Every now and again I make something that turns out waaaaay better than I expected. Like this resin platter with lights.
Isn’t she just mesmerizing? Platters are she’s right?
Even with the lights switched off, she’s unique and fits right in with our decor.
If you look closely, you can just catch a glimpse of the lights and wiring. But you have to get really close 😉
In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the whole process of making a resin platter with built-in lights. But, before we get there, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need
- 2-part epoxy resin
- Pressed wood (10mm or ½” thick)
- Wood stain
- Plastic cups for mixing
- Pigments or Dyes (optional)
- Wooden craft sticks for stirring
- Lighter for popping bubbles
- Fairy lights with a thin, flat battery pack
- Platter or cheese board silicone mold
The mold should be at least 10mm deep to fit the wooden handle. If you can’t find one this tutorial will show you how to make your own mold using only 2 ingredients.
Making a resin platter with lights
Cut away any bits on the mold that will interfere with wooden handle. Mine had a little hole thingy, so I sliced that away with a craft knife.
Make a paper template or pattern of the top of the platter mold. I found the easiest way to do that was to take a piece of paper and squish it around the silicon mold.
Cut the pattern out and test-fit it inside the mold and make any adjustments.
The pattern should sit snugly against the sides, especially where you’ll be pouring the resin.
Transfer the template to the pressed wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. If you’ve never used a jigsaw this beginner guide will help. Alternatively, look for a rectangular silicone mold that doesn’t have a fancy handle.
Hiding the battery pack
Place the fairy light’s battery pack on the wooden cutout and draw around the pack. You want to make the drawing about ½ cm or ¼” wider and taller than the battery pack. We need that extra space so it’s easy to replace the fairy light batteries if they go flat.
Using a Dremel or carving tool, carve away the inside of the lines to create a cavity to house the battery pack. If you’ve never used a Dremel to carve wood this tutorial will show how it’s done.
Pressed wood is made up of layers of hard and soft wood, so just be careful that you don’t go all the way through that last hard layer.
Carefully drill a small hole from the bottom of the wooden cutout through to the carved-away battery pack area.
Thread the fairy lights through the hole.
Glue the battery pack down and tuck any “non-bulb” wires away neatly.
Double-check that you can replace the batteries before the glue dries.
Use masking tape to secure the wooden cutout inside the mold. Tape the fairy lights to the wooden handle to keep them out of harm’s way while you pour the first resin layer.
Pouring the resin
This resin platter with lights requires two pours. The first pour simply creates a flat resin surface for the lights to rest on. You don’t want the fairy bulbs poking out the top or bottom of the board. Before pouring the resin, check that the lights still work. Mix up a small batch of resin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You want just enough to pour a thin layer. Add any pigments or dyes and pour. I used a beautiful copper powder and gold flecks to my resin.
I mixed waaaaay too much for the first pour, so if you’re anything like me keep a spare silicone mold close by so you can use up the excess resin. Leave the resin to cure on a flat, level surface.
Now comes the exciting part—adding the lights. Use superglue to glue the lights down on the first layer of resin. You can glue them any way you want. I would, however, suggest that you don’t glue any wire too close to the edges. Just in case you need to sand the Platter afterwards. You don’t want to risk damaging the wire.
Once you’re happy and all the lights are glued down, mix up a second batch of resin. This time you need to mix enough to fill the mold and cover the fairy lights.
Watch out for seepage. Some of my resin went through the little hole and puddled up around the battery pack. Fortunately, it was only a teeny, tiny bit. In hindsight, I should have put a small drop of glue over the hole.
Leave the platter to cure on a flat, level surface. Test the resin for hardness by gently pricking it with a toothpick. If it doesn’t bunch and the toothpick doesn’t make a hole or dent in the resin, remove the resin platter from the mold.
Finishing off the platter with lights
Carefully trim any excess cured resin or uneven edges using a sharp knife or sandpaper.
Stain, paint, and distress the wooden handle and drill a hole if you’re planning on hanging the board.
Resin platter maintenance and care
To keep the resin platter in top-notch condition, use mild dish soap and warm water to wipe it down, before drying with a soft towel. Don’t put the poor thing in the dishwasher or use any harsh scrubbers or abrasive cleaners.
To keep the handle looking fabulous, apply some food-grade mineral oil every few weeks. I wouldn’t use super sharp knives either, they’ll leave ugly marks on the resin and the wooden handle.
Just a heads up, some resins yellow over time, so to be on the safe side, don’t expose the board to too much direct sunlight.
Resin pouring and curing FAQ
What is resin pouring and curing, and how does it work?
Resin pouring and curing is a process of mixing and pouring liquid resin into molds or surfaces, which then hardens and cures over time. It works through a chemical reaction that transforms the liquid resin into a solid, durable material.
What types of resin should I use?
There are various types of resin available, including epoxy, polyester, and polyurethane resins. The choice depends on the project and what you want to achieve. For the platter I used a 2-part epoxy resin that you’ll find in most craft stores.
Do you need any special tools or equipment?
Not really. Besides the silicone mold, I used plastic cups for mixing, ice cream sticks for stirring, a lighter to remove bubbles, and a level surface for even curing. All things you probably already have at home.
How long does it take for resin to cure?
Curing times vary based on the type of resin, temperature, and humidity. Epoxy resin normally takes between 24-72 hours to cure fully. Some resins cure faster, while others may take longer. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for precise curing times. If you hate to wait, you can buy resin that cures in 2 minutes under a UV light. It’s perfect for making fairy water, but a little pricy for something like this platter.
Can resin be used for outdoor projects?
Resin can be used for outdoor projects, but it’s important to choose a UV-resistant resin that’s durable and won’t yellow over time. I mixed copper pigments into the resin so you probably won’t notice.
Are there any creative techniques or ideas for using resin in art and crafts projects?
Yes, resin is versatile and can be used for creating jewelry, artwork, trays, tabletops, and more. Techniques like adding pigments, embedding objects, or creating resin geodes offer endless creative possibilities.
If you like the idea of making a resin platter with lights, don’t forget to pin it for later.
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BTW, if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.