Introduction: How to Make a Personalized Epoxy Resin Coaster

I am going to explain to you how to make your own personally designed coaster. The project consists of using an epoxy resin mixture to seal in whatever objects you would like to be displayed on your coaster such as bottle caps, golf tees, an American flag, or whatever objects you choose. No specialty tools are needed; anybody can do it, and the creativity is left up to you!

The list of materials is below. You can probably find most of the items
around the house. Others such as the epoxy you may need to buy.

Material List

· Clear Epoxy (Easy Cast Clear Casting Epoxy, Parks Super Glaze, etc., found at Walmart or craft store)

· Mold of your choice for your coaster

· Objects to be placed in the mold

· Skewer, popsicles, etc. to stir

· Plastic drop cloth, newspaper or waxed paper

· Lubricant/penetrant (WD-40, Blaster, etc.)

· Paper towels or rags

NOTE: Materials will be discussed more in depth per step.

WARNING: When using any chemical based product, read the manufacturer’s caution and handling instructions.

Step 1: Choose a Mold

The mold is going to be the shape and the overall size of your coaster. The mold you choose is truly up to you, but here are some tips when choosing a mold. First off, I recommend using a container or a lid that is fairly flexible. They are cheap and readily available. Try to stay away from anything with sharp edges. It will be more difficult to remove the coaster out of the mold if sharp or small detailed edges are present. If you use a container, ensure that the bottom is not concave or in other words make sure it’s as flat as possible. You are going to be setting a drink on the coaster, and you don’t want it to tip over!

NOTE: There is a possibility that cutting the mold may be necessary to remove the coaster when cured. A lid with grooves can add character to the coaster but will definitely require cutting the mold, so the cheaper, the better.

Step 2: Choose the Center Piece

The objects encased in the coaster are going to make your coaster stand out from others. When choosing an object or objects to use, be aware of their overall height. The height of the item is going to determine the depth of your coaster. Bottle caps, pennies, and golf tees are common objects to be chosen.

Step 3: Prepare Mold for Epoxy

Spray the lubricant or penetrant into the mold. Spread it around using a paper towel or rag ensuring full coverage. The lubricant will prevent the epoxy from sticking to the mold. A mold release agent may be used as well. The intent of lubricant is for its accessibility and price.

WARNING: When using any chemical based product, read the manufacturer’s caution and handling instructions.

Step 4: Prepare the Epoxy

I found it to be easier to mix the epoxy in the mold. The reason I suggest this method is to allow for a more accurate estimate of how much epoxy is needed. I would suggest following the instructions per manufacturer for mixing the activator and hardener, but mixing 1 part hardener to 1 part activator for a few minutes is common. You can use the activator and hardener bottles as a guide to how much you are using and to make sure you are using equal amounts of each. A good depth for the coaster is about one-third of an inch. I used a skewer to mix, but you can use pretty much anything to mix the epoxy such as a plastic spoon, popsicle stick, or long wood nail.

NOTE: The amount of epoxy needed is going to vary depending on the size and depth of the mold and objects chosen.

Step 5: Set Objects in Mold

Place the objects in the mold. The location and position of the object(s) are up to you. You also need to decide which way you want the object to face. In other words, you need to decide which surface will be the top of your coaster. Bottle caps tend to float if the cap logo is facing up, so I suggest turning them logo facing downward. This means that the bottom of the mold will be the top of your coaster.

NOTE: You want the surface that the drink will be sitting on to be flat. Be aware of this when choosing which side will be the top of the coaster.

Step 6: Pour the Epoxy

If you decided to mix the epoxy in a different container than the mold itself, carefully pour the epoxy into the mold, evenly coating the object(s). Again, a good depth to aim for for the coaster is about one-third of an inch.

NOTE: The object(s) needs to be completely submerged.

NOTE: The majority of the epoxy resins that are used require 24 hours to set. If you notice more epoxy is needed, go ahead and add more.

Step 7: Set the Mold Aside

Curing time depends, but most epoxy resins can be handled at 24 hours and fully cured at 48 hours. I would definitely recommend waiting at least 24 hours to handle the coaster.

