This project and blog post was created in collaboration with Haley Patricia of ResinDiva. She is a local South Florida artist who joined us for a Facebook LIVE event where we combined our crafts for one amazing project! Check out the full process video below and be sure to watch the Facebook Live video to see all the fun we had.
The most exciting part about crafting is trying something new. As DIY-enthusiasts, our Pinterest boards are overflowing with our “next project”, and it’s near impossible to leave Michael’s or Hobby Lobby without the itch to create. This is something I know all too well. After a routine scroll through my Instagram discovery page, I came across an artist creating beautiful pieces I was MESMERIZED by and I knew I had to learn more about what she was making.
Haley Patrcia of ResinDiva is an extremely talented resin artist making custom “functional art” that you have to see to believe. The iCraft team reached out to her and we started to brainstorm on how we could combine our crafts. The result were these beautiful coasters made with two coats of resin and two layers of heat transfer vinyl.
I am so excited to share how we did this with you and what I learned while exploring something new. And let’s be real, just like most new craft projects I start, resin is now my latest crafting addiction - and I think you’ll see why!
We Did this Live!
While we have a video below showing the entire process of making resin coasters and applying HTV to them, we actually did this project live! Haley was the first guest we had on our Crafts and Cocktails Facebook Live series, and she walked us through everything you need to know to get started in resin, and provided tons of great tips and advice along the way. She also answered a wide range of questions about resin crafting while we sipped on some delicious cocktails so be sure you watch for inside info from an expert and so you don’t miss out on the fun we had!
And I know after that watching that you’re going to want to make those KILLER MARGARITAS that we made during the segment for your next spooky shin-dig, here is the recipe.
Now that the cocktail is covered, let’s move on to the craft!
Resin Basics & Supplies
Working with resin does require a special list of supplies. Here is what you need to complete this coaster project.
- Wood rounds - we got these from Amazon
- Two-part table top Epoxy - we are using this product from Mas Epoxies
- Measuring cup for pouring two equal parts
- Plastic cups to mix resin
- Mixing sticks to mix resin - we are using plastic cutlery
- Nitrile gloves
- Garbage bag to line work space
- Mini cups to elevate wood rounds and to mix pigment
- Pigment to color resin (optional)
- Heat gun
- Decal material
- Painter’s tape
- Paint pen to finish sides (optional)
- Adhesive Cork sheets
- Face mask if work area is not well ventilated
Prep Your Space
Before we get to the resin you need to set up your work space. Be sure you're working in a well ventilated area and use your leveler and make sure your surface is level. An uneven surfaces can cause your resin designs to shift around while still in liquid form. We then lined a tray with some plastic garbage bags (most plastic liners will work as cured resin won’t stick to it) and arranged four small cups upside down to allow the excess resin to drip off the wood rounds without pooling around the sides. Working in a tray is also beneficial because we can move the coasters out of the way while they dry.
Now it is time to prep your rounds by taping the bottom with some painters tape, this prevents drips of the resin from hardening underneath so you don’t have to sand or cut them off after drying.
Mixing & Applying Pigmented Base Coat
To create your pigmented base coat, you’re first going to mix equal parts (1 to 1 ratio) of A & B from your resin kit. To determine how much resin you will need for your project, use this calculator from Mas Epoxies so you always measure out the perfect amount.
Depending on what brand of epoxy you are using, check out their website to see if they have their own calculator!
For the coasters we created, Haley used about an ounce of resin for each so she mixed together 4 ounces of resin: 2 ounces of Part A & 2 ounces of Part B. She mixed the parts together for about 5 minutes until the mixture was clear. Don’t worry if there are bubbles, they are normal in cooler environments. Once your mixture is thoroughly combined, you should immediately evenly divide it into smaller cups to mix your colors. Transferring the resin to smaller containers slows down how quickly it heats ups so you have more time to work with it before it cures and hardens.
Now it is time to mix in your pigment of choice until you get the color you want. We used a teal fluid acrylic from Golden Artist Color for a super pigmented base, but you can use other things to color your resin including acrylic paint and spray paint - though your colors won't be as pigmented. For the white marbling and wave foam, Haley let us in on her holy grail of white pigments. It is called Castin Craft Opaque Pigment Concentrate and she also mixed up an ounce of that to add some extra flair to these coasters.
Once your colors are mixed, pour your base coat onto your wood rounds. Then use your torch to gently pop some of the bubbles in the resin.
Then with a gloved hand, move the resin material to the edges of your wood rounds to cover the entire surface. Once they are completely covered, drizzle a little bit of white in strips on to the teal background. Then using a heat gun, move the colors around the coasters to combine them and create a marbling effect.
