Epoxy resin has played a role in the creation of pieces that are both practical and artful, and today's topic is no exception. Trays, serving boards, and charcuterie boards offer simple, useful, and approachable ways to employ and experiment with resin products. You can create yours from scratch using resin tray molds or even spruce up an existing tray by coating it with layers of colored or clear resin. Further on in this article, we’re going to use the latter method and take you through the process of building off a preexisting tray with resin.
While the resin trays and DIY charcuterie boards that we’ve seen are imaginative, they can also serve a variety of purposes as well. These purposes that range from holding smaller trinkets like jewelry to, once fully cured, fashionably carrying food from your kitchen to your guests!
Making DIY Resin Trays and Serving Boards
There are a variety of tray-making kits sold online, including tray molds that will be helpful for this process. Some crafters will also take a tray they already have and coat the bottom of the inside with resin art before finishing with a topcoat. For the most part, many people turn to mold kits to focus their artistic energy on the overall appearance of a tray without having to worry about its basic structure.
You can also make your own tray mold if there is a specific vision or shape that you're looking to achieve. We recommend a product like the Amazing Mold Maker from our friends at Alumilite, if you decide to go that route.
Which Resin Should You Use?
Wondering what type of resin you should use for your project? It helps to start by thinking about what you want to achieve. If you’re hoping to create something like ocean art on a pre-purchased wooden board, you can mix colorants with our Table Top Epoxy and then, once cured, pour a clear glossy layer over top.
However, if you are pouring into a tray mold, you have a couple of options. Molds about 1/4 of an inch deep or less are great for our Table Top! However, anything deeper would mean you should probably turn to our ProPour Casting Resin. For ease of use, our products have a coverage calculator on their respective pages to help you determine how much resin you need for your individual projects.
Food for Thought
ProMarine Supplies ProArt, Table Top, and ProPour epoxy resin products are all FDA compliant when properly mixed and fully cured. This means that it is safe for them to come in frequent contact with food items, which one would expect from trays, and serving and charcuterie boards. Of course, it is essential to properly follow the instructions provided with each resin kit down to the smallest detail to ensure your projects are FDA compliant.
Our products also have self-leveling properties, which results in a high-flow characteristic that helps fill up space and cover the surface area. You should always keep your projects level, however, if you are coating them in epoxy resin. By doing so, you can help ensure the chances of an even epoxy layer.
Lastly, when considering colors to dye your resin with, think about whether you are looking for something shiny versus matte, or translucent versus opaque. Here is a quick breakdown of how different color additives appear:
- Mica Powder – has an opaque finish and a natural shimmer; good for achieving a metallic look.
- Pigment Powder – can be used to achieve opaque colors without shimmer.
- Resin Dye – can appear both translucent and opaque.
- Alcohol Ink – It's possible to achieve both translucent and opaque. Traditional means of removing bubbles, like the blow torch method, might cause some damage because alcohol ink is flammable.
- Acrylic paints – opaque color in small castings, but thinner surface coatings will cause the paint to separate out. Also be certain that it makes up no more than 10% of the overall resin mixture.
A great general rule to follow is to be certain your colorants make up no more than 5% of your resin mixture to ensure proper curing! For more coloring tips, visit our blog post on the subject found here.
Creating Your Own Resin Tray
Let’s talk about how to make your own resin serving tray! The process will vary depending on what kind of tray you’re looking to make, so follow along with our guide below to learn the basics and consider applying them to all kinds of tray projects.
- ProMarine Supplies Table Top Epoxy Resin
- Measuring and mixing cups
- Stirring sticks
- Dyes of choice
- Heat gun
- Isopropyl alcohol spray
- Serving tray base
- Safety glasses
- Popsicle sticks
- Plastic sheets
- Blow torch (optional)
Prepare your workspace by covering it with plastic sheets to make cleanup easier. Don’t forget to put on your gloves and safety glasses before using any resin. And always be sure to read the instructions provided on the specific resin you’re using.
Throughout this process, you have the option of using a blow torch to remove surface bubbles in the resin. You can do this several times throughout, but make sure to follow our instructions on how to best use a blow torch and stay safe.
