The iconic "petri dish art" style is made by encapsulating alcohol ink in ArtResin within a reusable silicone mold. The ink meanders through the resin creating vibrant ribbons and colorful "petrified" squiggles. It looks SO impressive, yet it's easy to do and super fun to make!
Supplies you will need
- 8 oz ArtResin
- Alcohol Inks
- Ink Sinker
- a reusable silicone mold
- a mixing cup
- a mixing stick and pair of disposable gloves
- a dust cover to protect your pieces while they cure
- art stands to display your cute pieces!
💡TIP: Did you know that Ink Sinker is the secret behind making perfect petri dish coasters? It's true! Ink Sinker is a white alcohol ink that has a different density than the other colors, and it has the unique ability to push alcohol ink colors down through the resin, creating tendrils and other cool effects!
1. Place your resin & hardeners in warm water
Start by placing your closed resin and hardener bottles in a warm water bath for about 10 minutes. When they are nice and warm, take them out of the bath and measure equal parts resin and hardener into your mixing cup.
Note: The bottles in the pic below are our 16 oz kit (8 oz resin + 8 oz hardener).
You will need about 3 oz for each 4” coaster (That’s 1.5 oz of hardener, and 1.5 oz of resin). Gently stir your mixture for at least 3 minutes. Try to stir carefully so that you don’t end up with a lot of bubbles.
2. Pour the mixture into your silicone mold
Once your resin and hardener are thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into your silicone mold. Fill up each mold about half way.
3. Add your favourite colours
Now for the fun part! Using the alcohol ink, drop your favourite colors directly from the bottle into your resin.
After using the color, drop the white Alcohol Ink Sinker over each of your color drops. Keep alternating between color and Ink Sinker until you're happy with your creation!
💡 TIP: It’s helpful to use about 2 drops of color to 1 drop of ink sinker. This helps the color to sink through the resin properly. Also, you’ll want to use up to 45 drops in total for each 4” mold so as to allow the resin to properly catalyze.
4. Cover your mold & let it cure
That’s it! Once you’ve dropped your ink in, cover your mold and leave it to cure overnight (between 12 – 24 hours).
The next day, you can remove your cured petri dish art from the silicone mold and see how they turned out!
Resin Petri Dish Ideas
Now that you know the basic steps, here are some ways you can change it up to get different effects:
Ink Sinker First
Instead of dropping in the alcohol ink colors and then the Ink Sinker, try dropping in the Ink Sinker first with the colors on top, for a slightly different look.
No Ink Sinker
If you like the way the colors float on top of the resin, try not adding any Ink Sinker at all!
Premix your ink
To create pastel colors, or to get rid of any white spots, you can pre-mix your alcohol ink and Ink Sinker.
To do this, combine a few drops of Ink Sinker with a few drops of color (you can play around with the ratio of color to Ink Sinker; usually equal parts works well). Shake up your mixture and drop it directly into your mold.
Let your epoxy begin to set
If you don’t want your ink to spread too much, pour your mixed ArtResin epoxy resin into your silicone mold and wait 20-30 minutes before dropping in your ink. Oppositely, if you want your ink to spread a lot, drop it into your resin as soon as it’s mixed.
The best and final tip:
There are SO many different ways to create interesting effects with alcohol ink and resin! Why not play around with different techniques and see what you can come up with?
Let us know your favourite way to create petri dish art in the comments!
Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper
You can also use ArtResin Alcohol ink on Yupo paper. Yupo paper is a plastic-based paper that allows the alcohol ink to ‘float’ over the surface. You can drip, paint, or sponge the ink onto the paper. The ink is incredibly vivid, and it moves and mixes over the paper beautifully.
To elevate your ink on paper artwork, try mounting your work onto a wooden panel and protecting it with a layer of ArtResin. The resin really gives the colors an extra punch!
You can also play around with collage, layering Yupo paper with ArtResin.
There you have it—so many fun options to try with ArtResin and Alcohol Ink. Experiment and above all, enjoy!!
• Show us your alcohol ink art! Tag your work @art_resin on instagram!
• See what Josie Lewis did with Alcohol Ink in her Resin Petri-Dish Tutorial.
• For more information on creating resin art, please see our friend Jane Monteith's book The Ultimate Fluid Pouring & Painting Project Book, available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.
Do you want to learn more resin art projects? See below our how-to tutorials.
- Introduction to Resin Art
- How to Make an Epoxy Resin Tumbler
- How to Resin a Coaster
- How to Make a Pen Blank
- How to Make a Charcuterie Board
- How to Make a Custom Resin Tray
- How to Make a Tiered Resin Tray
- How to Make Resin Flower Coasters
- How to Resin a Puzzle
- How to Resin a Board Game Table
- How To Make Resin Flower Coasters