- photograph or artwork
- 4" coaster substrate (available from D&D Stained Glass)
- 2" x 2" clear glass
- variety of scrap stained glass colors or ready made tiles
- No Days Mosaic Adhesive film
- scissors or razor
- standard heat gun or embossing heat tool
- long pair of tweezers (or other heat proof tool)
- black sanded grout
- latex gloves
- dust mask
- container for mixing water and grout
- glass cutters/running pliers/mosaic nippers (or 3/8" or 3/4” pre-cut tiles)
- cork backing
- HoneyDoo Powerbond Glue
No Days photo mosaic coasters are great gifts that are quick and easy to make!
To create a custom photo mosaic coaster, you’ll need to cut your photo or size your artwork to be 2" square.
Cut 2 pieces of No Days Mosaic Adhesive: one that fits the 4” coaster surface and another that is slightly larger than the photo.
Find the center of the coaster and outline where you’ll place your photo. Lay down the larger square of No Days Mosaic Adhesive, your photo, the smaller square of adhesive and put the clear glass on top.
Now, you need to cover the coaster with tiles.
To make your own tiles from scrap stained glass, it's helpful to have a strip cutting system. The Morton Portable Glass Shop makes a quick and easy job of cutting lots of small square tiles. Here, I’m using a Toyo glass cutter to score strips of glass in one direction, then rotating the glass a quarter of a turn and making scores in a crosswise direction before breaking them apart with running pliers.
Lay the tiles on the coaster, remembering to leave small gaps for the grout lines. It's not important that your lines are straight. In fact, it adds a bit of interest if they're not perfect! Also, you don't need to worry that all the tiles are in the exact spot that they're supposed to be, as you can move them into position while you're heating.
When your coaster is covered with tiles, begin heating using a standard heat gun or embossing heat tool. To prevent your tiles from blowing off of your coaster, hold the heat gun 6"-8" above your project. As the adhesive heats up, it will start to turn glossy and liquefy. You need to continue to heat the tiles until the adhesive underneath them also liquefies. You can see this happening under the clear pane of glass over your photo.
While heating, you'll need to press down on the clear glass to help push out any air bubbles that get trapped under the glass and on top of the photo.
Using a pair of long tweezers or other heatproof tool, push gently on the tiles to see if they move. If the tiles skid or stick, then the adhesive under them is not fully heated. If the tiles glide as you push on them, they have been heated thoroughly, & you can easily move them into position.
When you’re finished heating, let the tiles cool for 5-7 minutes. Before beginning to grout, check that all the tiles are fully adhered. If you can pull on the tiles and they pop off, you’ll need to heat them longer.
Wearing a dust mask, mix a handful of black sanded grout in a cup with just a bit of water. Stir the grout around with your fingers until it is thoroughly mixed and about the consistency of peanut butter. Spread the grout on top of your coaster, rubbing the grout across the tiles to force the grout down into the gaps.
After you've got the grout in all of the spaces, stain the edges and underside of the coaster by rubbing the grout against them.
Wait about 10 minutes for the grout to become hazy on top of the tiles. Then, you can polish the tiles lightly with a paper towel or a bit of dry grout.
To finish the backside of the coaster, cut some cork backing slightly smaller than your coaster. Smear some HoneyDoo Powerbond glue in a thin layer across the back surface of your coaster, staying at least 1/2" from the edges. Press and hold the cork backing firmly against the backside of the coaster. While the glue is drying, it will expand slightly and fill in the gap.
After gluing, flip the coaster over to press the cork backing flat and let the glue dry for 2-3 hours.
Then, your coaster is ready for gifting!