Woodworking

DIY (Faux) Resin River Coasters

resin river table coasters

I’ve made my fair share of resin river projects on my blog (see Example 1 & Example 2). But, I know that these projects can be intimidating for friends who haven’t done large deep pour projects yet. So, to help get you started on your resin river table journey, I’m sharing a tutorial for DIY “faux” Resin River Coasters tutorial using leftover materials from my shop! What do I mean by “faux”? Keep reading to find out!

How To Make Resin River Coasters

This post is sponsored by Bernzomatic and contains affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Want to see this project in action? Check it out on my YouTube channel!

 

Okay, so let’s tackle this “faux” word for a second here. Spoiler Alert: These live edge resin river coasters, aren’t really “live edge”. In fact, I ran out of live edge wood in my shop a while back, so I decided to fake it for this project!

custom coasters resin and wood

I was able to make these look like “live edge” resin river coasters with the help of a jig saw! Pretty cool hack, huh?

Here are the details on how I made this project happen!

What You’ll Need:

diy resin mold materials

Tools
Jig Saw
Sander & Sandpaper
Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch
Bernzomatic Fuel Cylinder
Silicone Cake Mold
Epoxy Resin Mixing Materials
Wood Clamps
Packaging Tape (Optional)

Materials
1 x 4 Hardwood Lumber
Deep Pour Epoxy
Metallic Epoxy Pigment
Rubbing Alcohol
Wood Finish

The Steps:

1. Choose your piece of wood for your project and find the center line. It’s always best to use hardwoods for things like coasters or cutting boards, since they are less porous and more durable! I chose walnut for my project.

finding the center of a wood board

2. Use a jig saw to cut a wavy, asymmetrical line down the center of the board. I made my jigsaw cuts with a 30 degree bevel to make the “live edge” look more organic. 

cutting wood with jigsaw

3. Next, use your cake molds to trace circles onto the two sides of your new “live edge” pieces.

tracing circles on wood

4. Cut your circles out with a jig saw. This time, make sure your bevel is set to 0 degrees.

making round coasters

5. After cutting your pieces, use a sander to smooth the edges and “live edge”. You’ll want to get as tight of a fit as possible. 

sanding live edge bark

6. Next, clean your resin mold with rubbing alcohol to make sure it’s free of debris and then add your wood pieces.

resin coaster mold

7. To help stop the pieces of wood from floating in the resin, use clamps to hold them down. If your coaster molds are too tight to fit clamps, use small wood blocks covered in tape and scrap wood with clamps to hold them down (you can see this process in action in my YouTube video).

8. Next, mix your epoxy resin and your pigment. I used a deep pour epoxy resin for this project and followed the instructions on the back of the bottles. If you are using a table top epoxy, you will want to pour these in small sections rather than all at once.

how to mix epoxy resin

Pro Tip: Complete your resin pour in a temperature controlled room as resin can only properly cure in certain temperatures. Make sure to check the instructions for your particular resin brand before starting your pour.

how to add color to resin

9. Once the resin has been poured, use a Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch to pop all of the bubbles formed by the pour. This is super important because if you don’t pop the bubbles, they will cure in your resin and cause small holes in your hardened pour.

To do this, carefully hover the flame above the pour and move it back and fourth quickly. If you leave it on one spot too long, it could burn the resin, so be careful here!

bernzomatic hobby torch

10. Optional: Adding rubbing alcohol to resin with metallic pigment causes it to make cool designs and bursts! I did this and used a small stick to swirl the pigments around while it cured.

11. Since the resin will take a while to cure, it’s important to “babysit” it and check on it. I did this for a few hours and continued to use my Bernzomatic ST2200 Detail Torch to pop any new bubbles as they formed.

bernzomatic resin project

12. Once the resin has cured (this will vary based on the type and brand of resin you use), remove the coasters from the molds.

how to sand coasters and cutting boards

13. Next, sand them all down to size and shape (mine did not come out of the molds perfectly round, so I taped them together and sanded them as one big stack). I did most of my shaping with 80 grit and 120 grit sandpaper and then worked my way to 220 grit to make them smooth.

making wood round

14. Once sanded to 220 grit, wet the wood to raise the grain. They will feel rough to the touch after they dry, this is normal! After it dries, sand it back down. I chose to sand to 400 grit to keep the resin polished.

15. Last step is to finish the coasters with wood finish! I used a spray urethane for mine.

sealing coasters

Not bad for some fake live edge resin river coasters!

Also, that blue pigment partnered with those walnut scraps. Yes, please!

diy scrap wood coasters

If you’ve always wanted to try to make a resin river project but were too intimidated by the scale, I hope this project gets you pumped up about deep pour resin projects!

how to make wood coasters

Not ready for a deep pour project just yet? No sweat! Save this project for later and Pin It!

In the meantime, friends. Happy DIY’ing!

Sam Raimondi

Sam is a full time psychologist and part time content creator from Long Island, New York.

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