A beginner's guide to crafting with resin

I always have the hardest time shopping for gifts for R.  He is definitely one of those people who just buys himself whatever he needs, whatever he wants, and whatever catches his eye.  It doesn't usually leave much left for me to buy him for Christmas or his birthday or whatever.

It's damn annoying is what it is.

But still I try.  Oh lord, do I try.

So this year I decided I would make him something.  That pretty much ensured that a) he wouldn't have it already and b) he wouldn't have it already.

I did some quick Pinterest research, and I decided that I would make him a coaster for his desk.  But not any old coaster would do... oh  no.  I would make him a STEAMPUNK COASTER!  WITH RESIN!  Never mind that I had zero clue about how to use resin.

So I began assembling the needed supplies.  I ordered a coaster mold, along with handful of little gears, owls, hot air balloons, keys and other steampunkish looking things from eBay, then I went to my local craft store for some resin supplies.  And I got a HUGE case of sticker shock.  Good grief.  Resin is NOT cheap, but I already had the other supplies on the way, so I felt like I was committed to my project at this point.

I'm THRILLED with how the finished product turned out, and R loved it.  I'm not entirely sure he believed me when I told him I made it myself, though.  Oh, but I did.

And here are some of the things I learned:

1. It's probably cheaper to just buy something already made than to buy all the parts.  Even a small bottle of resin and hardener will set you back around $30, so unless you have several small or a pretty large project planned, make sure that the coaster you could buy on Etsy for $6 shipped is worth the $40 in supplies, just to say you made it yourself.  BAM! I  just saved you $34 and countless hours.  But if you're determined to proceed...

2.  Read ALL the directions that come with your resin before you start.  Then read them again.  Then follow them.

3.  Measuring the hardener really IS important.  This isn't a recipe where you can say, "Oh, that's pretty close.  Good enough."

4.  If you mix it in a plastic Solo cup, it will melt a hole in the bottom of the cup.  See number 2.

5.  If you then quickly grab one of your favorite Pyrex bowls to pour it into, it will ruin your bowl.  See number 2.

6.  If you mix it in your kitchen, you will have to open all the windows and leave your house for a couple hours, even though it is 23 degrees outside.  That "well-ventilated area" part?   Totally true.  See  number 2.

7.  If your put it outside because of the fumes and if it's 23 degrees outside, it will not harden.  See number 2.

8.  If you then bring it back into your house to warm up and harden, you will have to open all your windows again.  See number 2.  And number 6.

9.  If you get it on your skin, it will burn off your fingerprints.  (Note to self: Remember this in case you ever need to "disappear" someone permanently.)

10.  The look on R's face when he finally believed that I made something so cool with my own two hands just for him made everything else worth it.  Well, mostly, anyway.


  1. This is gorgeous! I'm not showing this post to John, because then he'd want to make all sorts of steam punk things with resin and it doesn't sound like a craft I'm up for. But you totally rocked it!

    1. Aw, thanks! I actually worked up the nerve to try using it again and my second attempt was just so-so. I think this may be a one hit wonder.

  2. Your second attempt was just plain awesome!! It is on my desk at work and makes me so happy every time I look at my favorite books! I'm sorry you lost brain cells while creating my Christmas present though.

    1. Well I'm glad you like it, but it IS lumpy on the bottom.

      Not unlike me, really.


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