‘How to make sand in resin art?’ This is what we will be learning in today’s tutorial.

There are two effective ways of making white sand in resin art when real sand is not available. I will be teaching one of the ways that can be used on wood panels or MDF boards. And remember different materials will give different sand textures.

Resin ocean beach art is enhanced by the way we create the sand with a realistic effect. It is simple, easy, and usually, the first step when creating a resin ocean beach with the technique we will learn today.  

Tutorial on how to make sand in resin

How to Make Sand in Rest Art Beach to Add a Touch of Realism?

There are three ways to make sand for the resin ocean beach. The first one is by using crushed glass that I usually use. The second way is by using real sand. And the third way is to use sculpture paste. I love to see how each one gives a very different sand effect.

You can try all three methods in various resin ocean projects. But remember to use sculpture paste only on a solid base like canvas, acrylic sheet, or MDF board/wood panel.

So let’s look at the list of materials we will need to get started.

Quick List of Supplies to Make Sand in Resin Ocean Beach Art

You will need the following materials to make sand in resin ocean beach art.

supplies required for resin art

Epoxy resin
Electronic Weighing Scale
Pigments – Ultramarine Blue, Ultra White, Metallic Aquamarine Blue, Translucent Blue
Sculpture Paste (for making sand)
An MDF Tray
A Surgical or Respirator Mask
Disposable Paper mixing cups
Ice-cream sticks to stir
A piece of plastic to work on
Hair Dryer
A Dust Cover – Cardboard or Plastic Box, Vegetable Net
Latex Gloves

Bring All Your Material to Your Work Area

Before you begin working on your resin art project, it is always advisable to gather all the materials you require and keep in your work area.

gather all your material

Epoxy resin gives you a limited time to work. You can’t be running around looking for things that you would need at any stage of your work time. So always be prepared!

Choose The Surface For The Project

You can choose the surface you want to create your epoxy resin project. Though canvas is a cheaper option as a beginner start your project on a wood panel. It is sturdy and doesn’t sag by resin’s weight. Epoxy resin pours on wood self-levels. This becomes difficult on a stretched canvas.

For this project, I am using an MDF Tray. You can order these trays online from Amazon with hassle-free delivery.

choose the surface

You can choose to work on any surface, such as a canvas, wood panel, or acrylic sheet as a base.

Have Your Beach Theme Ready to Make the White Sand in Resin Art

To make sand in resin ocean beach art try to find a theme you would like your artwork to look like. So Google for lovely beach pictures or take an old picture from your beach vacations as a reference.

select a beach theme

Wear Mask and Latex Gloves

Wear a mask and latex gloves before you start working on your resin epoxy project. Epoxy resin emits fumes that can be health hazardous if necessary precautions are not taken. Resin can also cause skin rashes. So always work with the latex gloves on.

wear mask and latex gloves

Mixing Epoxy Resin and Hardener

Mix your epoxy resin and hardener, by weight, in the ratio mentioned by the manufacturer on the instructions label. Some brands of resin are mixed in the ratio of 1 part resin to 1 part hardener. While other brands instruct 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener. Make sure to mix resin and hardener as per the label instructions.

mixing resin and hardener

Stir the mixture slowly with an ice-cream stick for 3 minutes. Scrape the sides of the cup while stirring as to mix the resin and hardener properly. If the mixture is not mixed correctly it might lead to a tacky outcome that just might not cure. So always mix the resin and hardener carefully.

resin and hardener mixture

How Much Pigment to Add to Resin Mixture?

For creating epoxy ocean water I have used 4 colors as mentioned and sculpture paste for making sand.

Ultramarine Blue
Ultra White for creating water and seafoam
Metallic Turquoise
Translucent Blue

Use just a little bit of pigment as it is enough to get the desired color. However, there is always room for experimentation.

add pigment to resin

Tip: Adding too much pigment can result in a non-cured resin art piece.

