How To Make A Resin Coaster

Posted on 4 Feb 14:24

It's easy to make epoxy resin coasters with ArtResin!  
Whether you embed objects into a silicone mold, create a mosaic with glass tiles, make a petri dish or coat a stone tile or slice of wood, coasters are a simple and fun way to get creative with epoxy resin.

We are often asked how to make coasters using ArtResin, so we gathered up the most commonly used materials, sharing with you every single tip and technique we know along the way.  

Let's get started!



00:46
Glass Mosaic Coaster


You can 
use ArtResin in two different ways to make a glass mosaic coaster:
1)  you can use ArtResin as a grout to mount tile pieces to a coaster base.
2)  you can first mount your tile pieces onto the coaster base using an adhesive and then coat it in a layer of ArtResin to make it shine and protect it for the longterm!


What You'll Need:

- a coaster size piece of glass, metal or mirror
- glass tile shards
ArtResin epoxy resin 
- nitrile gloves 
- mixing container 
- stir stick 
- popsicle stick 
- a handheld torch like our Artist's Torch
- toothpicks 
- an empty plastic tote or cardboard box to protect your piece while it dries

1. Ensure your glass tiles and coaster base are clean and free of dust or fingerprints and determine the design you would like to create on your coaster.

2. Working in a well ventilated area and wearing gloves, measure a small and equal amount of resin and hardener ( by volume ). Stir thoroughly for 3 minutes total, ensuring you scrape the bottom and sides of your mixing container as you go. Don’t be alarmed if your resin has bubbles after mixing …. we'll address these after we pour. 

3. Pour the ArtResin onto the centre of your coaster, and using a plastic spatula, take out knife or popsicle stick, spread it out to the edges. You can either let the resin run over the edges, smoothing out the drips with a gloved finger OR you can nudge the resin right up to the edges without going over.  This technique is known as "doming", and because ArtResin has a thick, honey like consistency, it will sit neatly on the edge of your piece. 

4. Carefully place the tiles onto the resined coaster in the design of your choice.

5. Using your Artist’s Torch, hold it above the surface of the resin just long enough to zap out the bubbles, keeping the torch moving from side to side at all times. Be mindful not to overtorch - the flame only needs to lightly kiss the surface of the resin.

6. Once the piece has been torched, look at the resin in the light to see if there are any missed bubbles or bits of dust, using a toothpick to fish them out. 

7. Cover your piece and let it sit for 24 hrs until it’s dry to the touch.



5:05
Quick Tip #1 - Using A Warm Water Bath

Warming your unopened ArtResin bottles in a warm water bath will alter its viscosity, making it thinner and greatly decreasing the bubbles - this can be a great advantage when pouring into silicone molds and allows you to pour a little bit thicker than our recommended pour of 1/8".

💡TIP:  Be aware that warming ArtResin will decrease the working time by about 10-15 minutes, as well as the cure time. 

💡TIP: Always warm your resin before you measure and mix: warming the resin after you've mixed it may cause it to cure prematurely. Place your unopened bottles in warm water and thoroughly dry them before you open them - even a single drop of water can cause cloudiness in your cured resin. 




6:06
Embedded Silicone Molds 


You have 2 choices when embedding objects into a silicone mold:
1) you can embed objects in a single resin pour ( we advise warming the resin first to decrease bubbles as outlined in Quick Tip #1, above. )
2) you can create embed objects in layers - this is particularly handy when embedding small or flat pieces that may otherwise sink to the bottom of the mold.




What You'll Need:

- a coaster sized silicone mold
- small objects to embed: rocks, pebbles, beads, beer caps, shells etc
ArtResin epoxy resin 
- nitrile gloves 
- mixing container 
- stir stick 
- a handheld torch like our Artist's Torch
- toothpicks 
- an empty plastic tote or cardboard box to protect your piece while it dries

1. Working in a well ventilated area and wearing gloves, measure a small and equal amount of resin and hardener ( by volume ). Stir thoroughly for 3 minutes total, ensuring you scrape the bottom and sides of your mixing container as you go. Don’t be alarmed if your resin has bubbles after mixing …. we'll address these after we pour. 

