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Decorating Ceramic Tile with a Paper Napkin

By Edited Feb 17, 2016 1 2

Decorating ceramic tile with a paper napkin is so easy that you might find yourself making these little gems for everyone you know.

Things you will need:

  • ceramic tile (6x6 inch for the hot plate and 4x4 for the coasters) - the color of your ceramic tile will depend on your napkins and design
  • decorative paper napkins of your choice
  • tacky glue (Aleene's)
  • Elmer's Glue white glue
  • water
  • sponge tip brush or paint brush
  • wooden pieces, felt or cork
  1. First thing you want to do is clean the ceramic tile with a cotton ball and rubbing alcohol. Let dry.
  2. You can leave the napkin as is or you can cut out the pattern. In this example, I chose to cut out the scarecrow and leaves so that I could choose where I wanted them placed.
  3. Most of the paper napkins will be 2-ply, so you will want to pull these apart to make a thinner napkin. Most napkins will be easier to pull apart before you cut out the design.
  4. Mix the glue and water together to get a thickness of pancake mix. You want it thick enough to still be glue, but thin enough to spread easily over your ceramic tile.
  5. Using the paint brush or the sponge tip brush, you will want to brush the glue mixture all over the ceramic tile. (I prefer the sponge tip brush, it spreads the glue easier and doesn't take as long to cover the entire tile piece)
  6. Place the napkin or the napkin design on the wet glue where you want it to be. You might want to play with this before you put the glue on the ceramic tile, so that you know where you want it to go. Once you put the napkin on the glue it is very difficult to move the napkin without tearing it. I usually keep one ceramic tile and napkin design laid out so that I can refer back to it whenever I am placing the design on the wet glue.
  7. Try not to move the napkin too much on the wet glue because it will tear. I use my sponge brush to 'brush' the design if I need to move it slightly. Don't worry about the wrinkles, this is what makes it different and homemade.
  8. Once you have your pattern like you want it, you will need to let the glue dry. This can take about an hour or so. Once the glue is dry, you will want to paint another layer of glue over the ceramic tile and design and let this dry. You will want to do this for a total of three times. This is to seal it.
  9. Once the glue layers have dried, you will need to put something on the bottom of the ceramic tile to keep it from scratching tables, etc. I like to use cork board on the coasters because these tend to get moved around a lot. For the pot holders/hot plates, I like to use wooden pieces. Using a tacky glue, Aleene's Tacky Glue works very well for this glue one wooden piece to each corner. If you are using the cork board, you will want to cut it to size and using a spray glue, spray the bottom of the ceramic tile and then place the cork board over the glue on the bottom. Let dry.
You can make these for holidays, each season, or just in a pattern that the person you are giving the ceramic tile to will enjoy. Decorative paper napkins come in lots of patterns so it shouldn't be hard to find one you or someone you know will like.

If you are using these decorative ceramic tiles as hot plates, you might want to spray a primer on it so that it can take the heat. Folkart Lacquer Spray Finishes works very well for this. Do your layers of glue as suggested above and once everything has dried (overnight), then spray with the primer.


Oct 9, 2009 11:08am
Hello, I followed your directions on making the ceramic tile hot plates. They are VERY cute!!! The only problem I am having is finding a heat resistant clear coat to go on top. I used just the FolkArt high shine glaze. This did hold up to my test I put it through. None of the FolkArt clear paints I have found say anything about being resistant to heat? I have been everywhere, including the internet to find some. I thought I found some on ebay, but to my disappointment it was out of country & did not ship here. I am trying to make some of these as Christmas gifts. Could you help me locate some of this paint your speaking of that will work for the hot plates. Thank you very much! :)
Oct 9, 2009 11:09am
One of those days- I meant to say it did NOT hold up to the test I put it through.
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