Tutorial: Image Transfer – Marble Tile Coasters


Marble Coasters image transfer technique
I’ve always seen these amazing marble coasters and boutique shops and wine stores etc. they usually cost about $40 for a set of 4. I was determined to figure out how to make my own with my own images. Thinking these will make great gifts as well as great coasters for my house. My cost $6/set + time.

Well, it’s actually a SUPER easy process and the finished product is really wonderful. they look just like he store bought ones, only at a fraction of the cost. My favorite part is that the tile comes through in the white spaces of the art. because the image is essentially fused into the tile vs. just gluing on paper and covering it with sealant.

The key to these coasters is “Botticino Marble Tiles 4×4” they used to sell these at Lowe’s but they are no longer in stock. So you have to buy them from a tile outlet or online. I got mine on amazon and am very happy with the quality.

Here’s the tutorial, as always, leave a comment if you have questions or want more information on steps or supplies.


  1. 4 Botticino Marble tiles – Buy here
  2. Mod Podge MATTE, (you want Matte so it matches the look of the tile) – Buy here
  3. Foam Brushes, you can pick up at any craft store or – Buy here
  4. round cork furniture protector sticky things – Buy here
  5. 4 images that you want on the tiles, that are then printed or copied via a Laser copy. (do not use inkjet, it will just bleed and not work).
  6. Matte Spray finish – Buy here
  7. Wet paper towel, dry paper towel
  8. Water


  1. Prepare your images:  you want them to be no wider than 4″ and no taller than 4″ if you want the full image to be on the tile. so use your image viewer/edit to adjust size.
  2. Flip your image “horizontal” so that you basically have a mirror image. if you don’t do this your images will show up backwards on the tile so “flip horizontal” to get them in mirror image.
  3. Put the images into a document as close together as you can (this saves on lazer copy costs later). I often can get all 4 onto 1 page. Print them out on your printer in full color “best” setting.
  4. Take them to FedEx office or somewhere that you can get full color laser copies. Make 2 copies of each so you have a back up in case one of the tiles doesn’t turn out the way you like. then cut around each image, they are now ready to apply to the tile!
  5. Get your tiles ready, lightly wipe the tops of them with a damp paper towel to get the dust off.
  6. do a light coat of matte mod podge on the tile and on the image (do NOT get mod podge on the back of the image, or you won’t be able to get the paper off later) just put light coats, you don’t want mod podge oozing out from under your image. Then place the image face down on the tile exactly where you want it.
  7. let it dry completely (I usually just set them out until the next day)
  8. bring tiles to your sink, run COLD water (if you use warm or hot water, the mod podge will “melt” and you’ll rub off the image). and start rubbing, rub off the paper completely. Let it dry and rub all the remaining flaky paper off.
  9. once it’s all dry and the paper is all off, Spray with a light coat of Krylon Matte Finish spray (this keeps it so that hot beverages don’t stick to the mod podge) this seals it in nicely and keeps the matte finish of the tile.
  10. let dry and then add your 4 cork furniture protectors to the bottom of each tile
  11. Enjoy!

 Images of Steps:

Ideas for images:

  • Vintage clip art (like what I’ve used)
  • Photo’s
  • Subway style art that you make.
  • Family names
  • travel posters
  • abstract art


  • If you don’t like how an image turned out, run the tile under HOT water, it will basically “melt” the mod podge and you can rub the image off completely, and remove the mod podge completely,then use the tile again.
  • You can use felt, or full cork sheets and glue them on the back of the tile as well, if you don’t like the cork furniture protectors.

Let me know what you think! I’d love to see images of the ones you create,

Link Parties: Create some really awesome free things


42 thoughts on “Tutorial: Image Transfer – Marble Tile Coasters

  1. Great tute! I love this image transfer method vs decoupage. Is the finished product heat tolerant? The decoupaged version is not functional bc with a sealer, the tile gets tacky when a hot cup of coffee is on it. Has the image worn off now that you’ve had them awhile? Thanks for your help!

    1. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 the finished product is heat tolerant as long as you finish it with a clear coat spray (I used Krylon matte finish clear coat). If you don’t do the final clear coat after the mod podge has dried, then your mod podge will be sticky with hot beverages.. I learned this the hard way 🙂 I haven’t had any issues and I use my coasters daily for my morning cup/s of coffee or tea 😉

  2. This tutorial is amazing! I was concerned at first considering all of the complaints I have seen regarding the results of the decoupage method, but after finishing this project, they turned out just perfect! And heat resistant! Thanks so much for sharing. These are going to make awesome gifts.

