Looking for a unique way to combine wood, and marble in a fun DIY resin tray? Keep reading for the tutorial to make this beauty *heart eyes*
I’m excited to finally be sharing my very first resin project…well, TECHNICALLY, it’s my second. My first attempt at this project didn’t turn out so great, but luckily the second time was a success.
Apparently, there is a learning curve haha. I’ll explain a little more about my mistakes later, BUT before we get started, I want to talk about the marble portion of the tray. It’s got a whole story of its own.
My dad makes tombstones and long story short, he had to replace an old, broken mausoleum door. Since no one wanted the old one, he kept it in his shop for a few years in the back corner…so I snatched it up for this project. Creepy? Maybe…but it’s a beautiful piece of thick marble, sooooooo I took my chances.
Side note: if you want to replicate this project, but don’t have an old mausoleum door, check your local granite or marble countertop dealer and see if you can purchase a scrap piece.
I’ve got the step by step tutorial written out for you below. But if you prefer watching, I’ll show you how I made it right here in my latest YouTube video.
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For this DIY tray, you will need:
A unique piece of wood (I picked up a scrap chunk from a local hardwood place–just like I did for this modern industrial clock)
A piece of marble (check local granite and marble countertop dealers for scraps OR can also use a marble tile)
Scrap plywood and wood screws (to build the mold)
Diamond Blade (if cutting the marble)
PSSSSST! While on the topic of fun serving trays, you might like a few of these projects, too!
Step 1: Cut Wood and Marble Pieces for DIY Resin Tray
I made this tray from random scrap piece of walnut, a piece of marble, and filled in the middle with resin. So to get started, I trimmed down my walnut piece to the size I wanted and laid it out on my marble slab. These pieces need to be the same width for this tray, so I marked carefully where to cut the marble.
Using my circular saw and a diamond cutting blade, I began CAREFULLY cutting the marble slab. I kept the surface and the blade wet by pouring a little water onto the marble surface before cutting and I cut halfway through first.
Then, I dropped the blade down and cut the piece completely out on the second pass. I cut this very slowly being careful not to damage the saw, the blade, or the marble. It was a little stressful.
I wanted a jagged edge along the marble where the resin would be, so I took a hammer and chipped away the edge until I liked the shape. Be careful of flying debris if you do this…safety glasses are highly recommended…marble chips in the face and eyes aren’t exactly my favorite things to experience haha.
Step 2: Build a Resin Pour Mold
Then, I laid out my marble and walnut pieces on my workbench to see about the length I wanted my tray to be.
I measured this length and cut a piece of plywood this length and the same width as my pieces to serve as the bottom of the mold for the resin pour.
I cut strips for the sides of the mold from some scrap plywood I had lying around (you could also use 1x4s) then cut them to size on my miter saw to fit around my plywood bottom.
Once all the pieces were cut for the mold, I applied Tyvek tape to them to prevent sticking once everything is cured. Then, I screwed the mold together like shown.
To prevent leaking, I applied a bead of caulk along the joints at the bottom and the corners and let it cure before starting to pour. I also vacuumed out all the dust and chips to prevent these from floating up in the resin.
Step 3: Pour the Deep Pour Resin
Now to the fun part…I placed the marble and walnut down into the mold and brought it inside to pour.
This is where I screwed up the first time. I followed this whole process twice because the first time I did this, I poured it in the garage and the temperature was a little too toasty.
My resin got way too hot and started to separate from the wood and marble pieces. I tried to salvage it, but it was a lost cause and when I removed it from the mold, it was like super sticky caramel and made a huge mess all over my workbench, my floor, and my dog…whoops.
I said all that to say…bring this inside to pour so you don’t make the mistake and waste the resin that I did.
Once it was inside, I clamped down my pieces to keep them in place when I poured the resin.
For this project, I used Total Boat deep pour formula and mixed according to the instructions on the package. I added some black diamond pigment powder to give it the black metallic appearance. Once the color and the resin was mixed well, I poured it into the mold.
Then, I repeated the process of mixing, coloring, pouring, until the resin reached the top surface of the marble and walnut. It’s easier to mix better in the smaller cups, but if you mixed in a larger container, you may not have to mix so many batches. Sooooo….pros and cons haha.
NOTE that if the marble and walnut aren’t the same thickness, you will need to cut a few shims to place under which ever one is thinner until they both are the same thickness in the mold BEFORE pouring any resin. That way, when you pour, you pour to the top surface and both surfaces are the same height.
After letting the resin sit for a few minutes, I used a little rubbing alcohol to liven things up a little. It’s really fun to watch the effect a few drops has. It’s like everything just starts bubbling and gives a cloudy appearance. You can see the bubbling effect here as the alcohol is applied.
It’s hard to do, but at this point, I had to walk away to allow it to cure. I wanted to keep stirring and picking, but it’s best to walk away and come back the next day.
Step 4: Removed the Mold and Prepare for Finish
My patience was tested, but I survived the waiting and once it was cured, I took the mold apart and carefully pried the tray from the bottom.
Then I cleaned it up by sanding it nice and smooth with 220 grit sandpaper and finishing off with 400 grit before bringing back inside.
Step 5: Apply a Finish Coat
As a final step, I gave it a coat of Total Boat tabletop epoxy to seal everything. This was MUCH thicker than the deep pour, but is self leveling and gave it a nice slick finish. I mixed according to the instructions and poured it onto the tray. I used a paint stick to smear it around and a little disposable paint brush to cover the sides.
If you preferred, you could also use a food safe (if you plan to use this for food) clear coat sealer or poly instead of another resin.
Step 6: Attach Handles
Once that cured, I attached two handles to the tray using some general purpose epoxy. The Total Boat epoxy was pretty thin and was a little difficult to use for this, but I had some Gorilla Glue epoxy handy, and that worked great. It was thicker and dried faster to keep the handles in place.
Of course, you could also drill through this and attach with screws as well.
And that was it! I loved how this simple tray turned out and I’m really happy with my first resin project…well, I guess it’s my second one since the first one is in the trash haha.
It’s hard to photograph since the top coat is so shiny, but the cloudy effect in the resin is a really cool touch.
So, it’s safe to say there will be more resin projects in the future, but what do you think of my first one?? I’m pretty fond of it 😉
If you would like to see more resin projects, you’re in luck because I’m pretty sure this won’t be my one and only. I’ve already got a few fun ideas up my sleeve, so stay tuned 😉
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And, until next time, happy building 🙂