Instructions for Cylindrical Pencil Holder and Coaster using ArtResin

I've started out with a tutorial for using ArtResin, which gets a lot of attention at craft fairs, and of which I am an affiliate, so feel free to contact me with any questions. ArtResin is a hard, clear epoxy-based coating, that covers with the equivalent of 50 coats of varnish in one step.

The project is for a pencil holder, and also a coaster that I added as I had a bit too much resin mixed. 


Measure the height and the distance around your cylindrical holder with a tape measure. 

For my holder, I am using a piece of cut bamboo, but any cylindrical object can be used.  As I'm covering a varnished object, I've painted mine with a clear primer, dark brown stain and a top coat in the areas that will show.

Prepare an image with these dimensions with cropping or extension of the sides.  For mine, I used a photo of a flowerbox, extending the sides with Photoshop cloning, keeping the interest in the centre of the image.  I then applied a Vangogh4 filter from DAP4 (Dynamic Auto Painter Pro-04).

For printing, I use good quality photo paper, Epson Lustre, for the paper.  Cheaper paper will also work for the most part, but if your resin looks blotchy, you could try using a different paper.  Print your image slightly larger than your measurements.  If your holder is quite tapered, you will need to print on regular paper and create a template by trimming it to fit on the holder.  Seen laid flat, the bottom will be arched.

When it comes to cutting, the vertical measure needs to be slightly less than the holder, and the sides need to be long enough to wrap around and have a tiny bit extra to avoid a slight gap when gluing.  If your container is not even, (mine here is bamboo and widest in the centre, just trim, tapering top and bottom with a paper cutter as patiently as you can to create a good fit.  After cutting, allow your image to dry on a flat surface for a full 2 days. 

Create a base for your picture by cutting a piece of plastic sink liner or flat cork, etc., to be just slightly less than your image. It should be tall enough so that your image sits above the table without contact.  I'm going to double up on this sink liner which is good to use as the resin won't stick to it.  You can use cardboard if it is completely flat.  Use double-sided tape to adhere to the back of your image.  Place this on some waxed paper on a flat surface.  With a level you can test that the surface is flat and adjust if necessary.

For my pencil holder, my images measures about 5.25 x 8.5 inches.  I will take a plastic cup and put 3T of water in it and use a Sharpie to mark the level with a line.  Then add the same amount and create a second line.  Dry the cup thoroughly and do not leave any lint in it.

Using plastic gloves, add one type of ArtResin to the first line and the second type of ArtResin to the second line.  Mix well for 4 minutes with a stir stick.  Open the windows, for ventilarton, although it is a water-based product and doesn’t smell too bad (sort of mixture of epoxy glue and oranges).

Using the stir stick, add a small amount of resin to the corner of your image.  Dab on a bit more, around the edges first.  Go right to the edges, and around all of the sides, and then start filling in to the centre.  Use the stick one area at a time, dabbing rather than pouring.  Allow the resin to find its own level, without flooding or scraping.  If the resin should run over the side, scrape the edge with a clean stick and move the image with backing to a new area on the waxed paper.  If you have the correct amount of resin, there should be a slight dome with rounded sides that will look very finished on your products.  Looks like I have mixed too much resin so I'll do a coaster as well. 

Digital Art from Photos                                                                                                                                      Surrey BC Canada

Using a torch, such as a culinary butane torch, go over the resin on an angle to remove the bubbles.  Change the angle and keep moving, so that you don’t heat it too much.  When you have just completed the resin application, it seems you can use the torch fairly strongly without causing the resin to run.  Once the resin has sat for awhile, and another bubble appears, you can still use the torch, but go easy and also try moving stubborn bubbles with a skewer to the side.  Check your work carefully to make sure the resin goes right to the sides.

Allow 24 hours to dry.  Remove the backing and any extra resin on the back of the image.   Run around the top and bottom edges with a felt pen to match the colour of your holder.  Fit the image to your holder and gently sand as needed for a perfect fit.  Glue the image to the cup with a good quality acid free paste such as Yes Paste, applied to both cup and image.  Tape the seam of your image in place with strong masking tape and leave to dry for at least a week.  Do not use elastic bands as these will create lines in the resin.  The resin will harden more in the next day but it is nice to have it quite pliable for the gluing.

Once the glue has thoroughly dried, clean the pencil holder with a wet paper towel and dry.  Add your pencils and you’re ready to go.

As for the coaster, the steps are; measure and print on photo paper, cut corners with a corner cutter, resin on sink liner backing, glue, press firmly and clean with water.  I've just recovered a stone coaster here.  Another method is to glue or tape your photo to a cork backing, then cut sides and corners.  You can resin with the photo already glued to the cork.  If you run over the sides you may ruin your coaster so I prefer to add the resin to the photo before gluing to the object or permanent backing.