If you're searching for a fun and creative way to decorate your home or make personalized gifts, making resin coasters might be a great option. Resin coasters are waterproof, customizable with colors, shapes, and designs, and durable. In this article, we'll guide you on how to create resin coasters with a simple step-by-step tutorial, perfect […]
How to Make Resin Coasters? Simple Step-by-Step Tutorial for Beginners
If you're searching for a fun and creative way to decorate your home or make personalized gifts, making resin coasters might be a great option. Resin coasters are waterproof, customizable with colors, shapes, and designs, and durable. In this article, we'll guide you on how to create resin coasters with a simple step-by-step tutorial, perfect for beginners.
Equipment Needed for a Resin Coaster
Before learning how to make resin coasters, here are the types of equipment needed to prepare:
|$14 - $69
|When choosing mold for resin coasters, you need to consider many factors such as:
|$3 - $16
|Mixing tools include:
|$16 - $43
|The cups need to have the capacity up to 10 ounces to mix the resin and hardener easily.
|$4 - $49
|Wood sticks or Silicon sticks
|$2 - $3
|Liquid or Mica
|$24 - $76
|Respirator mask, Goggles and Latex gloves
|$13 - $29
|Release Agent (Optional)
|A release agent can enhance the quality, efficiency, durability, and appearance of the final resin product
|$25 - $63
|Heat Gun or Torch
|A heat gun or a torch can both be used to remove bubbles from resin coasters
|$18 - $33
|A cork sheet is a material that can be used to make the base or the backing of resin coasters
|$4 - $21
|A silicone mat protects your work surface from spills and drips
|$5 - $39
11 Steps to Make a Resin Coaster
Step 1: Preparing a workspace
Before starting to work on your epoxy project, it's important to prepare a proper workspace. First, gather all the required supplies. Most epoxy performs best in a warm and well-ventilated room, so try to condition your work environment as close to 75°F as possible.
To ensure safety and stability, it is recommended to select a solid and durable surface, such as a spacious table or a sturdy workbench. If you're working on this project at home, cover the surrounding areas with plastic sheeting to avoid any accidental spills or drips.
Arrange your supplies such as epoxy resin and hardener, color pigments, resin coaster molds, mixing cups, stirring sticks, heat gun, release agent, and cork sheet in an easily accessible manner so they won't interfere with your movements. This will help you work efficiently and reduce the risk of mistakes.
Finally, It's important to ensure that your silicone molds are clean and thoroughly dried before proceeding to the next step. If they are dirty, clean them with rubbing alcohol and a lint-free cloth.
Step 2: Prepare Resin Mixture
To begin, measure the proper ratio, which is typically either 1:1 or 2:1. Take a cup and pour equal amounts of resin and hardener into it. Ensure the proportion of both substances is the same. If you are planning to embed objects, it is advisable to make a smaller batch. You only need enough material that fills about one-third of the mold's capacity.
After pouring the mixture, take a wooden craft stick and stir it slowly until it is fully combined. This process should take around 2 - 3 minutes, and it is recommended to set a timer to keep track of time. Make sure that there are no bubbles in the mixture.
Step 3: Personalize your Coaster (Additional)
Personalizing your coasters is an excellent way to enhance your home decor or create a unique gift for someone special. There are countless ways to customize your coasters, depending on your preferences and creativity for your resin coaster ideas. Here are some ideas for personalizing your coasters.
|Dry pressed flowers
Step 4: Pour your resin without embedding objects
To start, pour the epoxy resin into the mold carefully, filling the interior. As epoxy is self-leveling, this should be a fairly easy task. Do it slowly and fill it about a third of the way. Keep the resin in the molds for 15 minutes.
Step 5. Pour your resin with the intent to embed objects
Begin by pouring your epoxy resin into the mold, filling it up to about 1/3rd of the way. Although epoxy is self-leveling, you can smooth it out a bit faster by gently moving it around as you pour.
Then, add objects as your resin coaster ideas very carefully to the epoxy layer, using tweezers if they are tiny. If you need to move small objects while working with resin, you can use tweezers to reposition them.
