Instructables
Picture of Man Cave Resin Coasters
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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.
 
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Step 1: Materials List

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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.

Step 2: Get a Mold and Prep It

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There are two different options here, you can find a mold online or you can make one yourself. If you buy one, make sure that it's specifically for resin. This is important because if you use the wrong type of mold, you may never get your coasters out. If you want to make the mold yourself, you can use whatever type of mold material that you're used to, so long as it's usable for resin. I was lucky enough to convince my father to make a mold for me using this stuff. I asked him to make a 3.5"x3.5" mold which fit nine bottle caps pretty perfectly. I won't go in to how to make the mold because I don't really know how to.

To prep your mold, spray a thin coat of mold release on your mold. Let it dry before casting your resin. 
EGeekBMe17 days ago

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?

xboxteen012 months ago

Any recommendations for the amount of resin to use? As in the size of the bottle.

allenamistral (author)  xboxteen012 months ago

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.

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!
allenamistral (author)  craftypolitician2 years ago
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.
jokski2 years ago
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?
allenamistral (author)  jokski2 years ago
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 curing agent 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.
Kbower922 years ago
Could I make a mold out of plaster and be as successful?
allenamistral (author)  Kbower922 years ago
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!
brenmichell2 years ago
HELP!! I cannot find a 3.5" x 3.5" mold.
allenamistral (author)  brenmichell2 years ago
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&qid=1339199796&sr=8-8.

It's a 3"x3" 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" 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&category_id=199

We rolled a small slab of air dry clay, cut it to a 3.5" 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, "well, they don't have it. Let's make it!" Hope this helps! If you need any more help, feel free to contact me.
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!
http://www.instructables.com/id/folding-bottle-opener/
Did you have to finish the edges at all when you pulled it from the mold?

Excellent work.
allenamistral (author)  technofossil2 years ago
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.
allenamistral (author)  technofossil2 years ago
Thanks, technofossil! The edges are a little rough. There are some good tips on resin polishing here. 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.
B4SEC4MP2 years ago
Very well done! Now I finally have a worthy use for all of those German bottle caps I saved!!!
allenamistral (author)  B4SEC4MP2 years ago
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!
paintphone2 years ago
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!
allenamistral (author)  paintphone2 years ago
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. :)
allenamistral (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
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! ;-)
allenamistral (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
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 :)
Barrettkg2 years ago
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.
allenamistral (author)  Barrettkg2 years ago
The resin I used is from Castin'craft. If you click on the "casting resin" link above, it will take you to the dick blick listing for this resin. I bought it at Michael's, though.
cinpro2 years ago
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.
allenamistral (author)  cinpro2 years ago
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!! :)
poofrabbit2 years ago
These are fantastic! I could easily see these used in so many different place. Very nice 'able!
allenamistral (author)  poofrabbit2 years ago
Thank you so much!