DIY Artwork & Wall Decor DIY Home Accessories

How To Make Resin Petries [Video]

I’m back today with more resin petries (my best yet!), as well as a video showing how to make them. These resin petries are fun and easy to make, and while I hate having to wait hours and hours for them to dry, taking them out of the molds is like unwrapping a present. You never know what you’re going to find.

Here’s the video tutorial…

(Having trouble viewing that? You can click here to watch on YouTube.)

I just love these little resin petries. They’re an explosion of color and pattern and depth and texture and interest. They’re basically all of the things I like encapsulated in one four-inch disc of resin.

You can use them  as coasters, or frame them (stay tuned for a tutorial on that very soon), or just prop them on a little easel so you can enjoy seeing the colors and amazing depth and designs trapped the resin. They really do resemble something you might see growing in a Petri dish. 😀

To make these, you’ll need to gather up a few supplies:

First, you’ll need something to mix your resin in. I just stock up on these little 2-cup plastic measuring cups that I get at my local neighborhood grocery store.

Then you’ll need something to mix the resin with. I buy these little spatulas in bundles of four at my local grocery store. When working with small batches of resin, I prefer to use a small spatula so I can be sure that I’m getting every little drop of resin mixed thoroughly.

And then you’ll need a measuring cup. Each four-inch resin petri takes 1/2 cup of mixed resin, which means you’ll mix 1/4 cup of resin and 1/4 cup of hardener. I just use cheap plastic mixing cups.

As for the actual resin, I use ArtResin, which you can buy on Amazon or directly from the company. I like this brand because it was developed by artists for artists. It dries crystal clear, doesn’t yellow like other resins do, and it’s non-toxic with no VOCs, so you can use it without a respirator. It comes in two parts that have to be mixed together. One part is labeled “resin”…

…and the other is labeled “hardener.”

And it really is as simple as mixing equal parts of resin and hardener (again, for these petries, I use 1/4 cup of each) thoroughly for at least three minutes, then you’re ready to pour.

And let me give you a quick tip. Don’t mix up the lids. Don’t put the hardener lid on the resin, and the resin lid on the hardener. Yeah…ask me how I learned that. I thought I’d never get those lids off the next time I tried to open them! 😀

So what do you pour the resin into? Well, you’ll need some silicone molds. These are the ones I have, but as you can see below, I cut them apart to make each one easier to handle.

And you’ll also need some alcohol inks. This is the set I have, which I used in the video, but I also just ordered this much larger set, which should arrive this week. I’m excited to play around with a much larger set of colors.

Any time I use resin, I also use this propane torch, which I picked up at Home Depot.

It gets the bubbles out when you pour thin layers of resin (the recommended thickness of each individual pour is 1/8 inch). But when pouring thicker layers, like on these petries, it’ll get most of the bubbles out but you’ll still have some. I still recommend using either a propane or butane torch, but it’s optional. Just know that if you don’t, you will have bubbles. But that might make these petries look even more interesting!

Before mixing the resin, you’ll also want to put on gloves. The resin is very sticky, and it’s difficult to get off of your skin. So I just pick up a box of disposable gloves at Home Depot to use for my resin/staining/polyurethaning projects.

So with all of your supplies in hand, all you do is mix equal parts of resin and hardener (thoroughly for at least three minutes), then pour the mixed resin into the silicone mold. Use the torch to get the bubbles out, and then you’re ready to drop the alcohol inks onto the resin.

There’s no right or wrong way to add the ink. I just add drops of ink in random patterns, and I like to add white ink after each color to make the colors show up more. You’ll notice that the colors on their own seem to have a transparency to them, but adding the white after each color seems to make it a little more opaque and vivid.

Once you’ve added the inks, you can see the inks start to move and mix on their own. You can use something like a straight pin to swirl them, but it’s not really necessary. The inks move just fine on their own.

After about 10-12 hours (or maybe longer, depending on the weather and temperature), you can take them out of the molds and see what designs the inks created in the resin.

Here are a few detail shots of the three resin petries from the video. These are the best results I’ve gotten so far. There’s just so much detail and depth in these!

