Quirky, Cool July 4th-Themed Resin Coasters

Quirky, Cool July 4th-Themed Resin Coasters main article image
Posted on July 1, 2021 by Jasmin Bryant

It’s the time of year for get-togethers and summer fun. You want your family and friends to eat, drink and be merry, but you don’t want rings on your tables. That’s where coasters come into play.

Let’s make a couple of quirky, unique resin coasters for your July 4th celebration. Trust me, no one else will have these!

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Heat resistant epoxy resin
  • Gummy bears
  • Krylon Triple Thick Glaze
  • Alcohol ink
  • Acrylic paint
  • Glitter
  • Mica powder
  • Silicone coaster molds
  • Silicone oil
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Respirator
  • Stir sticks
  • Measuring cups
  • Alcohol wipe
  • Soft cloth

For the purpose of this article, I am going to assume you have proper resin safety protocols. If you don’t, please see my earlier resin safety tips in past articles.

I thought it would be fun to make some coasters that are a little bit different.  They aren’t for everyone, but this is just to give you a little inspiration.

The first coaster is a free-flowing red, white and blue coaster using alcohol inks, silicone oil, acrylic paint, and mica powder.

Here’s the coaster mold I use:

large round silicone mold

It’s from Amazon and comes as a set of 3 for about $17. I like that it is pretty shiny, so I don’t have to dome the final product. Search 3-cavity large round silicone disc cake mold. Each round is about 4 inches in diameter and holds about 3.5 ounces of epoxy resin. I love that you make the coasters as thick or as thin as you want them, and they hold pretty much any inclusions I can think of.

Hot Wheels 1776

Hot Wheels car in resin mold

Except for Hot Wheels … still not deep enough to hold Hot Wheels. (I found a 1776 car and I had to try it, and it was an epic failure. Oh well, you can’t win them all.)

For both of these projects, I used SuperClear’s Table Top epoxy resin by FCGI because it guarantees a high UV protection, which is important for outdoor use, and 130 degrees F heat resistance. You can put a mug of hot coffee on it, and it will be fine. You can also use these outside at your next picnic or barbecue and not worry about the coaster melting.

This first quirky, unique coaster needs to be poured in two layers. I poured about 2 ounces of clear epoxy resin and let it rest for about 5 minutes. I like the resin to thicken a little when I’m using alcohol inks, so they don’t spread a ton when I don’t want them to.

pinata inks

Next, I grabbed my Piñata alcohol inks – Chili Pepper Red and Baja Blue.  I like Piñata inks because they’re vibrant and work well with the epoxy resin. Some alcohol inks don’t always give consistent results, but these do. If there is a brand of ink you’ve tried and loved, please let us all know in the comments. I would love to try them out! This coaster was an experiment for me, and I’m digging how it turned out.

I dropped a little red in two spots and blue in another spot. I love watching the inks shift. It’s quite mesmerizing, to be honest. The next step is to drop a little, and I do mean a little, silicone oil. Artists use silicone oil in paintings to creating beautiful and dramatic cells. Silicone oil and resin aren’t really friends, so that’s why less is more. I typically put a drop on a paintbrush and flick the oil into the resin and alcohol ink, so I don’t use too much. The reason I’m using the silicone oil for this project is to make an irregular pattern with the alcohol inks. You won’t be able to control the shape and pattern, so don’t even bother trying, lol.

alcohol inks spreading

Let the resin cure for about 12 hours … I didn’t want it to be 100% cured because I didn’t want to have to sand the first layer. When doing layers, you generally want to have some tack or tooth for the new layer to stick to, otherwise, you can run the risk of separation down the line. The next layer is the white. I mixed a drop of white acrylic paint from Liquitex Basics with some pearl white mica powder in about 1 ounce of epoxy resin. When working with mica, I suggest letting the mixture sit a few minutes because unmixed mica will float to the top and you can stir some more.

Before you pour the next layer of resin, you’ll want to wipe up the excess silicone oil with an alcohol pad, and use a soft cloth to dry it. Remember, your resin isn’t hard to the touch yet, so proceed carefully!

I poured the white resin mixture on top of the red and blue alcohol inks and let it cure completely.

It’s odd … it’s quirky … but I think it’s kind of cool!

red white and blue alcohol ink coaster

Our next Fourth of July themed coaster uses gummy bears! I love using unexpected inclusions.

The first thing you want to do (after you buy the candy) is to coat it with Krylon Triple Thick Glaze. This is going to help your candy not break down. Resin hates any type of moisture and despite popular belief, it doesn’t keep items from rotting. I sprayed a few red and blue gummy candies outside and let them sit for about 20 minutes to dry. I sprayed each side once. Now, it’s time to resin! In order to reduce the number of bubbles, I decided to pour a thin layer of epoxy resin in the bottom of the mold and let it cure for several hours, then I arranged the gummy bears how I wanted them. I decided to just use four for each coaster for the 4th.

Next, I poured another ounce of resin, just enough to cover half the bear bodies and let them cure for another 12 hours. I love glitter and if you follow my work long enough, you’ll realize how much! I have a new glitter from Counter Culture DIY I wanted to try out, so I thought this would be the perfect project for it. When choosing your glitter, try to stay away from heavier glitters because they just sink. I honestly don’t use the craft store glitters because they don’t seem to work well for my resin projects. Another glitter tip is to wait for your resin to get a little thicker because then the glitter stays suspended. I mix my glitter in the cup with my resin, let it start to set, then pour into my mold. When I say start to set, I don’t mean to wait so long your resin heats up and becomes goo. Depending on your resin’s open working time, you can probably wait 10 minutes safely.

You want to make sure you pour enough resin to cover the back half of the gummy bears. Since I’m not using any mica or paint, you’ll still be able to see through the back of the coaster.

Here is your result. A glittery red, white and blue coaster that is super cool and unique! I love how the glitter sparkles like stars.

red white and blue gummy bear coasters

One note with coasters: you need to let them cure for at least 72 hours before you use them. Otherwise, you could get rings from the mug or glass you use. I typically wait a week. If you do get rings or indentations on your coasters, just run your heat gun over them to smooth out the blemish. Once they completely cure, they should be as good as new!

If you make a quirky, holiday-themed item, I’d love to see it!

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