Photo Tile Coasters {Using Resin}

Last Christmas I almost had a breakdown...

We had just moved in to our home the month before, but I didn't want to let that prevent us from having the holliest jolliest Christmas.  My intentions were good.  I wanted to make Christmas special for everyone, but I learned the hard way that I should have been planning ahead!!

And that's how it happened.  I created a monster.  I have been thinking about Christmas since April. Gift ideas are always swirling in my head.  (And I'm almost done with this year's Christmas cards!)

Well, with this project I created an anniversary gift AND a Christmas gift.  But don't tell.... these gifts were cheap.  Like really cheap.

 

While I was in Utah, my sweet cousin Michelle showed me a couple of projects using resin.  She even sent me home with some resin to try out on my own!  So I quickly put it to the test.  And let me just tell you--I am in love!  I can see more resin in my creative future!

Here's how I made these photo coasters...

I started out with a trip to Home Depot.  These 4x4 tiles were only 19 cents each!  It doesn't get much cheaper than that!  And I bought a package of 72 felt mounting circles for about $3.50.  Not too shabby!

Next, I ordered some photos.

Only 13 cents a print at Costco!  I cut the prints down to 4x4 so they would each fit on a tile.

I used a regular old Elmer's glue stick to paste each picture onto the tiles.  (I love glue sticks--you can't leave fingerprints with glue sticks!!)

I won't give a full tutorial on using resin because each product is a little different.  I used Envirotex Lite, and I followed the instructions  on their website very precisely.  I have heard that the key to using resin is precision. So I was careful to follow everything to a T!  And it worked beautifully!  I recommend buying this at Hobby Lobby, where you can use a 40% off coupon.  Just a little bit of this will last forever!!  Split the cost with a friend, and you'll be set with resin projects for a long time!

After mixing the resin with the hardener, I just poured it on!  I spread it out using popsicile sticks.  My hubby helped me use a blow torch (on low) to get out the bubbles that pop up in the first 15 minutes or so.  (I've received a lot of comments asking if you have to use a blow torch.  The answer is NO!  You can simply blow through a straw, blowing out the bubbles in the very same way. My husband preferred to look like a hotshot with a blow torch!)

Then it took them a full 24 hours to harden up!  In fact, it took 72 hours to get completely hard.

Once dry, I mounted 4 of the felt circles on the bottom of each tile so they would slide easily on wood without scratching!

All done!
I have to tell you how much I love the hard, smooth glossiness of resin!  It's incredible--almost glasslike!

  I made a set of 6 coasters as an anniversary gift for my hubby.  I used black and white wedding photos.  I can't look at my wedding photos too much!  Love them!  So hopefully when Mr. Oopsey Daisy is drinking his Cokes, he'll appreciate the coaster underneath!

Now these are stinkin' cute!!

I made another set of coasters using photos of the sweet grandchildren.  These will make the perfect gift for my parents for Christmas.   I wouldn't be surprised if my Mom puts these up on an easel instead of using them as drink coasters!

Tie them up with a bow, and you have the perfect gift!

Two sets of coasters (and enough supplies for a third!)--for only $6.50 total.  That's about $2.19 per set!

My hubby is so proud of my frugality!  And I'm proud of my gift planning!

Happy weekend!

EDITED TO ADD:

I have had several people ask if they could use mod podge and then spray a clear sealant over the top.  I have never tried this.  However, this won't have the hard, glassy effect that resin will have.  I would still be concerned that this method may not be completely waterproof. But feel free to try it!  I wanted to try resin with this project because of the hard glassiness it would provide.

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