DIY Polaroid Geek Coasters

DIY Geek Coasters / Polaroid Coasters

We had never even considered the need for coasters before, but after picking up a cool midcentury desk at an estate sale not too long ago – which has the type of veneer top known for bubbling – we decided to do the grown up thing and use coasters. But of course we made some of the geek variety, inspired by classic polaroid photos.

Anyone else remember making tile coasters in grade school art class, using sharpies? This was initially inspired by those, but then a quick google search of “Polaroid coasters” opened up a whole world of awesome DIY coasters. We decided to make ours using cell phone photos of some of our favorite toys action figures, to bring a touch of geekery to the project. Geek coasters!

We started with $0.16 tiles from Lowe’s (yes, they’re THAT cheap. Just standard square ceramic tiles). We went with the “bone” color instead of white, so that they looked a little more aged. Then we just took photos of toys. Lots and lots of photos, of lots and lots of toys – then narrowed that down to about 10. We also threw an Instagram photo in the mix, of the worm from Labyrinth (‘ello!).

DIY Mod Podge Coasters

In our phone’s basic photo editor, we messed around with the saturation/contrast/etc, but you could just as easily do it in Instagram or any other photo editing program that implements filters. Then we printed out the photos, and cut them by hand into 3.25″ x 3.75″ squares, using a ruler to measure. We just used our basic cheapie home printer and regular paper to print the pictures – it was kind of low on ink which caused some faint lines on the photos, but we don’t even mind since we were going for an “imperfect” Polaroid style look anyway. 😉

DIY Polaroid Coasters / Geek Coasters

Mod Podge time. You could use glue and clear spray sealer instead – whatever you have on hand. We used the matte Mod Podge formula, but in retrospect, the waterproof kind would work better – so use that. Use it as directed (or better yet, first read the FAQ at Mod Podge Rocks blog), SLOWLY pushing out air bubbles as you go. Seal the geek coasters with a couple more coats of Mod Podge – and if you’d like, finish them off with little felt stickers on the bottom, so they don’t scratch your table. If you want your coasters extra durable, wait a couple of days after Mod Podge’ing, then seal with an acrylic sealer spray.

DIY Polaroid Coasters / Geek Coasters

That’s it! Super easy, and now we’re like real grown-ups. 😉 If you’re looking for more geeky coasters, check out this fantastic Doctor Who set from Your Friend Elle and these comic book coasters from Mod Podge Rocks. (if you’ve made your own geek coasters, let us know and we’ll add you to the list!)

DIY Geeky Coasters

What do you think? Are coasters even a thing people use anymore?


  1. says

    Do you have a problem with the cups sticking to the coasters? I used Mod Podge to make coasters and my glasses always stick, I’ve had them for over a year.

    • says

      Hey there! So far we haven’t noticed any sticking problems (we’ve only had ours in regular use about a week). Which formula did you use? Maybe we’ll add an extra clear coat sealer, just to be sure they don’t stick.

  2. says

    Yes! I use coasters all the time. For some reason, I’ve got a lot of nerdy mugs, and one side of the packaging makes for perfect coasters. These look way better so I might make them sometime 😀

  3. says

    No, no, no! You can’t have an image of a weeping angel in your house. You probably won’t even see this comment because you’re stuck in 1976 or something. 😉

    This is so cool, despite the fact that the weeping angel is so going to get you, pinning this!

  4. Amanda Brown says

    Thanks for the post it worked out great. It was a great mother’s day gift. Instead of action figure I used a bunch of pictures of all my siblings when we were real little!!!

  5. JoseyBlooBunny says

    Hi I really wana make some nerdy as hell coasters for my house, but I’m unsure because everywhere I google about people are complaining about coasters sticking to cups, and it’s worrying me. Have your coasters come out bad? My biggest worry is painting something awesome on them then a cold cup of iced coffee ruining it! D: please help! \(T-T)/

    • says

      Hey there! We haven’t had any major problems, but we live in a dry/hot climate, so ours might have cured differently. We did see some good tips re: stickiness here: Seems like people have good luck using the waterproof mod podge (dishwasher safe variety), letting it cure for at least a couple days, then sealing with an acrylic sealer spray. 🙂 We might do a second set of coasters and try it that way and with resin, to compare the methods!


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