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DIY Wood and Resin River Wall Art
In this tutorial, I show you how to make a DIY wood and resin river wall art baseball storage rack.
Tools & Materials I Used
I have downloadable DIY Plans available for this project at the bottom of this post.
Red Opaque Resin Dye
White Opaque Resin Dye
Red Glow Powder
3/8″ Cherry Dowel
Silicone Fleur Des Lis Mold
Track Saw with Track
Sanding Pad for Normal Use
Sanding Pad for High Grits
1/4″ roundover bit
3/8″ Drill Bit with Dowel Guide
Drill Bit Set
Self Centering Drill Bit
Often times, I experiment with many different products and tools while working with epoxy resin. Therefore, the products I use in a certain project may not be my favorite.
For your convenience, I’ve compiled a complete list of my favorite Epoxy Resin material and tools – click HERE to see the list.
My oldest son, Zeph, received a college baseball scholarship from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The day a high school athlete signs a national letter of intent to play college sports is a BIG day.
They are finally rewarded for their dedication, hard work, & sacrifice they put forth to their craft for more than half their lives.
Instead of buying my son a gift for his big day, my youngest son and I decided to make him a wall mounted baseball storage rack to hold his baseball gear at college.
The baseball bat rack, hat rack, and baseball glove display is also DIY wood and resin river wall art with the logo and colors of his new college – the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
This baseball display case holds 3 baseball bats, 2 baseball gloves, and 2 baseball hats.
Whether you are a baseball fan or not, the techniques I use in this project also apply to tables and general wall art.
DIY Baseball Storage Rack Plans
You can download the digital plans for the Bat Display Rack HERE.
Make a Large Resin Mold
First, I made a large resin mold made from a 2’x4′ sheet of particle board for the DIY wood and resin river wall art.
Then, I covered the particle board with silicone tape. As a side note, packing tape is cheaper and will do the job just fine.
Next, I covered the silicone tape with furniture wax which works as a mold release agent. When I don’t have furniture wax in my shop, I use vaseline.
I decided to use a piece of cherry wood for the DIY baseball storage rack.
First, I used my tape measure to find the center of the board which was 5″.
Next, I used my track saw to cut a straight line down the center of the cherry.
I always make sure to cut a nice, straight line down the center of the wood I use for river tables.
Ultimately, this will be the outer sides after I flip the wood around.
Then, I used my rotary sander to clean up the loose bark and dirt from the entire piece.
The sandpaper grit doesn’t matter during this step since I’m simply cleaning up the sides and edges.
Seal Resin Mold
After I prepared the wood, I placed it on the resin mold.
Next, I attached a board (covered in silicone tape and furniture wax) to each end.
The board has to be slightly taller than the wood and long enough to cover the width of the river.
I used my brad nailer to secure it to each end.
Brad nails are ideal when used on end grain b/c it is easy to remove and the holes close with minimal effort.
Then, I used silicone to seal the crack between the wood and silicone tape to prevent resin from leaking.
Also, I sealed each end.
Once the silicone was dry, I mixed 48 ounces of resin for the DIY wood and resin river wall art.
After I mixed the resin, I split the 48 ounces into 2 containers with 24 ounces in each.
Next, I slowly mixed in red opaque pigment in one container and white opaque pigment in the other container.
I added more pigment until I achieved the shade of red and white I wanted.
Then, I added red glow powder to the red pigment.
I had 8 ounces of glow powder from a previous project and thought it would be cool to add it to the baseball storage rack.
First Resin Pour
My youngest son and I poured the red and white resin simultaneously.
He poured the white and I poured the red at the same rate in order for the resin to meet in the middle.
It worked perfectly.
We had a little leftover white resin, so I poured it in my fleur des lis silicone mold. More on this later.
Resin Lace Effect
To create a resin lacing effect, I used my heat gun and moved the red resin on the white and the white resin over the red.
The resin looks really cool when it blends together.
