Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coasters for Christmas

Around this time of year things tend to slow down a lot in the theatre world. The Christmas season shows are all up and running (they usually open early or mid November) and the January shows haven't really kicked into high gear yet. It is the perfect time of year to use my crafting skills to make gifts for my friends and family (and this year I'm thinking of selling some too, more on that later).

One of my projects this year is resin coasters.
I have been saving bottle caps all year for this project, it helps that my friends drink a lot of interesting beer.
I bought these resin molds online for pretty cheap (don't cut corners here, the chemical reaction as the resin hardens will cause it to stick to or melt your mold if you aren't using one designed for it).
The next step is to spray on a mold release and let it dry (if you don't let it dry all the way the mould release will float to the top of your resin when you pour it in, where it will be useless)
Next I pour out the right amount of resin
and mix in the hardener. I do this in disposable cups with disposable spoons to make my life easier.
I pour a small amount of resin into the molds, arrange my bottle caps on top, check underneath to see that they are straight and then fill the molds the rest of the way.
The resin takes a few hours to harden all the way through, and then I pull them out.
And as an added bonus I am becoming much more comfortable and skilled with using resin (which is really great for fake drinks, but I have messed up multiple times in the past when I didn't measure parts correctly).

56 comments:

  1. Where did you get the molds for these coastes?

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  2. You should be able to find them with a google search for "resin coaster molds." It's been a while but I believe that I got mine through this site
    http://www.resinobsession.com

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    1. Do I need to buy several molds; one for each coaster or can I re-use the molds??

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  3. LOVE these!! Thanks for the idea!!!

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  4. Hey! Do you just follow the instructions on the can or do you have a recipe. I want to try to make these and don't want to mess them up. Do they get any bubbles or do you have a way to keep them out?

    Thanks

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    1. The instructions on the can give you a table of how many drops of hardener per ounce of resin based on the thickness of the piece you are making. If I remember correctly i was using around 6 drops of hardener per 1 ounce of resin.
      To avoid bubbles I think the most important think is to pour slowly. You can also check underneath your mold after you have poured to see if there are any visible bubbles trapped under the bottle caps.
      After that the biggest challenge is to be patient. Most of my mistakes came when I tried to de-mold the coasters too soon.

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    2. Can you re-use the molds?

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    3. Absolutely. I have used the two I bought dozens of times.

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  5. You can also buy supplies for this at a lot of craft stores. I don't know if you have a Hobby Lobby but they sell it there. The mold you are using in this photo looks like a bracelet mold and instead of using the bracelet side you're using the reverse side to get a coaster effect. Putting your finished piece in a window for a bit will help it harden.

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  6. what are the dimensions of the mold?

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    1. the mold is about 4" across and about 1/2" deep.

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  7. Thanks for sharing it. It is a very good project for a gift

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  8. is there any one the top?? or do the bottle caps sit on the top with resin around them?? thanks great idea!!

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    1. I put about 1/8" of resin in the mold first, then add the bottle caps, and then fill in the rest of the mold around them.

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  9. What brand of hardener do you use?

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    1. The hardener and the resin are both by Castin' Crafts and I purchase them at Michaels.

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  11. If I mail you some bottle caps would you make four for me?

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    1. I can absolutely make you a custom set. You can email me at jesse.gaffney@gmail.com and we will work out the details.

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  12. Pinterest sent me here :) do you by any chance have an estimate of how many coasters you made per containe of resin? Awesome idea you had. My husband has eleventh billion bottle caps for no reason. I'm trying to create a reason :)

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    1. I think I get 8-10 coasters out of one 20 oz container of resin. It varies a bit depending on how thick I pour the coasters.

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  13. Try using a hair dryer or a blow dryer ( used for scrap booking). I use the blow dryer to get rid of the bubbles when I use the resin to finish my windows. (Window Charm by Annalisa)

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  14. Do you think you could use photos? If so, any special paper they need to be printed on?

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    1. I have never tried paper, but I have seen many other samples of images embedded in resin. My guess would be higher quality paper would be better. You might also try laminating the image before inserting it into the resin.

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    2. Melissa, You can use a card stock paper. What I do is I use a clear glue (much like Elmer's) to cure the image be fore placing it in the resin. This prevents the resin from seeping into the image.

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  15. Can resin coasters be used for hot drinks, or only cold? Wondering if the heat effects the hardened resin.

