Wood and resin – how to use them together to make coasters

How to make wood and resin coastersResin coasters are one of my favorite things to make. You can easily design them to fit the décor of a room, plus they make a great gift. What man do you know that couldn’t use a few ‘man cave’ coasters to spice up the décor a bit? These wood and resin coasters are crafty enough to fit the bill!

Resin supplies list:

Epoxy casting resin
Coaster mold
Wood slices in assorted sizes
Transparent resin colors
Heat gun
Sandpaper in assorted grits from 400 to 800

Step 1:  Seal the wood slices

wood slices

Because the wood is porous, it will leak air bubbles into the resin.  To keep this from happening, you can do one of two things:

Option 1: Seal with resin

You can cover the wood slices with a thin layer of resin that soaks into the wood.  This will let air bubbles come to the surface and pop.  Then, remaining air bubbles are sealed inside and won’t come out when you use the slices in your resin mold.

Option 2:  Seal with gloss sealer spray

Since sealing with resin may mean that you have to mix up a batch of resin especially to coat them, you may not have that kind of time or don’t want to waste resin.  In that case, you can seal them with a couple of coats of resin gloss sealer spray on each side.  Allow to dry twenty minutes between coats, then let fully dry overnight before using them to make your wood and resin coasters.

 

 

Step 2: Place the wood slices in the mold cavities

placing slices in coaster mold

Place wood slices in random patterns in the silicone coaster mold. Be sure the slices lie flat and fit comfortably in the mold cavity.  Remember, the wood surface that you put face down in the mold cavity will be face up when you demold your resin coasters.

Step 3:  Weigh down the slices

add weights to slices
Because wood is lightweight, you will need to weigh them down before pouring the resin.  I used a random assortment of nuts and bolts I found in my husband’s toolbox.

Step 3:  Mix and pour the first layer resin

adding resin to coaster cavity
Mix and pour just enough resin to cover the bottom of the mold and a couple of millimeters up the sides of the wood slices. For this mold, I used about 1/2 ounce of resin in each cavity for this layer.  Be sure not to get resin on your weights; otherwise, the weights will permanently stick to the wood slices.

Go over the resin surface with a heat gun before setting aside to cure. Let the resin fully cure before proceeding.

Step 4:  Fill the mold with colored resin

pouring yellow resin into a silicone coaster mold
Remove the weights from the wood slices. Mix and pour enough resin to fill up the mold cavities completely. If you aren’t sure how much resin that is, this resin calculator does the math for you.  Once the resin is mixed, add a small amount of transparent resin pigment to color the resin.

 

 

Carefully pour the resin and fill up the mold cavities.

adding transparent blue resin to coaster mold

 

The great part about making wood and resin coasters is that you don’t have to make a matching color set.  The wood slices bring everything together, so they look like a matched set, even when the colors are different.

Once the mold cavities are full, go over the top of the resin with a heat gun to remove any bubbles. Cover your mold before setting the resin aside to cure.

bubbles in resin

Pro tip:  Because bubbles can always sneak up on you, it’s a good idea to come back and check on your wood and resin coasters a few times while the resin is still liquid.  Those bubbles don’t always escape on their own.

Step 5: Demold the coasters

demolding wood and resin coasters
After curing, demold the coasters by peeling the mold away from the cured resin, while grabbing an edge.

Step 6:  Finish the coaster edges

sanding edge of coaster
Use wet/dry sandpaper, while wet, to sand off any sharp edges that might scratch a tabletop. Continue sanding with finer grit sandpapers until you are satisfied the coaster won’t damage a table.

Enjoy your finished wood and resin coaster set!

coaster set

I love how the set turned out.  I’ve never been one of those ‘matchy-matchy’ people, so this set fits my style perfectly.

cold beverage on coaster

Just in case you’re not a beer drinker, they can hold a glass of wine quite nicely.

A technical note about these wood and resin coasters

For you resin nerds like me, you may be wondering which resin I used for this project, well for the first pour, I used the Resin Obsession super clear resin.  I mixed 1 1/2 ounces, then split it between the three mold cavities of this coaster mold.  For the next pour, each cavity needed about three and a half ounces to completely filling.  Because the maximum amount of the super clear resin you should mix and pour at once is three ounces, I switched to the Resin Obsession deep pour resin.  You can mix anywhere between three ounces and three gallons at once, so I was able to mix enough resin to fill all three cavities at one time.

Ready to get started with resin but confused about the next step you need to take?  I get it.  There is so much information about making resin coasters out there.  How can you possibly know it all?  It’s why I wrote the book Resin Fundamentals.  I’ve taken my fourteen years of resin experience and turned it into an easy-to-follow book on how to make something beautiful with resin from day one.  Buy a PDF copy and download in minutes!

 

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC0

Like this post? You may be interested in  Make your own resin pendants using transparencies

20 thoughts on “Wood and resin – how to use them together to make coasters

  1. This is so cool..Gave me a brainstorm for Christmas gifts..Instead of wood I would like to use pictures,could you give me tips for using photos..Thanks

  2. When I’ve seen this on youtube vids they usually seem to show for maximum adhesion when doing layers of resin, you let each layer get tacky and pour the next, but you mention to let it fully cure before the next layer?

    Great article by the way!

    1. Hi Ian, you could speed things up by waiting until the clear layer is in the gel phase, not fully cured, then pouring the colored layer. I waited until things fully cured on the chance that moving the weights would cause a problem while the resin while soft or rubbery.

  3. very nice ! Thank you for sharing such detail for us newbies . I’ve purchased your products because you properly educate on how to use it . I’m excited to try new projects but, I need to finish the one that I started. Thanks again

  4. Thanks for sharing. I really need to get going on some resin items.😁 I have everything I need just need to find the time. I enjoy watching your videos.

  5. Thank you, l can’t wait do do my first coaster. Your directions are
    easy to understand and the tips will come in handy.

  6. Hello I would like to know do I need to prime/seal mdf coasters before I resin? I will be using mica powders with resin and wanted to know if the coasters need to be sealed before I use. Will the resin make the coasters heatproof and water resistant? Thank you

    1. Hi Tamy, any primer from the hardware store will work. Unfortunately though, the resin will not make them heatproof.

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