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Easy Sea Shell and Sea Glass Resin Coaster Tutorial

I really enjoyed making my resin coasters using unwanted glass chips and glitter  (see tutorial here).  You can embed many things in resin for jewelry as well as for home decor.  Back then, I could only find the silicone molds for coasters suitable for coffee and tea mugs and drinking glasses. This time, I wanted to make coasters big enough for beer mugs!


I had many sea shells saved from our Cuban holiday a few years ago and sea glass from Nova Scotia where we once lived.  I then envisaged a design which could perhaps evoke breaking surf.  I didn't have any beach sand but I did have some small polished river rock from the dollar store!!


I used Little Windows' Brilliant Resin which I like because of its long shelf-life, clarity and most importantly its low bubble producing properties. You can use other kinds like Ice ResinArt Resin is great but you will have to be prepared to use a torch  to remove the bubbles.

I also bought myself some silicone measuring cups so I did not have to throw away plastic cups.  These are much larger in volume than the small cups you typically get from resin suppliers. Cleaning is easily done with some paper towels and rubbing alcohol from the local pharmacy.  Make sure you mark your desired levels on the cups with a marker pen because those cup markings are very hard to see once you pour the resin in. Or you can use kitchen scales if you have them.

The proportion for Brilliant Resin is 2:1 Parts A toPart B.  I mixed according to instructions. One great tip from Little Windows is to microwave briefly 6-7 seconds Part A before mixing. This really reduces the bubble formation.



Like my previous tutorial, I worked in layers. The first is a white layer which keeps the background the same for all the coasters. I did not want see-through designs.  So mixed up about 90 mls (60 ml : 30 mL, A: B) for the first batch.  I colored it with several drops of white resin pigment, mixing thoroughly for an opaque finish.  I have used white oil paint before in the past - takes longer to mix it all in.

I bought this silicone mousse pan which was just the right size for larger coasters. Each round cavity was about 3 3/4 inch or just under 10 cm across. The sides were not tapered.  It was kind of floppy - not as rigid as other silicone molds I have used.  But it was the only one I found in the right size.


I placed the silicone mold on a plastic tray so I could move the filled mold safely.  I poured all the 90 mL of mixed resin into the 3 cavities.  You can see why I like this resin - no bubbles. Carefully pouring and the microwaving of Part A help too. If you encounter bubbles - which typically accumulates at the edges - pop them with a toothpick. I covered the mold and let the resin cure overnight.


I made another batch of clear resin and distributed it into the 3 cavities. Now the fun began. I placed the river pebbles and sea shells into the resin.


To simulate the surf, I used blue glitter gravel I bought from the craft section of my local dollar store.  Use glitter sparingly if you cannot get this stuff.


The glitter gravel almost disappears in the resin - you just get little sparkles here and there. Just like how sunlight catches the glint of sand as the waves retreat.  Remember, I didn't have beach sand!  Note that sea glass loses its frosted appearance in resin because the resin fills all the little scratches in the glass.


I used a toothpick to adjust the different elements for their final placements. Notice this second layer of resin did not cover everything?  I prefer to do a total of 3 pours.  This way, I can better judge how much more resin will be needed.



I covered the second pour and let the resin cure overnight.  I made up the third and final batch of resin and carefully filled to the top of each mold.  A tip - always have other small projects ready on hand to use the leftover resin so nothing is wasted.




After another night of curing, the coasters are ready! Removing these from the silicone mold is easy! Just slowly peel them out of the mold.  All the coasters needed are small stick on protective pads - these are typically used to dampen noise when cabinet doors are shut.  I did not have to polish any of this. But with use, the coasters might need some so  I will use Flitz polish which I reviewed before.


Yup. They fit larger beer mugs and glasses!  Look how shiny they are!  Like glass and yet will not break if you drop them.  Have fun with this idea.






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Disclosure
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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5 comments:

  1. Haven't tried to use resin yet. Looks like fun, but all I need is another hobby. Really like the sea theme.

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    1. Ah, but you could embed so many things and make keepsakes!

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  2. Those are wonderful Pearl!! So wish I could do resin. Might have to set up a small area with a heater....hmmmm....

    I have tons of shells from places we have visited! A good way to use the broken ones up too!

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    1. That is a good point about broken shells - they would be no good for regular jewelry making!! Is your main living area warmer? You could just work on a covered table and set it aside for curing somewhere in the warm space.

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  3. Oh Pearl, now I want to go to the beach and have a beer! Thanks for another fun way to use resin :)

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