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    1. I have used my set for both hot and cold drinks for two years now and had no trouble.

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    2. i was looking up different substitutes for the mold release and a website said that petroleum jelly or cooking spray could work instead.. it would be a lot cheaper. Do you think this could work?

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  16. I've been collecting my hubby's beer bottle caps for a couple months now thinking they would come into use at some point...now his birthday is around the corner and I am on a budget. This is perfect!! Thank you tons for sharing.

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  17. I make all my christmas gifts and I just love this idea. I will be trying this for sure. I'm just wondering what other items you can use besides the bottle caps. Any ideas anyone?

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  18. I love this idea for coasters with laminated vacation pictures. My question is, can the resin be tinted and if so, how? (can I use food coloring?)

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    1. They sell resin tint at most craft stores. I like the variety at Hobby Lobby myself. But they sell transparent and opaque tints. Very easy to work with. I don't recommend food coloring.

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  19. I've never done this before and I'm googling all these materials to get an idea on price. Is the hardener the same as the catalyst, or are those different things?

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  20. I've never done this before so I'm googling to try to get an idea on price. Is the hardener the same thing as the catalyst, or is that something different?

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    1. It's the same thing because the resin will not become hard without the catalyst (aka the hardener) and the catalyst/hardener is usually included when purchasing the resin. Hope this helps!

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  21. I am ordering all the materials to complete this project and its about $50.. is that a right price? And how many sets of coasters should it make? Thanks

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  22. $50 could be right, depending on how large a can of resin you purchased. The 20oz cans I buy make 2-3 sets of 4 coasters. The resin is the only thing you will buy that you will need to replenish. The catalyst, molds and release spray will last you a long time.

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  23. Jesse,

    I want to make sure I purchase the correct molds as seen in your photos - on the ResinObsession site, is it the mold called Circular Base 492? Thanks.

    -Kristine

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    1. I am pretty sure the ones I purchased were circular base 431, though it was 3 years ago, so some of the stock may have changed.

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  24. When you say, "Next I pour the right amount of resin"... how do you know the right amount? I see on the bottle the directions for mixing in the catalyst per ounce... but how many ounces of resin do I need to fill 1 coaster mold??? Thanks!

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  25. Working with resin has always intimidated me but you may have convinced me to give it a try!

    http://www.thesitsgirls.com/get-paid-blogging

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  26. does the coaster smell weird forever or does that smell go away?? thanks

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    1. The smell absolutely goes away. No worries.

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  27. My first 2 were sticky when I popped them out. Not a lot, but enough to be annoying. Will that go away, or am I doing something wrong?

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    1. That should go away as the coasters continue to cure. If it continues to be a problem, try adding one more drop of the catalyst/hardener to your mix.

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  28. Make sure you buy the clear kind!!! Not knowing, I bought the wrong stuff and now I have some nice bottle caps and pins encased in white. Is there any way to get them out?

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  29. What a cool idea! Thank you for sharing -
    Holly, hollyberryelf.blogspot.com

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  30. Help! I just made these, they are still in the molds. I saw in the comments that your biggest mistake is taking them out of the molds too soon. EEK! How many hours are the best idea to keep them in the mold before popping out????

    THANKS in advance!!!! :) :)

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  31. Help! I just made these, they are still in the molds. I saw in the comments that your biggest mistake is taking them out of the molds too soon. EEK! How many hours are the best idea to keep them in the mold before popping out????

    THANKS in advance!!!! :) :)

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    1. To be safe, leave them in for 6 hours. In general, if you try to pop it out amd the coaster flexes, give it more time. The coaster should be totally rigid and pop out fairly easily.

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  32. THANK YOU! One last quick questions - how do you get rid of the bubbles? I poured SO slowly and really let sure to not let any air in. Are yours always bubble free, or do they get some bubbles on the bottom?

    THANKS!

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  33. THANK YOU! One last quick questions - how do you get rid of the bubbles? I poured SO slowly and really let sure to not let any air in. Are yours always bubble free, or do they get some bubbles on the bottom?

    THANKS!

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  34. I am thinking about doing this to make a Christmas Ornament. Do you think it will be too heavy?

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    1. Hi Michelle,
      I don't think these would be too heavy to use as ornaments, though they would need to be hung on a stronger branch. I would also pour them as thin as possible.

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