I’ve been wanting to try out epoxy- there’s so many things to make with it! Jewelry, key chains, coasters, picture frames, even countertops! I decided to start with an easier craft that I could add a lot of color to it. Here’s my tutorial for how to make a DIY epoxy rainbow tray.
how to make a diy epoxy rainbow tray
- silicone mold tray
- heat gun or torch lighter
- alcohol ink
- cup (to mix the epoxy. A plastic cup would work great. I used an old salsa jar)
- rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball
step 1- prep
Start by putting on a mask and gloves. Epoxy can cause skin and respiratory issues so make sure to be safe! I’d also suggest making this in a well ventilated area. I made mine outside.
Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and clean the tray mold well. It’s important for any debris that might have been on the mold to her removed so those debris don’t become of the tray.
Epoxy comes in two bottles- a part A (the resin side) and a part B (the hardener). You have to mix them in equal quantities to create the epoxy. For this project, I measured 120 mL of part a and 120 mL of part b to have enough epoxy to create the tray.
Note, this tray needs about 1/2 of each of the 8 FL oz bottles. So you can definitely make two trays with the epoxy or do another craft with the leftovers.
The epoxy I bought came with little measuring cups so I could perfectly measure and get the correct quantities. Accuracy is important with this project. If you have a weight, you can measure the quantities of each part before pouring it into a bigger cup.
Essentially, a scientific reaction is happening during the time that part a and part b are combined. This makes it really important to mix the parts well together. Mix for 2-3 minutes (longer for bigger quantities). Scrap to the bottom of the cup and along the sides.
Note, if you don’t mix enough at first, it’s ok to add more of part a and part b to the cup, then stir, then add to the mold. The liquid epoxy has about 30 minutes to work with it before it starts to harden.
step 2- pour
Next, pour the mixed epoxy into the mold. If needed, you can take your gloved hand to push the epoxy into all the corners.
Tip- keep a paper towel or rag where you’re working with rubbing alcohol on it. That way, it the epoxy gets anywhere, it can easily be cleaned up. It was handy to be able to wipe my gloves clean while I worked so I didn’t get epoxy anywhere I didn’t want it.
Make sure to keep the epoxy on a level surface as you work with it and it dries. I put a flat lid under my tray while working on it in case I needed to move it while it dried and it could still stay level.
Once the epoxy is poured, use a heat gun or a lighter torch to pop any bubbles that might be on the surface of the tray. This step is pretty fun! You can see them pop as the heat hits each bubble!
step 3- alcohol ink
And now, it’s the fun part, time to add color! I layered on my alcohol ink in rainbow color starting with pink, then yellow, green, teal, and purple.
Next, I added drops of white alcohol ink. It is heavier and so it goes to the bottom and causes some cool differentiations in the ink. This is really fun to play with! You never know how the ink will flow and change as it dries so it’s great to just let the inks do their thing.
Once you are happy with how the ink looks, cover it so that nothing falls into the wet epoxy. I just used a bin lid, but aluminum foil would work too.
step 4- remove from mold
Finally, let the tray dry for 18 hours (that’s how long it took mine to be totally done. It can take up to 24 hours). Once it’s hard to the touch, remove the tray from the mold. The silicone should peel right off the newly formed tray.
Now you have your very own DIY epoxy rainbow tray!
Note, when I first got my tray out of the mold, it was a little flexible. I let it dry overnight on a flat table and it hardened right.
And here’s how this cutie little tray turned out! Isn’t it so fun that you can start out with liquid and end up with a real life tray?!
The tray has such good movement in the ink. Isn’t it cool?! And it goes perfectly with my rainbow tub!
What do you think? Does this make you want to try to make a tray?!
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