Have a significant tree in your life that you want to immortalize in some way?
Tired of unsightly water rings?
Own a winter hunting lodge and looking for quirky decorations?
Try making these leaf coasters. With just a few supplies you can transform trash into a useful and displayable product.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
For this project you will need:
- Epoxy / Resin Solution
- Cardboard boxes with desired shape
- Crushed up leaves
- Carmex / Vasoline
- Two cups (paper OR plastic)
- Two stirring sticks
- 220 grit sandpaper
Step 2: Crush Your Leaves
Place leaves in between your hands and roll them back and forth. Pieces should be ground really small, but not so small that you can't tell what they were.
Step 3: Coat Mold
Spread Carmex or some other type of petroleum jelly evenly on the inside of your mold. Make sure to use enough so that all parts (especially the edges) are well covered. Make sure to apply evenly, otherwise your final product will take the shape of the uneven patter. Make sure to coat up the sides of the mold as well.
Step 4: Put Leaves in Place
Place the leaves in the coated mold, making sure they are evenly spread and not sticking up too high.
Step 5: Follow Instructions of Your Epoxy / Resin
You may get a varying type of epoxy / resin and you should follow the individual instructions on how to mix.
I used Envirotex Lite Pour-on High Gloss Finish. The specific instructions were to:
- Mix equal parts of the two solutions
- Stir for 2 minutes
- Pour into a new cup
- Scrape ALL residue out of the first cup
- Stir again for 2 minutes
- Pour immediately
Step 6: Pour Immediately
Pour the epoxy/resin slowly over the leaves. Evenly pour until the epoxy/resin fully covers the leaves.
Step 7: Let Sit for 72 Hours
This one's pretty self explanatory... But make sure you let it dry on a level surface, or your final products will be slanted.
Step 8: After Drying... Rip Away Paper Mold
Start by ripping down and around. Due to being weakened by the Carmex/petroleum jelly the sides will rip off from the bottom. Peel away the bottom (some cardboard might be left behind.
Step 9: Remove Residual Cardboard
Depending on how much cardboard is left you can either simply wet and scrape it, or let it soak in warm water.
Step 10: Sand Down to Finish
Smooth out the edges, leaving a slight lip to catch condensation when in use. Also sand away residual cardboard or excess epoxy/resin.
Step 11: Put Drinks on It
Sit back, relax, and enjoy hardwood finishes without rings!