Sitting around the table with the whole family is what Christmas is made for, spending quality time with family and friends eating way too much food and laughing till your belly hurts is the best!
Making your Christmas table look beautiful is also a big part of the Festive activities. But this year instead of buying Festive tableware, why not make your own using Epoxy Resin?
We wouldn’t recommend making plates, or items that will have oven dishes put on them for the tableware, but items like coasters, wine butlers, decorations for centrepieces, cheese boards, display trays for cold food, can be a great addition to your table and can all be made using Craft Resin’s epoxy resin.
Don’t worry, Craft Resin is safe for use as a food contact surface once fully cured, and it can stand temperatures of up to 200F/93C after 21 days curing.
When your fully cured epoxy resin project reaches these temperatures it can become flexible, but it will harden up again when cooler. If your project does become flexible, please leave it on a flat even surface to cool, if not it can harden up in a strange shape depending on what it has been resting on when hot and then cooled again. If you’re worried about this at all you can ensure cold drinks only are placed on them. Your champagne flutes deserve somewhere incredible to stand!
Please note, regardless of what you choose to colour your epoxy resin mix with, do not exceed 6% colorant to the total amount of Craft Resin, this will throw the delicate balance required for the chemical reaction to occur and your work to cure, and will make the guaranteed heat resistance void.
In this blog we’ll share with you how to create Festive Coasters, but the techniques used for Coasters will be very similar to the other creations, the main difference will be the molds used.
So let’s dive in to how to create your very own Festive Resin Coasters:
First of all you’ll need some more equipment to create your coasters along with your Craft Resin kit:
Measuring and mixing jugs.
Coaster molds (size and style of your choice, these don’t have to be Festive shaped, you can add wording, colours, glitters etc to make them look more festive as you create them).
Colours - Think about Festive themed colours and additives.
Read our equipment list blog for more information.
Before you begin:
Once you have your kit to hand, you can place it all in reach, in your working area so that once your resin is mixed you have it to hand to work with fast before the epoxy resin cures.
You’ll need to make sure that your workspace is covered in case of spillages and have a cleaning kit nearby, just in case. Don’t use material coverings as resin can soak through these.
Lay out your kit on your work area, you will have about 45 minutes to work with Craft Resin before it cures, so once you have mixed it you will need to start pouring straight away. You need to have your molds placed in front of you already to pour the resin in.
Make sure your workspace is clean of any dust, dirt or animal/human hairs. Any dirt that gets into your project may not be able to be removed after it has cured so it’s best to clean the area in advance. And if possible work in a separate room to anyone who may need to pass by.
Prior to starting you’ll also need to make sure that your room is at the right temperature, it needs to be between 21-24C or 70-75F in order for your resin mix to cure properly and for any imperfections to not appear.
You need to be able to keep your room, or covered resin coasters at this temperature for the next 24 hours. If you do cover your work, make sure you have the cover close so you can apply this over your coasters after they are poured.
Once everything is set up and nearby, you can put on your safety equipment. If you cannot work in a well ventilated area then you will need a respirator, and you’ll need protective gloves and a plastic apron too. These will all ensure that you are as protected as can be when working with our resin. You can read more about our safety guidance here.
Make sure the molds are placed on a flat level surface, Craft Resin is self levelling and will spread into the direction that a table is tilting. If the table your mold is resting on is flat and level, then so will your coasters be.
Once you begin:
To avoid micro bubbles forming and your resin mixture being too tricky to work with, we do advise that you warm the resin in a sink filled with warm water for 10-15 minutes before use. Please make sure the bottles are the original resin bottles, that the lids are closed, and the water doesn’t come above the top of the bottles label. This will disperse micro bubbles and make your resin mix a great honey like consistency.
You’ll need to measure, mix and pour your resin/hardener in just the right way in order for your project to go perfectly.
Make sure you follow the brands guidelines of the resin brand you are using, every brand needs slightly different techniques, the following apply to Craft Resin:
Measure your resin and hardener by equal VOLUME. For example 150ml of resin, 150ml of hardener.
Please DO NOT weigh Craft Resin’s resin and hardener, the hardener is more dense and weighs more so it will throw the delicate balance needed for the resin mixture to cure.
If you use silicone measuring jugs to measure, then these are very easy to clean after use. Resin doesn’t stick to silicone and so you can use these over and over again, reducing waste.
