Rather than leaving fond memories of two trips to Europe in a photo album that is never looked at (and quite frankly is taking up space,) I decided to turn these memories into coasters that will be used and seen. Making your own coasters is quick and easy and they make great gifts.
Step 1: BoM
Travel pictures, postcards, tickets, etc.
Paper friendly glue
Mod podge sealer/finisher
Gesso (for prepping/priming glossy tile)
Hot glue & glue gun
Tiles (you a huge box of plain ceramic white tiles from Home Depot for less than $15)
Felt or cork (for padding)
Step 2: Tile Prep
Because the tiles I bought have a glossy finish, I prep them with either gesso or mod podge. You don't need a lot, just a coat to help the paper adhere better to the tile. Start laying out your pictures, postcards, etc. and deciding what will go where and what sizes things need to be cut.
Step 3: Adhere
Begin mod podging your pictures down to the tile. If some things won't stay down, you can add extra glue underneath. You can also add multiple layers of mod podge on top, but I've found it helpful to wait 20-30 minutes between layers.
At this point, you can also add tissue paper or glitter to fill in the blank spaces on the tile. I didn't really find a difference in ease between adding the glitter before or after the main pictures.
Step 4: Finishing
Let your tiles cure for a few hours (or however long the manufacturer directions say). Once cured, bring them outside or to a well ventilated area and spray with sealer (you can also use a paint on sealer, I just happen to have the spray). Let dry again.
Flip your coasters over and add backing, this is what will protect your furniture from scrapes caused by the tiles. I generally use felt (which is super cheap) or cork pieces and hot glue them on. If I'm using cork, I'll glue on four 1"x1" squares rather than cover the entire back.