  3. Ive been making a few of these. Sometimes I need them in a hurry for gifts, so I bake them in the oven at 175 for 22 minutes. You do 170 but I like to over cook everything. Hehe. I also use polyurethane but ill try Krylon. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Right after I apply modpodge. Ive learned less is better with modpodge as well w this application. After I glue em, I bake em. Wait for them to cool, very important. Then once all the paper is off. I polyurethane them. Dont bake with polyurethane either. It created bubbles. I learned that the hard way. Hope that helps

    1. I have wondered about the amount of modpodge used. I will try using less to see if it makes it easier to remove the paper print Thanks

  5. What kind of polyurethane spray do you suggest to make this heat/water resistant? Could you suggest a specific brand please? This last step is the only thing I am still having trouble with. How many coats of spray?

    1. You can use the Kryon craft clearcoat or the more traditional polyurethane, I typically do 3 light coats and haven’t ever had an issue with heat or moisture. Make sure they are LIGHT coats and let it dry between coats 🙂 here are the products on amazon for referece http://www.amazon.com/Krylon-6-Ounce-Crystal-Acrylic-Coating/dp/B001K65K26/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1385065588&sr=1-1&keywords=matte+polyurethane and the other is http://www.amazon.com/jbr2036-33060000-Polyurethane-Aerosol-11-5oz-Satin/dp/B0009X8MSA/ref=sr_1_4?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1385065670&sr=1-4&keywords=matte+polyurethane let me know how they turn out!

      1. Thanks for replying, how long do you think after applying the last coat of sealer could I test the coaster? I’ve been using krylon matte and after 2 coats it still wasn’t waterproof.

  6. Two problems I’m having: too much if image rubs off and looks bad. 2-despite several gentle runs insignia some paper remains on top when it dries which looks ghostly in a bad way lol. I am making 50 for 59th anniversary favors and followed your directions to the t. Any advice? Thanks!

    1. ok couple of tips:
      – make sure that the glue dries before you try to rub it off, and use COLD water, warm water may make the glue sticky. let it sit overnight if needed to make sure it’s dry before running under water.
      – do not get any glue on the top of the paper (i.e the backside of the image when it’s face down on the tile) or it won’t come off as you’ve sealed that in with a top layer of glue already.
      – if you see some paper leftover or some haze, run it through water again,
      – make sure to let the water run over it a bit until you see the paper has fully soaked up the water,, then start rubbing.
      – remember these aren’t perfect image transfers. but hopefully the tips above will help! let me know 😉

  7. Hmm, my first attempt looks pretty good, but once it dries there’s a definite whitish haze over the image – even though I’ve rubbed all the paper off. When its wetted again it looks quite rich and colorful. Maybe the trick is not to use so many dark colors?

    1. have you put the acrylic sealer on it? that should eliminated the white haze, if it’s white haze from paper, then soak the tile in cold water even more and rub after it’s soaked a bit more 🙂

  8. this is fantastic stuff. Thanks for taking the time to post this. Does anyone have ideas about packaging these (sets of 4)? I have seen boxes but that is an oddly shaped box (8.75×8.75x.5″)… any ideas would be great… I used ribbon too but if I mail them that does not always hold up.

    1. I haven’t used ceramic as I like the look of the botticino tile, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, just make sure to seal it after your done with the modge podge 😉

  9. Question… I am trying to make these as Christmas gifts. The white part in the picture rubbed off. I’d that Bc there is no ink? Will this happen with all the transfers that have white sections? I noticed yours had white that was still intact… Any thoughts?

  10. Hi, I tried to post a comment and i’m not sure if it went through so i will try again, i was transferring an image that had white in it (a cloud) and when i was rubbing the paper off, the cloud came off as well. Does the white not come out well because there is no ink? i have not done another one with white yet but i was wondering if you ran into this problem or if it was just a fluke for me. i see the images above have white in them. any suggestions? thanks 🙂

    1. Yept thet is correcr if it is truly white then yku wnt have any ink sk kt wknt leave anything on the tile, the white you see in mine is the tile vs actual white ink 😉

  11. Hi Lindsey, What paper do you suggest using? I will visit fed ex office to get my images printed – am I requesting photo paper for laser? Thank you

  12. Lindsey thanks for an awesome tutorial! I just tried it, some turned out perfect and others didn’t. For those that didn’t work, what happened basically is that when I was rubbing off the paper after placing the tiles in cold water, part of the picture was taken out (like not printed correctly on the tile). Is this because I probably didn’t put enough mod podge on that part of the tile (or picture)? Also another question I have. When you put the mod lodge on the tile and on the pic and glue it down, do you put any heavy items on top of the picture while it dries overnight? or just let is stand alone? I wonder if putting something heavy on it makes it harder for the picture to be rubbed off or not. Thanks so much for your help!

    1. Great ideas actually! I’d think the same things, a bit more modge podge or more even and heavy items… I’d be curious how that turns out 😉 I had some of the same problems and would redo a few if I didn’t like how the image rubbed off..

  13. Hi, My question is how does this work with cold drinks? my concern is it sweating and ruining someone’s furniture if I give as a gift. Does anyone know? With putting the glue on top to seal it I was just wondering.
    Thanks Patience

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear!