When you create something yourself rather than buying it premade, you get a level of satisfaction that only a DIY project can bring. And since DIYing becomes increasingly popular during the holiday season, you now have a great opportunity to learn a new craft. Creating your own DIY resin coasters is a great way to prepare for the holidays, as you can put the coasters to use or give them as gifts. To discover your favorite new hobby, read on for a complete how-to guide.
What Are Coasters For?
Coasters are handy when you don’t want ring marks on your tables from condensing glasses. When you place a coaster under a drinking glass, it absorbs the moisture or holds it so the condensation doesn’t leave its mark on the table, counter, or elsewhere. Coasters also make a great gift for the holidays, birthdays, or just for fun.
Coasters come in many materials, such as cork or ceramic. One of the most popular materials is resin epoxy because of its durability and flexibility to make different designs. You can customize resin epoxy coasters with unique designs and colors.
Gather Your Supplies
Are you loving the idea of creating DIY resin coasters? The first step in getting started is gathering the right supplies. The following is a list of what you need to make your resin coasters:
- Epoxy resin (comes with epoxy and a hardener)
- Disposable cups
- Stir sticks (popsicle or craft sticks work)
- Heat gun
- Disposable gloves
- Silicone coaster molds
- Mica powder for color
Make sure to have everything on hand before you begin.
Making Your DIY Resin Coasters
Now that you have your supplies, you can make your resin coasters. Choose an area that is comfortable to work in, and wear an apron or old clothes in case there are any spills. You also want to protect the surface you work on with a tablecloth so it doesn’t get epoxied or dyed from the pigments.
Mix the Resin
The first official step is to mix the resin. Read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly and mix the resin with the hardener. There is usually a ratio of 2:1, meaning two parts resin and one part hardener; however, ratios are sometimes different, so read the instructions first.
Pour both ingredients in the appropriate ratios into one of the plastic cups and mix well with a stirring stick. Scrape the sides as you stir to make sure you mix everything thoroughly. The manufacturer’s instructions should tell you how long to mix, which is usually a few minutes.
Add Mica Powder
The next step in the guide to creating your own DIY resin coasters is adding some color. This step is where your creativity shines, as it’s the stage that lets you design coasters that are truly unique and speak to your artistic preferences. Whether you have a variety of colors or just one shade, the directions for adding mica power to the resin mixture are the same:
- Scoop a small amount of mica pigment into the resin mixture with a clean stirring stick.
- Stir completely until blended well.
- Add more mica powder as you see fit.
You can swirl different colors together in the same cup or mix different colors separately, swirling them after pouring the resins into a mold.
Pour Into the Molds
Once mixed, you can pour your epoxy resin into the silicone molds. The molds come in many shapes and sizes, so choose according to what you like or need.
When pouring, you can play around to achieve different effects. Try experimenting a bit before settling on an idea. Here are a few popular ways to pour the resin when making coasters:
- Make a puddle of clear resin in the bottom center of the mold. Then, slowly add different colors on top and watch as they spread to form a colorful puddle effect.
- Pour two colors side by side and let them gradually blend.
- Add objects after pouring, such as pressed flowers, antique keys, buttons, glitter, beads, or any other creative trinkets. The items will stay suspended in the resin as it dries.
Setting Your DIY Resin Coasters
Once you’ve followed the steps to create your resin coasters, you should do a couple of things so they set properly.
Use a Heat Gun
First, you must apply heat to the molds. Apply warmth to the resin with the heat gun by waving it back and forth over each mold without touching the coaster. The resin will dry with bubbles if you skip this step. Gently move the heat gun over each coaster until they look smooth with no bubbles. You can also continue the process to create cool effects after the bubbles are gone.
Cure the Resin
The final step in helping the resin set is to cure it. Usually, the resin hardens in about an hour and can do so by sitting at room temperature. However, read the manufacturer’s instructions for your chosen resin to be safe. Once it’s dry, it still needs to cure. Curing may take up to a month, so wait to put your coasters to work until they fully cure.
Releasing Your DIY Resin Coasters
You mixed the resin, poured it into molds, and hardened it; now it’s time to take your creations out of the silicone molds. You can complete this step after about an hour once the resin hardens. You don’t have to wait for it to cure fully. To remove your coasters, you simply pull the molds off the hard resin, then place your coasters somewhere safe to cure.
DIY projects are great as hobbies and a welcome distraction when you need some stress relief. DIY projects also always make thoughtful gifts, so you may want to consider getting crafty this holiday season with DIY resin coasters.
One of the best parts of resin coasters is how unique you can make each set using several different mica powder pigments. How about pink mica to show some love or add a splash of dainty to a home bar? We’ve got you covered with pretty pinks, reds, and more. Browse Eye Candy Pigments for the perfect shade for your next DIY resin project.