Introduction: DIY "Faux" Live Edge River Coasters

About: Hi, I’m Sam! Full time psychologist and woodworker! I build things and publish plans. Check out my website and YouTube channel for more project ideas!

I’ve made my fair share of resin river projects and shared tutorials on my website. But, I know that these projects can be intimidating for friends who haven’t done large deep pour projects yet. So, to help get others started on their resin river table journey, I’m sharing a tutorial for DIY “faux” Resin River Coasters tutorial using leftover materials from my shop!

Want more projects like this one? Visit my website & YouTube channel!


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Jig Saw
Sander & Sandpaper
Small Detail Torch
Silicone Cake Mold
Epoxy Resin Mixing Materials
Wood Clamps
Packaging Tape (Optional)

1 x 4 Hardwood Lumber
Epoxy (Deep Pour or Table Top)*
Metallic Epoxy Pigment
Rubbing Alcohol
Wood Finish

* See Step 7 of tutorial for full epoxy resin details.

Step 1: Choose Your Lumber

Choose your piece of wood for your project and find the center line. It’s always best to use hardwoods for things like coasters or cutting boards, since they are less porous and more durable! I chose leftover walnut for my project.

Step 2: Create the "Live" Edge

Use a jig saw to cut a wavy, asymmetrical line down the center of the board. I made my jigsaw cuts with a 30 degree bevel to make the “live edge” look more organic.

Step 3: Trace Your Design

Next, use your cake molds to trace circles onto the two sides of your new “live edge” pieces.

Step 4: Cut the Templates

Cut your circles out with a jig saw. This time, make sure your bevel is set to 0 degrees.

Step 5: Fine Tune the Templates

After cutting your pieces, use a sander to smooth the edges and “live edge”. You’ll want to get as smooth and as tight of a fit as possible.

Step 6: Prep the Mold

Next, clean your resin mold with rubbing alcohol to make sure it’s free of debris and then add your wood pieces. You may want to clamp your pieces down before pouring to help prevent them from floating in the resin. Cover the clamps in packaging tape to stop them from sticking to any resin during the cure.

You can see this method in action on my YouTube tutorial for this project!

Step 7: Choose & Mix Your Epoxy

Next, mix your epoxy resin and your pigment. I used a deep pour epoxy resin for this project and followed the instructions on the back of the bottles.

If you are using a table top epoxy, you will want to pour your river in small sections rather than all at once.

Tip 1: Complete your resin pour in a temperature controlled room as resin can only properly cure in certain temperatures. Make sure to check the instructions for your particular resin brand before starting your pour.

Tip 2: Adding small drops of rubbing alcohol to a metallic pigment resin pour can cause some cool reactions in the pigment. Feel free to experiment!

Step 8: Pop the Bubbles

Once the resin has been poured, use a Detail Torch to pop all of the bubbles formed by the pour. This is super important because if you don’t pop the bubbles, they will cure in your resin and cause small holes in your hardened pour. You may have to occasionally repeat this step over the next few hours as the resin cures.

To do this, carefully hover the flame above the pour and move it back and fourth quickly. If you leave it on one spot too long, it could burn the resin, so be careful here!

Step 9: Sand & Fine Tune

Once the resin has cured (this will vary based on the type and brand of resin you use), remove the coasters from the molds and sand them. I started with a 120 grit sandpaper to fine tune the shape and worked my way to 400 grit to leave a nice sheen on the resin.

Once sanded to 220 grit, wet the wood to raise the grain. They will feel rough to the touch after they dry, this is normal! After it dries, sand it back down. I chose to sand to 400 grit to keep the resin polished.

Step 10: Add Finishing Touches

Last step is to finish the coasters with wood finish! I used a spray urethane for mine.

Step 11: Admire & Enjoy!

Now, admire and enjoy your work! These coasters make great gifts - so, make sure to share the wealth with loved ones too!