How To Make A Tiered Resin Tray

Posted on 10 Aug 19:43

Tiered resin trays are a simple, elegant way to display desserts, cupcakes, appetizers or hors d'oeuvres. Whether you prefer the look of 2 tiers or 3, handcrafted resin stands are beautiful, easy to make and totally customizable to match the color theme of a baby shower, wedding or special event. 

In this step-by-step tutorial, resin artist 
Carmen Darley drops by the ArtResin studio to demonstrate how to use DIY silicone resin molds and ready made molds to create 2 different tiered resin trays:

• a 2-tier resin stand using ResinTint for a faux marbled effect
• a 3 tier resin tray made with dried flowers, gold leaf and glitter.

Let's get started!



How To Create A Marble Resin Tray

marble faux epoxy resin tray

What You'll Need: 

  • ArtResin epoxy resin
  • ResinTint liquid colorants
  • Silicone molds in 2 or 3 different sizes OR make your own with a tube of low odor silicone caulking, a caulking gun and parchment paper
  • 3-Tier Tray Hardware 
  • Screwdriver
  • Electric drill
  • Drill bit the same size as the hardware and a smaller one to drill a sink hole
  • Utility knife, sandpaper or a Dremel for smoothing the edges
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Plastic mixing cup
  • Small plastic cups and stir sticks, enough for each colour of tint used
  • A piece of plastic to line your work surface with
  • Artist's Torch or a heat gun
  • Dust cover large enough to cover your pieces

 

1. Assemble Your Materials Before You Start:

Gather your tools before you start so that everything is on hand, including your dust cover.

assemble tools before you start to resin

2. Build Your Molds

You can buy pre-made molds or make your own custom ones. Making your own re-usable molds is easy, allowing you to create layers in any size or shape you wish. You can make custom molds using silicone caulking piped onto a piece of parchment paper or vinyl.

First, use a pen to sketch out your shapes - you can trace a perfect circle or square or draw a freehand, organic design in any size or shape you wish.  If you're making a multi-tiered tray, make sure you leave a 2 cm difference between each layer.

build a custom mold silicone caulking trace onto parchment paper

Place the silicone tube in the caulking gun and cut the tip at the widest part to allow for a nice, thick line. Apply the silicone to the parchment paper, tracing your outlines. Ensure there are no gaps in the mold that the resin could leak out from.

DIY custom resin mold silicone caulking parchment paper

Apply a second layer of silicone directly on top of the first. You can apply this right away or if you prefer, wait a few hours until the first layer of silicone has hardened up a bit. 

build DIY resin silicone mold

Once the second layer has been applied, let it dry for 24 hours.

2 layer DIY silicone resin mold

3. Prepare Your ArtResin And Tints: 

Measure equal amounts, by volume, of resin and hardener and mix thoroughly for at least 3 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the mixing container as you stir. 

pouring resin into mixing cup
pouring hardener into mixing cup
mixing epoxy resin and hardener in cup

Choose your color palette and divide the resin equally among small plastic cups, allowing one per color. Carmen wanted to replicate the look of marble so chose a white base accented with streaks of black and bronze. 

Resin Tint colorant for epoxy resin

Shake the ResinTint bottles well and add a few drops to each cup, mixing well after each addition. ResinTint is a highly saturated, pigment based colorant, so always start with less than you need. You can check the color by pulling some of the tinted resin up the side of your cup. If it's too translucent, add a little more tint.
💡TIP:  No matter which colorant you use, don't add more than 6% of the total combined volume of resin and hardener.  Too much colorant throws off the delicate balance required for the resin and hardener to cure, and you may end up with resin that doesn't harden.

mixing tint colorant into epoxy resin

Mix and match ResinTint to create your own custom colors.  Add a drop of our metallics for a little shimmer or add a drop or two of white for an opaque look.

mixing colorant into epoxy resin

4. Pour The Resin

Here's the fun part!

Pour the white resin into the center of the mold, in a circular motion. It will self-level but a craft stick helps nudge it evenly to the edges.

pouring epoxy resin into a coaster mold

Dip your craft stick into the black tinted resin and swirl it into the white resin to replicate the look of marble. 

faux marble epoxy resin

Repeat with the bronze tinted resin.

how to create marble effect with epoxy resin

Add a little more black on top of the bronze.  Repeat these steps for the other molds.

making faux marble with epoxy resin

5. Torch, Cover And Wait: 

Run the torch or heat gun very lightly over your design to remove any large bubbles, taking care to avoid the edges of the mold.  This step has the added bonus of softening the blend lines so it really takes on a marble appearance!

torch bubbles out from resin tray before curing

Lay your molds on a flat, sturdy surface and cover with a clean cardboard box or plastic tote and allow it to cure.

6. Remove The Resin From The Molds

The trays will be dry to the touch at 24 hours, at which point you can gently remove them from the molds and place them somewhere flat to finish curing. Allow at least a week to fully cure before assembling the tray: if you assemble them too soon, gravity may pull the edges down and the layers will not sit flat.

removing resin from mold

 

7. Clean Up The Edges

If you've used a homemade silicone mold with caulking and parchment paper, you may find that the edges are rough and jagged. These can be addressed in two ways:

1) after unmolding at the 24 hr mark:
 the resin will be flexible enough that a utility knife can be used to carefully remove sharp edges. 

