Growing up, my Grandpa had a huge basement that he dubbed both “Grandpa’s Dollhouse Workshop” and “Grandpa’s Seashell Workshop.” He spent hours meticulously crafting wooden dollhouses for each of the girls in the family, as well as numerous crafts combining seashells (from his multiple yearly vacations with my Grandma) and resin.
**Update 6/8/15: My sister and I made our first attempt at resin crafting based on this project over the weekend, so I have made notes in bold to the original post where appropriate.
Recently, my mom brought over a set of these blue and gold (West Virginia colors) sand dollar resin coasters. She said she had found enough of them during her recent move to give my brother, sister, and I each our own set. I loved them as a kid, but “rediscovering” them as an adult, I can truly appreciate their uniqueness and the creativity and patience that went in to making each one.
After posting a picture on my social media, I received a lot of feedback, so I thought I would do a little research and share the method in which they were created. The process itself seems fairly easy, though time-consuming (accounting for resin dry time).
Here’s what you need:
- Reusable coaster mold (make sure it’s designed to be used with resin — this Silikomart Silicone Mold has gotten great reviews)
- Clear casting resin (we used Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast 16 oz)
- Resin catalyst (sold as a two-piece set in the above link)
- Transparent Resin Dye
- Mold Release Conditioner Spray (if you are using a silicon mold this might not be necessary)
- Disposable plastic cups or bowls for preparing resin
- Sand dollars
- Adhesive Felt
- Plenty of old newspaper or the like to cover your workspace!
STEP 1 — Apply a generous coating of mold-release spray to the surface of the coaster molds.
STEP 2 — Follow directions on package for preparing clear resin. **The directions say to stir until there are “no swirls,” I would err on the side of caution and over-stir. When the resin is not adequately mixed it will not set. Ever.
STEP 3 — Fill mold halfway with clear resin. Allow to set (this can take anywhere from 5 minutes to a few hours depending on the type you’re using). **The resin we used took over an hour to set.
STEP 4 — Add another layer of clear resin, leaving 1/4 of the mold unfilled. Gently press sand dollar face-down into this layer, making sure that the bottom on the sand dollar is below the top of the coaster mold. Allow to set.
STEP 5 — Prepare colored resin by following directions on dye packaging.
STEP 6 — Fill rest of mold with colored resin. Allow to harden for a full 24 hours before removing coaster from mold.
In this enhanced side view, you can clearly see the three resin layers. The bottom (top of the finished coaster) is clear resin, middle is clear resin containing the sand dollar, and top (bottom of finished coaster) is blue-dyed resin.
STEP 7 — Apply adhesive felt to the back of coaster to prevent sliding on table surface.
The back of a coaster covered with adhesive felt. GSW= Grandpa’s Seashell Workshop. Still in amazing shape for being over twenty years old!
I’ll be going to the beach in a week, so I hope to find some pretty shells to try to re-create these myself. They would make really unique and useful gifts for any occasion if I can get them to turn out as nicely. **6/8/15: Look for an update coming soon with the project my sister and I did with our shells!
Check out these Coral & Seashell Resin Bangles we made next:
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Last updated on November 29th, 2016 at 07:47 am
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