Aren’t those amazing? I could seriously stare at them and study the detail for a very long time.

I’ve been trying to find the best way to use or display them. I personally don’t like the idea of using them as coasters since they aren’t the least bit absorbent, and I only drink iced tea. The condensation on the cup would just pool onto, and eventually run off of, the resin disc. But I do like the idea of framing them. I’m working on that right now, and I’ll show you the results soon. I think it’ll look pretty amazing!



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43 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Peggy
    September 12, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Sad that you can’t use them as coasters. They would be quite the thing for that.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Emily R
      September 12, 2018 at 10:28 am

      You could use them as a coaster if you could create a lip around the edge. I prefer non absorbent coasters – so I always but those that have a lip.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Marianne in Mo.
        September 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm

        Yes, if you could find a mold that had a “ridge” in the bottom. Then when they are popped out, the ridge is on the prettier side.

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Marianne in Mo.
          September 12, 2018 at 2:20 pm

          Or if the mold had a pattern in the bottom, like a snowflake or such. Even concentric rings would help pool the condensation.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Suzanne
    September 12, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Very cool! Could you turn them into 3D flower art for your workshop walls? The 4″ circles could be the center of the flower and maybe you could create a mold for petals? Or do some abstract drawing for the stem and petals?

    Perhaps mount them to a piece of clear thick plexiglass (or clear/frosted glass – the kind with the coke bottle green edge?) with a light source behind it?

    I’m not an artist, but I love them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Shirley
    September 12, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Love these. If they are water repellent do you think it would be possibly to make some back splash tiles?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Linda
      September 12, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Great idea! Can you get square silicone molds, if so, those would be great! I’m seeing a very pretty backsplash in your studio!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    September 12, 2018 at 11:11 am

    I recall your doing some other resin art.

    What is the biggest dimension you have felt could be comfortably done with a beautiful result?

    What is the thickest you could comfortably pour and be successful?

    So pretty, reminds me of geodes and agates.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jodi
    September 12, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Imagine if you could do round ones and they were doorknobs!
    My parents had 2 beautiful resin doorknobs when I was a kid-in the late 60’s-early 70’s and I’ve always wanted to make something like that!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Cathy
      September 13, 2018 at 6:41 am

      Now that sounds like a Kristi doorknob, for sure! 🙂

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Cathy
      September 13, 2018 at 6:42 am

      Kristi, I noticed the top is a little rough around the edges, be fore you flip it over. Is there anything you have tried to smooth them? File? Sand paper?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michele Workman
    September 12, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Love them, thank you for doing the video! Can’t wait to try and make one.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Czarnecki
    September 12, 2018 at 11:42 am

    For display, you might want to screw in a hook on the top and use clear fishing line to suspend them in front of a window, perhaps in your studio above your desk.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Caitlin
      September 12, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      I was thinking the same! Or even with some kind of frame around, like an embroidery hoop, to avoid drilling. They would look so pretty in front of a window. I particularly love the rainbow one!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    September 12, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Can you do them thinner? If so, they would be beautiful ornaments for a Christmas tree!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Margie E
    September 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Oh, so many great ideas!! I want to try this!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laurie
    September 12, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Those are so cool. I particularly like the one you’re holding because I love blues and purples. This makes me want to make some myself.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Keven
    September 12, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Those are beautiful! And I know the pictures don’t even come close to what actually seeing them would. I love colors and textures. My eyes could feast on those all day! That’s why I didn’t see the fuss about the entry way. Gazing at that wall would throw a boring depressing day to the wind! I’d seriously love to buy that purple resin piece from you if you decide to sell any pieces.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    September 12, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    Lovely! Fabulous colors.