2) if the layers have cured for 7 days or longer: smooth out the edges with sandpaper or a Dremel tool.

💡TIP: If you wish, use metallic paint or a metallic paint marker to finish off the edges of your tray.

clean up rough edges of resin coaster

sandpaper smooth out rough resin edges

8. Drill The Holes

Next, we need to drill holes in the middle of each layer to fit the hardware. Determine the size of the drill bit by matching it to the screw part of the hardware kit. The hole should be the same size or even slightly smaller so that the hardware screws in securely to the resin layer. You also need a smaller drill bit for the pilot hole - drilling a pilot hole first will prevent the resin from cracking.

assemble resin tiered tray

match drill bit to hardware kit

Measure each layer to determine the center point and mark it with a pen.  Starting with the smaller drill bit, slowly drill a pilot hole, then use the larger drill bit to complete the final hole.

drilling a pilot hole into epoxy resin tiered tray

drilling hole into epoxy resin tray

Test your hardware and ensure you can thread the ends through the holes - if not, you can drill again to enlarge the holes as necessary.

 

9. Assemble The Tray

Once each layer has its drill hole complete, you're ready to assemble the tray. Thread the hardware through each layer, with the washers in between, and screw it tightly together.  Use the screwdriver to tighten the screw at the bottom.

assembling epoxy resin tiered tray

adding hardware to build epoxy resin tiered tray

10. Use And Enjoy!

As the top tier has no backing, we recommend placing heavier items on the bottom tier of the tray.


2 tier resin faux marble tray
2 tier faux marble epoxy resin tray


How To Create A Floral Embellished Resin Tray

epoxy resin tiered tray dried flowers gold leaf

What You'll Need: 

  • ArtResin epoxy resin
  • silicone molds in 3 different sizes
  • tray hardware
  • glitter, metallic leaf, dried flowers, glass or crystals for embellishing your piece
  • nitrile gloves
  • plastic mixing cup
  • a piece of plastic to line your work surface with
  • an Artist's Torch or heat gun
  • dust cover large enough to cover your piece

 

1. Assemble Your Materials Before You Start:

Gather your tools before you start so that everything is on hand, including your dust cover.

how to make a tiered resin tray

2. Prepare Your Molds

You can make your own custom molds you can buy ready made silicone molds especially designed for tiered trays. They often come in sets of 2 or 3 assorted sizes and some even come with the hardware you'll need to build your tray.  These molds have a nub in the center, eliminating the need to drill holes for the hardware.

silicone mold for tiered tray

 

3. Prepare Your ArtResin: 

Measure equal amounts, by volume, of resin and hardener and mix thoroughly for at least 3 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the mixing container as you stir. 

add resin to mixing cup

adding hardener to resin
mixing epoxy resin for 3 minutes

3. Pour The Resin

Here's the fun part!

Pour the resin into the center of the mold, in a circular motion. It will self-level but a craft stick helps nudge it evenly to the edges.

pouring epoxy resin into a silicone mold tiered resin tray

3. Add Your Embellishments

Using a pair of tweezers or a craft stick with a bit of resin on the tip, place your inclusions onto the resin surface.  Once you're happy with the placement, use a craft stick to submerge the inclusion into the resin.

Here's where you can get creative!  Use dried flowers, silk flowers, gold leaf, glitter, crystals, glass .... just ensure whatever you add is thoroughly dry.
💡TIP:  Try not to move delicate items like dried flowers once you've placed them into the resin as they may break apart.

adding dried flowers to resin coasters
adding dried flower inclusions to resin tiered tray
adding dried flowers to epoxy resin
decorating resin tray with flower inclusions

4. Torch, Cover And Wait: 

Run the torch or heat gun very lightly over your design to remove any large bubbles, taking care to avoid the edges of the mold.

torch bubbles out of epoxy resin

Lay your molds on a flat, sturdy surface and cover with a clean cardboard box or plastic tote and allow it to cure.

4. Remove The Resin From The Molds

The trays will be dry to the touch at 24 hours, at which point you can gently remove them from the molds and place them somewhere flat to finish curing. Allow at least a week to fully cure before assembling the tray: if you assemble them too soon, gravity may pull the edges down and the layers will not sit flat.

removing cured resin from mold

5. Assemble The Tray

Once each layer has thoroughly cured, you're ready to assemble the tray. Thread the hardware through each layer, with the washers in between, and screw it tightly together. 
💡TIP:  Because the silicone mold edges are smooth, you won't have to sand down the edges once you unmold the resin layers.  You can, however, finish the edges with metallic paint or a metallic paint marker to add a little sparkle!


assembling resin tiered tray

6. Use And Enjoy!

As the top tier has no backing, we recommend placing heavier items on the bottom tier of the tray.

put heavy items on bottom of tiered tray


Didn't these trays turn out beautifully?  Which tray do you prefer?
We hope you enjoyed watching these two methods and you feel inspired to make your very own, custom made, tiered resin tray!

how to make resin tiered trays

Questions or comments?
Have you made your own tiered resin tray? 

Let us know in the comments section below!

ArtResin:  Made By Artists, For Artists.