Introduction: No Leak Tile Coasters

Anyone who has done any amount of remodeling or home improvement knows there will be junk. If you are anything like me, then you keep much of it for those "just in case" days. I have a large plastic tub full of such cast-offs: approximately 300 ceramic floor tiles.

This Instructable will show you a simple, quick project that can utilize and reuse these tiles into a custom drink coaster.

Coasters are great for setting your drinks on to save the finish of your tables or surfaces, but many coasters, while they look nice, still leak a little. I will show my little trick to prevent that.

To do this, you need only a few materials.

  • Ceramic tiles
  • Mod Podge
  • A brush
  • Hot glue gun and clear glue sticks
  • Images of your own choosing
  • Scissors

I selected two different items for this demonstration: A vacation photo and an old travel map of Texas.

Step 1: Clean Up Your Act!

My tub-o-tiles have been sitting in a shed for a while, so they were quite dirty. I just cleaned off the surface with simple soap and water and a cloth.

Since they were used tiles, they still had the tile mud and adhesive on the backs. I shall call this "junk:. I was not concerned about this, even though it made the bottom uneven. This will be taken care of later. Rest assured, there is no scraping and grinding involved!

Step 2: Prep Your Image!

Laying out the map, I decided what parts to use. Up in the northeast corner of the state is the city of Paris. I am very familiar with the Paris, Texas area so that works great!. (Yes, they do have their own Eiffel Tower!)

  • Lay the tile over the area and trace around the tile. This will give the approximate area to cut out.
  • With the scissors, cut out the area.
  • Trim the edges so it fits within the actual tile front without going over.

For the photograph, I just did the same thing as the map.

  • Align the tile over the area, trace the tile and cut.

Since the tiles are a little larger than 4 inches square, a 4X6 photograph works very well.

Cut off the excess picture.

Step 3: Just Stick It!

Now, you have clean, used ceramic tiles, and you have an image to adhere to it.

  1. Using the brush, apply a layer of Mod Podge to the front of the tile.
  2. Center the image of choice above the tile.
  3. Press it to the Mod Podge and smooth out any wrinkles. My selected map area had some seams, so I was careful not to tear them.
  4. Apply another layer of Mod Podge over the image all the way to the edge to seal it in and create a water tight surface.
  5. Let the tiles dry.
  6. Apply a second coat of Mod Podge to help smooth it out and insure a good seal.
  7. Let it dry again.

Step 4: Raise It Up!

Now that they are dry, they should look pretty good.

You know how earlier I said don't worry about the mud and glue on the back, well here is where we deal with that!

  • Flip the tiles over.
  • With the glue gun apply nice even globs of hot glue at each corner area. Not all the way to the edge, just a half inch or so in.
  • When the hot glue dries, it will create non-skid feet for your coasters as well as, raise it up a little so the junk is off the table.

Technically, at this point you have a coaster and you can be done, but the next step will be the little trick to keep solid coasters from leaking all over your surfaces.

Step 5: Gettin' Edgy With It!

With the hot glue gun create a short wall of glue along all four top edges of the tile.

Go nice and slow to create an even bead of hot glue.

This will prevent any moisture from cups or bottles that sweat from running down the bottle and right off the sides of the coasters, thus negating the entire purpose of the coasters in the first place.

The crystal clear hot glue will dry clear enough not to take away from the look of the selected image.

Step 6: Look Ma! No Leaks!

So there you have it!

You have reused some old tiles into a nice custom coaster that will not scuff or water stain your surfaces.

Just a quick note, this is such a simple craft you can even do with your kids.

Or take it a step further: It is a fantastic idea to use in a classroom for children to give unique, handmade gifts to their parents or loved ones just in time for the holidays!

And as always, thanks for checking out my Instructable!

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