#MyHappyCrafts: Rustic Terra Cotta Photo Coasters/Wall Art

#MyHappyCrafts: Rustic Terra Cotta Photo Coasters/Wall Art

In this easy-to-follow tutorial for hand-painted photo coasters, we will create a perfect addition to Dad's man cave, braai room or an outdoor entertaining area. But wait for it... If you're like, "too many coasters alreadyyyyy," -- They double as really cool wall art too! They are a really great to use as part of the "Dad Pack" - an awesome personalized gift for dad!


Here's what you need:

Tools and supplies needed for easy craft tutorial

  • Terra cotta potplant saucers, roughly 9cm in diameter or large enough to fit your glasses/mugs (I got mine at Stodels for R14.95 each) 
  • White paint - what do you have at home? Craft paint? Acrylic? Chalk paint? Wall paint? Almost anything will work well and you only need a tiny bit. I will be using craft acrylic paint.
  • Paintbrush(es) - old & scruffy works best for the white-washing; and something slightly smoother is best for the Mod Podge
  • A couple of old containers for water and to mix your paint in
  • Surface protector - old newspaper or a big garbage bag works well
  • Kitchen paper towel or good 'ol toilet paper
  • Printed photos - one for each terra cotta saucer
  • Compass (or something to draw a circle that will fit in your saucers)
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge (I got mine here from Builder's Warehouse for R64 - a great investment for a wide variety of craft projects!)
  • Adhesive Felt Pads (also from Builder's Warehouse for R13 for a pack of 15)
  • Optional: Simple wall hangers (see step 5) & super glue



In one of your old plastic containers, water down your paint a bit, so that it is a nice thick paste. Dab your brush on some kitchen towel until your brush is mostly dry.

Start painting! A great place to start and get a feel for it is either the inside centre of the saucer (as this will be hidden once the photo is placed inside) or the bottom of the saucer (as this won't be seen as often). Follow the curve of the saucer and work in small, irregular patches. Don't overthink it - there is no right and wrong here! If you make a mistake, simply wipe the area with your kitchen towel. You can also try to soften and blend the paint using your kitchen towel. Keep adding layers of paint and different textures until you're happy with the outcome.


Once you're happy with the inside of your saucer, flip it over onto an old toilet paper roll (or something similar) to paint the bottom of the saucer without getting finger prints in your paint. Leave it like this to allow to dry.

Hand painted terra cotta photo coasters



While your saucers are drying, it's time to get cracking on the photos that you would like to use. Print one photo for each coaster, making sure it is large enough to fill the inside of the terra cotta saucer. Use a compass to mark a perfect circle of the correct size over each photo. If you're like me, and just spent an hour digging through every drawer and cupboard in the house to find the compass that you are convinced you own (oooh, the horror!), find a round object (the top rim of a mug or cup should work well!) that most closely fits into your saucers, and just use that instead!

Ideas for photo wall art



Cut out your photos and make sure they fit snuggly into the saucers.

Tutorials for DIY photo wall art



Follow the instructions on your Mod Podge to podge your photos into place and seal the surface of the coasters.

Using mod podge to seal photos into terra cotta coasters


**I'm adding in this optional step before adding the adhesive felt pads because the hanger needs to be at the "top" of your coaster to be sure the photos hang right-side-up. The felt pads can then be placed around the hanger.

Adding a small, simple wall hanger to the bottom of your coasters will allow you to use them as really cute wall art, ready to be whipped down when you need a coaster. Use super glue to glue the hangers into place (make sure to place in such a way that the photos will hang right-side-up!) and allow to dry.

Add wall hanger to display photo coasters



Add three adhesive felt pads to the bottom of each of your coasters to protect your furniture.

Add felt to protect your furniture



That was a mouthful! Well done! I would love to see your version of these funky coasters. Please share by posting a pic on Instagram using #MyHappyCrafts.

Until next time... Happy crafting!



The Happy Struggling Artist 

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