*This post is in partnership with Starbucks®.
Hi everyone! I’m excited to share my latest DIY project with you: a wood and epoxy resin inlay coffee serving tray. I partnered with Starbucks to bring you the tutorial for this project. Starbucks is pretty much our second home (after Home Depot) and we just got the Starbucks Rewards® Visa® Prepaid Card, so when I was brainstorming project ideas, this DIY coffee serving tray seemed like a no-brainer!
We recently got the Starbucks Rewards® Visa® Prepaid Card. Now, if you know us at all, you know that we’re Dave Ramsey disciples here at The House of Wood. We don’t own any credit cards, we don’t carry any debt, and we live well below our means. In fact, we just purchased a replacement car for Adam and paid cash! Papa Dave would be so proud. We certainly were.
That being said, the Starbucks Rewards® Visa® Prepaid Card is not a credit card. You load your money onto it, so you’re not ‘borrowing’ money, like you would a credit card. There are no monthly or annual fees (other fees may apply), and you certainly don’t get charged for reloading the card. Plus, you can earn Starbucks® food and drink Rewards, which is awesome.
As a Starbucks Rewards® member, you earn 2 Stars for every $1 spent in the store with your registered Starbucks Card, but the cool thing about this Starbucks Rewards®Visa® Prepaid Card is that you can earn 1 Star for every $10 you spend outside of Starbucks stores on whatever you buy. So that means when you use it to buy groceries or gas, you’re also feeding your Starbucks craving! Whaaat! Pretty stinkin’ cool, right? More Starbucks Rewards® for everyone! You can click here to learn more. With this card, I’m able to budget for my projects, purchase supplies, and earn Starbucks Stars in the process!
Alright. Let’s jump into this tutorial, shall we?
How To Make A Wood and Epoxy Resin Inlay Coffee Serving Tray
My serving tray measures about 22 inches by 12 inches overall. I dug through my scrap wood pile and found some poplar with a really interesting grain pattern on it. I had to join two boards together edge-to-edge, to make a wider board, so I used my biscuit joiner to cut slots into the edge of each board. The biscuits will help when aligning the boards as we’re doing the glue-up.
I let the glue dry for about an hour before removing the clamps. A few of these Bessey parallel clamps are great to have in the shop. They’re a bit pricey, but so worth it.
By the way, can we just have a moment for this poplar? Check out that beautiful grain! It’s like Poplar decided that parts of her wanted to be Black Walnut.
Hey that’s cool, Poplar. You do you, girl.
Next, I squared up the ends on my miter saw, then my sweet husband sanded the board (because sanding is the bane of my existence). The board measures about 20 1/2 inches by 11 inches.
Now it was time for my X-Carve 3D carving machine to get to work. I clamped the board to the machine and let it do its thing. My good friend, Ben Uyeda designed this inlay pattern and he’s made it available for download here.
Here’s what it looks like after the carving – isn’t it striking?
While the X-carve was busy carving out the pattern, I cut out the pieces for the frame, mitering the ends at 45º with my miter saw. I recommend measuring and cutting the miters long, then shaving off a little bit at a time to get the tightest fit.
I wanted to incorporate metal somewhere in this tray and so I cut a few scraps of steel to about 6 inches with an angle grinder with a metal cutoff wheel and drilled holes for the screws. I countersunk the holes so that the screw heads would sit flush to the surface. Then I sanded any rough spots or burrs and spray-painted the handles gold. Be sure to pre-drill the pilot holes on the wood too, to minimize any risk of the wood splitting.
Now for the fun part – filling the carving with epoxy resin! I used this epoxy resin because it’s food-safe, and I added food gel coloring to tint the resin white. Per the instructions on the bottle, I mixed a 1:1 ratio in a plastic cup and added a couple squirts of the food coloring until I got the level of opacity I was looking for. Use a popsicle stick to stir the mixture for about 3 minutes and be sure to wear gloves – this stuff is super sticky!
I poured the epoxy resin onto the board, working it into the carving. The resin is self-leveling, but I did my best to spread it evenly across the surface. Use cardboard to catch any drips then let the resin dry and harden (in a dust-free area) for a minimum of 24 hours.
The next day, I sanded the remaining resin down. I used 80-grit sandpaper and worked my way up to 320-grit.
Then I glued and nailed the frame pieces on. I love this new cordless pin nailer – it leaves the tiniest nail holes, you can hardly see them!
Finally, I finished the serving tray with a couple of coats of my favorite satin finish. Watch how that grain and that inlay pattern just pops! Ahhh… so beautiful.
Allow the finish to cure overnight before using the tray.
Yep. I’m madly in love with that beautiful, unexpected poplar wood grain! What do you think? Hope you enjoyed this DIY wood and resin inlay coffee serving tray tutorial – tag me on social media @jenwoodhouse if you make one of these for yourself!
*I have partnered with Starbucks to help promote the Starbucks Rewards® Visa® Prepaid Card. All efforts, ideas, and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. To read my full disclosure policy, please click here. At participating Starbucks® stores. Some restrictions apply. See Starbucks.com/terms for details. Debit cards are provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.