Ink Dye Coasters


I have been wanting to make some coasters for our coffee table for a good while now.  I have seen some fun posts for putting pictures, or decorative paper on them, and I knew that if you purchased the tiles at Home Depot or Lowes, you can get them for very inexpensive.

As I was flipping through the channels the other day, I happened upon the daytime show The Chew.  Clinton Kelly does a spot called Clinton’s Craft Corner.  On this particular episode, they were making these really cool coasters with rubbing alcohol and alcohol ink paints.  Apparently a set like these sells in stores for around $75, or so they said on the show.  They looked so easy too!

I thought my son would love to help me do this fun craft, and sure enough he did!  He actually made 5 of the 8 that we made.  I picked up the coasters at Home Depot, and got the ink dyes in a 3 pack from Jo Ann’s Crafts.  All in all, it costs about $1.00/coaster, but there was plenty of paint left over that it would probably be as low as $0.50/coaster.  Put a set of 4 together and tie with twine, and give as an inexpensive gift.



ceramic tiles – I used 4″ x 4″ (it might be cool to make some trivets, and use bigger tiles) – $0.16/tile at Home Depot

alcohol ink dyes – $7.50 for 3 colors

rubbing alcohol – on hand, or $1 at a Dollar Store

paper towel

paint for edges (optional) – less than $3 at any craft store

sealant (optional…I will probably do this here soon to keep the paint from scratching off) – about $8 at Jo Ann’s, possibly cheaper at Home Improvement store



Douse a paper towel with rubbing alcohol.


Rub on tile, but leaving a visible layer…the more alcohol, the better the effect.

Now comes the fun part!  Drip paint one drop at a time, in whatever pattern, and with whatever colors you have, until you get the desired look.  Each drop will spread out, depending on how much alcohol you have on the tile.


Let them sit for a few hours to dry.  You can paint the edges to make a cleaner look, and spray with a sealant if you wish.  And there you go!

So easy, and such cute and inexpensive gifts.  My son can’t wait for us to do more.  I think I will buy another set of paints so we can have more color options for the next round of tiles.  My son liked to layer the colors on each other to make other colors, as well as get a cool peacock looking effect.  If my 4 year old can do it, it is an easy project for any age!  Fun for a birthday party craft too!

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