I love how trays help you make an immediate composition in a space, how they help you serve guests in style and how they protect your furniture from moisture. The quirkier the tray, the better. A flea market vendor gave me a plain wooden tray for free as part of a "fill a bag for $5.00" deal and the muse to transform it finally struck. I'm keeping it on my living room coffee table for serving drinks and wrangling extras. This is a great beginner craft for experimenting resin. It's a tricky medium but the deep, shining, professional finish it leaves is worth it!
Materials: Wooden serving tray with tall sides, glue stick or spray adhesive, printed image for the background (I blew up a "La Muerte" playing card from a Loteria deck), Tabletop Resin, Gloves, Clear Varnish and Paint Optional
Step 1) Get exact measurements for your tray and enlarge and print the image you want to use for the background yourself OR go to a local print shop with the dimensions and they'll do this for you. I used card stock for this craft and had a local print shop blow the image up for me. It cost $3.10.
Step 2) Glue your paper to the base of your tray. Use a glue stick or spray adhesive to control the amount of paint used (unless you want to carefully paint on white glue with a sponge brush). Make sure to press down your image firmly, especially around all of the edges to keep resin from seeping under the paper.
Step 3) Follow the directions on your resin to mix it up very precesicely to ensure the proper chemical reaction, then pour the resin inside your tray. From here you can tilt your tray carefully until the level of resin is even. If large bubbles form at the top of the resin layer gently blow on them to pop 'em. The smaller ones should disappear as the resin dries.
Step 4) You may want to paint the sides of your trays, I liked the natural white distressed finish I received the tray in so I simply coated it with clear varnish for a shiny, professional finish.
Step 5) Set your tray somewhere safe. You want a dry place free of floating dust or hair that could settle into the slow-curing resin. It usually takes 24 full hours before it's fully hard and no longer tacky. Be patient, don't touch it to "test it" until 24 hours pass or you may mess up your finish. Don't set very hot objects on the serving tray.
Transform any trays you have around or thrift for new ones, they're ample 2nd hand. I have a plain black one I use to wrangle my smoothie goodies that'll get a makeover next. Make 'em for your friends, coupled with crafted coasters they make a gorgeous and practical Christmas or housewarming gift. I love the depth the shiny resin adds to the tray.
You getting any creative crafting on? I think my favorite type of craft is transforming something bland into something beautiful. You don't have to spend a cent to get creative.