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Upcycled DIY Resin Tray with Driftwood

Add some rustic flare to your space with this DIY resin tray using driftwood slices and an upcycled wooden catering tray. Makes gorgeous beachy decor for your home or cottage.

Resin tray with driftwood holding decor.

Using Resin for DIY Serving Tray

We originally shared this project idea on the Resin Crafts Blog and have been meaning to share it here on our blog for quite some time. Having made this DIY resin tray several years ago, I’m happy to report it’s still in great condition!

The resin protected the multi-level driftwood slices perfectly and the tray still looks like it did the day we made it (aside from some blue paint chipping along the outer edges).

Close up of the resin and driftwood tray.

I personally love all the driftwood slices preserved inside the Envirotex Lite Pour-On resin. Each piece was collected on the beach near our family cottage and then cut into these various shaped slices.

Similarly, we’ve also used this resin to make these hand lettered rustic driftwood keychains. Other items we’ve preserved in resin are pressed flowers to make resin fridge magnets and pretty necklace pendants and even leaves to make this handy paperweight.

Materials Needed to Make your Own DIY Serving Tray

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Close up of the resin tray with driftwood.

How to Make a DIY Resin Tray with Driftwood

Step 1: Preparing the Materials

Paint your wood tray in any color of your choosing. We used Dark Denim from Americana Decor Satin Enamels, which provided a strong, durable finish with a light sheen. Once painted, put it aside to dry fully before moving onto the next step.

Painting a wood tray blue.

Using a mitre saw, cut a variety of different sized driftwood pieces into a range of thicknesses from ¼” to ⅝”.  It’s important to use driftwood formed from hardwood versus softwood to get a smooth surface. 

Cut enough slices to fully cover your tray. It’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle so be sure to cut extra pieces for working with.

Sand the rough cut edges of the driftwood slices and wipe away any sawdust.

Step 2: Assembling the Materials

Apply one generous coat of all-purpose sealer to the inside of your serving tray. Leave it to dry.

Using a paintbrush, apply all-purpose sealer to the bottom side of the driftwood slices and place them down onto the serving tray one at a time. Continue to coat and position driftwood slices until your serving tray is fully covered. Get creative with the placement and mix a variety of different sized slices.  

Once the driftwood slices are set in place, use a paintbrush to apply a coat of all-purpose sealer to the tops and sides of all the driftwood slices. Take your time with this step to ensure you don’t miss any pieces. You can see some of the pieces that I missed turned a different color after the resin was poured on. 

Once the piece is fully sealed, leave it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Applying the Pour On Resin

Work in layers until your piece is fully covered. For this particular piece, it took 3 layers of Pour On resin before all of the driftwood pieces were fully covered.

Wood tray with driftwood propped up behind a resin pouring kit and a measuring cup.

For best results be sure to read the instructions provided in the EnviroTex Lite Pour On packaging.  Ensure your resin and hardener are at room temperature or warmer before mixing.

1st Layer

Mix exactly equal amounts of Resin and Hardener into one measuring cup. The size of your piece will determine how much resin you need. In my case,  I filled the cup up as much as possible as my tray is fairly large size.  Stir continuously for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the container.

Pour the mixture into a second cup and stir for an additional minute, scraping the sides of the container and stir stick.

Pouring the resin mixture into a second cup.

Using the stir stick,  dip your stick into the EnviroTex mixture and then begin pouring the resin over top of your piece. Pour evenly from one side to the next. The resin will settle and level itself out but try to fill the spaces in between the driftwood as best you can. Lift the tray and tilt it back and forth to help the resin level out.

Pouring the resin mixture onto the driftwood pieces in the wood tray.

Cover to keep dust from settling in. Ensure your tray is placed on a level surface. After about 15 minutes, remove any bubbles that have risen to the surface by gently blowing over the piece through a straw. Repeat if necessary after another 15 minutes and up to about an hour to ensure no bubbles have formed. Use a clean straw each time to avoid moisture from your breath collecting inside the straw and transferring onto the piece.