Once your resin and hardener are measured you can then move onto the mixing stage. If there is space in one of your measuring jugs, you can simply pour the other part in with this and use this container to mix the resin in.
If you’re adding in any colours, like our Mica Powders, to your coasters this is where you can add a tiny amount of this to your mix too, but please don’t exceed 6% of your overall content in colour. If adding glitters that are large these can sink in your creations, so you might want to add these once your resin mixture has been sitting in it’s mold to stop them all sinking to the bottom.
You will need to set a timer so that you make sure you mix for at least 3 minutes, although we would recommend going beyond this, between 3-5 minutes is usually plenty of time.
Mix in circular, slow movements, ensuring that you scrape the bottoms and sides of the mixing jug as you go. Slower movements will ensure less bubbles form, faster movements will increase bubbles in your work. Although don’t worry too much if bubbles do appear, as they can be torched out after pouring.
Once the timer goes off and you have mixed for longer than 3 minutes, you can then pour the mixture into your molds.
Our resin is low viscosity and so is quite runny, you might want to go slow for this part. You can always pour more into your mold, but you can’t take it out. If it does go over the edges slightly don’t worry about this, you can sand down any drips and sharp edges after its fully cured.
This is a very basic coaster, so it’s won’t have lots of different colours and patterns in it, if you’d like to experiment with patterns and colour techniques you’ll need to research these further.
Once you have filled your mold up with the resin take a step back from your work. Place the mixing jug down (if this is made of silicone you can leave this to cure and then remove it later when it’s hardened).
You can wipe off any liquid resin mix from your stirrer at this point and wait a few minutes. Some surface bubbles may appear on top of your work. If they do you can use a heat torch, kept far enough away from your work, using sweeping movements over your project. This should disperse the bubbles. This might need repeating a few times over the next 3-4 hours to stop all bubbles appearing. You can read more about removing bubbles with a heat torch here.
You can cover your project to keep it dust and dirt free and leave it in a room with a stable temperature between 21-24C or 70-75F for the next 24 hours to cure.
Please do not touch, fiddle or move the coasters before the 24 hour period, as you can cause unwanted effects in your work by doing so.
Once the 24 hours is over, you will then be able to gently remove your coaster from the mold. If the mold is new this should be quite easy to do, it can get tougher to remove the longer you have had the mold and more use it has.
Once removed from the mold place the coaster back on a flat surface and wait another 12 hours, just to ensure it has cured enough to start working on the finishing touches.
If you’d like to read how to apply finishing touches to your mold please visit our other blog on this subject here.
As coasters can be used to place hot mugs on, we would advise that if they are being used for warm drinks, that these are not placed on the coasters for another 21 days, in order for the resin to have cured enough for its heat resistance to build up.
If you are going to place cold drinks on your coaster, or package it to be sent out to a customer, then please allow 72 hours for the coaster to be cured enough to be packaged.
If packaging coasters together please place a layer of tissue paper between each one to stop them sticking to each other during transit.
To give your coasters an extra festive touch, you can edge them with gold or silver pens, you can add festive stickers to them then coat with another layer of resin mix to topcoat and seal the stickers in. The options for making your resin Tableware Festive themed are endless. To get some inspiration of what can be achieved look wise please visit our Instagram Feed and take a look at all the creations some of our favourite Resin Artists make @craft.resin.
If you’d like to tag us to show us your resin coaster creations please visit Instagram and tag @craft.resin in your story or add us as a Collaborator in your resin posts so that we can see what you have created after reading this blog.
If you’d like to create other Festive tableware creations then we do have further resources available. We have a video available on our YouTube channel that showcases how to create a fabulous Christmas Resin Tray:
Christmas Resin Santa Snack Tray
And we also have a Free Winter Tray course too:
Topic Of The Week Giveaway:
We have attached a giveaway to these Topic Of The Week announcements on our Instagram platform, this is helping us to spread the knowledge of how to use epoxy resin further, but also enabling anyone who helps us share this information to win free resin and mica powders.
To enter the weekly giveaway please see the latest post #CRWEEK50 on our Instagram feed/highlights and follow the instructions to enter:
We can’t wait to see all your Festive Resin Tablewares popping up on Christmas Day 🎉
Team Craft Resin