DIY Map Coasters

Coasters are a great gift idea. They are highly customizable and the supplies to make them don’t cost an arm and a leg. These DIY map coasters are easy to make and can be made for any geographical area.

3 coasters with  maps of Nashville Tennessee, Memphis Tennessee and Knoxville Tennessee with the text "DIY Map Coasters"

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I always plan on doing my Christmas shopping early. Every September when I begin the arduous task of trying to find gifts for everyone on my list, I think ,”next year I’m gonna start earlier.”

But you know what?

I NEVER DO.

Not so this year. This year, I started in March (GO ME.) This year also started with these easy to make map coasters.

The things I love most about these is the ability to personalize them. While I can’t tell you who I made this set for (because Christmas), I can tell you that I think he will love them because of his love of TN.

If you’re looking for how to make your own DIY map coasters, read on.

Materials

Instructions

Cut your maps to fit your tiles. I like to have just the tiniest amount of “border” on the edges of my coasters, but you don’t have to.

Start by applying a thin layer of mod podge to the BACK of your map paper. This will keep the paper from wrinkling when it’s applied to the tile.

When it is completely dry, apply a layer of Mod Podge to the tile and set your paper on it.

After it is dry, apply 2 or more layers of dishwasher-safe Mod Podge over the map, paying special attention to the ends. I like to have a little border of tile so I don’t have to worry about the map hanging over the edges of the tile.

Corner of a DIY map coaster, showing border of tile and map cut out.

When the coaster is completely dry, apply the cork tile to the bottom of the map coaster to keep the tile from scratching and/or ruining anything. I add some glue to the cork even though it has an adhesive.

I have trust issues with adhesives, stemming mostly from pre-made present bows.

What type of tile can I use?

While I used these tiles for this particular “how to make coasters” tutorial, I have also used white tiles from the tile section at Home Depot. They work equally well. The only reason I used these this time is because we were in the middle of a pandemic and it was “recommended” we only went out for essential things.

Tiles for DIY projects is NOT essential, no matter how bored you are.

Do I have to use dishwasher-safe mod podge?

No, you don’t.

You can use regular mod podge for every step up to and including the top layer of mod podge. If your podge isn’t water proof, however, I would recommend adding 2 or more layers of Minwax Sealer to waterproof it.

Come to think of it, you can probably add this over dishwasher-safe Mod Podge.

Map coaster being brushed with clear mod podge.

Is there something i can use in place of the cork tile?

If you don’t want to use cork tiles, you can also use felt circles. These are one inch each, or about quarter-sized. If you can find smaller, I would recommend half-inch.

How do i keep my paper from wrinkling?

I stated this trick up top, but it warrants saying again since it was such a neat trick.

Put some Mod Podge on the back of you map paper and let it dry completely before applying it to your tile. This helps keep the paper flat.

But there it is, a simple guide to making your own custom DIY map coasters. Don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

If you’re looking for additional coaster projects, check out these alcohol ink coasters made with homemade alcohol ink.

3 coasters with  maps of Nashville Tennessee, Memphis Tennessee and Knoxville Tennessee with the text "DIY Map Coasters"

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