We have a really fun resin project for you today, friends! Karen of MG Creations by Karen is back and showing us how to make bubble effect resin coasters. This technique actually encourages you to blow bubbles with your straw. And the results are gorgeous!
Resin coasters are popular with our artists for so many reasons. They are a wonderful choice for adding a touch of elegance and uniqueness to any product line up or home deco. Among the various techniques used to create captivating resin coasters, the bubble effect stands out as a stunning and eye-catching design.
In this step-by-step guide (and video tutorial!), Karen walks you through the process of making your own bubble effect resin coasters that will have you playing with bubbles while busting out some amazing resin art!
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How to Make Bubble Effect Resin Coasters
The first thing Karen tells us about the bubble effect is that it isn’t just for coasters! You can use this technique on any surface that you could apply resin to. In the video below, Karen shows us how to make keychains, phone grips, and coasters. Plus you can do this on your tumblers too!
Like most resin artists, you probably have a pile of small mold items that from using up the last bits of resin from other projects. This is a great option for making those extra pieces really special! Since you can use UV Resin to do the bubble method on these smaller pieces, you can produce a whole batch of them in a matter of minutes!
The possibilities for this bubble effect resin project are literally endless. You can make them in any kind of mold and with any base color you want. Then when you get to adding the mica powders, your creativity really gets to shine! Karen suggest experimenting with all the different types of powders to get the color and shimmer level that you love.
You can also play around with how you apply the powders. Make the powder thicker at the top and thinner towards the bottom for an ombre effect. Use multiple colors and blend different areas for a cosmic look. Fill in your craters with one color and your peaks with another for a dragon egg theme… There are just so many fun things that you can try!
Which Resin to Use For Your Final Layer
When your pretty little bubbles cure into the resin, they will crate craters. These are perfect for holding your mica powders but will need a layer or two of resin to fill them in and smooth your piece out. The resin that you use for these final layer will depend on what you are making.
Karen explains that if you are doing things like phone grips and key chains, you can use the UV Resin to quickly finish your project. If you are making coasters, however, your best bet is Artist Resin. This is because coasters get a lot of traffic and traditional Artist Resin will easily hold up it.
For the UV Resin, you will want to do to thinner layers, curing in between. We always want to work in thin layers with this resin to ensure that it cures properly. But, if you are using Artist Resin, one normal final layer will give you the smooth flawless look that you’re going for!
Tips and Tricks
One of the reasons that we love Karen’s tutorials so much is that she shares all the small details that really help our projects succeed. She isn’t afraid to share what she tried that didn’t work so that we can save time in our own experimenting. When you watch the video below, you’ll get all the details but we wanted to touch on a couple of them here too.
First, Karen let us know that Thermal Colors aren’t a great choice for this project. While they are amazing and unique for so many other projects, they sort of fell flat with the bubble method.
But the Color Shift powders were a huge hit! They give the fabulous color change effect while also keeping their shimmer. If you want to up your shimmer game even more, you can mix them with a little of your traditional mica powders too!
Karen also explained that if we are working with smaller pieces like keychains or phone grips, we can pop them out of their molds before we do the bubble method on them. This makes them a little easier to handle and control. If you are making coasters, though. It is best to keep them in their molds to keep them secure for the final layer of Artist Resin.
Another thing that Karen reminds us about working with UV Resin is to give it a minute to set between application and curing. When you apply your layer of UV Resin, give it about 2-3 minutes to sit and self level before you put it under the UV Lamp.
Traditional Artist Resin gets plenty of time to self level as it cures. But UV Resin cures in minutes under the lamp. So you want to give it a chance to level itself before popping it under the lamp. If you have never used UV Resin before and want to find out what it’s all about, check out our post How to Use UV Resin: The Ultimate Guide!
How to Make Bubble Effect Resin Coasters
- Favorite Coaster Molds Karen used car coaster, keychain, and phone grip molds
- Medium Viscosity Artist Resin
- Counter Culture DIY UV Resin
- Counter culture DIY UV light
- Counter Culture DIY Dispersion Colors In a dark shade
- Protective gloves
- Silicone mat
- Filter mask
- Color Shift Mica Powder
- Mixing cups
- liquid soap
- paper towel
- Glitter Spoon
- Small paint brush or make up brush
- Start by pouring the first layer of your coaster into your mold. To do this, mix up a batch of your favorite Artist Resin (Karen uses Medium Viscosity) according to the package instructions. Measure equal amounts of Parts A and B. Then pour part B into part A and mix well for 3-5 minutes. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of your cup as you go, as well as your mixing stick. This ensures that all of your epoxy will be well incorporated.
- Next, add your Dispersion color, a little at a time, to the combined resin. Mix well to incorporate it.
- Then pour the base layer of your coaster or keychain. Allow that to cure for 24 hours and then move on to the next steps. The bubble effect!
- For the next steps you will want to leave coasters in their molds. However you can work on keychains or phone grips either in or out of their molds.
- Get a bit of water into a mixing cup and add a small amount of liquid soap. You can use either hand soap or dish soap. Mix it a little to combine.
- Now squirt a small amount of UV Resin onto your piece. We just need enough for a thin layer. Use a glitter spoon (or whatever you have on hand) to spread it out. It doesn't need to be perfectly smooth because we are going to keep adding to it.
- Next use a straw to blow into your cup of soapy water and create your bubbles. You want smaller bubbles so gently mix your large bubbles until they start to pop and get smaller.
- Then use your glitter spoon to scoop out some bubbles. Cover the top of your piece with the bubbles, gently spreading them out to cover the whole surface..
- Quickly get your piece under the UV Lamp and cure for a minute. This will let it set before your bubbles all start to pop.
- When you pull your piece out, use a paper towel to dab off any excess moisture.
- Then use your brush to brush your Color Change mica powder over the entire surface of your bubbles. Add a second color in the same way if you like.
- Now add your final layers of resin. If you made a coaster, use Artist Resin as your final layer of epoxy. Mix it just like you did for your base and add a layer over your mica powders. This will be your final layer.
- If you made phone grips or keychains, you can use UV Resin as your final layers. To do this, apply a thin layer of UV Resin over your mica powders and smooth it out. Let it set for a minute or two to self level. Then cure it under your UV Lamp for about 5 minutes.
- The craters that were created by the bubbles will have some edges. Buff those out and then use rubbing alcohol to remove any debris. Then add a final layer of UV Resin and allow it to cure under the lamp.
The Wrap Up
Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t get discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t turn out exactly as you envisioned. Experiment with different color combinations, mica powders, and molds to achieve your desired results.
Creating bubble effect resin coasters is an exciting and rewarding DIY project that allows you to unleash your creativity. So, gather your materials, dive into the world of resin art, and let your imagination run wild! And if you want to learn another fabulous resin technique from Karen, check out our post, How to Make Resin Heart Magnets. They are just too pretty!
We also want to give a big thank you to Karen for sharing her skills and knowledge with all of us again. If you loved learning from her and want to see more of here work, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram. And you can find more awesome video tutorials like this one on our YouTube channel!
Pop of Color Shock Paints are sold exclusively at Counter Culture DIY. So now you have even more reasons to stop by!
You can find more awesome video tutorials like this one on our YouTube channel!
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