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Preserving Nature Crafts: My First Epoxy Resin Project

My first epoxy project was made from items collected from the beach and included everything from seaweed, seashells, sea glass, driftwood and more. I even brought home a live snail I had to return to the ocean. I was so proud of my coaster set. It looked vibrant and full of the colours from the ocean. I couldn't believe I had made something so incredibly beautiful!

I watched a couple videos online, learned how to pour and mix the resin.. I had no idea how much epoxy resin to use for a coaster set, but at least I knew how to mix it properly. This was going to be a breeze!!

I grabbed my shells, driftwood, bright beautiful green lettuce seaweed and other items collected from the beach at low tides and placed them into the wonderful coaster set mold I had purchased from Amazon. I put my sopping wet seaweed and wet driftwood into my coaster set and had to force myself to just leave them alone to set.

I didn't use gloves, a mask or even bother to open the windows. But that was ok because the no-name epoxy I bought from Amazon was far less stinky than I imagined; so we're good, right!? So the epoxy resin was a little thicker than I expected and harder to get off my hands than most things; but I scrubbed my hands really well and it would be fine, so I didn't think of it again.

This was amazing! My coasters would look awesome!

I knew I would have a hard time leaving them alone so luckily I had plans and had to leave home for a few hours which would give them enough to cure. I was so excited I could hardly wait to go to bed to wake up in the morning and check out my coaster set.

When I woke up in the morning, however, I could not even recognize myself in the mirror because my entire face was so swollen, red and scaly. When my lips started to swell, that's when I knew it was time to head down to the emergency room at the closest hospital. Oops! Maybe I should have used gloves after all! But I loved making this project so much, that before I left for the hospital, I had to go look at my cured coaster set to see how they turned out.

Guess what? They turned out beautifully!! I couldn't believe it! So I took a bunch of pictures of the coaster set and grabbed my allergies list sheet to bring with me also. Apparently epoxy resin was the first thing on my long list of allergies I and I completely missed it! ahumm..

When I arrived at the ER I was taken in right away as they were not sure I was not anaphylactic and quite frankly, neither was I. My lips had never swelled in reactions to other allergens. Once I knew I was safe I showed the ER doctor my beautiful coasters and let him know that I had just found a passion and would not be stopping working with epoxy resin anytime soon. I instead asked him for advice and solutions on how to keep myself safe from having to come into the ER! I did end up back at the ER two more times but I found my passion and not even a silly allergy and three trips to the ER on my first epoxy resin project would stop me!

Needless to say, this coaster set became very special to me and I decided I would not sell it because it symbolized a lot of hard work and perseverance through obstacles and making things work despite everything that stood in my way, steering me away from a newfound passion.

It's a good thing I never did sell that coaster set because what was once a bright vibrant green seaweed is now a grey colourless piece of molded something. This is when/how I learned that items need to be very dried out before you can add them to the epoxy resin. But still, I hold on tight to that first epoxy project as it has so much meaning for me. Moldy seaweed and all!

Thank you for reading! As this is a newer found passion, and I am have been doing it for a few months now while living in an RV full time and working full time, I have only decided recently to start blogging about it. I will share how I manage my epoxy allergy and share some of my awesome projects with you soon!


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