How to make a mint tin koi pond

 How to create a mint tin mini koi pond with reason.

Make a Tiny Koi Pond Inside a Mint Tin

by Lynette Olnhausen

I’ve always been fascinated by fish, especially koi. When I first found out about resin, I immediately knew that I was going to do so many underwater projects with this substance! All of my first experiments with resin involved koi or goldfish in some capacity. Having a tiny, mint tin koi pond is just so convenient!

For this project, you will need clear resin, some pebbles or gravel, decorative items (such as larger rocks, fake plants, seashells, etc.), and fish molds, as well as a clean, empty mint tin.

empty silver mint tin


STEP 1:  Prepare the tin

To start, you will want to tape off the hinges of your mint tin (if you select a tin that has hinges). It is easy to forget they are there.  This will keep the resin from leaking and your container becoming unusable.

green tape on the hinges of the empty mint tin


STEP 2:  Mix resin

Mix a small amount of resin and hardener together to create the fish. You will need goldfish molds to make fish the right size to fit your tins.  You may want to either use colorant or wait until after your resin fish have hardened to paint them as you would like. The molds you are using will be fairly small, so be careful not to overfill them; a pipette, patience, and a steady hand will be assets during this stage. Use a heat source to pop any bubbles that may occur.

Two green koi molds filled with white, black, and orange resin

As an alternative to this, you may wish to sculpt your fish out of Sculpey, which can also create a great effect.

STEP 3:  Make the pond base

While you wait for your fish to harden, you can start work on the pond. If you are adding plastic plants, they come first. Make sure they can be added to the tin while still allowing the tin to close. You may need to trim them a bit in order to get them to fit. Use a hot glue gun to seal any plastic plants to the bottom of your tin.

artificial leaves in mint tin - ready to place the stones


STEP 4:  Add pond items

Next, add some pebbles and gravel, enough to cover the bottom of the tin. Once you are done with that step, you can add some decorative accents, like larger stones, dried starfish, etc. If you would like to add dried moss as a plant, rather than a plastic plant, you can add that now.

rocks and articificial leaves inside mint tin - ready to pour the resin


STEP 5:  Add resin to the bottom of the tin

Once you have the bottom of your pond ready, mix another batch of resin.  You will need just enough to cover the pebbles at the bottom of the tin. When adding the resin to this part, it may be best to use a pipette in order to more accurately place the resin.  You want to avoid getting it on the higher areas of the plants and rocks so they continue to look dry if their final position is out of the resin. Using a pipette also helps to make sure you are only adding just enough resin to the piece, rather than too much. Once you finish this layer, use a heat source to eliminate any bubbles. Be very careful when doing this, as the heat source will heat the metal of the tin.

Tip:  Do not hold the heat source in one area.  Move it across the piece quickly. If you have used plastic plants or dried moss, do NOT use the heat source close to these areas.

Make sure to cover your piece to protect it from dust (do NOT completely close the mint tin, as this can affect the curing resin) while it cures. Wait 24 hours for the bottom layer and fish to harden completely (depending on the resin you use). If you’re adding any paint to the fish, make sure they are completely dry before going to the next step.

STEP 6:  Place the resin rish

Position your fish in your pond as you would like; I recommend using some glue in order to make sure they stay in place. Then, once the glue is dry, add resin to cover the fish. You may want to experiment with positioning fish at different layers of resin in order to make them appear a little more varied and realistic. If you are doing this, you do not need to completely cover those first fish with the second layer; simply make sure you are able to cover the top layer of fish without obstructing the hinges.

Mini koi pond inside a mint tin made from resin


STEP 7: Finish the tin

Once you add your fish as you would like, and the resin has cured, remove the cover from the hinges of the mint tin, and voila! You have your very own miniature mint tin koi pond. You can then try doing experiments with other tins; maybe have the scene on its side, creating a diorama effect when the tin is held vertically, or use layers of paint to create your goldfish, rather than molds.

What would you put in your mint tin koi pond?

Ready to try making crafts and jewelry with resin but confused about how to get started?  It’s not your fault!  There is so much information out there — how can you possibly go through it all?  It’s why I wrote the book Resin Jewelry Making.  I share the essential details resin beginners need to know to make something amazing with resin!  Buy the ebook now and it’s ready for you to download in minutes!

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2021 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  The EASY Way To Turn A Drawing Into Jewelry

10 thoughts on “How to make a mint tin koi pond

  1. Love it!!!!!!
    You could even make a pendant out of this.
    Where can I get the small fish molds? I haven’t seen any for sale that are small enough.

  2. I had to do a bit of searching, because I can’t remember exactly where I got those molds from. However, if you search on Etsy or eBay using combinations of phrases involving goldfish or koi, and mold, you can find very similar molds as to what I used. You just have to make sure they’re the right size for this project. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the exact mold I used…

  3. got 2 koi molds on ebay 99 cents each, total number of fish 7 a 5 small koi and 2 slightly larger I used them for a tin and resin pond I keep it in my purse to enjoy it .

    1. Checked Ebay and Etsy, Amazon, no luck. Apparently, fish are not “on trend” now. Only fish molds seen were food and candy molds, large.

  4. For koi chose just eco-friendly pond liner Pondpro2000 is the best one. It’s generally a bit thinner than the others and that means you must be very careful when laying it. But it has a longer positive effect.

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