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While we might not think of them as often as other furnishings in our homes, coasters are one of the little things that can really bring a space together and even complement other furnishings and ornaments in our homes. While our parents and grandparents might have used wooden ones, and even ones made of cloth, we have come a long way since those days and the material of choice for coasters these days is a material known as resin. Since they’ve become so popular, let’s have a look at what resin is and why resin coasters have become so popular in recent years, and maybe even how you can go about making some of your own!
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Resin Coasters?
- 2 What Are the Different Types of Resin Coaster Molds?
- 3 What Are the Best Resin Coaster Molds?
- 4 How to Make Resin Coaster Using Resin Molds
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Resin Coasters?
What are resin coasters? We’re pretty sure you know what coasters are, so what are these resin coasters all about? It would probably help if you knew what resin is before we get into what resin casters are and how exactly they’re made. Resin, or epoxy resin, is thermoplastic that has been used all over the world in various industries to create a variety of objects and fulfill a variety of roles, in numerous applications. So, it’s just another type of plastic, right? Yes, but that might be a bit reductive. Resin is one of the most versatile thermoplastic polymers on the face of the planet, and with some imagination and a bit of practice, you could use resin to make pretty much anything you set your mind to. How does it work? Raw epoxy resin typically comes in the form of two containers of liquid, one containing the epoxy resin and the other containing a hardener.
How do you use these two substances to make resin coasters you ask? It’s a lot easier than you might think. In order to make molds from resin all you need is your resin, hardener, and a mold of the coaster you’re looking to make. Where would you find an epoxy resin mold you ask? They’re sold pretty much anywhere crafting supplies are sold, and if your local store doesn’t stock them be sure to check out sites like Amazon that usually have a wide selection of molds and resins for you to choose from.
Once the resin and hardener mixture is poured into the mold you have selected it will harden and cure. The mixture, therefore, takes on the shape of the mold it was poured into, and once it’s removed, you’re left with a coaster in the shape of the mold you chose! Pretty cool stuff, but the fun doesn’t stop there, you can add things like glitter, photographs, trinkets, and even paint into your resin mixture to make one-of-a-kind coasters that are not only great for decorating your home but can be used as personalized gifts for any occasion!
How do resin coasters differ from coasters made of other materials though? At the end of the day, coasters are simply little slats we place our drinks on to avoid damaging the surfaces of your countertops and/or tables, and even though we don’t pay them much mind, they serve an integral role in our daily lives, and just like any consistently used tool, they tend to wear out. Not resin coasters though. Resin is one of the most durable materials on the face of the planet, and besides being customizable, epoxy resin is highly resistant to things like heat, impact, abrasion, and even moisture!
This means that resin coasters can and will last you a lifetime, a characteristic that seems to be in short supply with most products and amenities these days.
What Are the Different Types of Resin Coaster Molds?
Most of us are content with ordinary square coasters that get the job done fairly well and fit our mugs and snug, but that might change once you see all of the cool shapes and colors that resin coasters are made in. Since our goal here is to convert you into a resin coaster lover, here are a few of the best mold shapes resin coasters are available so you can have a look and h virtually infinite possibilities available to you should you choose to make some of your own someday!
Cavity Coaster Molds
While this type of coaster resin mold is one of the more obscure designs on the market it still has the potential to make some of the most beautiful resin coasters out there. With the right imagination, you can fill the recesses left in resin castings with anything you’d like, from photographs to precious stones and even seashells. This coaster resin mold creates castings with a number of little recesses, which means that you can display additions to your coasters without needing to submerge them in resin.
This works in your favor if the objects you were looking to incorporate into your coasters could be damaged when in contact with more resin, or if you’re looking to make your coaster stand out among the sea of integrated designs.
Geode Coaster Molds
Geode molds are some of the most popular shapes for resin coasters on the market today, and why wouldn’t they be? They’re colorful, unique, and their shapes look like something out of a fairytale fantasy. They don’t have to be over the top though, these molds can be used in conjunction with crystal resin to create some really pretty glass-like coasters that help class up any space just by being there! Geode molds are essentially a dime a dozen and have become incredibly popular in recent years among both DIY crafting enthusiasts and professional crafters. What makes these molds so appealing is that it takes minimal effort to create something with tons of visual impact that has the added bonus of being entirely unique. Geode resin molds are available in various shapes and sizes and make a really good housewarming gift!