WARNING: If the epoxy is still pliable, do NOT attempt to remove. You will deform your coaster and it will not sit flat.

Step 8: Remove the Coaster From the Mold

I would definitely recommend waiting at least 24 hours to attempt to remove the coaster from the mold. This is because the coaster is still pliable before fully setting, and you risk deforming the coaster upon removal. I found that the best way to remove the coaster is to grasp the mold around the edges and compress the edges inward; work your way around the mold breaking the coaster loose. Turn the mold upside down and give it a few hits against a hard surface. If the mold was well coated with the lubricant, the coaster should pop right out.

NOTE: If the coaster does not come loose from the mold, you may have to cut the coaster out. I suggest making a slit down the side of the mold and start to peel away the mold. You do not need to cut the coaster in order to remove it.

WARNING: Use caution when using a sharp knife.

Step 9: Enjoy the Personalized Coaster

Use the coaster for all beverages and enjoy!

Comments

author
Josehf+Murchison made it!(author)2016-12-05

What contests is this entered into?

author
ToyoTaco made it!(author)2016-12-15

No contests, just for fun :)

author
Josehf+Murchison made it!(author)2016-12-16

I don't worry about winning, I just like to support the sponsors.

author
noyouaretheman made it!(author)2016-12-10

Did you have any problems with the resin being sticky after curing? I made some similar coasters with some Castin' Craft polyester resin, and the polymers never fully cross-linked (probably due in part to using a silicone mold).

Anyway, good work. It looks good!

author
Swansong made it!(author)2016-12-02

These are fun! I'd love to make some with flowers and foliage in them :)

author
rparker9 made it!(author)2016-12-04

I have used this method to encase many different items. If you want to use dried flowers you are going to have air bubbles trapped in areas which can be a problem. A long skewer can help dislodge bubbles. If you are wanting to do leaves make sure they are as dry as possible. If there is any moisture in them the curing process will turn the moisture to steam and either crack your casting or cause it to fog. I don't know if its been mentioned or not, but the curing process is a chemical reaction and it does get hot enough to burn you, so be careful touching the mold when it starts setting up.

author
Swansong made it!(author)2016-12-05

I appreciate the tips. It may take some experimentation. ^.^

author
condorsc made it!(author)2016-12-04

When I was in Hawaii years ago I came across an article on enclosing orchids in clear plastic(Don't remember what type). There was a large orchid-growing industry in or near Hilo, on the big island. Someone had devoted considerable time developing this process. It too was hampered by the high water content in Orchids.But supposedly it was successful. Perhaps someone could research this.

author
jhmillerdds made it!(author)2016-12-04

Is it there a way to trim and the polish a surface that it's uneven?

author
condorsc made it!(author)2016-12-04

Jewelry supply houses sell jeweler's rouge for polishing plastic, lucite, epoxy, etc. Easily obtained.

author
ThomasK19 made it!(author)2016-12-04

Resin can be sanded and polished. You need to wear a mask since the dust is anything but healthy. You can polish it finally with chalk like you use it for steel.

author
Kingbob144 made it!(author)2016-12-03

Love to make these but can you do it with something other than epoxy resin

author
condorsc made it!(author)2016-12-04

Sure. In fact, castable lucite is usually used for this sort of thing. As for epoxy, with a little practice one can repair broken lips, etc. on OLD bottles, etc. Just have to get the color right. Almost undetectable if you do it right.

author
sylvia.picone.3 made it!(author)2016-12-04

This is a lovely idea but not so sure as to using them for coasters. There is nothing to absorb the moisture from your glass and there is no lip to keep it within the coaster.

author
ThomasK19 made it!(author)2016-12-03

You definitely want to do the casting in two steps. First cast a 1/3 (or less if you have thick objects) layer for the basement. When its has set to some degree you place the objects and cast the 2nd go to cover the objects.

author
jhmillerdds made it!(author)2016-12-04

Will this leave a noticeable margin between the two layers

author
ThomasK19 made it!(author)2016-12-04

If you mix both parts thoroughly at the same rates you will hardly see the margin. It needs a bit of practice, though. But placing things right at the bottom will not seal them. Means: they can oxidate and/or you can feel them when rubbing over it.

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