I saw this cool concept of a wooden Christmas tree on Etsy and thought it would be cool to try to make it with epoxy. That's how the idea of this Christmas tree with wood and epoxy was born.
This one that is sold on Etsy is made differently and I would love to try it too once. It doesn't have epoxy in between the wooden circles. And I thought that it did!
I guess we can call my project a happy accident. It turned out fabulous!
Ok. Will tell you below what I've learned from the process, my mistakes, and what I'd do differently to make a Christmas tree from wood and epoxy.
Step 1 - make a mold
Making a mold isn't as hard as it sounds. And it doesn't have to look perfect, it just needs to be functional and don't let epoxy escape.
How to make a mold for epoxy projects
Since I made custom sizes, I had to create a mold for them. I already had an experience with a mold for the outdoor console with cement tabletop. To make a mold for epoxy is similar but it needs some tweaks.
For the base, I also used a melamine board, great that I already had it left from another project. (I guess my hoarding skills paid off for once haha)
The problem with melamine board and epoxy is that epoxy sticks to them. It seems that epoxy sticks to a lot of surfaces.
Here is a list of what epoxy doesn't stick to:
- Parchment or wax paper
- Sheathing or tuck tape
I thought that tuck tape would be my best option. I got it at Home Depot and taped the melamine board. Now thinking about it, I could easily use any plywood board. 🤔 Good ideas seem to be always late haha
I also made sure to cover the sides with tape as well. I cut 1" strips for the sides to shape the triangle with.
Arranged the stripes so they shape 3 triangles (I figured if I started this whole process I should make at least a couple of the trees. Eventually I realized that I don't have enough resin for all of them and made only two).
The next step is to attach sides to the board. I started using screws but ran out of them and thought that brad nails would do just fine. Well, it works in the end but wasn't easy to separate sides from the mold. If you use screws, it would make your life easier later on.
Note: don't forget to drill pilot holes for the screws or you run into a risk of splitting the melamine board
We also need silicone to cover the edges of the mold so the epoxy wouldn't escape through the gaps. For that, you can find the cheapest silicone and run it over the edges. Don't forget to add silicone on the sides of the mold as well, they are often overlooked.
Then let it dry overnight and the mold is ready to use!
PIN IT TO MAKE FOR CHRISTMAS
Step 2 - prepare your materials
For the easier release of the mold, everyone recommended using something. I didn't want to buy a whole can of epoxy releaser since I wasn't sure when I'd be using it again.
So I used vaseline. Just rub it all over your mold and you are good to go!
Mix epoxy as per instructions on the bottle. Don't forget to wear gloves since epoxy isn't very safe to work with.
Related: Tips on how to work with epoxy
Step 3 - arrange wood pieces inside the mold
Lay down round circles inside the mold. I like to put a larger circle down and then surround it with smaller ones.
When you like the way wood circles are arranged, pour epoxy over it.
Step 4 - adding epoxy to the mold
For one tree I used clear epoxy, for another one I decided to get creative and add black acrylic paint.
That didn't work as well as I imagined it in my head - black color covered wooden circles almost completely and they became barely visible. That was not the look I was going for!
And then I realized that the tree that I got inspired by was simply arranged on the black backboard. And the space between logs was hollow! That was not epoxy at all!
Anyway, I let it dry overnight.
When it was time to de-mold it, I ran into a little problem. It was not that easy to take off brad nails - so make sure to use screws next time.
I used Vaseline on only one mold but both of them came off the tape relatively easily.
They do have little bubbles inside and to avoid them you need to have a bit of patience and tap the sides of the mold so the epoxy can settle. It doesn't bother me though! I love the imperfections.
That's it!!! Aren't they gorgeous? They came out so much better than I imagined. I would love to try to make it again.
You could also make a little stand for them, like here. But I felt that they were fine just standing on the mantle.
What do you think about these handmade Christmas trees from epoxy with wooden circles?
I know they have a lot of imperfections and bubbles but I love them the way they are!
I hope you'll give it a try and let me know how it went. You can tag me on Instagram @ifonlyapril to be featured.
If you'd like to watch me make this Christmas tree from wood and epoxy along with other fun DIY Christmas decorations, you can on my YouTube channel.