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By Melody Peralta

DIY author, Melody stands in front of a wooden fence in a hat and a blue dress.
Holiday-loving, DIY & craft-making, motherhood, and lifestyle influencer, Melody is usually found over at @melodyinthemaking. Follow for more craft ideas!

My mother always told me that her favorite Mother’s Day gift that I have ever given her was a handmade memory book that I created in the 5th grade. Twenty five plus years later and she still has it! When I asked her why she kept it for so long she told me that it was because I had put so much effort and heart into it. To this day, this is the reason why homemade gifts will always be my go-to when I want to gift something extra special.

With Mother’s Day and Father’s Day right around the corner, what could be better than a homemade gift from the heart? These DIY Ceramic Coasters only cost a few dollars to make and will serve as both beautiful memories and functional home décor. Best of all, the instant photo prints from MyPostcard are the perfect size for this project! With a little bit of a trim, they are the just the right size to make a memorable gift for a friend or loved one.

Pin for later!

Here are the materials you will need.

Materials

The materials for a DIY photo coaster on a white background: grey felt, a pack of prints, a photo, Mod Podge, a brush, spay and the ceramic tiles.
What you need
  • White Ceramic Wall Tile 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches
  • Felt
  • Mod Podge – water-based glue, sealer, finish
  • Flat Sponge brush
  • Clear Finish Matte Protectant Spray
  • Glue gun with glue sticks (not pictured)
  • MyPostcard Photo Prints in ‘Instant’ size 

Directions

Step 1: Trim

Scissors next to a cut out photo surrounded by the materials for the DIY coaster: a ceramic tile, more MyPostcard photos, Mod Podge and a brush.
Step 1

Trim the MyPostcard photo print to a square that fits the ceramic tile. I used colored prints, but black and white would make a beautiful aesthetic.

Step 2: Apply Mod Podge

A brush paints the Mod Podge on to the ceramic tile. Next to the tile are the photo prints ready, a plate with the glue and the packet.
Step 2

Wipe the ceramic tile with a clean cloth to remove any dirt or dust. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge using a sponge brush. Use sweeping strokes in one direction for a clean look.

Step 3: Position and stick your photo

A photo print of a little girl stuck onto the tile with a brush painting a layer of mod podge on top. A paper plate, the print packet and the mod podge packet are also visible on a white background.
Step 3

Work quickly to stick and position the photo onto the tile.

Tip* Place a book or something flat and heavy on top of the tile to keep the corners of the photo down and prevent curling. Let it dry a few hours, then apply your first thin and even layer of Mod Podge on top of the photo. (It will appear white but will dry clear).

Step 4: Layer Mod Podge and repeat

A hand hold up the half made DIY photo coaster against a white background.
Step 4

After the first layer has completely dried (about 24 hours). Apply a second coat of Mod Podge, using the sponge brush to fill in any gaps between the photo and the tile (see photo). Let dry another 24 hours before applying a third and final coat of Mod Podge.

Step 5: Coat of protective spray

A hand holds up protective spray with the homemade photo coasters in the background.
Step 5

In a well-ventilated, shaded area, lay out your coasters on top of a drop cloth or scrap newspaper and spray with a coat of clear protectant spray. Make sure to spray from a slight distance to prevent it from puddling. Let dry a few hours and apply a second coat. This is what helps the coasters stay water-proof. Apply a third coat for extra protection.

Step 6: Glue felt to back

Scissors held above a cut out piece of felt being attached to the back of the homemade ceramic coasters.
Step 6

After they have completely dried, cut out a square of felt that is slightly smaller than the tile and adhere to the back using hot glue.

Voila! DIY Coasters that will last for years to come.

4 homemade photo coasters featuring a little girl on a white background lying next to orange flowers. 1 coaster is tied with a pink ribbon.
Here’s how they should look!

Make sure to give yourself a few days to complete this project as drying times may vary. I typically waited 24 hours between each layer of Mod Podge to make sure it was completely dried, and used quick-drying protectant spray so I only had to wait a few hours in-between each coat.

Though we may not be with our loved-ones in person just yet this Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, this heartfelt and homemade gift will be a lovely reminder of the good times from the past and impending joyful times ahead.

Do you prefer to give homemade gifts or store-bought? Let us know in the comments!

About the author

Melody is a holiday-loving, DIY & craft-making, motherhood, and lifestyle influencer from Southern California. She’s also a military spouse, an elementary school teacher, and has an energetic toddler named Izzy and a baby boy named Max. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, party planning, and dabbling in home decorating. Follow along for more crafting fun on Melody’s Instagram, @melodyinthemaking!

All images on this page are credited to Melody Peralta.