2. Pour the ArtResin into the centre of your silicone mold to a thickness of approximately 1/8" to allow bubbles a chance to escape.  If you warm the resin in a warm water bath ( as outlined in Quick Tip #1, above ) you can pour a little thicker.

3. Carefully place your objects into the resin as desired.

4. Using your Artist’s Torch, hold it above the surface of the resin just long enough to zap out the bubbles, keeping the torch moving from side to side at all times. Be mindful not to overtorch - the flame only needs to lightly kiss the surface of the resin.

5. Once the piece has been torched, look at the resin in the light to see if there are any missed bubbles or bits of dust, using a toothpick to fish them out. 

6. Cover your piece and let it dry. Remove the resin from the silicone mold as soon as its dry to the touch.



11:49
Quick Tip #2 - Using Silicone Molds 

Silicone molds and epoxy resin are a perfect match. Because silicone is flexible, a silicone mold allows you to peel it back away from the resin cast and it will pop right back into shape, meaning you can use it over and over again. You can find silicone molds online and at most hobby and craft stores. Try to find a silicone mold that has a glossy interior - molds with matte interiors will give a matte finish to your resin. If you do have a favorite mold that has a matte interior, not to worry: you can apply a very thin coat of ArtResin with a foam brush after the resin has cured to restore the gloss.

💡TIP:  Be aware that all silicone molds will eventually wear down. You'll know this is happening when your resin starts to stick when you're unmolding, and will even cause your mold to rip if you pull too aggressively.  


12:42
Alcohol Ink In Silicone Molds


Have you ever seen alcohol ink petri dishes and wonder how they were made?
Alcohol ink works wonders in resin - unlike other liquid colorants, alcohol ink has the unique ability to push its way through the resin, creating magical patterns and beautiful blooms of colour.  

💡TIP:  To create the beautiful patterns that petri dishes are known for, make sure you have white alcohol ink on hand.  Part of the magic between alcohol ink and resin comes from the density of the white ink.  White ink is heavier than its coloured counterparts, and by dropping white ink before and after your coloured ink drops, it will help to drive the colour deep into the resin.  Try it yourself and see!



What You'll Need:
- a coaster sized silicone mold
- alcohol ink ( we like using Jacquard's Piñata Ink )
ArtResin epoxy resin 
- nitrile gloves 
- mixing container 
- stir stick 
- a handheld torch like our Artist's Torch
- toothpicks 
- an empty plastic tote or cardboard box to protect your piece while it dries

1. Working in a well ventilated area and wearing gloves, measure a small and equal amount of resin and hardener ( by volume ). Stir thoroughly for 3 minutes total, ensuring you scrape the bottom and sides of your mixing container as you go. Don’t be alarmed if your resin has bubbles after mixing …. we'll address these after we pour.  

2. Pour the ArtResin into the centre of your silicone mold to a thickness of approximately 1/8" to allow bubbles a chance to escape.  If you warm the resin in a warm water bath ( as outlined in Quick Tip #1, above ) you can pour a little thicker.

3. Using your Artist’s Torch, hold it above the surface of the resin just long enough to zap out the bubbles, keeping the torch moving from side to side at all times. Be mindful not to overtorch - the flame only needs to lightly kiss the surface of the resin. 

4. Once the piece has been torched, drop your alcohol ink into the resin, in whatever pattern you choose.  There is no right or wrong to this - experiment and have fun!  Just remember to always finish off with drops of white, to really drive the colour down into the resin. 

5. Look at the resin in the light to see if there are any missed bubbles or bits of dust, using a toothpick to fish them out. 

6. Cover your piece and let it dry. Remove the resin from the silicone mold as soon as its dry to the touch.

💡TIP:  We don't recommend torching your piece after you've added the alcohol ink. Alcohol is a solvent and as such, is highly flammable.  Instead, you can either torch the resin before you add the alcohol ink, or warm your resin and hardener in a warm water bath prior to measuring and mixing ( as in Quick Tip #1, above ) to greatly reduce bubbles.