However, be sure to rinse and wipe the tweezers after use to prevent the resin from hardening onto them. To secure the objects in place for your final resin layer, wait at least four hours to partially cure.
Step 6: Remove Bubbles
You may notice some air bubbles forming as the mold fills up, but there's no need to worry as we can deal with those next. To get bubbles out of resin, you can use a heat gun.
Simply hold it a few inches away from the surface and move it back and forth, making sure to pass over the entire area. Avoid staying in one spot for more than a second to prevent overheating or damaging the resin.
Then, take a moment to examine the surface of the resin for any remaining air bubbles. If you notice any, you can use a heat gun for a second pass. Most likely, they will disappear after this step.
Step 7: Add Additional Layers (Optional)
Mix up a second batch of epoxy resin, making sure to prepare a bit more than the first batch because of filling the remaining 2/3rds of the mold. Pour the second batch of resin into the mold, filling it up the rest of the way.
Step 8: Cure the Resin
After applying resin, it's crucial to let it cure undisturbed at room temperature. Typically, it takes around 8 to 12 hours to cure. You can check if the resin is fully cured by touching it. If it's no longer tacky, it's cured. It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions as the curing process may take longer, around 24 to 48 hours.
Step 9: Demold
After the resin has fully hardened, carefully remove the coasters from the mold by pushing the shapes until they pop out.
Step 10: Sand the Resin Coaster
If you happen to notice any excess resin on your project, you can use scissors or a blade knife to trim it away. In case there are any rough edges left, you may sand the epoxy resin surface to achieve a smooth finish.
To do this, you can use a nail sander which is easy to hold in your hand and has a sanding surface that is not too coarse. However, make sure to use sandpaper with a grit no rougher than 400 to prevent damage to the resin. Additionally, it's important to wear safety glasses and a dust mask while sanding to protect yourself from any harmful debris in the air.
Step 11: Add a Cork Base
In this step, you learn all the steps of how to make resin coasters. However, to add functionality to your coaster, you can incorporate a cork bottom or felt instead.
To begin, use a pen or pencil to trace the shape of the mold onto the cork. Then, cut carefully along the inside of the traced line. Apply a generous amount of craft glue onto the cork disc, ensuring that it covers the edges but isn't too thick.
Finally, press the cork disc onto the backside of the coaster firmly, so that it sticks securely. And that is all for the question “How to make resin coasters”
Common mistakes when making a Resin Coaster
When making resin coasters, there are several common mistakes that beginners may encounter. Being aware of these mistakes can help you avoid them and achieve better results. Here are some common mistakes to watch out for:
- Use a torch to remove bubbles: Use a flame torch for the best results when achieving a clear and glassy resin finish. But when working with silicone molds, use a heat gun to prevent mold damage.
- Avoid pouring resin too thick: Avoid pouring resin too thick as it may cause bubbles in the cured piece, especially when using molds. Instead, pour in thin layers to avoid bubbles or warm the resin in a water bath before mixing to facilitate bubble escape.
Measure accordingly as per the label directions: The typical ratio is 1:1. Use a measuring cup with clearly marked lines for accuracy. Never add more hardener for faster or harder curing.
Never mix resin and hardener that come from different brands: Resins can be measured by weight or volume. Always make sure to use the same brand of resin and hardener for the best outcome.
Mix for at least 3 minutes: Mix resin and hardener slowly for at least 3 mins until blended. Don't whip or you'll create excess bubbles. Remove any bubbles with a torch.
Scrape the container when you mix, but not when you pour: Scrape the sides and bottom of the container while stirring resin. But avoid scraping unmixed resin and hardener from the sides of the container while pouring the mixture onto your piece. This may create soft, sticky patches in your resin finish.
Improper curing conditions
The resin needs to be kept at a temperature slightly higher than the room temperature: For best results, ensure your resin is at room temperature. If it's too cold, warm the bottles in a water bath, making them easier to work with. Higher temperatures promote faster curing.
Keep the room to be warm and dry: To work with resin effectively, make sure it's at room temperature (75 - 85 F or 24 - 30 C).
