Show Off Your Photos with DIY Photo Coasters

Sometimes I miss photo albums.

I miss sitting down and flipping through the memories held in the faces and events that are captured in old photographs.

I miss the feel of holding a real picture in my hands.

Sometimes looking at photos all lit up on a screen just isn’t the same as studying a tangible photo. Do you know what I mean?

cork picture coasters diy |

Months ago I printed a dozen or so photos from my Instagram feed and then promptly forgot about them. Yesterday while cleaning up the disaster that will become my office/studio in the basement I came across them again, this time deciding that I’d actually make something. I was inspired by A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book.

DIY Photo Coasters


I think when I initially ordered the prints (12 for $6 from Snapstagram  or 24 for $12 from Printstagram), I was going to make a little gallery wall. But we are quickly running out of wall real estate in the backsplit so I nixed that idea. Just this morning (nothing like last minute!) I realized I had all the necessary supplies to make DIY Photo Coasters instead.


  • cork
  • photo prints
  • laminate sheets (sticky clear vinyl type)
  • Mod Podge
  • ruler, knife, pencil


cutting cork tile |

1. Using one of your prints trimmed to the size and shape you like (mine were 4″x4″), trace squares onto cork tiles. Trim each square using scissors or an exacto knife and a ruler. If you use a knife be sure to protect your table surface with a glass cutting board or a self-healing mat. Set aside.

2. Also using one of your prints trimmed to size, trace squares onto back of vinyl book protector. This is the stuff libraries used to use to protect paperback books. (Do they still do that?) Trim each square of vinyl to size. You could also you laminating sheets.

step by step vinyl book covers for coasters |

3. Peel backing off of one vinyle square and adhere to front of one photo. If your photos are glossy you should be able to reposition vinyl if necessary. This will protect your photos from spills. Repeat for all photos.

photo coasters |

4. Using a brush, apply Mod Podge/glue to a square of cork. Then affix photo to cork. Repeat for each photo and let dry.

photograph coasters |

If you’ve got photos you’d like to display in a non-traditional way, why not make yourself some DIY Photo Coasters? 

how to make photo coasters |

Do you miss photo albums too? Have you found other creative ways to display your photographs?

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Time to Chat

  1. 1


    I miss albums! I was showing our kids our wedding album the other day. Ha! Ha! I LOVE these. Such a sweet idea. Maybe I’ll do them with beach images of our family. x

  2. 4

    Kari says

    Seems everyone likes to bring me back cork coasters of the tropical flora and critters of their holiday destination and i was going to purge them to the Salvation Army over winter. Then I got the idea to recycle these myself with modge podging pics of my horses overtop instead. Thanks for the inspiration to get back to this rainy day project. Hardest thing seems just picking out the pics! Great idea on the library bk vinyl cover Where did u buy that?

    • 5


      Great idea to reuse other cork coasters! I actually found the book vinyl in a roll at the dollar store. Michael’s or even etsy may have some too.

  3. 6

    Kris says

    Great idea! I, too, miss photo albums, and you are right, there is never enough wall space to display all the pictures I would like to display. This is a great and useful idea. Good gift idea, too. has a great picture wreath project. I haven’t made one (yet), but it’s another good way to get a lot of pictures displayed in a small area. has a picture lampshade idea that is cute, as well.

    I’ve been “lurking” for awhile–you have a great blog. I appreciate how you have a “normal” house and have done so many attractive things to it–my house is modest in size and it’s inspirational to find someone who has done what I am trying to do–making a modest house live large!

    • 7


      It would be a fun gift – Father’s Day is coming! I have see KariAnne’s wreath but not MommyMoment’s lampshade. I’ll have to check it out. Thank you for the compliment – our house is about 1300 square feet and we try to make the most of it. :)

  4. 8


    What a perfect idea for my IG photos — thank you!! I liked the idea of “wallpapering” the side of our fridge with them; however, we use that as more of an organization center. This project is clever and practical! I’m also thinking that it could be used for Father’s Day here as well. Thanks for posting!!

  5. 13

    Kathy says

    When you use a hot beverage on the finished coaster, does it leave a “melted mark” circle? I used a paint sealer on mine instead of the clear plastic, and it isn’t very durable…I am very disappointed. Perhaps you can help?

  6. 17

    Madelyn says

    After a summer of interning at the acquisitions & processing department of my university library, I can assure you that we still use laminate to protect our paperbacks :)

    I knew there had to be some good crafty uses for it – I will have to try this some time soon!