How to Make Resin Seashell Coasters
Do you love searching for seashells as you walk the beach? Everyone I know has spent time collecting seashells when they vacation at the beach. But what do you do with the seashells after you bring them home? Instead of letting the seashells collect dust in a box in the attic, why not create seashell coasters with resin? This is a great way to display your beach treasures and enjoy your memories every day.
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How to Make Resin Seashell Coasters
There’s nothing like the feeling of walking the beach early in the morning looking for seashells that have washed up overnight. It’s the ultimate treasure hunt as you search for the perfect shell. It really doesn’t matter if you have found a dozen shells that are similar, it’s always a rush as you look for the best shell.
I wanted to find an easy way to display some of our favorite seashells so I can enjoy them every day. When I visited a souvenir shop in Florida a few weeks ago, I saw some clear glass coasters with seashells tucked inside. I decided to try and make a set of coasters out of resin using my own favorite seashells.
Working with resin can seem a little overwhelming if you have never tried to use it but the process is fairly simple. This was my first time using resin but now that I have started, I am full of ideas for future projects.
- Resin & Hardener
- Silicone Coaster Molds
- Disposable Cups
- Stir stick
- Measure the resin and hardener in two small cups. For this resin it is exactly a 1:1 ratio.
- Gently pour each of the two ingredients into a cup and stir carefully for 3 minutes.
- Stir slowly to minimize bubbles.
- Let the resin sit for 2-3 minutes after stirring then pour into the silicon mold.
- Use tweezers to place your small seashells in each of the molds.
- Remember that you are working from the backside of the coaster so place them in the coaster facing down.
- You have about 30-45 minutes to arrange your seashells before the resin thickens so take your time.
- Make sure that none of your seashells stick out over the edge of the mold since this will be turned upside down. You don’t want an uneven coaster or something sharp that will scratch your table.
The instructions say that it will take up to 24 hours to fully harden where you can remove your coaster from the mold. Simply unfold the coaster from the silicone mold and enjoy the finished product.
Package them up with a piece of natural jute and get ready for the holiday gifting season.
Have you got a full collection of seashells stored in your garage or do you have them displayed in your home? I’d love to hear your favorite ideas for enjoying your favorite seashell memories.
Will this brand of resin stay clear/colorless? I did an entire tabletop like this several years ago and that brand of resin soon started to yellow. It is now a less than desirable golden yellow altho I still love it! I know it’s something about an UV reaction and some resins have improved to stay clear. I’d like to be sure I use a totally clear non-yellowing resin for my next project. Thx for all the great info!
Julie ~ julsofparadise.etsy
I created mine quite a while ago and it’s still perfectly clear. Have fun!
I made some a couple weeks ago and my shells kept floating to the top. What do I do about this? I wonder if I push them down after there has been some thickening (drying) of the resin, if it would make a mess of the whole thing. My shells ended up sticking out after it dried.
How do you get rid of the bubbles
You can use a hair dryer or pop the bubbles with a toothpick.
Are the coasters glossy when they come out of the mold or do you have to treat them with something to make them shiney?
I didn’t treat them with anything. They were just shiny when they dried.
How would you recommend adding color? Food coloring? A particular paint? (Aiming for a blue-ocean look.)
Hmmm… I’ve never used any kind of color so not sure what would work best. Let me know if you experiment and how it goes!
How much water, resin do I use?
There is no water used. I just followed the directions on the resin liquid.
Hi Sharon. I have seen others place the shells first, then pour the resin. Specifically, they placed a focal point shell in the middle of the mold, added some shell pieces/crushed shells, a few pearls or doo-dads, and then poured, allowing the pour stream to land on the focal point shell, as it is a bit heavier, and then they were also working from the top down, not from the bottom up. Why do you think the way you did these is best? I’ve only made one table tray using resin, and it did not involve objects; rather fine glitter with swirls so I am apprehensive I will mess this up if I use the wrong approach. What do you think? I adore yours. They are just beautiful. Thank you for sharing. -mary
I don’t know that my way is better than another approach, but this is just the way it worked for me for this project. With the molds that I used, it was just easy to fill them up first and then place the shells. I will have to try them again and place the shells in first. Have fun!
What are you using for the molds? Are they just lids?
I ordered molds from amazon.
How many round coasters like your size, can you make with one kit of resin/ hardner
I made these for the first time last week. They looked beautiful but when I examined them closer, some of my seashells had floated to the top. So when I turned them over, I had to file them down. I put a felt backing over it, and no one will know but me. It looks like the ocean. So I will be using them. My family have requested them as their Christmas gift. Can you tell me what I did wrong? Do you need to pack the seashells in the mold? Do I need to pour the resin to the very top of the mold? I want theirs to look perfect??? I love these!
It sounds like they already turned out perfect :-). But if you don’t want them to stick out any, then you probably need a little more resin. Have fun!
I was thinking smaller ones for paper weights or refrigerator magnets
Oh great idea!
I would like to make a jot plate. Does anyone know where I could get a mold for tjat?
I plan on doing this with some shells my mom collected on various trips. Do you think I could add some sand to these?
Sure! I added some sand to mine too. But a little does go a long way so sprinkle it instead of pour. I’d love to see your finished coasters!
Can you put almost anything in? I’m thinking of the little pebbles I collect from beach too?
Also, I wonder what it would do to a photo; might be nice in the centre? 🤔
Thanks for inspiring the crafters in us xx
I would love to do the pebbles too. I’m hoping to make those this next week with some pebbles. As for the photo, I don’t know how the resin would work with the paper. But I’m curious if you try it!
Spray the photos with Rustoleum 2X Clear Coat. I would spray with a couple coats making sure it’s dried completely inbetween coats. That should work.
Make sure you use modge podge glue on photo even on sides of the photo..
Where do you find/buy the coaster molds?
I bought them on amazon.
If you laminate your picture, you can put in resin.
Oh, good idea! I’ll have to try that next!!
I was wondering where you could suggest that I buy the materials for this project? I would love to make these coasters 😊
I got all the supplies from amazon. https://amzn.to/3zPOvCe
I am thinking I could do the same with all of the many colors of sea glass that I have collected over the years. I may even have time to make a design before it hardens. I would love to give this a try! Thanks for the suggestions and sharing.
These are gorgeous. I have all the materials and hope to make these tonight, Are these water resistant? Hope mine turn out close to yours.
Yes, mine are completely water resistant. Have fun!
Do they leave condensation on coaster?
I’v e been wanting to do this for my husband with some of his collection of sharks teeth. Does the mold you use have a lip that holds the cup or is it flat and open across the top? I’ve looked for one with a lip but not been successful in finding one. Suggestions?
That would be fun! Mine had a lip around the edge and I found them on Amazon. Good luck!
Any idea what the molds with the lip are called? I want a set with the holder mold too. I just can find it on Amazon
Sure… I got mine on Amazon too. Here’s the link – https://amzn.to/3Q0y5h8 (affiliate)
Thanks for your great idea. Now I’m thinking maybe I can make a hot plate holder the same way by using a larger mold. What do you think?
Great idea but I’m not sure about the temperature range for the resin. Let me know how it goes!
Through the years my mom & I have had different resin hot plates. We would find them at second hand stores. They worked great!
I plan on making coaster with my sand dollar treasures. My friend had me buy molds from the baking section at the large craft store. Good luck!! 😀
What a great idea! I have tons of shells from when I lived in Florida.
You should definitely try this! It was so easy and fun!