Heya flower lovers!
I've had a bottle of resin and hardener sitting in my cupboard for about two or more years now and I've finally put them to use! Along with my pressed flower frames I'd been intending to add resin products with embedded pressed flowers but haven't had the time or mental space to add anything else. So this has been long overdue and I'm so excited to be at this point. I've watched a gazillion videos on using resin and I have to say that it's a different thing trying to translate what I've seen into action, but so far, so good.
For #APRflowerEd this week, I'll be sharing my first pressed flower resin coasters. I used three different shapes and have in total six coasters. I really loved making these and I'll definitely be making more!
Tools/equipment I used
Three different shaped coasters: x2 each of square, hexagon and circle
ArtResin epoxy resin
A selection of pressed dried flowers
x3 Plastic measuring cups: x2 for pouring, x1 for mixing
Stirring paddle pop sticks
A handheld torch
An empty plastic box to cover your coasters
A plastic table cloth to protect your table
You should have goggles and a respirator but I haven't bought these yet!
A toothpick would be handy also!
1. Be sure that your equipment is clean and free of dust or fingerprints. Plan the design you'd like to create while sitting the resin and hardener in a warm water bath for several minutes. Be sure to use the resin quite soon to ensure you keep the bubbles at bay.
2. Work in a well ventilated area and wear gloves—although this can be a hard step to remember once you take them off hehe. I poured 1:1 of resin and hardener into separate measuring cups before transferring them into a bigger measuring cup. I wonder if I should just pour it into one big cup straight from the bottle to reduce the bubbles that might appear. I stirred thoroughly and slowly for 3 minutes total with my paddle pop stickl. Be sure to scrape down the sides and the base!
3. Pour the resin into the centre of your coaster and spread it out to the edges with your paddle pop stick. Pour half way.
4. Carefully place your pressed flowers in and lightly push down using some tweezers. Pour the rest of the resin in to reach the top edge as much as you'd like.
5. Using your kitchen torch, hold it above the surface of the resin and keep it hovering from side to side, long enough to pop bubbles. It only needs to be lightly hovering and be mindful not to over-torch the surface of the resin. This resin is NOT flammable.
6. I didn't do this as I forgot about it but after popping the bubbles with the torch, check the resin in the light to see if you've missed any bubbles or bits of dust. Use your toothpick to pop them or fish them out.
7. Ensure there is no spillage on the top edge or sides that are connected to your resin in the coaster mould (I forgot to do this also!). Cover your coasters with your container and let them sit for 24 hours until it’s dry to the touch. After this time, they can be pulled out of the moulds and by at least 72 hours they should be perfectly set.
Things I learnt
As with most things you try for the first time, you pick up some things along the way. Have your pieces that you're going to embed in the resin ready. I would also highly recommend sitting the resin and hardener into a warm water bath if you're someone who isn't a fan of bubbles and to use the resin right away otherwise more bubbles will form. I had a kitchen torch and a metal straw on hand for the bubbles but I forgot all about using a pin or toothpick to catch the bubbles the kitchen torch missed and wouldn't be able to pop due to the heat. The toothpick would've been handy to fish out the dust that I saw in the light.
I also learnt that as the resin cures it goes through stages where it's harder to spread and is more tacky before it becomes hard. This is something to consider with your intentions for the resin. I poured way too much resin at one time and I ended up needing to work faster but also redo the resin mixing. I lost some resin and I've potentially lost my big plastic measuring cup. You may need to work fast to work with the thin resin or your creation may benefit from using tacky resin. That'll be up to you to decide.
The coasters revealed!
I hope you enjoyed this and that you like my finished products! This Saturday I'm holding my very first fresh flower hand-tied bouquet workshop and I'm so excited as it's going to be a really fun morning. I've seen that rain is forecast and I hope everyone keeps safe and warm. Until next time, have a fab rest of the week!