Budget Resin Coasters: For A Frugal Crafter

Resin crafts tend to get expensive, but we want to share a method for making budget resin coasters. After buying the epoxy, you need to get molds, silicone, powders, paints, alcohol inks, embellishments, and more to achieve commonly desired effects in your final resin piece. Would it be possible to create resin art effects using only budget products I found on Amazon? Let’s find out!

 

 

I will let you be the judge on whether the coasters I made turned out amazing or not. Not only was I thrilled by the amount of money I ended up saving, I think I achieved some note-worthy effects despite only using no-name resin products!

How to Save Money Making Resin Crafts

If you want to save money on your resin crafts, I suggest ordering the kits listed below in the material section of this post. They are cheap kits from no-name brands on Amazon. However, they work surprisingly well to create stunning effects in resin art pieces. My experiment proves you do not need to order from name-brand companies, charging an arm and a leg for their products. (Oh, and, to add insult to injury, not selling their products on Amazon, which means their shipping charges will always be as much as the product purchased!)

Even Epoxy Can Be Affordable

The same goes for searching for which epoxy resin to buy, by the way. You do not need to settle for paying the exorbitant prices that certain companies (such as the overpriced company whose name rhymes with FArtResin) charge for an art-specific epoxy resin. The idea that the only epoxy resins suitable for use by artists must be labeled art resin is a fallacy anyway.

 

Many companies, including those advertising their resin for use on countertops or boats, have great products that work well for tons of different art projects. Surprisingly I have found products, many with no art-directed advertising campaigns, better suited for some of my resin projects. 

Don't Judge Me, I'm not a Hater!

I promise I am not ‘hating’ on these companies! I will continue to use many of their products but, if you are a resin crafter trying to stay within a budget, Amazon is a no-brainer. Plus, all of the items listed below offer free shipping. You really can not ask for more than that!

 

If you are interested in an affordable brand of epoxy resin for your crafting, check out our Best Resin for Painting and Best Resin for Coasters articles. Not only will you save money, but you will be happy with the way your final pieces turn out. We promise!

 

Okay, let’s get on with it. We know you came here for the crafting!

Budget Resin Coasters Using Amazon Products

Here is the YouTube video I posted of my process during this project. Also listed in this article are the steps to create your own resin coasters using budget products, but for those visual learners out there, you are welcome!

Can you tell I used only budget Amazon products to create these resin coasters?

Pretty unbelievable, eh?

 

At one point, I started to believe only the wealthy could afford to maintain a hobby like resin art. I am fond of the Frugal Resinista on YouTube, watching her videos from Day 1 of my resin art journey. So, in a way, this post brings me back to my roots, which made putting this whole project together that much more enjoyable. 

 

Yup, I used only budget Amazon items to make these resin coasters. I hope this proves you do not need to break the bank to create some cool effects in your resin art!

Budget Resin Coasters Materials (Amazon Links, Obviously!)

Here are the products I used:

Castin Craft White Opaque Pigment

NicPro Resin Dye

Glzygi/rfx Mica Powder:

Castin Craft blue Opaque Pigment

Resin Coaster Molds

DecoArt Extreme Sheen Emerald Green

Gold Alcohol ink

Upstart Epoxy Resin

By the way, we would love to hear about any cheap products you have found that have helped you achieve different effects in your resin art. Leave us a comment below! 

 

Also, if you have any questions, shoot! We have tried tons of materials and are happy to help if we can.

Budget Resin Coasters Method

Step One: Prepare Your Workspace

The most important thing a resin artist does takes place before opening the epoxy resin. In preparation for a new pour, no matter what type of resin piece you are attempting, you MUST make sure the surface you are working on is level! Use a level tool to check that your canvas sits flat on your workspace. Ensuring your canvas is level helps avoid many headaches during the resin pour and cure process.

 

Remember to take care to protect your workspace. The best material you can use to protect your surface from epoxy resin is silicone. Epoxy resin does not stick to silicone. After the resin has fully cured, it will peel off easily from the silicone. Here are our recommendations for the best silicone craft mats, all very affordable and will work great!

