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Casting, Epoxy resin

We Tried Making Resin Petri Dishes and Well…This Happened

Created by Josie Lewis, the Petrified Rainbow (also known as Resin Petri Dish and Resin Coasters) is a gorgeous, unpredictable type of resin art where a rainbow (or any other mix of colors used) is frozen in motion in a petri dish made of resin.

Awed by its beauty, we decided to give it a go and scoured the Internet for tutorials. Fortunately, our favorite site on all things resin art acrylgiessen.com has a tutorial just for Resin Petri Dishes! We got to work, setting aside the necessary tools and materials for this experiment but we hit a snag with every try and learned an important lesson:

Just like how not all epoxy resin is made equal, not all alcohol inks are made equal as well.

We used two types of Epoxy Resin for our attempt to make Resin Petri Dishes—the first is our own brand of Clear Epoxy Resin, and the second is Alumilite’s Amazing Clear Cast Epoxy Resin. For alcohol inks, we used Semiramis’ Alcohol Inks.

As noted by acrylgiessen.com, if the alcohol ink spreads immediately after being dropped into the resin, then the resin is pretty fluid. If it doesn’t spread much, then the resin has started to cure slightly. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for both of the epoxy resin we used.

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As you can see in the above picture, despite us immediately dropping ink into our resin after we’ve combined the resin and the hardener, it appears that our epoxy resin is too thick for our alcohol ink to penetrate it. We did the same for Alumilite’s and our alcohol ink couldn’t penetrate it as well.

So, in effort to save it, we mixed the resin with the alcohol inks and attempted to created petrified clouds of gold using a mixture of our 99.8% Isopropyl Alcohol and Aztec Gold Mica. The mica powder + Isopropyl Alcohol combo worked well!

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We also noticed that despite using the same amount of alcohol ink (10 drops) and mica+isopropyl alcohol (10 drops), the intensity of the color differs between the two brands of Epoxy Resin. Semiramis’ Alcohol Inks are brilliant for coloring epoxy resin

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Top – Alumilite       Bottom – Craftiviti

Though, we did keep one (using Craftiviti’s Clear Epoxy Resin) as it is with the un-mixed alcohol inks as a reference. The Epoxy Resin cured completely in 24 hours, but the alcohol ink never dried. We left it aside for a few more days but it stayed wet!

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Afterwards, we added another layer of Epoxy Resin just to see what happens and well, the result is a (rather pretty) bleeding Epoxy Resin sandwich 😂

So, as with all art and crafts, it’s always best to do little tests first. Don’t go full-on until you’re sure that a technique will work!

That aside, just because we failed this time, doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop trying! Stayed tuned for when we finally figure out a tutorial for Resin Petri Dishes that won’t fail 💪


Have you tried making a Resin Petri Dish before? How did it turn out for you? We’d love to hear about your experience and thoughts down below!

Thanks for reading ❤️

happy crafting

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