Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fondue Themed Tray with Envirotex Lite Resin

I (Sarah) recently decided to participate in the Creative Bloggers Coalition’s campaign with Environmental Technologies Inc. (ETI).  If you were around here in April then you know I am a BIG fan of ETI and their products (check out my resin casting primer here, my marbleized resin bracelet here, and my resin blocks/memory game here). 

When I heard we would be using Envirotex Lite, I knew immediately that I wanted to make a fondue themed serving tray.  No, seriously, I knew that immediately.  I had just bought a cool tray at a thrift store and a couple days later, I had bought some old fondue forks.  Throw in some Envirotex Lite resin, and the light bulb went off!
My thrift store tray.

The great thing about working with resin is that you can use dimensional objects for collage, but end up with a flat surface (or mostly flat surface, as you’ll learn later...  oops!).  You can also do several different pours of your resin and layer your flat objects.  Wow!  The things you can do are just endless.
So true, so true...
I would recommend you start by reading my resin casting primer.  This will go over basics of pouring and safety information.  Resin can be a dangerous chemical so it is important that you pay attention to safety information.  It’s also important to follow the directions so your project hardens correctly.  In particular, with Envirotex Lite, you should never pour more than a quarter inch thick at one time.  If you do, the resin will heat up and start to bubble.  Your project will be destroyed.  Please do pay attention to these warnings.
Awesome set of old fondue forks.

On with the tutorial!

Supplies Needed:
Envirotex Lite “Pour-on” Resin
Mixing Cups
Stirring sticks (popsicle sticks work great)
Vinyl gloves
Heat gun
Serving tray with flat bottom that is at least an inch deep
Collage ephemera – images, fabric, charms, beads, sequins, whatever you want to use
Decoupage medium
Paint brush
Clear drying glue


Step 1:  Prep your serving tray.  You want to make sure it’s clean.  When I had my tray sitting out, the cat decided it was his new favorite place to sleep.  Cleaning out all the cat hair became priority number one.  My tray was metal, but you could use a plastic, wood, glass, or any other type of tray.  Resin will work with just about anything. You can paint it or prep it in any way you want.

Step 2:  Lay out your collage.  For my fondue themed collage, I used some images from an 1970s fondue cookbook, some food themed charms, my vintage fondue forks, and some snowflake sequins.  This is where I made my big mistake.  I should have sanded down one side of the fondue forks so they didn’t stick up so high.  Oh well, live and learn.

Step 3:  Once you are happy with your collage, snap a quick picture of it for reference.  This way, if your short term memory, like mine, is crap, you have something to look back at.
Collage is glued laid out and ready to be glued down.
Step 4:  Glue down anything that will be on the bottom layer of your collage.  As thick and viscose as the resin is, stuff will float in it if you don’t glue it in place.  Take a minute to glue down your charms and beads so they are in the place you want them.

Step 5:  Decoupage your images.  This is huge!  Resin will soak into paper and fabric.  It is essential that you seal it before pouring your resin.  You’re best off putting a 2-3 layers of decoupage medium over the paper.  I decoupaged my images right to the bottom of the tray.  You also want to be careful to work out any bubbles as air will get trapped in there and will cause bubbles in the resin later on. 
You can see I had a spot of trouble with the resin soaking into the paper just above the "M" in menu.  Take the time to seal that paper well!
Step 6:  We are ready to pour.  Because of the size of my tray and the depth I needed for the resin, I needed to do 5 separate pours.  Remember, you never want to pour more than a quarter of an inch thick at a time or the resin will heat up.  Mix equal amounts of the resin and hardener per the package instructions.  Mix and mix and mix and mix just like it says to do.  When it’s good and mixed, pour it into the bottom of the tray.  Once all the resin is in the tray, make sure the bottom is evenly covered by swirling the tray and letting the resin roll into the corners and sides.

Step 7:  At this point the resin will be full of bubbles which will need to be degassed.  Take your heat gun and hold it above the surface of the resin (don’t get to close).  You will see the bubbles popping like crazy as you move the heat gun over the surface, leaving the resin crystal clear.

Here's a close up showing how crystal clear the resin is after degassing.  May I also add, why did the "dry look" ever go out of style for men? ;-)
Step 8:  Let it dry for 24 hours (possibly more if you live someplace humid).  It will drive you nuts and you will want to poke at it, but resist.  Resist!  Also, keep it out of reach of the kids and the cat. 
Here, I've added snowflake sequins on top of the first pour so the will appear to float above the other objects.
Once cured, repeat steps 6 and 7 as many times as needed.  Keep in mind that you can add additional items into your collage each time you pour so stuff is on different levels.  It’s hard to see this in the photos, but I did this with the sequins which are floating above the rest of the collage.
This isn't the greatest photo, but you can see that the sequins and charm are all on different levels.
Because I didn’t sand down the backs of my fondue forks in Step 2, they are sticking out of the resin.  It’s kind of cool, but maybe not that practical for using the tray. 

ETI sent me this product to try out. You won’t believe all that you can do with this product.  Envirotex Lite was created by Environmental Technologies Inc. (ETI), which is the home for many resin and mold making products.

The use of resin in jewelry making, mixed media and paper arts continues to grow in popularity. Today, artists are using ETI’s products in many crafty ways and they will be showcasing these works of art on their new blog "Resin Crafts".

Check them out on:
ETI on Twitter

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1 comment:

Mod Podge Amy said...

Sarah, this layered look is FANTASTIC! You really thought outside the box and should be proud. This tray looks great (love the picture too!)

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