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An example of the petri dish resin technique in pink, orange, and green.

Every day, crafters and DIYers are experimenting with resin to create a variety of unique and awe-inspiring techniques to implement. Today, we are going to talk about one such technique: creating whimsical, colorful coasters using alcohol inks via the petri dish effect.

What the Petri Dish Resin Effect?

The main working component in the petri dish effect is white alcohol ink. Since it is heavier than the other colors and settles down to the bottom in resin, you can use drops of it on top of every other color to push the dye all the way through the resin. The results are mind-blowing and, dare we say, other-worldly!

How to Create Resin Petri Dish Coasters

Follow along with us as we walk through the process of creating resin coasters using the petri dish effect.

If you’d rather follow along with a video, we have one of those, too:

First thing’s first, here’s what you need:

  • ProMarine Supplies Table Top Epoxy Resin Bundle* (included items: stir sticks, measuring cups, and gloves)
  • Coaster molds (you can make your own in any shape you’d like using The Amazing Mold Maker)
  • Stir sticks*
  • Disposable gloves*
  • Measuring and mixing cups*
  • Blow torch or heat gun (we can’t let bubbles think they’re welcome)
  • Alcohol ink (any colors you want, but make sure to have white)
  • Safety glasses/goggles
  • Pipettes
  • Toothpicks (for mixing small batches)

Keep in mind that the chosen colors can either be translucent or opaque, but the white must be opaque in order to achieve the resin petri dish effect.

Make sure you set all these items up nearby in your workspace. An ideal work area should have adequate ventilation and airflow, as well as the ability to keep an ambient temperature of approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Take your two-part ProMarine Supplies Table Top Epoxy Resin and measure out what you need. If you’re not sure how much to pour, we have a handy Epoxy Calculator tool that will help!

A set of ProMarine Supplies Table Top Resin bottles.

This epoxy mixes in a 1-to-1 by ratio by volume. Combine equal parts of A and B and mix thoroughly, scraping the sides and bottom to ensure everything coalesces.

Set up several small containers, one for each of the different colors you plan on using. Put a few drops of each color in their respective cup.

Next, add a few drops of the opaque white alcohol ink to each color. Use whatever you’d like to mix up the smaller batches. We used toothpicks!

White alcohol ink being mixed with dyes in little cups, using a toothpick.

Take your mixed resin and pour it carefully into your coaster molds and allow it to level out. If you pour enough resin, it should self-level.

ProMarine Supplies Table Top Epoxy Resin being poured into silicone molds for petri dish resin art.

Take a heat gun or blow torch and remove any pesky bubbles. With a blow torch, make sure you don’t hold it in one place too long because it can damage the mold and resin.

A heat gun being used to remove air bubbles in resin in coaster molds.

Now, use a pipette to pipe drops of the various colors into your resin. This is the perfect opportunity to let your imagination run wild! Try your favorite color combinations or something entirely new. We went crazy with our colors!

Resin Art Petri Dish technique being applied to uncured resin in orange, pink, and green.

Next, ensure that your coasters are allowed to cure in a clean environment, again with a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you’ve given your resin enough time to cure, you can de-mold them. And voilà, your resin art petri dish coasters are complete! How did they turn out? With this technique, we’ve found that the results are endless in their distinction. And so are the applications. You can experiment and apply this effect to coasters, paperweights, dice, trays, or even jewelry.

The finished orange, green, and pink resin art petri dish coasters being held up.

If you decide to try the petri dish effect, show us your masterpieces! On Instagram you can tag our handle at @promarinesupplies or use one of our hashtags: #promarinesupplies, #promarine, #pmtabletop, #pmproart, or #pmpropour.

Resin Petri Dish Masterpieces

A vibrant and colorful example of Petri Dish Resin Art by @pourmesomethingsista on Instagram.

@pourmesomethingsista’s technique has produced something that we think is out of this world!

The Petri Dish resin technique shown in a set of dice in numerous colors by @sunflower.dice on Instagram.

@sunflower.dice shows us that the resin petri dish effect and dice are a stunning combo!

Talk to Us at ProMarine Supplies

Have any questions? You’re welcome to contact us or visit our FAQs page. If there’s a topic, project, or technique you’d like to see mentioned, don’t hesitate to reach out!

For more inspiring works by the crafting and DIY community, visit our numerous social media.

Until next time—happy crafting, everyone!

Products Mentioned in this Article: 

ProMarine Supplies

Welcome to the ProMarine Supplies Blog. Here we hope to provide you with inspiration and insight into epoxy resin products, the latest crafting trends, exciting projects, and so much more!

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