It’s easy to make your own coasters using cheap ceramic tiles and glass etching cream. The effect is subtle but elegant – I just love the gloss/matte white clean white look on these Chicago flag drink coasters that I made as a housewarming/moving gift for my friend Heather.
Glass etching cream is traditionally used to etch, well, glass …but I had some of these white ceramic tiles left over from making decoupage tile coasters and thought, I wonder how glass etching cream would work on glazed ceramic tiles?
The general process is just like etching glass. I’ll show you how to make your own coasters with ceramic tiles and glass etching cream below, and you Chicagoans like me can also download my free Chicago flag printable coaster template.
Like this? Also see my Chicago Flag Passport Cover DIY tutorial, Chicago skyline free printable notecards, Chicago-themed fabric kid’s memory game, and decoupage ceramic tile coasters from fingerpaint artwork.
Supplies for making your own coasters with ceramic tiles and etching cream:
- Kathy’s free Chicago flag ceramic coaster template (PDF – fits 4.25″ x 4.25″ sized ceramic tiles or you can scale it up on a copier)
- Computer, printer and white paper
- White ceramic tiles – I used 4.25″ x 4.25″
- Armour Etch Glass Etching Cream
- Foam brush and/or paint brushes
- Contact paper shelf liner (I used white)
- X-Acto knife, metal ruler, and small self-healing cutting mat
- Rubber gloves
- Scotch tape
- Felt (or thin corkboard) for the bottom of the tiles
- Craft glue or Mod Podge
- Water (do not use a ceramic sink)
- Rubbing alcohol pad (optional)
- Patio paint in white – weatherproof paint for ceramics, concrete, etc. OR leftover white house paint AND Q-tips (optional)
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How to make your own coasters with ceramic tiles and etching cream:
First I used an alcohol pad to clean off my tiles. This is an optional step but I did find it cleaned off a bit of that hardware store film.
Print out my free Chicago flag printable template.
Cut out the star rectangle piece out of Contact Paper shelf liner using an X-Acto knife, metal ruler, and small self-healing cutting mat to get really straight edges. Tape it down onto your small self-healing cutting mat.
Tape the paper star pattern onto the contact paper and tape down.
Cut out the stars deep enough to cut through both the pattern and the Contact Paper shelf liner using an X-Acto knife, metal ruler, and small self-healing cutting mat to get really straight edges. Be sure not to cut beyond the pattern to keep the glass etching cream within the stars.
Cut out the top and bottom patterns from Contact Paper.
Here’s a tip: Slip the blade of your X-Acto knife between the Contact Paper and its liner to help it peel more easily.
Place the top and bottom Contact Paper pieces onto the ceramic tile. Smooth it down.
Tape the paper flag patterns onto the tile. It’s just temporary to help you place the star Contact Paper piece.
Peel off the star Contact Paper pattern carefully making sure not to tear the Contact Paper pattern.
Place the star Contact Paper piece onto the ceramic tile.
Peel off the paper flag pieces and smooth down the Contact Paper star pattern piece.
Now you’re ready to etch. The instructions on the glass etching cream are pretty scary so put on vinyl gloves. And put down some paper onto my table first. I had a small-ish bottle of the glass etching cream so I poured a bit on first…
…and then spread it around with a foam brush. The bottle says wait 10 minutes but I waited 20 minutes just to be sure.
After the 20 minutes I washed it off in the sink. A stainless steel sink – you don’t want to risk etching ceramic sinks.
Carefully peel off the Contact Paper pattern so you can re-use it on your second tile.
I used an alcohol pad to clean up some of the edges.
Now you can etch the second tile. The Contact Paper pattern is a little less sticky when you re-use it so I added a few extra pieces of Contact Paper to make sure it was held down.
Here’s what it looks like etched – the front one is etched, the second is in the back ready to go.
The sides of my ceramic tile looked a little unfinished so I decided to paint them.
It was easy – just used a Q-tip in some extra house paint that I had. But if you’re buying paint, I recommend getting Patio paint in white– it’s weatherproof paint for ceramics, concrete, etc.
Now cut a piece of white felt using a rotary fabric cutter, clear plastic ruler and self-healing mat.
Run a little Elmer’s glue on the back, or you could use Mod Podge.
Smooth it out a bit to cover the back of the tile.
Stick the felt to the back and press down to adhere.
Did you make it? Please post a comment and let me know how this craft idea works for you. And share your own photos at the MerrimentDesign.com Facebook page, “I made it!” flickr photo gallery or tweet a picture to @merrimentdesign. Craft and pass it on!
COPYRIGHT NOTE: You’re more than welcome to use free pattern and how to step-by-step tutorial for your own personal use. Contact me for any commercial use – this includes etsy sellers.