We’ve all seen tile coasters, either decorated or painted or decoupaged with photos. Maybe you even created some
last year for Christmas as a kid. I really thought I’d exhausted the different ways to make a coaster from tile, but when I read about creating tile coasters using iron on’s, I couldn’t wait to try it!
What you’ll need:
- 4″ x 4″ Tile: This works easier with unglazed tile , but colors are brighter with glazed. (I sanded the glazed tiles before transferring the photo.)
- Photo transfer paper
- Water-resistant sealer
- Cork or felt tabs, if you are going to make the tile into a coaster
1. Print your photo on the photo transfer paper, following the manufacturer’s directions. Cut around your image leaving a 1/2″ border. Tape if upside down to the edge of the tile. This will help to keep the photo from slipping.
2. Preheat the iron using the highest setting (don’t use steam!) and fold the photo back away from the tile.
3. Heat the tile: working on a protected surface, and using gloves to protect your hands from the hot tile, place your iron onto your tile for 1 minute.
4. Carefully flip the photo over onto the tile. Since the transfer paper smears easily when hot, you need to tack the transfer first by lightly gliding the tip of the iron across the back two or three times.
5. Iron it down: Using firm pressure, (and being careful not to move the transfer) iron the paper to the tile. Go back and forth, pressing firmly around all the image. Make sure to do the edges really well, because that’s the area that seems to have the hardest time with the transfer. When you are finished, set the timer for one minute and do some deep breathing or something. You don’t want to take the paper off too soon, but you also don’t want to leave it on too long or the paper will get stuck to the tile. (If that happens, heat the paper again and you should be able to get it off.)
6. Wait till the tile completely cools (at least 10 to 15 minutes), then seal the tile using 2 to 3 coats of sealer.
7. Attach cork or felt to the bottom if using for a coaster.
I just love the look of this! I can see a whole row of tiles lined up across a back splash or several grouped together in a frame. I’m planning on making a tile planter for a friend, and I’m definitely going to incorporate this technique.
If you like this project idea, you would love the book that I got the idea from. There are 50 projects, and they’re not your regular run-of-the-mill projects either! Just a few I plan to try: mirror frame, plexiglass accordion frame, rice paper screen and even a shower curtain! I don’t usually purchase real hold-in-your-hands books for diy stuff any more, (that’s why we have the Internet, right?) but in this case I’m glad I broke down and got it.
In celebration of Free Time Frolics’ Birthday, one lucky reader will receive a copy of Photocraft, Cool Things to Do with the Pictures You Love (which is my new favorite how-to book).
Here are a few popular posts from there blog!