Next, I removed the bubbles and made sure the table was level with my leveler.
Embed Objects in Resin
First, I cut 3 baseballs in half on my bandsaw.
My apologies, but my camera memory card was full when I did this; therefore, I didn’t capture it on film.
Next, my youngest son dropped a baseball in the center.
Then, he dropped one 5 inches from each end of the DIY wood and resin river wall art.
Remove Marks and Test Glow Powder
After the baseballs sank into the resin, I used a stir stick with a little dab of white resin to cover the writing on each baseball.
I turned off the light and shined a black light over the red resin to test the glow powder.
It had a very nice red glow to it.
Finally, we let the baseball storage rack sit overnight.
Second Resin Pour
After the first resin pour cured overnight, it was time for the second resin pour.
As a side note, I didn’t want the resin to completely cover the baseball.
I wanted a portion of the baseball to protrude the surface about 1/8″. You will see why in a later step.
First, I mixed 48 ounces of clear resin and poured 36 ounces on the DIY wood and resin river wall art.
If you look closely, you will see a lot of air bubbles.
I didn’t pay attention to the temperature of the resin before I mixed the second batch.
Consequently, the resin was below the ideal temperature of 70 degrees.
To remedy this issue, I use my torch and heat gun to get the resin up to the ideal temperature it needs to cure properly.
The heat gun works best; however, be sure to clear the work area of debris or you will pollute the resin.
After a few minutes of heating the resin, it cleared up nicely.
In order to add a decorative touch to the baseball storage rack, I mixed red opaque pigment into the resin.
Next, I poured the red resin into the fleur des lis silicone mold.
Then, I used my blow torch and heat gun to remove the bubbles.
Install Baseball Bat Rack Wall Holders
Once the resin was cured the following day, I installed the baseball bat rack holders.
I prefer to not drill resin, which is the reason I left a tiny portion of the ball protruding through the resin.
First, I drilled the top of the ball with a 1/8″ drill bit the same depth as the threads on the utility hook.
Next, I slowly screwed the utility hook in the pilot hole.
Baseball Hat Rack Holder
First, I removed the fleur des lis casting from the silicone mold..
Next, I used a 1/16″ drill bit to drill a hole through baseball hat rack holder.
The resin is difficult to drill, so I stepped up the drill bit size by 1/8″ until I got to 3/8″.
Remove Wood and Resin River Wall Art from Mold
The silicone tape and furniture wax made it very easy to remove the DIY wood and resin river wall art from the large resin mold.
Obviously, removing an object from a poorly constructed resin mold could be a nightmare.
Prepare Baseball Storage Rack for Finish
To prepare the DIY wood and resin baseball storage rack for the finish coat, I trimmed each end, rounded over the edges, and sanded.
I used my track saw to trim 1/8″ of an inch off eah end.
First, I set my track saw to a depth of 3/4″ which is half the depth of the DIY wood and resin river wall art.
I always cut resin in 2 passes because resin is very hard. Consequently, it can cause problems for circular saws.
Next, I lowered the depth to 1 5/8″ to complete the cut.
I used my trim router with a 1/4″ roundover bit to roundover the baseball storage rack.
Sanding Wood and Resin River Wall Art
My sanding sequence changes according to the material I use.
I often experiment with different sequences, which was the case for this project.
Quick Tip: If you want your DIY wood and resin wall art to look nice, you need to sand thoroughly.
It’s the most important part of any woodworking project.
First, I sanded the back of the baseball storage rack.
I used the 80 grit, 120 grit, 180 grit, 220 grit, and 320 grit sandpaper.
Also, I have a Festool rotary sander which is the best tool purchase I’ve ever made.
It has rotary and orbital sanding modes. Rotary mode is like a belt sander, but much better.
Next, I flipped the DIY wood and resin river wall art over and sanded the front the same way.
I only sanded the wood and made sure to get as close to the resin river as possible without touching it.
How to Sand Resin?