Only use the heat gun for a few seconds at a time and then lift it up - heating the resin in one spot for too long can burn the resin and cause it to flash cure.
Once you are happy with the effect, set the coasters aside to dry for at least 8 hours.
Finish the Sides
To give your coasters more of a finished look, we recommend painting the sides after the first layer of resin has dried. We chose a gold paint pen to match our color scheme and applied it to all sides before we put on the finishing clear coat. This protects the paint from chipping or fading from any wear and tear.
Now It's Time for the Vinyl
Now that our first coat has cured and our sides are finished, this is where the vinyl comes in. We went back and forth on tons of different designs for these coasters but ultimately landed on four different butterflies to complete a set! After we decided on what design our vinyl would be in, we had to decide if we should use HTV or 651 and then we could move on to the hardest part; picking patterns & colors. Since we offer a few more color options in heat transfer vinyl at iCraft, we decided to go that route, though we did test some adhesive 651 on the coasters and it worked great.
Haley and I then decided one of our four-packs of patterned HTV would be a great option because we would get some diversity in the finished products, but they would still be a matching set. After much deliberation - I mean we do have 1000s of patterns - we picked our Splatter Watercolor Patterned HTV pack paired with some champagne gold matte HTV. And in my humble opinion, the way all these colors went together on the teal background is *chef’s kiss*
Sizing & Cutting Your Designs
I sized these butterflies to three inches wide to fit the coasters. For our patterned HTV, make sure you DO NOT mirror your design and place the material with the pattern facing up on your cutting mat. For our matte HTV it is the opposite. Mirror your design and place the shiny (colored) side down on your mat. I cut both of these materials using my Cricut Explore Air 2 on the “iron on” setting. If you have a Silhouette Cameo, we recommend the “heat transfer smooth” setting.
Getting Prepped to Press
After your designs are all cut out, now it is time to weed. Grab your handy dandy weeding tool (I usually use my X-acto knife) to remove the excess vinyl and the negative parts of your design.
Your matte HTV will be ready to press after you weed it, but you have one more step with the patterned HTV. Make sure you pick up some heat transfer mask (or an old carrier sheet from another HTV material like matte or liquid will work) to transfer your cut design from its backing.
Apply the mask and rub it with a scraper. Then flip it over and remove the backing, leaving your design on the transfer mask.
Pressing HTV on Resin
Now you’re ready to apply. We tested both an iron and a heat press, but felt we had much more consistent results with the press. It better distributed the heat allowing an easier transfer and the final result had wayyyyy less bubbles.
I set my press at 300º and pressed in two, five second increments, rotating the coaster 180º in between presses to ensure I got all parts of the design adhered since I have a clamshell press. In between pressing the patterned and matte layers, I made sure the materials were cooled COMPLETELY before removing the carrier sheet and this drastically reduced bubbles.
After both layers were applied, Haley took back over to finish the coasters!
Apply the Final Clear Coat
Now that we have applied our HTV, it is time to seal our coasters with a clear coat of resin. For this part of the project, you’re going to repeat mixing equal parts of A & B of your resin kit. Mix for 5 minutes until it is clear.
Pour equal amounts of the resin over each coaster allowing the excess to drip off (we are using about 4 oz total again).
The clear coat will look cloudy at first, but as soon as you hit it a few times with your torch, it turns crystal clear. Similar to the heat gun, don’t apply too much flame at once or the resin will burn. Just lightly hit the surface for a second, move on to a separate coaster, and come back around.
With a gloved finger make sure you have spread the top coat over all of the coasters’ sides to seal in the paint on the edges.
Leave to cure for 24 hours.
Finish the Backs
After the resin cures and dries, you can take your heat gun to the back of the coasters. This helps to temporarily soften the resin so you can peel the tape off. Any sharp edges can be softly sanded down. Once the bottom surface feels smooth, you can cut your cork backing to size and apply it so you have a non-sliding coaster!
And that is it! You now have beautiful, functional art and your guests won’t believe you made them yourself!
Watch how we did it here:
What I learned as a Vinyl Crafter:
Just like HTV and vinyl, the possibilities of resin are endless. Which colors you pick, how many colors you use, how you blend the colors, etc, all changes how the end result of your project looks - and that is what makes this craft so cool!
Resin is a forgiving craft. When you apply the clear coat, it removes a lot of imperfections including bubbles in the vinyl and any indents if you remove debris.
More about ResinDiva
If you would like to see more of ResinDiva’s talents, you can check her out on Instagram or visit her website. Not only does she have tons of great resources for beginners, you can commission her for one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or office or to give as a gift!
If you’re a local South Florida artist, and you’re interested in collaborating with us please send us a message to Facebook.com/iCraftVinyl. We’d love to have you on our LIVE Crafts & Cocktails!