put a fucking bird on it

Polaroid coasters

I posted a photo of these coasters I made the other day on Twitter, and there was some interest in how they were made. So I thought I’d write a quick post, even though it’s basically a two-step process: 1. cut photos; 2. Mod Podge.

You will need:

Photo prints
4x4” ceramic coasters
Mod Podge (matte or glossy, your choice)
Something to apply the Mod Podge (I had the same results with a foam thing and a brush)
Scissors and a ruler I guess


I used Walgreens’ Instagram printing option to get 4x4” prints.

Because the coasters are also 4x4”, the photos have to be trimmed a bit. I prefer a narrow border so I cut about 1/4” from the side of the photo and then about 1” from the bottom to get Polaroid proportions. Tiles may vary in size though so measure according to your tile.

This photo kind of shows how much I took off the width and length.


Speaking of tiles, I got them at a small Lowes not far from my apartment. They’re just standard 4x4” white ceramic tiles for a whopping sixteen cents apiece.

Slap some Mod Podge on the back of a photo and stick it on a tile. You should gently smooth out the photo to make sure there are no bubbles or excess glue, and that all the edges and corners are sticking to the coaster, because if they’re sticking up when it dries they will stick up forever.


When it’s dry, spread a bunch over the top.


It’ll dry clear.


(Tiles in various states of dryness.) I will probably put another coat on them before I call them done.

Here’s another shot of some (dry) completed ones:


I’m going to get some of those little adhesive felt circles to stick on the bottom.

By the way if they look streaky it’s not your eyes or a faulty camera (although I reserve the right to claim otherwise in the future), it’s just that I haven’t mastered the art of the non-streaky application of anything. Stain, Mod Podge, paint, whatever — streaks are coming.


You may also notice that they’re not all the same length/width because I kind of just eyeballed the trimming. If I ever tell you in a job interview that I am very precise, know that I am lying. Maybe measure if this is important to you although it will take WAY longer.

Anyway, it’s as easy as that. I’m thinking about writing on the bottom as you would with a normal Polaroid but I can’t decide. And I think you’re supposed to let them cure for a while?

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