Why Should You Let the Mixture Sit? 

Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. It will settle the bubbles and the pouring consistency of the mixture will be thicker than before. Make sure the resin’s viscosity is honey-like when you pour for it to flow freely and self-level.

let the resin mixture sit for 15 minutes

A thin consistency can lead to the mixing of colors and ruin your design completely. 

Making Sand for the Epoxy Ocean Beach

I have created sand using crushed glass for my previous resin ocean projects. But for this project, I am using sculpture paste. It is usually used in mixed media art. 

I started applying sculpture paste from one side to the other shaping it as I wanted my beach to look like. Resin mixture pour is not required at this stage. We will pour clear resin on the sand at a later stage.

making sand in resin art

Whatever shape you choose to work on – round, rectangular or square, begin by making the sand on the edge closest to you. 

Setting the Shells in the Sand in Resin Art

Place the shells wherever you wish to in small groups on the sculpture paste. Gently press the shells in the sculpture paste so that the shells do not move when we pour clear resin over the sand.

set shells in sand

How to Make the Ocean Water?

Check on your pigment and resin mixtures. If it had a chance to sit for some time, it thickened enough for a freely-moving pour.  Now pour the ultramarine blue epoxy resin from one end to the other. Let it free flow.

pouring ultramarine blue

Pouring the Second Layer for Water

Next, pour the translucent blue below the ultramarine blue. Let it free flow.

pouring translucent blue

Pouring the Third Layer for Water

Now, pour the metallic turquoise below the translucent blue, and let it free flow.

Pourin metallic aquamarine blue

Pouring the Clear Resin 

It is time to cover the sand with some clear resin. Pour clear resin on the sand and shells embossed in it. This will give a water-like effect on the sand.

pour clear resin

Create the Waves On the White Sand in Resin Art

You will enjoy working on this part. It’s always fun to make waves crash and see the lace and sea-foam effect forming. When I see the waves taking shape, I am always transported to a day from one of my beach vacations. It’s always comforting.

Drop a line of ultra-white resin between the beach and the ocean. Next, drop another line of ultra-white resin anywhere on the ocean water. 

pouring white line for waves

Spread the Waves to Make the Water Surreal On the White Sand

So this is where the fun of creating epoxy ocean water begins. And this is what makes the ocean water look so real.

Set your hairdryer to a low setting. Begin by slowly moving the hairdryer back and forth on the first thin white layer – the one between the beach and the ocean. As you gently blow the white resin it spreads out and makes the waves crash. You might also see some white resin flow towards the beach. Let it flow as it will give a natural beach effect.

Now move the hairdryer over the second white line. And repeat the same process as you did to create the first wave. You can always change the settings from low to high for a wider spread. When you spread the waves by blowing it gives the lacy effect similar to seafoam

spread the waves

If you find the white line disappears, you can add another thin white line and create waves. 

Tip: Don’t overdo the blowing. You may lose the desired effect if you don’t know when to stop.

Let’s Color the Tray to Give it a Finished Look

Once the resin sets and is fully cured, color the MDF tray with the darkest shade of blue acrylic paint. Later seal it with a varnish.

color the tray

Fully Cured MDF Tray with White Sand in Resin Art

Voila! The cured epoxy ocean water with white sand looks beautiful.

fully cured resin art

Tip: Remember that when your art piece is fully cured you might sometimes find it a little different from when you left it to cure. It’s nothing to worry about.

I enjoyed making this tray in the resin ocean beach theme. This along with a set of two coasters can be a wonderful anniversary gift idea. Want to know about more gift ideas with epoxy resin. Click here.

If you found this tutorial helpful then do share your resin white sand ocean beach projects with me in the comments. I would love to see your beautiful beach creations.

For any questions in your mind regarding the usage, mixing or curing of epoxy resin for making various projects, you can check my blog ‘Top Resin Art Questions’ that will answer all your queries.