Raised-Edge Resin Coaster Mold
While coasters come in all shapes and sizes (like some that we mentioned previously) sometimes all you want is a regular coaster with some added flair. One of the most welcomed features of modern coasters are the raised edges that ensure that your drinks don’t slide off the edge. This makes sense considering how popular molds for the particular type of coaster are these days. While these might be different in shape and a lot better for securing your beverages, they are just as customizable as other types of resin coasters which means you’ll benefit from their raised edges without having to compromise on the beauty or exclusivity of your resin coasters.
These molds are readily available and even sell for a pretty penny if you’re looking to make some extra cash through your craft.
Flower-Shaped Resin Coaster Molds
While it might not be one of the most popular resin coaster molds on the market it’s definitely one of the cutest. Flower molds are generally shaped like multi-pointed stars which is why they tend to be a bit less popular compared to other coaster shapes. This isn’t because people have something against stars, but because the bottoms of most mugs tend to be round, which makes them an objectively bad fit.
This being said, there is a way around this for those of you that like the shape these resin molds provide. All you need to do is get your hands on a relatively big flower-shaped mold capable of comfortably supporting your mugs. Of course, these coasters are also fully customizable, and the petals of your resin coaster can be sanded and cut if you’re in the mood to customize your creations even more.
3D Spiral Trap Resin Coaster Molds
If you thought that the mandala resin coaster was cool, then you’re going to love the 3D spiral trap design. Seemingly modeled after the trippy pop art patterns made famous in the 1970s, these coasters create the illusion of three-dimensional space by craftily blending together curved lines to create tunnels and curves on the surface of your coaster. While they look incredible these molds can be a bit tricky to use, especially if you’re just starting out using resin as a medium. The trick to casting three-dimensional impressions with these molds is to use black and white resin in sequence, something that can be tricky even for experienced crafters.
However, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you could have some stunning coasters that are sure to entertain your family and friends.
Square and Geometric Shaped Resin Coaster Molds
Square resin coaster molds are some of the easiest to make, and therefore are one of the best starting places for those new to coaster making or even those who are using resin for the first time. Not only are they easy to make, but they are also easier to customize, this is because things like photographs, glitter, and even acrylic paints are easier to arrange in a square shape when you’re trying to cultivate a certain look.
Square-shaped resin coasters are also more practical than other shapes since most square-shaped resin coaster molds have a greater surface area than the cups they’re designed to facilitate. This means that there is less of a chance of your cups slipping off and creating a mess resulting in the content of the cup ending up on your table or countertop surfaces.
Resin Coaster and Wine Rack
Whether you’re a wine aficionado or not, we think that you’ll appreciate this combination wine rack and wine coaster resin mold. It’s not every day that you find a way to keep your wine (or any beverage for that matter) and your coasters together in one neat easily movable unit. These resin molds are extremely popular and what’s more, is that you can customize the color and shape of your rack/coaster combination to your personal taste. This isn’t just an amazing resin mold for one-time use, you could use these molds to make wonderful gifts for your friends and family for basically any occasion, and you can personalize it with photographs, mementos. Or integrate their favorite color to make their gift extra special.
These molds are easy to use and can be found both online and in-store in case you’re concerned about availability.
Mandala-Shaped Resin Coasters Molds
While resin molds are great if you’re looking for something completely unique that also happens to be a great conversation starter, why not consider getting a mandala resin coaster mold? What is a mandala you ask? A mandala is usually a geometric shape used in spiritual practices to funnel the focus of a religious practitioner, but it can also be used to indicate the spirituality or calmness of space in certain instances.
Besides what they symbolize, mandalas are beautiful, and their intricate geometric configurations can have you pondering their overall meaning for hours on end. This is why they tend to make great coasters, as while they are functional their visual impact and unusual composition make them some of the most sought-after resin mold types on the market. We should mention that these molds aren’t solid, so while they look great and protect your table’s surface, they won’t do much to stop a spill from happening.
