Decoupage Coasters: How to Turn Cheesy Tourist Maps Into Travel Souvenir Gifts

This step-by-step tutorial shows you how easy it is to make meaningful, attractive gifts that capture cherished travel memories.

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Next Project

An hour or less




Less than $20


A tangible snapshot of time and place, two-dimensional maps remind us of our three-dimensional explorations. Learn how easy it is to turn stone, ceramic or porcelain tiles into evocative drink coasters with tourist maps collected on your travels.

Tools Required

  • Paintbrush
  • Paper towel or rag
  • Pencil
  • Permanent ultra-fine point marker
  • Scissors

Materials Required

  • Craft or decoupage glue (glossy and dries clear)
  • Map
  • Self-adhesive furniture protection pads
  • Tile

Project step-by-step (8)

Step 1

Trace the Tile

  • Lay out the map on a table or other flat surface.
  • Choose a section on the map and turn the tile right-side down over that area. If the map has grid lines, use them to align the tile so that it’s straight.
  • Grab a pencil and trace around the outer edges of the tile.
    • Pro Tip: Instead of a map, you can decoupage the tile using museum stubs, train tickets, matchbook covers, bar napkins or hotel stationary — just about any paper memento will do! It’s a great way to upcycle instead of throwing these items away.

travel map tracing with coasterToni DeBella for Family Handyman

Step 2

Cut out the Map Section

  • With the scissors, cut out the map along the pencil line. To keep the paper from rolling over the outer edges of the tile, leave about a 1/16-in border all the way around.
  • Trim to fit, if needed.

cut out mapToni DeBella for Family Handyman