Dec 11, 2017

How to: Make DIY Instagram Coasters with Your Own Photos

DIY Instagram coasters

This holiday season, I wanted to give my friends and family a customized gift with some personality. So, using nothing but our own photos and a few crafty tools, I came up with this coaster project which is super fun, super inexpensive, plenty easy, and you can dial it in perfectly for each person on your list - just raid their Instagram or social media accounts!

Let's get to it!

Instagram coasters DIY

DIY Instagram Coasters


  • Wood squares (you can buy them already cut at any craft store or you can cut your own). For this project, I used 4.5" squares.
  • Your favorite Instagram photos, mirrored and printed with a laser printer. If you need some tips on how to prepare your images, check out this other tutorial by Chris. NOTE: For this project I took my photos directly from instagram using the ink361 site, I basically opened the image Photoshop, adjusted the size, and flipped it (mirrored) to print it.
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge, brushes, and a few rags


Make it:

1. Start by cutting the photos so they fit the squares. Remember, if you need to adjust the size, simply use a photo  editing tool. If the image stretches too much, then use the original file from your phone.

Instagram coasters DIY

2. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the front of the image (printed part) and quickly glue it to the wood square (face down). Try NOT to drag the image or you will tear the paper, rather, just make sure it fits all 4 corners and press down on it from top to bottom. Get rid of any bubbles using a credit card (be gentle!).


Instagram coasters DIY

Instagram coasters DIY

3. Let it dry completely. It'll take an hour or so. Then, grab a rag and soak it with water, squeeze it a little, and place it on top of the glued image. Let the image soak a bit of water and then, GENTLY start rubbing away the top layer. Use the rag to make the paper wet, and use your FINGERS to rub away the paper. Don't use your nails!


Instagram Coasters DIY

4. Ta-da! Your photo will start showing. But wait, we're not done yet. You have to keep rubbing away until all the paper is gone, try to get as much of it as possible without destroying the photo (which is a bit tricky! So be patient).


Instagram coasters DIY

You will - inevitably - rub off some part of the image, but that's ok, it adds to the whole vintage look.

6. Once you're done, let it dry again. After it's dry apply one last coast of Mod Podge over the final image (to seal it in) and let it dry. At this point you can either add some cork on the bottom to prevent scrapes and keep things from sliding around, or you can just leave it as is.

Oh! And here's another idea, you don't necessarily have to use them as coasters, you can also use them as little wall art!

Instagram coasters DIY

Instagram coasters DIY

Either way, this project is a super fun way to keep those awesome memories alive.

PS. It also makes an awesome office gift! You're welcome.


Project by: Gabriel Cabrera



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Chelsea on Jan 31, 2014:

Thanks so much, guys. :) I'm making these coasters and designing some beer bottle labels for a home brew for Valentine's Day. Will definitely be returning to ManMade to check out future project ideas. Cheers!

Chris on Jan 28, 2014:

@Chelsea and Gab - You want the thinness here, right? That way it's easier to remove the paper layer, revealing the ink (which now lives in the Mod Podge). 

Gabriel on Jan 28, 2014:

@Chelsea: Yah, I know, seems like it wouldn't work but it did. I used the paper I had in the office, which is regular printing paper (for laser printing).

Chelsea on Jan 27, 2014:

So regular Copy & Print paper works for this? It seems like it would be too thin! I'm surprised.

Jamie S. on Jan 23, 2014:

This is such a good tip for using Instagram pictures! Using my favourite Instagram moments and transforming them into the coasters, that's a thing I will try! I've seen a very similar project where they used napkin, but with my own Instagram photos it looks even better and it has a special meaning either for me or for a person who will get the coaster.

Gabriel on Jan 13, 2014:

Oh and you can do this on wood, ceramic tiles, and even fabric! If you have a plain tote you can use the same technique. If you're unsure of the results, just test it before hand (e.g. on a plain piece of cloth). Have fun, folks!

Gabriel on Jan 13, 2014:

@MattBarber: printed on laser. If you use something else the ink will peel off and won't come out as nice as with a laser print. Photos (printed on photo paper) don't work either. So easy does it, laser print and regular white paper.

Gabriel on Jan 13, 2014:

@Jeannine: I used plain paper for the laser printer! I actually printed them at the office so any generic one works (make sure it's not the recycled or super thin one).

Gabriel on Jan 13, 2014:

@Donna: yes! You can try using the same method as above OR you can use a Gel Medium (better for ceramic) instead of modge podge. Same process, just different ingredient.

Jeannine on Jan 13, 2014:

are you printing on plain paper or photo paper, doesn't say in the article, love this idea!

Stella on Jan 11, 2014:

Wish I'd seen this BEFORE Christmas!  :-(  Ilike it.

Donna on Jan 11, 2014:

would this work on ceramic tile?

Anonymous on Jan 11, 2014:

Can you do this using actual floor/wall tiles? I got a home made set of those but she used wrapping paper or something generic, not a photo. This would be cool if it can be done.

C.C. on Jan 04, 2014:

What kind of paper did you use?  Thanks! Great project.

MattBarber on Dec 22, 2013:

Great project! Were the images printed on regular printer paper or the proper photo paper?

Charles @ The Local Forkful on Dec 19, 2013:

This is Awe-some! Can't wait to tag this project! Preesh!