How To Make a Photo Tile

Photo tiles are becoming quite popular today because it is a unique way to reproduce favorite photographs on ceramic tiles. They are very decorative and can be used to adorn walls, make into glass coasters, used as ornate tops for jewelry and keepsake boxes, or as an added decoration for key racks, to name a few. It is also a great, personalized gift for very special people you care about. You may find photo tiles being offered at a price in a lot of specialty stores, but the nice thing about it is you can actually do this on your own. This project is easy and fun to make either for your personal use or as a gift. Here’s how to make a photo tile.

  • Gather your materials. For this project you will need a good photograph which you will be able crop according to the size of your tile, a tile to mount your picture on of about 6x6 inches, turpentine, a paintbrush, Polyurethane, a rolling pin, and Lazertran Waterslide decal paper which you will be using on your inkjet printers. You can purchase this particular material online.
  • Work on your photograph. Adjust your picture to the size you would want it to be. Proceed to print it on your Lazertran paper, making use of its chalky-white side. Give your photograph time to completely dry. Now cut up your paper according to the image size. Proceed to submerge it in water, keeping it there until the image can be completely detached from its backing sheet. This will only take around a minute. If the picture begins to curl up on the water, there is no need to worry as this normally happens.
  • Prepare your tile. Use your turpentine to coat your tile completely. Keep your tile wet but make sure that it is not soaking with liquid. Be careful with this procedure as too much turpentine can destroy your photograph, and too little of it will not allow a successful transfer of the image onto the tile.
  • Transfer your photo. After your photo has been soaked in water, you can begin to remove the photo from the backing sheet and transfer it onto your tile very carefully. Try to avoid having the picture folding over as much as possible. With your rolling pin, gently move along the picture to eliminate any air bubbles that it may have. Allow it a few hours to dry up completely.
  • Application of Polyurethane. You can now apply your polyurethane over your photo. 2 or 3 coatings may do but make sure you allow a little drying in between coatings. The polyurethane incorporates the photo into the tile and gives it the appearance of being part of it.

Your photo tile is now complete and you can use it for any decorative ideas you can come up with. This piece lasts a long time as long as you are careful with it. Tiles do crack and break and must be handled with care. Aside from that, your photograph will remain as good as when you put it on the tile. For coasters, you could make sets of these photo tiles. Add on some felt at the back of the tiles with glue to keep them slip-resistant.


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