What Are the Best Resin Coaster Molds?
Okay now that you know of a few good resin coaster designs, which actual products are the best for you to cast our resin coasters from? It’s important to know that not all resin molds or resin products for that matter are made equally, that’s why we’ve listed three of the best resin coaster molds money can buy below in case you need some guidance choosing one. Remember to work carefully with molds, if they are mishandled, they could tear or warp rendering them useless or casting.
Best Overall: PATELAI STORE 2 Pieces Coaster Resin Molds Set
If you’re in the mood for a unique resin coaster set that won’t only make your castings stand out from the crowd but make a great gift for your friends or loved ones, we think that you’ll like the two-piece coaster and coaster mold kit from the Patelai Store team. That’s right, not only does this kit allow you to make beautiful resin coasters, but it includes a mold that allows you to create an elegant holder ray for your new coasters.
What really makes this coaster mold set stand out is the fact that it makes what looks like you’ve managed to create intricately hand-carved coasters, but in reality, all you need to do is prepare your resin, add some color, and before you know it you’ll have four unique resin coasters and holder ready for you to use or gift to someone special.
While they do make truly stunning castings, the molds themselves are pretty impressive too. Both the coaster mold and the mold or the coaster holders are made of a high-quality silicone material that is extremely hard-wearing and will not warp or tear under stress. This means that you could make multiple castings consecutively without having to worry about the molds giving out on you during the casting process.
What makes these molds even more impressive is the fact that they’re extremely versatile too. You’re not limited to using them with epoxy resin, according to the Patelai Store team they can be used with materials like plaster, wax, clay, and more exotic forms of resin-like polyester and UV resin too. It doesn’t stop at resins though, the Patelai Store team claims that these molds can be used to make cake, soaps, wax, and clay castings too.
Best Variety: PGXT DIY Coaster Silicone Mold, Pack of 4 Resin Molds
Some of the best silicone coaster mold kits out there are the ones that provide you with a variety of molds for you to make. Not only does this give you more value for your money but it ensures that you have shapes to work with and therefore should be able to make more variations of more designs rather than exhausting one design.
The team over at PGXT understands this and has provided us with a silicone coaster mold kit that offers you a variety of molds that you can use to make entirely unique coasters. What kind of molds do you get with this kit though? Collectively the kit gets you four molds, two of which are circular (one big and one small), one of which is hexagonal, and the other which is square in shape.
These molds are great, they’re made out of the highest quality silicone polymers which means that they’re highly durable. How durable are they you ask? They’re highly resistant to impact, abrasion, heat, tearing, and even freezing temperatures. Besides their durability, they also have really good shape retention so you can rest assured that your molds will be good to go even after continued or prolonged use with epoxy resin.
While they are great for use with epoxy resin, their molds are pretty versatile too. Feel free to use them with materials like plaster, concrete, clay, and even other types of polymers. It’s also graded for use with various coloring agents that are typically used with resin, like mica powder, acrylic paint, alcohol-based dyes, and even food coloring!
Best Aesthetic: ISSEVE 3D Mandal Coaster Mold for Resin Casting
While resin coasters are essentially there to hold your drinks and ensure that your surfaces don’t get damaged accidentally, what makes them so unique is that you can customize their design to your liking. Some designs include adding photographs to them or adding color via acrylic paint or other dying agents, but what if you wanted something just a little bit different?
While the ISSEVE Store team might have just what you’re looking for. Although they aren’t a particularly reputable manufacturer, they do offer this really unique and fun resin coaster mold that allows you to create three-dimensional illusions inside of your resin coasters. These patterns create awesome 3D illusions like patterns and swirls that are a great conversation starter for you and your guests.
These resin molds for coasters are made of 100% silicone which means they’re highly durable, and the manufacturer claims that they can be used over and over again without them wearing down, losing their integrity, or shape retention. This is ideal if you have a resin art business or simply plan on making more than one set of coasters.
