This step by step tutorial will hopefully show you just how easy it is to achieve a one-of-a kind resin piece yourself, at home.
Decorative Marbled Resin Serving Tray
Hi all, I hope lockdown has been treating you well. Hopefully all of Hometalk’s awesome projects have been keeping you busy.
As you may or may not know, I’m a huge resin fan and love to use it in a lot of my projects. This project is no different but if you’re thinking, yikes, resin looks messy and tricky to use, I really want to convert you today! As long as you have some rubber gloves, protect your work surface and ventilate your room well, there’s little to fear.
I also have an Etsy shop where I sell lots of crafts including my resin pieces.
Please take a look if you get the chance
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- A tray (mine as a cheap tray from Good Will)
- Resin - I used general purpose epoxy resin from The Epoxy Resin Store
- A blow torch
- A heat gun
- Colourants, pigments, dyes etc
- Rubbing alcohol (decant into a bottle with a spray top)
- Acrylic Paint (the same colour as your tray if disguising unwanted lettering/designs)
- Plastic mixing jug, cups and mixing tools
Firstly, if you’d prefer to watch my YouTube video of this project then click play above.
Please also visit my channel and subscribe for future tutorials
First, paint over any lettering or motifs that are on your tray with matching coloured paint. Don’t worry about covering it up perfectly, just enough so that the lettering won’t show through after layers of resin have been applied. I give my tray 2 to 3 quick coats and let it dry out thoroughly.
MIX IT UP
It’s time to mix your resin. When you buy resin, it comes in 2 separate containers, 1 bottle contains the resin, 1 bottle contains the ‘hardener’. Only when the 2 parts are mixed together does the resin become a substance that can solidify in the way we want. Depending on the product you buy, the formula may vary, however, most resins are a 1 to 1 ratio, so 1 part resin to 1 part hardener. If this is different, it will be stated on the bottle.
The resin I use is a 1 to 1 ratio. I wanted about 1.5 cups of fully mixed resin for the size of this tray, so I first measure out 3/4 of a cup of hardener into my jug and then added 3/4 of a cup of resin into the jug which brought the total to 1.5 cups. I always add the 2 parts in this order as the hardener is runnier and therefore it’s easier to mix the 2 together if the stickier resin is poured in on top. I hope that makes sense.
Mix together thoroughly for at least 5 minutes. The resin should appear clear when ready (though there will be lots of little bubbles, this is quite normal). Mix for another minute after thinking it’s ready, for good measure
I separate the resin into 5 small silicone cups and individually colour each. (Tip the empty measuring jug upside down on a plastic covered surface. This way once the resin cures, you can easily peel it out of the jug and it won't stick to any of your surfaces).
I use a mixture of food colourings (orange), liquid pigments (white, grey, salmon) and mica pigments (bronzey orange) to achieve the colours I have. Don’t be afraid to mix colours together, apart from the white, none of my colours are straight from the bottle/packet.
TIP - If you don’t have liquid or mica pigments, I’ve heard that acrylic paints can be used to colour resin. I advise using extra small amounts to start with as excess moisture in your resin is a no-no and may hinder it’s curing quality and because acrylic paints are water based, you will want to go easy with them.
POURING YOUR ART OUT
Bring back your tray which should be fully dried out now, then one by one, pour each colour onto your tray in a random fashion. Try to avoid lots of overlapping as you want nice defined colour blocks at this point. Cover every inch of your tray’s flat bottom.
Once you’re happy with your resin placement, pop those little surface bubbles using your blow torch. Use sweeping motions so as not to focus the heat on any particular area for too long. You don’t want to accidentally singe patches.
Now using your heat gun, you can add the marble effect by smudging the colours together slightly along the borders where they meet.
There’s NO rules to this part, just go for it and only stop when you’re happy. I will say, try not to over do it as it can be quite fun and addictive and you kinda forget why you’re doing it after a while. So take a step back every so often and look at your piece to see what you want to do next.
I stopped, when I didn’t have any more harsh lines, but this is what I liked personally, you might want to keep some of those lines, so it all depends on what you like. Just keep stepping back and looking.
Make sure at this point you pop any remaining bubbles with your blow torch as this will be your last opportunity to use a flame!
Note - With most resins, you’ll have about a 30 to 45 minute work-time from the point of fully mixing it to it becoming a bit stubborn and hard to work with, so bare this in mind when mixing, planning, pouring and marbling.
Lastly, and weirdly my favourite bit, is spraying on the rubbing alcohol. If you don’t have a spray bottle then you can always flick the alcohol onto your tray using a paint brush.
Don’t go overboard with this step, rubbing alcohol hinders the curing process of resin if too much is added so you want to be fairly reserved when spraying/flicking.
I spray a max of 3 light sprays across my tray which ensures all areas are covered without overdoing it with the alcohol.
Watch closely when doing this as you don’t want to miss the moment when the little cells appear, it’s wonderful.
Don’t use the blow torch again after this step for obvious reasons
Rest your tray on a level surface and leave for at least 12 hours to fully cure. I usually leave over night to be safe.
Then simply admire, love, use, gift, the choice is yours
MORE ABOUT ME
Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my project. I really hope you’ll have a go too.
Please check out my Etsy shop to see what items I have for sale as well as my YouTube channel for more crafty videos.
Any questions or comments you might have about this project or any of my others, please drop them below and I will happily get back to you.
Stay safe and happy crafting! X