Step Two: Choose your Colors

Pick out which colors you are going to use. On your silicone craft mat, within reaching distance of your molds, lay out a row of cups. (Preferably paper or silicone cups, as they both work well to help an artist control her resin flow when pouring) Put a dime-size amount of each of your chosen pigments into each cup. 

 

Note: Always put your pigments into your cups before mixing your epoxy! Getting this done first gives you more time after mixing your epoxy, which is valuable as a beginner. (I am frequently thankful for that extra time this process affords me to this day even though I work with resin all the time now.) This tip also forces you to commit to a color palette right off the bat, which is fantastic for an art form that is unforgiving about working time. 

Step Three: Mix Epoxy Resin

Measure and Mix According to Directions on the Bottle

No matter the brand of epoxy resin you choose, you need to follow the directions on the bottle. Most epoxy resins require a 1:1 ratio of epoxy resin and hardener. However, there are a few brands where this differs. Be aware of whether the directions call for a 1:1 ratio measured by weight or a 1:1 ratio measured by volume. Usually, mixing instructions call for measuring epoxy resin by volume. If this is the case, all you need is a plastic or silicone measuring cup.

Use Silicone or Plastic Products with Epoxy Resin

I suggest you buy a cheap silicone measuring cup, like this one listed on Amazon:

 

 (It even comes with silicone stir sticks, which you will use, and little finger condoms, which you probably will not, but who does not love a freebie?)

Mix Thoroughly/ Avoid a Sticky Mess

When mixing, be sure to mix thoroughly. You will know the product is mixed when you stop seeing strings of resin in the cup. Also, be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the cup to ensure thorough mixing. If you do not do this, you may end up with sticky parts on your project.

Mix Slowly/ Avoid Bubbles

Another great tip is to mix slowly. Mixing slow helps prevent air bubbles in your epoxy resin.

Wooden Stir Sticks=More Bubbles

If you have issues with air bubbles, you may also want to switch up your stir stick. A wooden stir stick, being porous, may also introduce extra air bubbles into the epoxy resin while mixing. Using a silicone stir stick will prevent this problem.

Step Four: Mix Pigments and Epoxy Resin

Mix epoxy resin into your cups with the pigment powder. Thoroughly mix your pigment powders with epoxy resin. Once you color your epoxy with pigment, move on to the next step. 

NOTE: Always leave some clear resin in your original cup. Having extra clear epoxy resin is handy to have for the later stages of a resin pour.

Step Five: Resin Pour

Use Multiple Types of Pigments

My number one tip for getting effects in resin coasters is to use multiple types of mediums. Working with resin, an artist learns to take advantage of reactions (resulting in interesting details) created when mixing different pigments. Some examples of pigments are paints, inks, powders, glitter, etc. 

Even the world’s leading pigment mixing chemist could surprise herself when she sees the final piece.  

Familiarize Yourself with Densities

 It seems logical that the reactions between pigments are a result of differing densities. The different densities mean each type of pigment differs in weight. A seasoned resin artist can somewhat predict the types of effects that will result in a final product, based on which pigments she employs. For example, resin colored white with acrylic paint (thick and heavy) poured with resin colored red, with a liquid (thin and light) alcohol ink, will produce a product where the red-pigmented resin has floated to the top. 

 

Sometimes the resin mixed with the heavier pigment will dictate the color of the rings that form around any cell structures. So in this scenario, the white-pigmented resin displays as rings or outlines of the cell structures in your piece. The red-pigmented resin forms the actual cells or insides of the white circles. This effect is exasperated if you use a cell activator like silicone oil or ResiBlast.

A Puddle of Clear Resin

I also recommend pouring a puddle of clear resin into your molds before any colored resin. I demonstrate this in the video above.

Don't be Timid, Pour Heftily

The last tip I will give you today is to make hefty pours. Do not be afraid to pour out half of your red-pigmented resin in the center of your mold at one time. The bolder you are, the better the product will turn out. Trust me! 

 

Plus, if you keep pouring tiny drops of each resin color into your mold, one on top of the other, you will end up with a muddy-looking piece as the colors mix together. So make sure each resin puddle you pour into the mold is hefty enough to show up as a separate ring.

 

Other than that, there are not too many rules to this type of puddle pour. Have fun and do your thing!

