ink blurred or the photo just didn’t show up much? If your ink is running then I would try to paint the first layer of mod podge on very quickly. If the picture doesn’t have much contrast it just might not show up too well. Hope that helps!

      • Hi. I have a question. How did you get the tissue paper to work? Did you use a specific kind? Mine seems to keep getting stuck in the printer. Also, should I set my printer to a different setting to help it print? I love this idea and really want to try it but I can’t get the pictures printed! Help, please!


        • Andrea~ I didn’t use a specific kind of tissue paper, just whatever I had in my gift wrapping leftovers. Did you tape the tissue paper to card-stock before putting it in the printer? If for some reason the tissue paper just isn’t working for you you can try printing the photos on vellum instead, it is a little thicker but still transparent. Hope that helps!

  16. i cant wait to try these.. Thanks for the $$ saving gift idea…

  17. Thanks so much for this! Your technique for the tissue paper saved me a LOT of hassle! Quick question. I’m having an issue with smearing when I apply the first layer of Modge Podge (I’m using an ink jet printer) – did you have a problem with that? If so, how did you address it? Thanks!!

    • I did have a little problem with smearing but I found that if I applied the first layer of Mod Podge quickly it was okay. If you’re still having issues you could spray on a layer of the sealer first (just to seal the print so it won’t smear) and then do the Mod Podge layers, then more sealer. Hope that helps!

  18. Shaorn Vargo says:

    Could you please tell me if you use art tissue/tracing paper or wrapping paper tissue, THANKS!

    • Just plain ole wrapping tissue paper:) Tracing paper would probably work well too (and be easier to print on) but I like how the tissue paper kind of settles into the texture of the stone tiles.

  19. The great thing about mod podge is you can use it on a lot of things. If you wanted to used christmas wrapping paper then you could use it as a background for picture, clip boards, etc. Great idea with the pictures.

  20. I just got through trying these. My main issue was the small wrinkles i was getting in the tissue paper after applying the first layer of glue on the tile. How did you get all the wrinkles out without smearing the ink??

    • I don’t think I had trouble with wrinkles… was the paper smooth until you tried to stick it to the tile and then you started having problems? One suggestion would be that you could spray clear coat on the tissue paper photos and let it dry before you try to attach them to the tiles. Then at least the ink wouldn’t smear. Also if it’s not working for you you could just print the photos on thicker vellum so they won’t wrinkle. I like the tissue paper better b/c it is so thin that it kind of settles in to the nooks and crannies of the stone tiles, but it is a little tricky to work with since it is so delicate! Hope that is helpful!

  21. I am having issues with the thinner non wax coated tracing paper wrinkling on mine and was wondering how to fix it. I am using stone tiles that aren’t smooth. Is it better to apply the nod podge to the tile or to the tissue paper honestly I tried both ways and still wrinkles.

    • Amber, the tiles I used were very rough so it is up to you how smooth you want them. If you are having issues with wrinkling, you could try printing on a different kind of tissue paper, or you could try using spray-on mod podge. Maybe spray some on the tile and stick on the photo, then after that dries spray mod podge on top of the photo. Hope that helps!

  22. Megan Tidwell says:

    I am so doing these for the tables at my wedding:)


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