I take a lot of pictures, especially when I travel, but aside from a few large prints displayed around my house most of the files wind up just hogging space on my hard drive.
Since it’s next to impossible to convince friends or family to sit through a slideshow of the 4,357 photos I’ve collected in recent years from adventures in England, Germany and Peru, I knew I had to come up with something a little more functional.
That’s when I hit upon the idea of turning my travel gems into photo coasters.
Not only do they add a personal touch to serving drinks, but custom coasters allow me to show off some of my favourite moments from around the globe without bombarding guests with a never-ending slideshow.
My finished pieces are now permanently displayed on my coffee table. (I won’t admit to whether or not it has something to do with the paint chips they are strategically covering up.)
These coasters can also be turned into a homemade gift idea, personalized by using the recipient’s own wedding or baby photos.
What you need:
4–12 tiles (4×4, 5×5 or 6×6 inches)
4–12 photo prints (4×4, 5×5 or 6×6 inches)
1 glue stick
1 can of a high-gloss finishing spray, like Zinsser Bulls Eye Soft-Gloss Spray Shellac
1) Select some inexpensive tiles from your local hardware store — or make use of any extra pieces left over from a renovation project. For best results, use 4×4-, 5×5- or 6×6-inch tiles.
2) Choose the photographs you want to use and get them printed to fit the tile size, or select a smaller print size to create a border. In this example I used 5×5-inch prints of old travel photos on 6×6-inch tiles.
3) Use a glue stick to apply a smooth layer of glue to the back of each photograph, making sure to get glue close to the edges. Remove any noticeable chunks of glue and press photos firmly onto tiles. Let dry.
4) Lay out a few sheets of newspaper to protect the surface you’re working on. That old issue of the Town Crier will do (as long as it’s not a page with my article on it!). Spread the tiles on top with the photos facing upwards.
5) Apply a few light coats of high-gloss finishing spray. Allow enough time for the finish to dry between coats.
As an alternative to the spray, use a paintbrush to apply coats of Mod Podge to the top of the tile and photo instead. The end result is similar but not quite as glossy.
This article was originally published in the Leaside-Rosedale, Forest Hill and North Toronto Town Crier.