Introduction: Resin Ocean Mirror Tray With Dock Cleat Handles!
With travel so limited these days, one thing I miss dearly is being able to go to the beach a few times a year. We haven't seen the ocean in person for over a year, so we decided to make one instead! We found a great little mirror tray at Goodwill for $2, and we went to work transforming it into a masterpiece. We got rid of the old gold plastic shell handles that were dented beyond belief, made some dock cleat handles and poured a beautiful 3D (layered) ocean resin.
Now we have a great tray to showcase some of our treasures from former beach trips, as well as a pretty little ocean to stare at until we can see one in person again.
(Amazon links = affiliate links):
Mirror tray (we found ours at a thrift shop)
Wood (we used 1/16" basswood sheets with the Cricut Maker): https://amzn.to/3adfiuS
Cricut Maker (or power saw for wood): https://amzn.to/33NngKm
Cricut knife blade: https://amzn.to/31EZVaY
Cricut strong grip mat: https://amzn.to/31F06Da
Painter's tape: https://amzn.to/3injICg
4" Dock cleats: https://amzn.to/2PJOglm
Spray paint (we used Midnight) - https://amzn.to/2YLrzl7
Super glue: https://amzn.to/2AyK6Zk
Wood glue: https://amzn.to/2uPBM4y
Small clamps: https://amzn.to/30JHtP1
Pro Marine Countertop Epoxy: https://amzn.to/35ZnHi6
Turquoise Pigment: https://amzn.to/2FZkbtg
Medium Blue Pigment: https://amzn.to/2RnhLdu
Dark Blue Pigment: https://amzn.to/2Nx07CK
Foam White Pigment Paste: https://www.mermaidtrash.com/product-page/foam-wh...
Heat Gun: https://amzn.to/2R3IbC6
Mixing Cups: https://amzn.to/2RiDRxq
Mixing Sticks: https://amzn.to/2tgKatK
Plastic drop cloths: https://amzn.to/2tqbk1c
Utility Knife: https://amzn.to/2DSSxAi
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. You don't pay anything extra for the items you buy - we just get credit for referring you!
Step 1: Prepare Mirror
First, you need to prepare your mirror tray!
Gather the following materials: mirror tray, screwdriver, and cleaning products.
Follow these steps:
1. Detach any hardware from the mirror.
2. Clean the mirror thoroughly.
3. Set aside.
Step 2: Make Bases for Cleats
Since we’re going to use dock cleats for the new handles on the tray, we need some way to attach them. The holes from the original hardware don’t line up, so we decided to make custom wooden bases. Of course, we could have just cut square bases, but that wouldn’t have given us the same curve appeal that’s consistent both on the oval mirror, and on the bottom of the cleats.
You could cut these pieces using any number of tools, from a band saw to a scroll saw, jigsaw or by hand. But, we wanted exceptional precision in the cuts and turned to our new favorite toy: the Cricut Maker. We traced the base of a dock cleat and then digitized the shape to make the cut, but we’re going to make it easy for you and just provide the link to the project in Cricut Design Space. :)
Gather the following materials: Cricut Maker with Knife Blade, 1 small sheet of 1/16” basswood, painter's tape, cleat, pencil, computer/phone, wood glue, super glue, sandpaper, clamps, drill, paint of your choice.
Follow these steps:
1. Access this project in Cricut Design Space.
2. Secure a sheet of 1/16” basswood to a Strong Grip mat and tape down edges with Painter’s Tape.
3. Insert your Knife Blade and cut 8 shapes out of the basswood.
4. Glue 4 shapes together using wood glue.
5. Repeat the preview step for the second base.
6. Clamp both wood bases separately and let cure according to the instructions on your glue.
7. Once the wood glue has cured, sand any extra glue off.
8. Mark the holes for the wood bases to be attached to the mirror.
9. Pre-drill holes in wood bases and insert screws.
10. Paint wood bases the color of your choice. We used a dark blue spray paint.
11. Attach wood bases to mirror using original hardware.
Step 3: Pour First Wave of Resin Ocean
Now is the time for the ocean resin pour! As resin has variable working times, you'll want to be sure to consult your bottles for how long you have before it starts to cure (or "kick") so you'll know how quickly (or not) you'll need to work.