Mix the two sides of your resin of choice. We’re using ProMarine Supplies Table Top Epoxy Resin and combining them thoroughly until there are no swirls or striations.
Separate the mixed resin into several different cups, depending on how many colors you want in your design. We’re using purple, pink, silver, and white.
Mix your dyes or powders in with your resin. Stir until properly combined. Here are some additional tips when it comes to dying your resin.
You can also add a pigment like ETI’s Castin’ Craft Color Pigment to achieve pastel shades and cool lacing effects.
We’re going to use white as our base, so we’ll take our white resin and pour just enough to coat the serving tray with a thin layer. We left it empty in the middle because we’re planning on adding pink there.
Use a utensil you can either toss or a silicone one meant for resin projects to spread the white resin around evenly.
Next, we’ll pour our pink resin in the center.
We’ll add a line of purple alongside our pink. You can see how our resin quickly begins to fill the space it’s given.
Next, we’ll take our fourth color, silver. Using a popsicle stick, we’ll scatter thin lines of the silver resin along our existing pattern. This can be done based on personal preference for your design.
Use a blow torch throughout to remove surface layer bubbles.
Now it’s time to break out the heat gun. Although a heat gun can be used to remove bubbles, its larger purpose here will be to spread out and blend our resin.
Be mindful when using your heat gun, so that you don’t accidentally cause any resin to splatter.
Next, we’ll mix up some darker shades of the pink and purple we’ve already used. Be sure not to add too much dye as it can mess with the consistency and cure of the resin.
Again, we’ll use popsicle sticks to create a few thin lines of these darker shades on the design we currently have.
Now, bring out your heat gun here to blend the added colors and make the overall design look softer and more organic.
We add a little more purple below.
With your heat gun, blend in between the different layers of colors you add until you’re satisfied with how it looks. In the next few steps, we’ll continue to add more of white, purple, pink, and silver and blend them until we’re in love with the end result.
At this point, we’re done dealing with the design elements of this piece. We’re going to allow it to cure for 3–4 hours before we add a topcoat.
And finally, this is our final product, with the topcoat applied and cured!
This process is highly customizable, allowing you to create your own resin serving trays in your favorite color palettes. May we recommend pastels now that spring has sprung?
Resin Tray Ideas
The possibilities for decorating your resin tray are as limitless as you allow your imagination to be! Switch up the colors to suit your aesthetic, encapsulate flowers and stones, sprinkle in some glitter or gold flakes, and even try your hand at resin geode art! We've found that ocean art techniques are also a very common style that crafters have explored when creating trays.
For inspiration, here are some wonderful examples of resin tray DIY from some of our many ProMarine Supplies creators!
@billiejart's resin tray is a fantastic example of the sparkling likeness found in geode resin art.
@sanibelislandresin's hexagonal handmade tray proves that gold is not all that glitters!
@epoxyprobabes custom Halloween-themed tray is fun and festive—and not too spooky at all!
Another example, found in our thumbnail image and at the top of this article, is one of the pretty floral trays by @4littleclovers.
Resin Serving Board Ideas
A lot of the unique serving board concepts we see initially start out with a wooden serving board base that you can purchase online. This wooden base then serves as the canvas upon which you can create masterpieces to your heart's content.
Take a look below at some of the many DIY serving and cutting boards designs that the resin crafting community has come up with!
We're pretty sure we can see our reflection in the beautiful shine of @kayla_toth_art's cutting board!
We wonder if @markerifarm_equinedesign's ocean art serving board carries the scent of the sea with it wherever it goes.
@resonateresinart's DIY serving board sports lovely sea-green ocean waves that really pop!
Talk to Us at ProMarine Supplies
If you have any questions about resin serving trays and boards, or anything else resin-related, you can reach us on our Contact Us page! You can also take a look at our FAQs section to find the answer to frequent customer questions.
Lastly, feel free to share your resin artwork with us on any of our social media under the name ProMarine Supplies.
Happy crafting, everyone!