Beach tray DIY – How to make a beach themed serving tray with resin

Decorative beach tray

How to make your own beach themed decorative tray

by Angie Holden


Want to preserve some of those beach memories in a fun way? Add some of them to a beach-themed decorative tray. I love how this beach tray DIY turned out! It is actually perfect for a nautical themed bathroom or use it to hold your jewelry. Either way, you are sure to love the look of this tray when it is completed!

resin supplies

Resin Supplies needed:

Resin Obsession Super Clear Resin
Resin Obsession Transparent Color Pigments in blue and teal
• Wood tray
• Rope
Mixing Cups
Stir Sticks
• White Paint
• Beach Treasures
• Hot Glue and Glue Gun
Protective Gloves

wooden tray with rope border

Step 1

Start by painting your tray with white paint. I put three coats on my tray. Once dry, add rope around the outer edge with hot glue.

This step is optional. If you don’t love the look of the rope, just seal the tray edges by adding hot glue to the bottom instead.

mixing resin colors

Step 2

Next, mix the resin in three different cups. I mixed about ¾ oz of resin to stay clear for the first cup and two cups with ½ oz each to add some color. Add the colorant to part A before adding part B. I used just a small drop in each cup as shown above.

NOTE: I think about half of this amount of the colors would be sufficient. 

colors mixed into resin


Mix the colors in well before adding part B to your cup.

adding resin to a wooden tray

Step 3

Once your resin is well mixed, add a layer of clear resin on the bottom of your tray. I also used my stir stick to pull up resin onto the rope around the edges. You want to try to seal the rope as much as possible in this step.

resin with blue and teal colorsStep 4

Randomly drip both colors all over the clear resin.

wooden tray with colored resin

Step 5

While everything is still wet, use a stir stick to swirl your resin into a pretty water pattern.  Remove any bubbles from your resin and allow to harden until it is about the consistency of jello.

adding starfish to a resin tray

Step 6

Add in your beach treasures at this time by laying them on top of the resin.

NOTE: Starfish work fairly well with this tray. I tried sand dollars and the pigment in the resin discolored them. I had issues with shells and bubbles so if you are going to use them make sure they get down in the resin during this step so that the opening is sealed closed.

starfish on a resin tray

Add as many treasures as you would like, then allow your tray to cure completely.

clear resin layer added over colored resin layerStep 7

Mix additional resin to pour over and complete your tray. The amount here will depend on your tray size as well as the thickness of the objects you added.  This resin will have no colorants. Just mix together parts A and B to create a clear layer. Make sure your objects are covered and pop any bubbles that appear.

If you want to know exactly how much resin to use for this beach tray DIY, this article will help:  How much resin do I need to mix?

NOTE: Starfish produce bubbles from their surface. I found that using a wood skewer and running over the top after pouring the resin helped to release the bubbles. Continue to check on your tray for any more bubbles that might appear.

beach themed tray DIY

Once fully cured, you are ready to use your beach themed decorative tray anywhere in your home.  Here we added some soap in the bathroom but it will work as a catchall in any room.

wooden tray project

The rope does take on a bit of the colorant in the resin and will look dark and almost wet even after cured. Again you can omit this from your project if you would like.

beach decor tray

Like this and want more beach themed DIY projects? The instructions for making the beach window shown behind the tray can be found here:  DIY beach window

Enjoy and be sure to get your supplies to make your own beach tray DIY!

Ready to try crafting with resin but confused about where to start?  I get it.  I was there too when I started creating with resin over a decade ago!  It’s why I wrote the book, Resin Fundamentals.  I took my years of resin knowledge and condensed it into an easy to read book to get you from resin novice to resin expert in only a couple of hours.

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  Resin Obsession Super Clear Resin FAQ

11 thoughts on “Beach tray DIY – How to make a beach themed serving tray with resin

  1. I love this, I need trays in the bathrooms for soap to not get onto the counters. I would suggest if the sand dollars and rope absorb pigment that the pigmented resin go down first in a very thin layer and allowed to dry before placing the rope and inclusions in the next clear layer. Now me, with anything ocean/water related, I LOVE the bubbles in the resin! It makes the finished product look just like actual water. Thanks for tutorial!!!!

  2. I would love to make something like this, but a larger tray. I have starfish, several kinds of shells and bits of dried seaweed from a beach trip that I want to put onto a tray. As for the bubbles in the shells, I have small cowrie shells that I filled with clear hot glue and embedded in coasters, with good results. I tried this with a turret shell, but the shell had a crack that wasn’t visible until put in the resin, and I had bubbles galore.

  3. May I suggest using only seashells found along the shore. Seastars are a living creature often collected and dried for sale or decoration. Besides, knowing our children or grandchildren collected the shell brings better memories. 🙂

  4. What a great project! I may even be able to give this a go and be slightly successful. In fact, I swear I have resin in my garage. Thanks for sharing. Visiting via SITS

  5. I would like info on resin BEACH windows with SEA SHELLS and BEACH GLASS they use them as wall hangings ?? how to make them ideas and info out of old window frames with dividers in them… all ocean art plz.

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