Using a straw to blow away bubbles from the resin mixture poured over the driftwood pieces.

Cover and allow to cure overnight.

Resin tray with driftwood.
2nd Layer:

Check your piece to see if the driftwood pieces are fully covered. If the resin surface is smooth and flat, then there is no need for another layer of resin. In my particular case, I needed more resin so I repeated the 1st layer steps from the day before.

Pouring a second layer of resin onto the driftwood wood tray.
3rd Layer:

Since some of my driftwood pieces were pretty thick, I ended up needing a 3rd layer of resin. You can see how the surface was not level even after 2 layers of resin.

Uneven resin surface in the driftwood tray.

I repeated the 1st layer steps from the previous days to add my final layer of Envirotex Lite resin. As it hardens, the resin is self leveling but I wanted to help it along so I brushed some of the driftwood surfaces with a small clean paintbrush right after pouring. 

Cover and allow the resin to cure overnight before using. Once fully cured, the resin tray is ready for using. Can you believe that sheen? It really shows off the beautiful cut pieces of driftwood.

Close up of the resin and driftwood tray.
Finished resin tray with driftwood placed on a table with decor.

This project originally appeared on Resin Crafts Blog project gallery.

More DIY projects:

For more Envirotex Lite resin projects check out this calming seashore resin art, photo coasters with resin and resin galaxy bracelet.

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Collage of resin driftwood tray and text overlay.

Upcycled DIY Resin Tray with Driftwood

Jane and Sonja
A DIY resin tray using driftwood slices and an upcycled wooden catering tray.
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Materials
  

  • EnviroTex Lite Pour On
  • Wood Tray painted and sealed
  • Driftwood slices varying widths and thicknesses ranging from ¼” to 5/8” thick)
  • All purpose sealer or white glue
  • Measuring cups gloves, stir sticks, straws
  • Sandpaper 220 grit

Instructions
 

Preparing the Materials

  • Paint your wood tray in any color of your choosing.
  • Using a mitre saw, cut a variety of different sized driftwood pieces into a range of thicknesses from ¼” to ⅝”.
  • Cut enough slices to fully cover your tray.
  • Sand the rough cut edges of the driftwood slices and wipe away any sawdust.

Assembling the Materials

  • Apply one generous coat of all-purpose sealer to the inside of your serving tray. Leave it to dry.
  • Using a paintbrush, apply all-purpose sealer to the bottom side of the driftwood slices and place them down onto the serving tray one at a time.
  • Once the driftwood slices are set in place, use a paintbrush to apply a coat of all-purpose sealer to the tops and sides of all the driftwood slices.

Applying the Pour On Resin

  • For best results be sure to read the instructions provided in the EnviroTex Lite Pour On packaging. Ensure your resin and hardener are at room temperature or warmer before mixing.
  • 1st Layer: Mix exactly equal amounts of Resin and Hardener into one measuring cup. Stir continuously for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the container.
  • Pour the mixture into a second cup and stir for an additional minute, scraping the sides of the container and stir stick.
  • Using the stir stick, dip your stick into the EnviroTex mixture and then begin pouring the resin over top of your piece.
  • Cover to keep dust from settling in. Ensure your tray is placed on a level surface. After about 15 minutes, remove any bubbles that have risen to the surface by gently blowing over the piece through a straw.
  • Cover and allow to cure overnight.
  • 2nd Layer: Check your piece to see if the driftwood pieces are fully covered. If the resin surface is smooth and flat, then there is no need for another layer of resin.
  • 3rd Layer: Since some of my driftwood pieces were pretty thick, I ended up needing a 3rd layer of resin.
  • I repeated the 1st layer steps from the previous days to add my final layer of resin. As it hardens, the resin is self leveling but I wanted to help it along so I brushed some of the driftwood surfaces with a small clean paintbrush right after pouring.
  • Cover and allow to cure overnight before using.
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Tutorial Rating




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Ian

Monday 16th of November 2020

This is so cool! I've been wanting to get started with resin projects, and I'm really grateful for this step by step tutorial. Thanks so much!

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