 So, for beginners, this is the type of project you want to take on.  

Step Six: Let Resin Cure

 Let your coasters cure overnight and demold. If you would like, take a metallic paint pen and trace along the edges of your coasters to add a bit more flare. This technique would not have added anything too special to the final product I created here, but you DO YOU!

Stay Gorgeous, Stay Creative!

 I hope you guys enjoyed this video and post. 

 

If you follow the directions in this article and watch the video tutorial, I have no doubt you will create something beautiful. 

 

Hope to hear from you in the comments below. Feel free to share your work on our Facebook page!

xoCraftelot

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28 Responses
  1. I am not really good with craft but thanks to your detailed step by step instruction, I actually think it is doable even for me! 
    I always fascinated by the beautiful swirl in resin items and had no idea it can be made easily. I thought you will require some industrial grade equipment or something like that!

    Seems like I probably found my new hobby, thank you for the guide.

  2. I’ll be frank, I have not heard of resin coaster before so it is great that you can share with us. I really like the contemporary design and the creativity behind it and I’m sure finding a ‘budget’ coaster will be important. This has brought to a new things in my life, which is quite exciting. Thank you for sharing this article!

    1. David, I’m so glad we could introduce you to a new way to express your creativity. I hope you get the opportunity to try a resin pour one day! It really is an amazing way to relax and have fun.  Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi. What an interesting article on resin crafting.

    This seems to be a great idea. You can actually create all sorts of things from the comfort of your own home and svae money at the same time! This can also make us be more creative when it comes to crafting. But do you think an amateur like me can actually make it?

    Best regards,
    Dominique

    1. Absolutely.  This is one of the simpler resin crafts to try if you are a beginner.  I only started crafting a year ago and I did not consider myself artistic at all.  Resin art gave me a great way to express my creativity in a way I could be proud of.  I hope you give it a try!

  4. Thank you for sharing this article. I’ve been interested in starting to make resin crafts as part of a past time, but I always found it to be expensive to purchase the materials. I wasn’t sure where to look to purchase anything cheaper, but your article helped me out a lot with that. I will be sharing this with a friend who is also interested in making resin crafts.

    1. Rachel, I am so glad we could help.  Keep a lookout for some more posts coming soon with some more cheap products that work great for resin art.  Thanks for stopping by!

  5. My wife would love this craft. She was playing around with making coaster from precut tile but it never really took off for her. I think both her and the kids would have fun doing this and by the looks of your images, you can get really creative with it. It’s good to know you don’t have to spend half your paycheck on this hobby.

    1. Yes, it is fun for all!  I actually did a video tutorial on a great resin activity for kids around easter time.  However, it can be adapted to any time of year.  You could use Christmas trees instead of flowers or even initials for any time of year.  Here is the video I am referring to Resin Art for Kids! Enjoy!

  6. This article and video on making Rein Coasters was both very interesting and eye opening.

    I love how you explained it all step by step with the great visual of the video. Even for someone who is not crafty like me could follow along with it.

    I also liked how you showed how it is possible to get everything from Amazon without breaking the bank.

    Stay creative.

    Kevin

  7. I have a friend who’s birthday will be next week and I was looking for a craft to make a birthday present for him, your video tutorial gave me the idea, he will love to get the budget resin coasters and he just moved to his new house, thanks so much for sharing a good craft to make this week-end!

    1. Alejandra! SO glad we could help.  I hope you enjoy the crafting and I am sure your friend will love his new coasters!

  8. Hey there, I loved reading through your article. Your guide on how to make resin coasters with amazon products was well written, organized, and had practical instructions. I watched your video and I have to say that your work is very beautiful and detailed. I think making resin coasters looks like a very fun hobby for people of all ages.  I will have to look into using some of the products you recommend to pursue this hobby 🙂

    1. Gabriel- Resin art is a wonderful hobby and when you can find supplies at a reasonable rate, it is that much more fun.  Hope you try it and thanks for reading!

  9. Woah, this is soo good. I would say I am pretty handy however I have never tried to make any epoxy crafts. I really look forward to using your material list to order epoxy. 

