Accessorising with standout homeware is the easiest way to update your living space. Shima Khabazan, a resin artist and business-owner shares how to add colour to your home with hand-made resin coasters.
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As we reconfigure our homes back into intricately curated living spaces after adapting them to suit every lockdown need, the small interior details we previously relied on to provide colour and personality have lost a bit of their sparkle in the shuffle.
If you’re desperately resisting the urge to splurge on new homeware, it may be time to try your hand at making resin home accessories. Resin is a hard setting opaque material you can mix, colour, mould and cure from the comfort of your home. Shima Khabazan owns resin homeware brand Lovefromlilybird, and says her clientele consists of people who “are genuinely interested in unique handmade pieces that you don’t necessarily come across in bigger stores.”
As for what you can make with resin, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Shima, who works with the water-based, non-toxic resin jesmonite says, “You can make pretty much anything from it, from placemats, coasters, trinket trays to bookends, and soap dishes. On a much larger scale it is even possible to make coffee tables, photo frames and mirrors!”
For a beginner-friendly project, though, Shima suggests starting with your own bespoke drink coasters. Here she shares an expert guide on how to make decorative resin coasters.
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What you need to make resin coasters
Shima’s signature style is a pastel base colour embedded with chips in accenting hues. She suggests either buying the following essentials or, buying a Jesmonite starter kit online as it will include everything you need:
- AC100 powder
- AC100 liquid
- Pigment colours of your choice
- Reusable coaster moulds
- Wooden mixing sticks
You’ll also need the following:
- 120-grit, 240-grit and 400-grit sanding sheets
- Small mixing cups (for your accent flecks)
- Large cup (for your resin)
- Clear plastic sheets
- Kitchen scales
How to make your jesmonite resin coasters
This is a two-part process, but you’re essentially mixing and setting, so it wont take too long. The first part involves making the accent flecks – the colourful chips that add the terrazzo effect to your coasters. For the second part you’ll be adding the flecks to the coaster-mix and setting your coasters.
To make the embedded accent flecks:
- Decide the colours you want as your accent flecks – the little decorative chips in your coasters.
- Set out a small mixing cup for each colour.
- Weigh out 25g of powder and 10g of liquid for each colour.
- Resin sets in 10 minutes so avoid mixing them all at once.
- Add the powder, liquid and chosen pigment to the first cup, and stir.
- Once the mixture is uniform, pour it out onto the plastic sheeting and spread it out thinly.
- Leave this to set for 30 minutes. Once it’s hard you can crush it up to make the accent flecks of your preferred size.
- Repeat this step depending on how many different coloured chips you wish to embed in your coasters.
To make the coasters:
- Weigh out 150g of liquid and 60g of powder for your coaster set. These measurements may vary slightly, depending on the jesmonite kit you’re using.
- Mix the liquid and powder in your large mixing cup.
- Jesmonite sets into a creamy, off-white colour. If you want to add a colour to this base mix, now is the time to do it.
- Mix thoroughly until you have a smooth consistency and ensure there are no clumps of powder leftover.
- Now take your coloured flecks and mix in as many or as little as you want.
- Once mixed in, you can begin pouring your flecks into the moulds.
- Pour from the centre.
- Give your mould a good jiggle to level the resin out, and tap the sides gently with your fingers to remove any air bubbles – which are naturally created during the pouring process.
- Leave your mould to set and harden for 30 minutes.
- Remove your coasters from the mould once time is up and wet them. Grab your 120-grit sanding paper and wet that too.
- As you sand the outside of your coasters, you should see the coloured flecks begin to reveal themselves.
- Once you feel you’ve exposed enough of the embedded flecks, grab your 240-grit sandpaper to smooth out any coarseness on the surface.
- Use a fine 400-grit sandpaper to polish your coasters, and then wash with water to remove any dust and debris.
- Once your coaster has dried you need to use a sealant such as beeswax, but Shima says a household staple like vaseline will do.
Shima’s tips for perfecting your resin home accessories:
- Don’t take too long stirring your liquid and powder as your jesmonite might set before you can pour it into your mould. Remember it starts to set within 10 minutes.
- Make sure you take your time tapping and wiggling your mould to avoid any air bubbles, because it’ll be a pain to try and fix these after the resin has dried.
- Jesmonite isn’t recommended for food, so don’t use it to make anything you intend to eat off.
Shima Khabazan, resin artist and business owner
Shima Khabazan studied Interior and Spatial Design at UAL. Her background in design means she’s a creative with a million ideas constantly whizzing around her head. After leaving Graham and Green, and having a baby girl in April 2020, she decided to turn her passion for making jesmonite terrazzo homeware into a business. She initially started her business as a way of gifting family and friends due to not being able to see them during lockdown.
Images: courtesy of Shima Khabazan