December 10, 2014 / Comments (1)

Create it: Mountain Coasters

Today’s post is a little different. With the holidays coming up, I thought I’d share a great DIY gift idea. A couple of years ago I gave everyone on my list a calendar with a photo from a 4000 footer hike in each corresponding month. There are so many groupon deals and other discounts for this so it was a great option. This year I thought I would do something different and give people homemade coasters using photos from my John Muir Hike this summer. I wanted a winter set for my place as well so I’m making those too.
These do take some time and patience, but it’s a very unique and practical gift!
Step 1:
Pick your photos and print ’em!
To make square coasters, you will need square prints. I found it easy to crop mine to be 4″x4″ and print them. Walmart’s instant printers have a 4×4 option, but make sure your prints are already square or you can crop them there.
Another option is to print them and use a paper trimmer to cut them to your desired size.
Step 2:
Gather your materials!
To make your coasters, you need the following items pictured below:
DIY coasters
Step 3:
Assemble coasters
DIY coasters

Pick out the photos you will be using. I decided to use four John Muir Trail photos to make a coaster set. I cut my photos using a paper trimmer to make them slightly smaller than my stone tiles. I also rounded the corners.

You will then brush a thin layer of Mod Podge onto the surface of the tiles and mount your photos.

Step 4:
Seal your coasters

Before you mix the EnviroTex Lite, place your coasters on something to raise them up slightly so the resin won’t get on the back. I used small container caps.

Follow the steps that come with the EnviroTex Lite. I recommend following them closely and setting a timer when necessary to ensure good results.


Step 5:
Cover your project and wait 15 minutes

Tiny bubbles will come to the surface of the coasters. As instructed by EnviroTex, wait 15 minutes and then exhale over the surface to pop any bubbles. The carbon dioxide you exhale is what pops them. Using a tool such as an embossing heat tool works well if you have one. Do not use a hair dryer. The air is too strong and will simply move the resin off your coasters.

The resin will take a while to set- at least 48 hours. You may see similar projects that use Mod Podge over the photos. This will not be nearly as durable. Using a resin will ensure your coasters are waterproof and can handle being used daily. It also creates a glass-like finish and is much more beautiful.

Step Six:
Finishing Touches

Add felt to the bottom of your coasters to protect the surfaces in your home. Cut the felt in whatever shape you’d like. That’s it! Wrap them up for a friend or keep them for yourself! There are so many variations to experiment with. I am planning on making a winter set as well. You can also use only black and white photos or have a particular focus such as flora and fauna on the trail. Get creative!


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Last modified: September 2, 2017

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Create it: Mountain Coasters

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