    The only thing that was holding me back was because any epoxy I found tends to be pricy. So I’m glad you provided us will a list of cheap and generic brands. Thanks

    1. Karan, I can totally relate.  Some of the companies out there are ridiculously overpriced and you can find products that are just as good at affordable prices.  So glad I could help and would love to see what you come up with! 

  10. Yet another great video which was made with your steady hand.  I really feel like having a go at this…Where did you learn this art?  The coasters are very pleasing to the eye and the finished product looks as if it was done by a veteran.  

    Yet most of what you did was just apply one colour on top of the other!

    Once again, please enlarge your font size as it is really hard to read.  14 will be great.  At present it looks like you are using 8…

    Thanks for sharing though, loved the video.

    1. Thanks for the tip, I will absolutely make my font bigger as soon as I get home this evening.  I learned this craft by watching others and experimenting with my own techniques.  I fell in love with it pretty darn quickly however!  You should give it a try. Watch a few more Tutorials and feel free to ask any questions of me if you decide to give it a go.  

  11. These look pretty good for occasions. Isn’t it amazing how many things are made of Resin these days? I sometimes wonder if they could use the same resin for everything. ten it would just be a case of making the mould and pouring the resin. Then you could have anything you wanted to make

    1. Almost like a 3d printer, resin does feel like a very handy product to have around.  I actually bought a really cool mold press that you can basically make molds of everything with. You really could use epoxy to fix or create anything. Thanks for stopping by! 

  12. Fun to see resin re-surface. I was into it in the 70s. It looks like it is still alive and well. Making coasters is as artistic as it is easy. Each one is unique. Can you sell these? Where would be the best place to sell them, craft sales?

    1. Yes, I love when a trend finds its way back to the mainstream. Pretty sure most trends, at least those that are creatively timeless, end up looking back around and gaining popularity. These coasters are hits at craft shows and online. Specifically, many people sell on Etsy and other art platforms.  Personally, you can find my work for sale on this site, in the Craftelot Resin Art Shop. Thanks for the questions! 

  13. Now I hadn’t heard of this before I found your website online, through the wealthy Affiliate System.

    I only know Coasters as little mats that you can put cups on, but that theory was put to bed by watching the video, which I had to watch as I was confused by my understanding of what Coasters are, to your one.

    But after watching the video, I’m certainly clearer.I also found the video theraputic in some ways

    My question is this, having watched the video to the end, can these be used for putting cups on, if not what is the ebst use for them.

    Certainly this might be something my wife would be interested in, so I have bookmarked this video/ website for her to have a look at.

    1. Dave, absolutely, these are usually used to protect surfaces from damage from cups or their condensation.  You are correct.  There are other uses, such as using them as jewelry trays or just decorative plates, but mostly they are used for cups.  Thanks for stopping by! 

  14. This is so interesting and watching your video makes me hark back to the 80s and 90s Arts & Craft children tv programmes I used to watch. Whatever happened to those? Just a question, would it not be an idea to stick a cork base to the coasters just so that they keep their shape?

    1. Gotta love the 90s.  I was not around for much of the ’80s, only 2 years so I was not really old enough to appreciate the shows in that decade. :/ But, the nineties seemed to do everything better…Art shows, fashion, toys, and MUSIC obviously!  I am familiar with the Bob Ross painting tutorials that you can still find on youtube today. as weird as that dude was, he really was talented!  Ha Anyway, thanks for the trip down memory lane. 

      As far as the cork base goes, I have done that in a few of my coaster sets just for a finishing touch, but honestly, it is not really necessary.  The best ones to use, if you do decide to, are these self adhesive cork backings.  Epoxy resin will get very hard when it has fully cured, which could take up to 30 days with some brands.  It was originally formulated to coat boats after they had been painted, protect garage floors, and even serve as a kitchen countertop surface coating.  So, it is very durable;e.  It may l; look like the coasters I demolded are bendy, but that is just because I am too impatient to wait 2-4 weeks to look at the final results.  I place them back in the mold after I demold them on camera though so they can harden up in the correct shape.  

      If you are asking because you like the idea of having a material under the coaster to protect your tabletop from the coaster, then I recommend using three or four of these felt risers.  Space them out evenly and stick them on the bottom of the coasters. They work great and do not take attention away from the resin effects!

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