I use a different soft sanding pad with 320 grit sandpaper and lightly went over the surface.
When sanding resin, I simply scuff the surface rather than remove material.
Apply Finish to Baseball Storage Rack
The finish I chose for this project is satin Polycrylic. It dries quickly, protects the wood, and looks best over lighter wood.
First, I wiped all the dust with a damp lint free rag.
Next, I used my soft tip brush to apply the stain in long, thin strokes along the wood grain. Multiple lighter coats is always better than fewer thick coats.
Then, I hand sanded with 220 grit sandpaper after it dried.
I repeated this process 3 times.
Drill Hole in Baseballs for Glove Holder
I decided to use baseballs connected to dowels as glove holders for the DIY baseball storage rack.
First, I used a hole punch to mark the center of the ball.
Next, I started with a 1/8″ drill bit and drilled a hole 1.25″ in depth.
Then, I used a 1/4″ drill bit and finally a 3/8″ drill bit. The dowel I plan to use is 3/8″.
In order to secure the baseballs and fleur des lis hat holders to the DIY wood and resin river wall art, I cut 6 cherry dowels with a 3/8″ diameter to 3.5″ long.
Install Baseball Glove Holder and Baseball Hat Rack
I decided to put the hat holder at the bottom and the glove holder at the top of the baseball storage rack.
First, I centered the fleur des lis hat holders between the baseballs.
Next, I found the center mark between the bottom piece of wood and river using my square.
Then, I put my hole punch through a piece of painters tape and placed the hole punch on the pencil mark. I marked the location with my hole punch. The painters tape helps prevent tear out.
My dowel jig came in handy as it helped me ensure I drill a straight hole 1″ deep into the wood.
Hammer Dowels in Place
First, I dabbed glue around the edge of each hole and let it drip into the hole for a few minutes.
After a few minutes, I lightly tapped the dowels in place with my rubber mallet on the DIY wood and resin wall art.
How to Use Epoxy Resin as an Adhesive
Not only is epoxy resin great for art and furniture, but it is also a great adhesive.
So, I decided to mix a 4 ounce batch of resin to secure the baseballs and fleur des lis hat holders to the cherry dowels.
First, I poured resin in the baseball hole and coated the edges with a skinny stir stick. This hardened the soft parts of the baseball.
After the resin hardened, I put a little resin in the baseball and on the dowel.
Then, I attached the baseball to the dowel.
Also, I used a towel on top of the baseball storage rack to make certain resin did not drip on the finished surface.
To attach the fleur des lis hat holders, I dabbed a tiny bit of resin around the top of the dowel and inside edge of the hole in the fleur des lis.
Next, I gently placed the fleur des lis on the dowel until the tip of the dowel was flush with the surface of the fleur des lis.
Hang DIY Wood and Resin River Wall Art
To mount the baseball storage rack on the wall, I used a simple metal french cleat.
I put a piece of scrap wood on the bottom of the DIY wood and resin river wall art to ensure the bottom sat flush.
Additionally, I use the same wall mount hardware for all this LED epoxy resin wall art project.
The metal french cleat comes with a level to use when mounting the pack piece to the wall.
You can also make your own french cleat system with one 45 degree cut – visit my other baseball storage rack to learn how.
A Short Letter to My Son
Zeph, we are so very proud of you!
You have worked hard to shape and mold yourself into an outstanding baseball player. And, more importantly, we are proud of you for your kindness, loving heart & gentle nature.
Remember, the positive effect you have on those around you through small acts of kindness, love, & generosity are the moments which live in your heart, and the hearts of others, forever.
Keep working hard to achieve your goals, but be sure to find joy often during your journey as this is the path to true happiness.
I love you, son – more than you will ever know.
In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed reading this article and it brought you some form of value.
This DIY wood and resin river wall art and baseball storage rack turned out better than I expected.
Hopefully, it stays with my son for many years to come.
Visit our online shop for a variety of DIY plans and unique items for sale.