These resin molds for coasters are also cited as being really easy to demold which means you won’t have your casting sticking to mold which could potentially damage both the mold and your castings. It’s also pretty versatile, and while their shapes are particularly conducive to it, they can be used to make things like candles or bowl cushions. This means that you have the option of using materials like way or acrylic resin instead of epoxy.
How to Make Resin Coaster Using Resin Molds
Now that you know what resin molds are, what resin coasters are used for, and what resin molds are the best for casting your next resin, we think it might be good for you to know how to use your mold to cast resin coasters effectively. That’s why we’ve prepared a short tutorial showing you how to use your resin and mold as best as possible while producing coasters you can be proud of.
Prepare Your Workspace
Preparing your workspace is one of the most important steps when working in any crafting discipline as it allows you to create order in your workspace conducive to the type of project, you’re busy with. How do you prepare your workspace when working with resin? Well, it’s really easy, all that you need to do is ensure that your work area is well ventilated by creating adequate airflow. Once you have that sorted, ensure that you have all of your tools ready for use. This means that you need to gather your resin, hardener, face mask, gloves, mixing container, mixing stick, molds, and anything that you will be using to add color to your resin.
Once you have all these supplies at hand ensure that you have all of your personal protective gear on.
Finally, you need to ensure that your worktable and the floor of your work area are protected in case any resin accidentally ends up anywhere besides the inside of your mold. You can do this by laying down some tarp or old newspaper on the surface of your table and the floor of your workspace. Remember that resin is really difficult to remove from a surface, so this last step is in your best interest.
Prepare Your Resin
Now it’s time to get your hands dirty (metaphorically). Remember that resin is toxic while in its raw form so ensure that you have your mask and gloves on securely before proceeding. Preparing resin is pretty easy, all that you need to do is combine your resin and your hardener in a 1:1 ratio, do so by pouring an equal amount of each substance into a measuring container and mixing them together. Once they have been mixed you have a choice to make. You can either add coloring agents like acrylic paint at this point or add it in once your resin is inside the mold.
The latter doesn’t really work if you’re working with a shallow mold which coasters typically are, so we recommend adding any color at this point in the process. Also, if you’re thinking about adding trinkets, objects, photographs, or anything else to your mold before your resin is added this would be a good time to do so. If you would like the object to be suspended in the middle of your workpiece, wait until some resin has been added to the surface of the mold, add the object, and then pour the rest.
Pour Your Resin
Now that both your resin and your mold have been nicely prepared it’s time for you to create your resin coaster. The trick when pouring resin, regardless of viscosity, is to pour it slowly. This ensures that there is no accidental build-up and it will allow you to see how your resin has seated inside the mold whether or not you need to adjust your approach.
Fill your mold completely. You might notice that there are tiny air bubbles present on the surface or in the middle of your workpiece. You can get rid of these by blowing on the affected areas with a straw (be careful not to accidentally inhale any resin) or by using a heat gun on the surface of the resin to pop the bubbles. Once you’re satisfied, allow the resin to cure for the manufacturer’s recommended time period before demolding your brand-new resin coaster.
Now that you know what resin coasters are, why resin coaster molds are so important, what some of the coolest designs for resin coasters are, and how to properly use your resin coaster molds, it’s time for you to get out there and put your new-found knowledge to the test. Remember to always work in a well-ventilated area and to always wear the appropriate personal protective gear when working with any type of epoxy resin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Resin Coasters Melt?
Wondering if resin coasters will melt when they come in contact with your hot mug? No! Resin is one of the most durable materials on the planet and is exceptionally good at resisting damage from both heat and cold, which means you won’t have to worry about your coasters being damaged by hot cups or even open flames.
What Do I Need for Resin Coasters?
What do you need to make a resin coaster? Making resin coasters is an easy and fun activity, and you don’t need that much to get started. All that you really need is some epoxy resin, hardener, a mixing container, and a mold of your choosing which your coasters will be shaped after.
How Do You Customize Resin Coasters?
Wondering how to customize your resin coasters? There are loads of ways that you can add some color or other forms of decoration to your resin coasters. You can add acrylic paint, glitter, mica powder, alcohol dyes, and even food coloring to your epoxy resin to add an extra dimension to your resin coaster design.