The video at the top of this post shows the full resin ocean process in real time (not sped up), so it may be helpful for you to watch.
Gather the following materials: resin, 3 blue pigments, one white pigment, mixing cups, mixing sticks, heat gun and torch. If you'd like to watch the resin pour in the video, you can find it at 5:30.
Follow these steps:
1. Put down a drop cloth over your working area. Resin gets messy!
2. Create a raised base for your project so they resin can drip freely.
3. Place mirror on base and ensure that it is level.
4. Mix resin according to the instructions on the bottles.
5. Divide resin out between five cups: one for each of the three increasingly darker blues, then one each for the white and clear.
6. Pour the three blues from light (in the front) to dark (at the very back), creating a curvy shoreline.
Tip: It may be helpful to heat the resin before you pour to give it more movement on the mirror.
7. Mix the three blues together using either a pitter patter with your fingers.
8. Pour a thin line of clear resin at the front of the ocean.
9. Pour a line of white in front of the clear resin.
10. Use a heat gun to push the white back into the ocean, creating a wave.
Tip: Do not overheat the resin. Be decisive and quick - don't stay in one spot for too long.
11. Manage drips by wiping them as they form. You will need to do a little bit of babysitting the project on this.
Step 4: Pour Second Wave of Resin Ocean
Now that the first wave is set, it’s time to pour the second wave! You’ll basically repeat the steps from the first wave, minus the lightest blue.
Gather the following materials: resin, 2 blue pigments, one white pigment, mixing cups, mixing sticks, heat gun and torch.
Follow these steps:
1. Mix resin according to the instructions on the bottles.
2. Divide resin out between four cups: one for each of the increasingly darker blues, white and clear.
3. Pour the medium and dark blues at the back part of the ocean on your mirror.
4. Mix blues together using either a pitter patter with your fingers or a chop brush.
5. Use a heat gun to warm the area where the two pours meet.
6. Pour a thin line of clear resin where the two pours meet.
7. Pour a line of white in front of the clear resin.
8. Use a heat gun to push the white back into the ocean, creating a wave.
Tip: Do not overheat the resin. Be quick and decisive - don't stay in one spot for too long!
9. Once you're happy with how the waves look, use a Bernzomatic torch to pop the bubbles. Again, don't overheat the resin!
10. Manage drips by wiping them as they form. You will need to do a little bit of babysitting the project on this.
11. Let project cure overnight.
Tip: You may want to carefully cover your creation so dust doesn't settle in your pour.
12. Manage drips by wiping them as they form. You will need to do a little bit of babysitting the project on this.
Step 5: Attach Dock Cleats for Handles
One last step: attaching the cleats! Since the cleats are designed to be bolted on with a hex bolt, and the design of this tray doesn’t allow a bolt to be on the bottom, we’re just going to use glue for this part.
Gather the following materials: 4” dock cleats (2), E6000 glue, clamps, utility knife, small screws for the top (optional)
Follow these steps:
1. If you have any protruding drips on the underside, you an cut them off with a utility knife.
2. Glue cleats to wood base using E6000 glue.
3. Clamp to ensure a tight bond.
You can fill the holes in the cleats with a screw, if desired. If you don't have screws/bolts long enough, do what we did:
1. Put E6000 under the head of the bolt you’ll be using as a hole filler, as well as down the shaft of the bolt.
2. Insert gluey bolt into hole and press down for 10 seconds to ensure a good bond. Let glue cure.
Step 6: Enjoy!
That’s it! Now you have an awesome decorative ocean mirror tray.
If you liked this project, please head over to JustMightDIY.com for more tips, tutorials, back stories and more. And if you’re interested in checking out more of our tutorials, check out our Instructables profile or head over to our YouTube channel.
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