Resin & Alcohol Ink Wood Coasters: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Want to learn how to turn alcohol ink art into stunning resin coasters? This DIY coaster tutorial shows you how.  First, create colorful, marbled alcohol ink art on Yupo paper, then mount them to wooden coaster bases before sealing them with a glossy resin finish.

Artist Sequoia, of Coyasauce Abstract Art, is an Irish artist who developed this process after working with alcohol ink and resin over the past 4 years. 

Coasters are a great way to re-purpose alcohol ink art, whether you're a beginner or a seasoned artist looking for a fun and useful project idea. Sequoia has kindly shared her tips and techniques so you can create your own coasters just like these...

Create alcohol ink coasters in 5 easy steps

Step 1: Create alcohol ink artwork on yupo paper

Step 2: Varnish the artwork

Step 3: Mount the artwork onto wooden coaster bases

Step 4: Resin the coasters

Step 5: Add finishing touches

The process takes about 5 days, start to finish, to allow the materials time to dry between steps. The results are worth the wait, but you can maximize the time by working on several coaster sets at once.


Here's a video version of Sequoia's tutorial and written instructions are below:


What You’ll Need: 

  • Alcohol inks in 2-3 colors that blend well together, plus a metallic ink (Sequoia used

    Brass by Jacquard)
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • Yupo paper
  • Alcohol ink blow tool (or a plastic condiment squeeze bottle)
  • Plastic liner protect your surface
  • Kamar Varnish or Montana UV Varnish
  • 4  x wood 4" coaster bases
  • 4  x adhesive cork backs (slightly smaller than 4")
  • Pencil & paper
  • Scissors & a craft knife
  • Adhesive 
  • ArtResin
  • Plastic liner to cover your work surface
  • Gloves, mixing cup and stir stick
  • Spreader
  • Artist's Torch or heat gun
  • Dust cover
  • Gold, oil-based edging marker
  • Ink & stamp (optional)

⚠️ NOTE: Always wear gloves to protect your skin. When working with a solvent material like alcohol ink, work in well-ventilated space with access to fresh air - or wear a respirator mask with organic vapour filter cartridges to avoid breathing in the fumes.

Step 1: Create Your Alcohol Ink Artwork

Create your alcohol ink abstract painting. Start by dropping 99% isopropyl alcohol onto a big sheet of Yupo paper, using a blow tool to thin it out. 

Drop a little alcohol ink on top of the isopropyl. Use the blow tool to spread the ink, creating a design that's concentrated at the center with a wispy, faded effect at the edges. Add more isopropyl alcohol if the ink is not fading or blowing out as much as you'd like.

I use a sauce squeeze bottle instead of an ink blower lol

Use the blow tool to push the inks back and forth to create a smooth fade, using small, gentle puffs for more control and to help control ink splatters. Repeat the process of dropping isopropyl alcohol and ink, blowing them to blend, until the sheet is full and you're happy with your design. 

• Sequoia uses an empty squeeze bottle to blend and spread the inks. You can use a hair dryer, but the heat will cause the inks to dry very quickly and will reduce your working time.
• If some areas dry before you're finished working them, you can reactivate the ink by dropping on more isopropyl alcohol. 
• Choose colors that blend well together. Similar colors are less likely to become muddy once mixed. 

Once you have a base of color down, add the metallic ink to highlight and enhance different areas of your design.  Once you're happy with how it looks, set it aside to dry.

    For detailed instructions on how to create abstract alcohol ink art:



    Step 2: Varnish Your Alcohol Ink Artwork

    Once your painting has fully dried, place it in a cardboard box. Apply about four light layers of Kamar Varnish, allowing each layer to dry for a few minutes before applying the next. Kamar Varnish is favored by alcohol ink artists: it doesn't contain alcohol so won't reactivate the inks and cause them to bleed.

    Allow the varnish to dry at least overnight.

    ⚠️ NOTE: Work outside, in a well-ventilated area or wear a respirator for this step. 

    Stage 3: Mount your artwork onto wood coaster bases

    The next step is to select the parts of your painting that you think will work well as coasters. An easy way to do this is to create a viewfinder to help find the best compositions: simply trace one of your coaster bases onto a piece of paper and cut out the circle. The hole will be the size of your coasters and should help you envision what the final result will be like.

    Place the viewfinder onto the painting and move it around to find nice compositions. When you find an area you like, place a coaster base onto the painting, trace around it, and cut it out. Make sure to cut on the outside of the line to give you some extra wiggle room.


    Cut out as many coaster shapes as you like.  You can often get multiple coaster sets from one painting, depending on the size. It's also a good idea to have a few extra options on hand. 

    When your potential coasters are cut out, pick out the best ones to make a nice matching set.

    Next, use an old paintbrush to add a layer of adhesive to a coaster base, carefully align one of the alcohol ink cut-outs, and press it down firmly. If any adhesive  squeezes out the sides, wipe it off with a tissue. Repeat this step with the rest of your coasters.


    Place the coasters under a pile of heavy books and leave them dry overnight.

    Step 4: Resin the coasters

    Start by very carefully tidying up the edges of the coasters using a craft knife, pointing the blade away from you.

    Next, cover the edges of the coasters with a good quality masking tape, burnishing the edges with a craft stick to make sure no resin can seep through. Rest the coasters on stands or plastic cups, and you’re ready to measure and mix the resin!

    To determine the amount of resin you'll need for each coaster, head over to ArtResin's Circle Calculator. Simply enter the diameter, and multiply that by the number of coasters you're planning to coat.  Sequoia used approximately 10 ml of resin for each 4" coaster.

    Wearing gloves, prepare the ArtResin by measuring equal volumes of resin and hardener in a graduated mixing cup.  Stir well for 3 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing container to ensure every part is thoroughly blended. 

    Pour a small amount of resin in the center of each coaster, using a craft stick to guide it evenly across the surface. You can either let the resin run over the sides of the coaster or create a domed effect by neatly nudging it right up to the edge without going over.  

    Use one or two quick passes with a torch to pop any bubbles. Under a good light source, inspect each coaster at eye level, using a toothpick to remove any bits of dust or remaining bubbles. 

    Last, cover your coasters with a clean plastic tote or cardboard box with the flaps cut off and leave them to cure overnight.

    Step 5: Finishing touches

    Once the resin has cured, remove the masking tape. Use a gold edging marker to paint in the edges. 


    Finally, apply the adhesive cork backing to the coaster and you're done!

    💡 TIP:  For a professional-looking finish, stamp the cork backing with your business name or logo.


    Now you have a beautiful set of handmade coasters that you can give as gifts, sell as part of your resin business, or enjoy using yourself!

    We hope you found this tutorial helpful.  For more resin art and craft ideas, visit our blogs:

    The 20 Best Resin Crafts To Make With Epoxy 
    What Resin Art Sells The Best and Where To Sell Resin Art?
    Resin Art For Beginners

    To see more of Sequoia's artwork:
    Follow her on Instagram: @coyasauce
    Visit her website:
    Watch her YouTube videos: @Coyasauce

    ArtResin:  Made For Artists, By Artists.

    About the author: Joanne Wright

    I'm Joanne, the Marketing Content Writer at ArtResin. Originally from Canada, my home is now Indianapolis, Indiana. My love of all things creative and my entrepreneurial heart means I’ve worn many hats over the years including fashion producer & stylist, retail store owner, t-shirt designer, and even vegan baker! I...