I have a minor obsession with Pinterest, so after seeing a set of bottle cap coasters that looked like they might scratch the table, I said, "I can do that better!" Well, with a little help from the recipient of this gift and a couple failed attempts at other options, I chose resin casting to make these super awesome coasters. A great way to show the man in your life that you care, these fun coasters are easy to complete, done in about 4 days (assuming you only have 1 mold) and don't take that much active time on your part.

Step 1: Materials List

What you'll need:
Casting resin
Resin catalyst
Resin mold
Mold release
Plastic or plastic coated cups to mix in
Something disposable to mix with (I used popsicle sticks)
A well ventilated area
Bottle caps to set in the resin

If you want your coasters to be colored, you can get resin dyes as well.

Links above are just some places that I have found these items, not necessarily where I got them from.
HELP!! I cannot find a 3.5" x 3.5" mold.
This is about as close as I could find commercially: http://www.amazon.com/Basic-Square-Silicone-Soap-Mold/dp/B0083ID5HG/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1339199796&amp;sr=8-8. <br><br>It's a 3&quot;x3&quot; mold and you could easily bend in some of the ridging on the caps to make them fit, but if you want a 3.5&quot; square, you'll likely have to make it. This was the stuff we used to make the mold: http://www.polytek.com/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&amp;category_id=199<br><br>We rolled a small slab of air dry clay, cut it to a 3.5&quot; square and let it dry for 24 hours. We then made a well for the resin mold using strips of oil based clay (so that it wouldn't dry out). We put the strips vertically around the piece of clay, mixed the mold material and made the mold. I'm very much that person who says, &quot;well, they don't have it. Let's make it!&quot; Hope this helps! If you need any more help, feel free to contact me.
<p>Is oil-based clay that molding clay that is very stiff and never dries? Could you have made the entire mold out of molding clay? </p>
Could I make a mold out of plaster and be as successful?
Sorry it took me so long to respond... I'm not sure how well the mold release would work with plaster, but I do have some on hand and would be willing to try it when I finally get home from summer stuff. If you'd like, I can let you know how it goes. My email is allenamistral(at)gmail(dot)com. You can email me there and I'll be more than happy to let you know how it goes!
<p>Just blue sky thinking, but could the plaster be waxed first, and then a release agent used, before using it as a mold for resin?</p>
I just made mine last saturday... for some reason the top surface is sticky an seems like it didn't dry.. what have I done wrong?
Hi Jokski! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. So the resin will not cure entirely on the surface without the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Environmental-Technology-2-Ounce-Castin-Surface/dp/B0018N9DUQ" rel="nofollow">curing agent</a>&nbsp;which I apparently so awesomely forgot to mention. That being said, you can easily sand your coasters with either a power sander or normal sanding block. It's only the outer surface that is sticky.
<p>I'm new to this. Would it be possible to put a little curing agent on the sticky resin to make it cure and stop being sticky?</p>
I just learned on another site that you can use cooking spray as a cheap mold release agent. You spray it in, wipe out the excess and there you go. My resin hasn't even arrived from eBay yet so I'm in the very early stages of the hobby.
<p>Nice, I have been making bottle cap coasters as well. I just posted/finished my instructable. I route a piece of wood and use epoxy resin instead of a mold and casting resin. Here's a pic and the link if you and anyone else is interested: https://www.instructables.com/id/Bottle-Cap-Drink-Coaster/</p>
<p>I just made my first set and I've found that the coasters are super smooth and not very effective for holding a glass as they tend to slide. Any suggestions on how to manage it so that they are not so slippery?</p>
<p>Any recommendations for the amount of resin to use? As in the size of the bottle.</p>
<p>For each coaster, I used about 3.5 oz of resin. So for a set of 4, that would be a little less than 15 oz. If this is your first time with resin, I would plan for a few mess ups as well, so I would get something close to 20 oz for a full set of 4.</p>
Heads up for people who are having trouble getting a mold for this project: No need to make or buy a fancy mold! You can literally use anything square and plastic e.g. jewelry box, smooth tupperware, plastic shell packaging from a toy, etc. I had a small travel first aid kit at home, the size was almost exactly 3.5in x 3.5in and I used that and it worked perfectly! You can get one from local pharmacy (walgreens, cvs, etc.) for less than $2. Just spray a little extra mold release at the beginning and make sure the surface gets thoroughly coated and you are good to go!
Be careful though as porous material will absorb the mold release agent. Since you have to let it cure for 24 hours, things like plaster and other porous materials will not work for a mold.
YES! a fellow stone drinker! It's always nice to see a beer drinker with good taste. I need to make some of these... It will pair amazingly with my folding bottle opener! check out the instructable here! <br>https://www.instructables.com/id/folding-bottle-opener/
Did you have to finish the edges at all when you pulled it from the mold? <br> <br>Excellent work.
I finally edited the instructable to include my method of finishing the coasters. Sorry it took so long! I'm a full time employee and student at the University, so I don't get much time during the week.
Thanks, technofossil! The edges are a little rough. There are some good tips on resin polishing <a href="https://www.instructables.com/answers/Best-to-polish-clear-cast-resin/" rel="nofollow">here</a>. I did have to sand the edges down, so I'm hoping to try these polishing techniques soon. I think I'll try the one with the rotary tool, since they're small and I have one. Once I find out how it works, I'll make an edit to the instructable.
Very well done! Now I finally have a worthy use for all of those German bottle caps I saved!!!
Thanks! Yea, I wish I had brought back more bottle caps from Europe. I think I'm gonna have my friends bring them back as they make their trips over there!
Done allot with resin myself and found that testers model car paints work well with resin color tinting, just a few drops and your set to go. Neat idea for coasters!
Thanks for the advice! I haven't actually tried to tint the resin because that wasn't the look I was going for during this project. I'll definitely keep that in mind if I decide to do something with tinting :)
Using the tint made for resin is pretty easy, but I agree with this project completely not needed, but perhaps you could make one a nice beer color and use a beer label in the mold down the road....just a thought. :)
I like that idea! I'm horrible at removing labels from bottles tho!
Oh that is an easy fix, time to have a party and make a game of who can get their labels off the best! ;-)
I like it! We actually have planned a party very soon and I'll be buying the beer for it based on the bottle caps :)
Where did you buy your resin? All the resin I see around is by 3M I believe and it always has a yellow tint to it which is very undesirable. I've checked Home Depot and most craft stores
I am not sure where she got hers but, Michael's Crafts, Hobby Lobby, and www.enasco.com all sell casting resin that is clear. Hope that helps.
The resin I used is from Castin'craft. If you click on the &quot;casting resin&quot; link above, it will take you to the dick blick listing for this resin. I bought it at Michael's, though.
I have a dumb question, how are your bottle caps so pristine? I know when I open a bottle they get pretty distorted, and anything but flat.
Not a dumb question at all! Actually, the best way to avoid this is to do it with beer that have twist off tops, but that's not always fun. The next coaster I'll be making is from Anchor bottle caps and they're really tough to get off. The best way to avoid distortion of the top is to open up the ridges all around the cap before trying to pop the top off. That being said, as soon as you cast them in the resin, the imperfections seem to disappear. If you look at the main picture, 4 out of the 9 New Belgium caps were pretty distorted before I cast them, but it's EXTREMELY hard to tell now. Yay for different refractive indices!! :)
These are fantastic! I could easily see these used in so many different place. Very nice 'able!
Thank you so much!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a 20-something chemistry graduate student and jewelry artist. I love to make things over buying them. My main media are metal and clay ... More »
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