24:03 
Quick Tip #3 - Using Tape

If you plan to resin the sides of your artwork, tape off the bottom of your piece with painter's tape to catch any drips. When the resin is dry to the touch, you can remove the tape, and the drips right along with it!

If you plan to allow the ArtResin to dome ( i.e. sit neatly on top of your artwork without going over the sides ) you can also tape off your edges for a little extra insurance. 

We like using painter's tape here at ArtResin.  Be sure to choose a high quality tape with good stick: cheap painter's tape can absorb the resin and its low tack can allow the resin to seep in between the tape and your artwork. Some artists like to use sheathing tape, which is a high tack poly propylene tape used for home insulation. Whatever tape you choose, be sure to get the best quality tape you can for the best results!

💡TIP:  Always remove the tape as soon as your resin is dry to the touch. 
The longer you let your piece sit, the harder the resin will become and the more difficult it will be to remove the tape from your piece.  



28:31
Natural Object Coasters


ArtResin's clear, glossy finish transforms natural objects such as cork, stone, and wood into functional, one-of-a-kind pieces of organic artwork!
Leave them in their natural state and allow the resin to highlight their natural colour and patterns, or paint your own design on them, it's totally up to you!
Either way, ArtResin makes natural coasters glow while protecting and preserving them for the longterm. 
It's no wonder that natural coasters are so popular among resin artists! 


 

What You'll Need:
- a coaster size piece of wood, stone, cork, rock or metal
ArtResin epoxy resin 
- brush-on or spray sealant
- nitrile gloves 
- mixing container 
- stir stick 
- popsicle stick 
- a handheld torch like our Artist's Torch
- toothpicks 
- an empty plastic tote or cardboard box to protect your piece while it dries

1. Ensure your coaster base is clean and free of dust or fingerprints.  Seal your pieces with either a brush on sealant or a spray sealant.  Allow your piece to dry thoroughly before you resin. If you're planning on letting the resin run down the sides of your piece, tape off the bottom to catch any drips.

2. Working in a well ventilated area and wearing gloves, measure a small and equal amount of resin and hardener ( by volume ). Stir thoroughly for 3 minutes total, ensuring you scrape the bottom and sides of your mixing container as you go. Don’t be alarmed if your resin has bubbles after mixing …. we'll address these after we pour.

3. Pour the ArtResin onto the centre of your coaster, and using a plastic spatula, take out knife or popsicle stick, spread it out to the edges. You can either let the resin run over the edges, smoothing out the drips with a gloved finger OR you can nudge the resin right up to the edges without going over.  This technique is known as "doming", and because ArtResin has a thick, honey like consistency, it will sit neatly on the edge of your piece. 

4. Using your Artist’s Torch, hold it above the surface of the resin just long enough to zap out the bubbles, keeping the torch moving from side to side at all times. Be mindful not to overtorch - the flame only needs to lightly kiss the surface of the resin.

6. Once the piece has been torched, look at the resin in the light to see if there are any missed bubbles or bits of dust, using a toothpick to fish them out. 

7. Cover your piece and let it sit for 24 hrs until it’s dry to the touch.

💡TIP:  
When working with natural objects, sealing is always a good idea to prevent bubbles and prevent absorption. It's always best practice to test your materials out with ArtResin first so you know exactly what to expect before you resin your final project. 

Sealing to prevent bubbles: Organic materials such as wood may contain trapped air which can release into your resin as bubbles. There are many variables that can affect gas bubbles: the type of wood, how dry it is, and humidity can all affect how much air wood contains. Pre-sealing with a spray or brush-on sealant is a good option to help to prevent bubbles. 

Sealing to prevent absorption:  It's a good precaution to pre-seal when applying ArtResin over objects that may otherwise absorb the resin and cause it too look dark and wet. Testing with a bit of water first will let you know how dark a natural object may become once it absorbs resin.  You may need to seal more than once to prevent the resin from seeping in. 

 

We hope you found our coaster tutorial interesting and informative, and that it inspires you to get creative and try making your own coasters!!