Get ready to explode your hostess game with this project that will have you creating gorgeous wood serving trays. They’re embellished with DIY Paints, IOD Transfers, and…
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This resin craft project is perfect for beginners - and the trays make the perfect housewarming gift, wedding gift, and hostess gift. I’m pretty sure these trays will blow the roof off of your charcuterie game, too.
READY TO UP YOUR HOSTESS GAME?
Watch the video tutorial below to catch every step, or read on for a list of supplies and complete step-by-step instructions. I know I keep saying this - but wait ‘til you see how easy it is to DIY a wood serving tray with handles.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO CREATE A GORGEOUS SERVING TRAY WITH RESIN IN A KIT!
- Order a complete Transfer + Epoxy Tray Kit! You can try a large tray kit (14”x11”) with handles, 10 oz of epoxy, and your choice of Sunflowers, Pink Cabbage Roses, or randomly chosen pieces from Fronds & Entomology Transfer.
- Or, two small, nesting trays (10”x13” and 12”x8”) with handles, 15 oz of epoxy, and your choice of transfer pieces (see above options.)
- You’ll also need to order your DIY Paint separately. All the color choices are here.
- DIY Paint Big Top Topcoat
- Wooden Paint Stir Stick
- Popsicle stick (for resin stirring)
- Cups to mix epoxy resin
- Heat Gun
STEP 1: PAINT YOUR TRAY
Start your project by giving the tray 2 coats of whatever DIY Paint color you selected. I used Letterpress gray, Hey Sailor, and Skeleton Key on the trays I created. (0:57 min) One little tricky part is getting the handles painted without leaving any drips - heads up on that.
Once the paint was thoroughly dry, I sanded them and then applied DIY Paints Big Top to seal.
STEP 2: RUB ON TRANSFER
Take your transfer pieces and lay them out on the tray to create the design you like. (1:06) Now grab the transfer stick (included with the transfer) and begin to rub the transfer onto the tray surface.
Pro tip: you can also use a credit card, or something similar, to rub on the transfer.
This shouldn’t take you a lot of effort or time - but to help you out, I’ll share a little trick! Catch a Wave (or a bubble!) The best way to explain what I mean is to have you watch the video at this point (1:12) and see how I am doing this step.
As you’re rubbing on the transfer, you can see a little wave or bubble pop up, when air gets under the transfer. If you keep your applicator stick behind it as you’re pressing across the transfer, it comes off the backing easily.
Once you’ve completed this step, take the transfer backing sheet and turn it to the smooth side. Use it to burnish the transfer, making sure it is completely adhered to the surface of the tray. (2:40)
STEP 3: GET YOUR EPOXY STIRRING!
At the end of the video, I will go over the details of what type of resin to use in this project, but the resin that comes with the Kits is “the right kind!” This epoxy resin is used for bar tops and furniture (think glossy finish.) It’s water resistant and withstands high temperatures.
Start by pouring equal parts resin and hardener, then pour the hardener into the resin. (3:33) Then, begin stirring the resin mixture with the popsicle stick. Keep stirring constantly and, at about 8 minutes, the cup will begin to get warm - which means it's setting up (as it should.)
Even though the epoxy won’t look clear in the glass, it dries clear. Don’t worry about all the air bubbles you see - we’ll take care of those easily once we’ve poured the resin.
STEP 4: POUR SOME EPOXY ON IT!
Before you pour the resin on your project, make sure it’s on a level surface. The resin is self-leveling - a big plus - as long as the project is level.
Now begin to pour some of the resin onto the tray (7:11), and then tilt and tip the tray to let the resin pour over the entire surface. I know - that’s not keeping it level. But once you’ve got the resin spreading itself over the entire surface, then lay it down and it will level itself out over the tray.
You can use a clean trowel or stick to spread the resin, too. (8:41) Don’t worry about the stick/trowel making a mark in the resin because it will self level and smooth out. But if the resin is already starting to set up, you will leave a mark.
STEP 5: POPPING BUBBLES
After you’ve poured the resin in and covered the surface of the tray completely - it’s time to pop the air bubbles before it dries. I recommend using a Heat Gun to do this and NOT a hair dryer. (9:52)
The Heat Gun pops the bubbles - takes them right away. If you don’t take this step, then when the resin dries, you’ll see little white dots across the surface of the tray. A hair dryer will blow around dirt and dust and mar the finish of the resin.
And that’s all there is to it! Wait 48 hours for the resin to dry completely and then gift/use your tray. Did you know it’s food safe? Yep! But the resin finish dries so clear it looks like there’s glass on the surface of the tray. So try this easy, budget home decor project for yourself!
Or for someone else - because these trays make gorgeous gifts!