    I like the side view of the pink one. From here, it looks like a meeting of aliens listening to a lecture.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Ann Hornung
    September 12, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    OH boy – I can’t wait to try these. And I love some of the ideas others had for using them. I have been thinking of trying drawer knobs since I recently got intrigued with resin projects. Still too afraid to try though. I think I need to look for the silicone molds! Kristi – yours are BEAUTIFUL – you encourage me to try!
    Thank you, Joan

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laurie
    September 12, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Just thought of something-display them on those little plate easels.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CathyR
    September 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    Oh, that moment when you wish you hadn’t donated all of your alcohol inks to a friend!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    kathleen Rupp
    September 12, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Beautiful! I was so surprised how easy they were to make. They look so high end! Thanks so much for showing us! Just tweeted your video:)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandy
    September 12, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    They’re beautiful. What if you displayed them on a framed upholstered board (using a textured neutral fabric.) They could be applied like buttons in a pattern of your choosing. Then it would be wall art!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristi C
    September 12, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Beautiful! Can you drill holes in them for ribbon and hang them either in windows or maybe as Christmas ornaments or something?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan
    September 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Paper weights?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gail Ebeling
    September 12, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    This is really amazing and mesmerizing. One question. How do you clean the utensils?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Karen
      September 13, 2018 at 10:41 am

      I was wondering about this as well. Also, how long do you have to blast it with the propane tank. Is it literally as fast as the video shows?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    katherine
    September 12, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Kristi, i used to do this as a hobby when i was a young girl. One of the women that mentored me made an aquarium design and placed a light behind it. the aquarium was about 24×30. it was amazing. just something to think about.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    cyd
    September 13, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Love them!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rachel
    September 13, 2018 at 7:37 am

    On a smaller scale, these would make AMAZING cabinet knobs for your studio. I installed white cabinets in my craft room in hopes of someday making cool looking knobs to offset the white. I may have to try this myself.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    September 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I wonder if my students would like to use them for a calming or focusing technique. They are truly beautiful and I think they might have a calming effect. Love to see what you will do with them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Missy
    September 13, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I just want to know when I can buy one!!! Framed would be pretty, but it seems like that would almost distract from the inspecting I’d want to do to it! What about glass on both sides so it doesn’t hinder visibility?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Hil
    September 13, 2018 at 9:10 pm

    Nice! My favorite is the one with all the rainbow colors 🙂 The side views are so interesting too

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    ME
    September 15, 2018 at 11:16 am

    THOSE ARE AWESOME! yes, I had to yell. Sorry. =)
    I’m thinking this will be a great art project for my high school kid. (in high school and currently has art as an elective)
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Luanne
    September 29, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Hi Kristi,

    Have you tried these with your new set of inks? I ask because I recently tried these coasters and used the Tim Holtz inks and my results are crap! The ink has all collected at the center for one of them and neither has the cool effect your coasters have. I know you’re not teaching this process, but any suggestions?

    And ps: love your blog. Very inspiring….in part because of your desire to get it right even if it means do it over.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      September 29, 2018 at 7:20 pm

      Hmmmm…well, I’m still trying different things to see what effects they have, but a few days ago, I did a big batch of about 16 petries at one time to test out all of my new colors. I mixed up all of the resin in one batch, poured it into all 16 molds, and then started adding the alcohol ink color combos that I had decided on beforehand and written down.

      Here’s what I learned. On the first few that I added the inks to (i.e., the ones I did almost immediately after the resin was poured), I noticed that mine also moved to the center, leaving only clear resin around the edges.

      The ones that I did towards the end, where the resin had been sitting in the molds for about 10+ minutes before I added the alcohol inks, turned out AMAZING!! I mean, they’re my favorites so far. I got beautiful colors, amazing depth, etc.

      I did go back on the first few — the ones where the inks had migrated towards the center — and I used a straight pin to move the inks back to the edges before it got too sticky to mess with. I did that AFTER I had put the inks into the last ones, so by that time, the resin on those first ones had to have been sitting in the molds at least 15 minutes, maybe 20. And they did turn out very pretty as well, but they’re still nowhere near as pretty as those last ones.

      So now I want to go back and try again, and this time I’ll set a timer and wait about 10 minutes from the time I pour the resin into the molds to the time I add the alcohol ink. I’m hoping that’s the key, because I’ll be ecstatic if I can replicate those results.

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