Checking your piece too often
If your resin coasters do not cure completely, avoid touching them. Touching them may introduce dust, dirt, or lint into the resin, which can affect the clarity and appearance of the cured resin. This is especially important if the resin is intended to be transparent or have a specific color.
Also, be careful not to disturb the resin while it is still in the curing process, as this can create bubbles, ripples, or uneven surfaces. Doing so can ruin the smooth and glossy finish of your coaster. Moreover, make sure to protect the resin from exposure to moisture, humidity, or temperature changes, as they can interfere with the curing process and prevent the resin from hardening properly.
To avoid any issues with your resin coaster, it's important to keep it in a clean, dry, and stable environment until it's fully cured. The time required for curing may vary depending on the brand and type of resin you use, so be sure to follow the instructions that come with your resin.
Not testing first
Test it out when in doubt: Resin can make colors appear darker, so try a little water on top to check the colors. Test on a scrap piece if you're using soft, porous paper, matte photographs, or fabric.
Test colorants for compatibility: Resin darkens colors, so it's best to test on a scrap piece of soft, porous paper, matte photographs, or fabric before use. Applying a sealant coat beforehand may also be necessary.
Adding too much colorant
Too much colorant is not good for resin cure: Use 6% of the total combined volume of resin and hardener and start with a small amount of colorant, gradually adding more if needed.
Over-torching your resin
Over-torching your resin: It's important to avoid holding the torch too close to one spot or the resin surface for too long. This can cause ripples or dimples in the surface and even burn the resin.
Not covering your work
Cover your masterpiece to avoid dust: Most products will dry within 72 hours. So, covering it during this time is important to prevent dust, hairs, or other particles from landing on it.
5 Resin Coaster Making Ideas
Resin coaster making offers endless creative possibilities. Here are some resin coaster ideas inspiring your project:
Rainbow coasters are a vibrant and delightful addition to any home decor. They are inspired by the colorful and playful tones of the rainbow, which makes them perfect for adding a pop of joy to your table settings. Rainbow coasters also make fantastic gifts for birthdays, housewarming, or any occasion.
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Galaxy coasters are a celestial-themed addition to your home decor. Inspired by the beauty and mystery of the cosmos, these coasters bring the enchanting allure of the night sky to your table settings.
Wood and Resin Coasters
Wood and resin coasters are a beautiful combination of wood and resin. They add a touch of elegance to your home decor. These coasters are made using different types of wood such as oak, walnut, or maple, and using specified epoxy resin for wood. The natural characteristics of each type of wood, like knots or woodgrain, make each coaster exceptionally distinctive.
Dried Flower Resin Coasters
Dried flower resin coasters are made by embedding dried flowers or petals within the clear resin. Although the process is simple, it results in stunning and unique pieces. The combination of dried flowers and resin creates a captivating visual effect. The transparent resin preserves the delicate beauty of the flowers, resulting in a mesmerizing display of colors, textures, and shapes.
Geodes Resin Coasters
Geode resin coasters are not just simple coasters, they're a fusion of nature and artistry. These coasters are made of clear resin and include beautiful geode crystals inside them, creating a stunning effect. Each coaster appears to be a piece of art, showcasing the mesmerizing patterns, textures, and hues found in geodes.
What type of resin should I use to make a coaster?
The number one resin for this purpose is the Apex One Coat Resin because it meets all the requirements. This resin has high heat resistance ratings, an impressive glossy finish, and a fast curing time of 3 days.
Are DIY resin coasters heat resistant?
This material is not highly heat resistant, but it can withstand some heat. People have made coasters out of it for coffee cups, but it won't work with microwaves. For better heat tolerance, polyester resin is better than epoxy resin.
Are resin coasters food safe?
After your resin has fully and correctly cured, it is safe for direct contact with food. However, be mindful that anything you add to the resin, such as dyes, inks, powders, decorative inclusions, and more, can affect its safety from incidental food contact.
Can I put epoxy coasters in the dishwasher?
It is not advisable to put items crafted with epoxy resin in the dishwasher. Epoxy resin is not safe to use in dishwashers, and exposing it to high temperatures and harsh chemicals can cause damage to the epoxy resin. This may cause the resin to break down or become cloudy over time.