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!
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!)
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.
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!
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!
Here are the products I used:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?)
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.
Another great tip is to mix slowly. Mixing slow helps prevent air bubbles in your epoxy resin.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I also recommend pouring a puddle of clear resin into your molds before any colored resin. I demonstrate this in the video above.
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.
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!
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!