How to Make Ceramic Photo Tiles: Step-by-Step Guide

Making ceramic photo tiles is a great way to show off your favorite photos. It’s also a fun project you can complete in just a few hours. This article will discuss the steps involved in making ceramic photo tiles. We will also provide tips on making them look their best. Let’s get started.

How to Make Ceramic Photo Tiles

Ceramic photo tiles are a great way to add a personal touch to your home. They are easy to make and can be used to decorate your kitchen, bathroom, or any other room in your house.

To make ceramic photo tiles, you will need:

  • A digital photograph
  • Ceramic tile adhesive
  • Ceramic tile grout
  • A paintbrush
  • A sponge
  • A sharp knife

The Procedure

  1. First, choose a digital photograph that you would like to use. Next, print the photograph onto regular printer paper. Once the photograph is printed, cut out each tile with a sharp knife.
  2. Be sure to leave a small border around each tile so the adhesive will not show. I personally use a quarter as my guide for the border size.
  3. Next, apply a thin layer of adhesive to the back of each tile. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. I suggest working in small sections so that the adhesive does not dry before you have a chance to apply the tile. Once the adhesive is applied, place the tiles onto a flat surface and allow them to dry overnight.
  4. After the tiles have dried, apply a thin layer of grout between each tile. Use a sponge to remove any excess grout.
  5. Allow the grout to dry for 24 hours before using your new ceramic photo tiles.
  6. Enjoy!

How to Transfer Images to Ceramic Using Paper

1. Print Your Image on the Transfer Paper

To begin, you’ll need to print your image on the transfer paper. Make sure you mirror or flip the image so that it prints in reverse before printing it out. This is because the final product will be a mirror image of what is printed on the transfer paper. If you don’t mirror the image, your text will be backward.

2. Allow the Printed Image to Dry for 1 Hour

Once you’ve printed your image, allow it to dry for about an hour before beginning the transfer process. This will give the ink time to set so that it doesn’t smear when you start rubbing it onto the tile.

If you’re in a hurry, you can use a hair dryer on the cool setting to speed up the drying process. Just hold the hair dryer about six inches away from the paper and wave it back and forth until the paper is completely dry to the touch.

3. Take 2-3 Coats of Clear Acrylic Spray and Apply them to the Image

The next step is to take two to three coats of clear acrylic spray and apply them to the image. This will help protect the image from smudging when transferring it onto the tile. Allow the first coat to dry for about 20 minutes before applying the second coat.

After applying the final coat, allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This could take up to an hour or more, so be patient!

4. Cut Around the Perimeter of the Printed Image with Scissors

Once the final coat of acrylic spray is dry, it’s time to cut around the perimeter of the printed image with scissors. Be sure to leave a small paper border around the image so that you have something to hold onto when you start rubbing it onto the tile.

If your image has any small details, be careful not to cut them out when cutting around the perimeter. Once you’ve finished cutting, set the image aside for now.

You can begin by gently rubbing the paper with your fingertips in a circular motion until you see the color transfer onto the tile. If your image is large, you may need to use a brush or roller to rub the paper evenly onto the tile.

As you rub, the paper will start to wrinkle. This is normal! Just keep rubbing until the entire image has been transferred onto the tile.

Once you’re finished, carefully peel away the paper to reveal your beautiful new image. If there are any bits of paper remaining, you can use a soft-bristled brush to remove them.

5. Soak the Image in a Bowl of Warm Water for 60 Seconds

This will help to set the ink and prevent it from smudging or fading over time. After soaking, gently pat the tile dry with a soft towel.

6. Peel Off the Backing Paper Out of the Cutout Image

You can use your thumbnail to peel off the backing paper out of the cutout image. The backing should peel away cleanly after soaking for the required time. If the cutout doesn’t begin to peel easily, soak it for another 30-60 seconds.

7. Lay the Image on the Ceramic Surface to Smoothen Out Any Wrinkles

Place the photographic image face down on the object. While wet, you may move the cutout around slightly to adjust its position on the ceramic surface.

To smooth away creases and air pockets, gently rub your thumb from the center towards the edge of the picture in all directions.

8. Give the Image Time to Dry Completely on the Ceramic Surface

You should wait around 30-60 minutes after the transfer paper is done before you move on. Once you’re done, your image should be durable and look great.

ALSO READ: How to Make Ceramic Garden Markers

What Are Picture Tiles Made Of?

make ceramic photo tiles

Picture tiles are generally made of two materials: a durable base tile and an image printed onto special paper that’s adhered to the front. The base tile is usually ceramic.

However, you can use glass, stone, or metal bases. The type of adhesive used will depend on the weight of the tile and how it will be hung or displayed. You may also require D-rings or other hardware for heavier tiles.

Most picture tiles have a glossy finish that makes the colors in the images pop. You can also use a matte finish to create a more subtle look. Some picture tiles are even textured to give them extra visual interest.


Learning how to make ceramic photo tiles is a fun and rewarding experience. With a little practice, anyone can create beautiful and unique tiles that will last a lifetime. Therefore, if you’re looking for a new hobby or creative outlet, try ceramic tile making. You might just surprise yourself with what you’re capable of creating.

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