Next up…

This article is a walk down memory lane in pursiut of the history of postcards. Postcard collecting and study is a common hobby shared by individuals all around the world. Even though you may not be a postcard collector, I bet you’ve sent or received a couple over the years. You, therefore, owe it to yourself to have some knowledge of the origin and history of postcards. This dates back as far as the 80s when postcards were mostly uniform and rigged with restrictions.

To better understand and appreciate the journey of the postcard to what it is today, we have to go to the very beginning. We start by shedding light into the mailing system back then and travel through time to date, where postcard designs are a matter of your creativity rather than adherence to regulations.

The History Of Postcards
Background

Like any institution, the mail industry has undergone some tremendous changes that made it what it is today. Things used to run a little different back in the 80s in terms of sending and receiving mails. For instance, mails were charged depending on the number of pages in your letter and the distance traveled. To top it off, the recipient was the one who used to bear the cost of sending the letter.

This, of course, posed a lot of challenges in collecting money as many recipients would refuse to receive the letters to avoid getting charged. Thanks to Sir Rowland Hill, the England Postmaster general, reforms to the mailing system where made and passed by parliament. The cost of sending mail now depended on the weight of your letter and the sender would pay for delivery. This was done by the purchase of a postage stamp. And thus with the potage act, the first stamp, the penny black was sold in 1840, paving way to many other reforms that gave birth to the postcard.

The History Of Postcards
Before Postcards – 1840-1860

Before postcards were the craze, lithographs, woodcuts and mailed cards exited. Later, the picture envelope developed by William Mulready, James Valentine, DICKEY Doyle and E.R.W Hume, became the closest link to postcards. They had all kinds of pictures especially those of Patriots during the Civil War. Comics, landmarks, and music also made it to these envelopes.

The History Of Postcards
The Beginning – 1860- 1875

The first privately owned postcard was created by J.P Charlton in 1861 it was also the very first postcard to exist. Unfortunately, Carlton’s postcards did not catch on due to interference by the Civil War. They would later resurface but under ownership of Lipmann who got a patent for them.

The first government postcards were made in Austria in 1869, however, the idea of government postcards did not originate here. The idea originated from Germany, as a result of the efforts of postal official Dr. Heinrich von Stephan. The German government was reluctant to green-light the idea due to delegations hence producing their first postcards a year after Austria. Other states swiftly followed suit with the United States issuing its government postcard in 1873.

The History Of Postcards
Message At The Front

Unlike today’s postcards where the picture was at the font and message at the back, these postcards had everything printed at the front.

To top this, private postcards (not issued by the government) had to bear the term “Private Mailing Card” at the back which was mailed at two cents. The government postcards were the only ones allowed t bare the term postal cards and were mailed at a cent. As I said, postcards were highly restricted!

The postcards were largely used for keeping up with friends and family especially by soldiers at war. With time, advertisements were made on postcards. Eventually, landmarks such as the Eiffel tower made it to the cover sometimes to the degree of having natural disasters printed too!

The History Of Postcards
Postcards Go Private. 1898-1901

Finally, private postcard printers caught a break when the government allowed the private postcards to be issued at one cent, same price as government postcards. They still had to bear the title private mailing cards and have writings at the front.

The History Of Postcards
Message Still At The Front But More Organized. 1901-1915

A lot of changes took place during this time hence many refer to this period as the “Golden Age” of postcards. For one, private postcards in the US were allowed to bear the title “Post Cards”. With time, many counties decided to change the orientation of postcards dedicating the right side to the address while the left side was for the message. The fact that literacy had increased further encouraged sending of postcards hence giving more weight to the Golden Era” title.

With time, things changed further giving room to the divided back postcard where the message was at the back exposing the beautiful image in front. England was the first Country to permit this which opened door for other countries to follow suit.

The History Of Postcards
Post Modern Era. 1916-1945

Things were changing in terms of the appearance of postcards. Between 1916 and1930, white border postcards were common. They consisted of a white border line around the picture.

Then later came the linen postcards thanks to technology allowing printing on linen  During this time, humor was quite common in postcards with people sending funny postcards, some even for World War Two.

The History Of Postcards
Photographic Cards.

Finally, real modern postcards came to be! It started in 1939 after the beginning of the Union oil series. This has seen the number of postcards sent throughout the years increase despite the increase in cost of sending the postcards. This also came with the ease in sending postcards and the freedom of printing whatever you like on your cards. Nowadays, you can even send postcards electronically, how cool is that!

Last Word

That’s pretty much every important moment in the making of postcards. While traveling back in time is fun, take a little time and send a postcard today. Help keep the postcard culture going on. If not for the sake of history, at least do it for the sake of putting a smile on someone’s face!