Turn Your Shell Collection Into a Beautiful Beach Tray

Decorative beach tray

Want to preserve some of those beach memories in a fun way? Add some of them to a beach-themed decorative tray. It’s perfect for a nautical-themed bathroom or use to hold your resin jewelry. Either way, you are sure to love the look of this tray when it’s finished.

resin supplies

Resin supply list:

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:  Paint the tray

I put three coats of white paint on my beach tray. Once dry, add rope around the outer edge with hot glue.

If you don’t love the look of the rope, you can seal the tray edges by adding hot glue to the bottom instead.

mixing resin colors

Step 2:  Mix and color resin

Next, mix epoxy resin, then divide it into 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 epoxy color to part A before adding part B. I used just a small drop in each cup, as shown above.

colors mixed into resin

Mix the colors well.

adding resin to a wooden tray

Step 3:  Fill the tray with clear resin

Once your resin is well mixed, add a layer of clear resin to the bottom of your beach tray. I used my stir stick to pull resin onto the rope around the edges. You want the resin to soak into the rope.

resin with blue and teal colorsStep 4:  Add the colored resin

Randomly drip both colors all over the clear epoxy.

wooden tray with colored resin

Step 5:  Blend the resin colors

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

adding starfish to a resin tray

Step 6:  Add shells

Add your beach treasures by laying them on top of the resin.

NOTE: Starfish work pretty well with this tray. Sand dollars can take up the resin pigment and turn colors. Make sure your shells sink into the resin during this step to seal the opening.

starfish on a resin tray

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

clear resin layer added over colored resin layer

Step 7:  Add another clear epoxy layer

Mix additional resin to pour over and complete your beach tray. The amount here will depend on your tray size and the thickness of the objects you added. This resin will stay clear. Just mix together parts A and B to create a clear layer. Make sure your things are covered, and pop any bubbles that appear.

If you want to know exactly how much resin to use for your beach tray, 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 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 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 resin pigment and will look dark and almost wet even after curing. Again you can omit this from your project if you would like.

beach decor tray

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

Ready to try crafting with resin but confused about where to start?

I was there, too, when I started creating with resin seventeen years ago. It’s why I wrote the ebook, 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. Buy the PDF book now and get a download link in minutes.

Originally written by Angie Holden

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  How To Recycle A Spoon Into A Pendant With Epoxy

11 thoughts on “Turn Your Shell Collection Into a Beautiful Beach Tray

  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. Cute idea! One can never have enough trays to display our “stuff”! Visiting from A Round Tuit party.

  4. Love this idea!! I just did a whole “Under the Sea”Theme in our living room for late Summer. Thanks for sharing!! Pinned!

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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

  7. Thanks for sharing your lovely project at Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy – we’re so happy to feature you this week!

  8. 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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