How to Create a Miniature Resin Pond
Creating miniature versions of things with simple materials is a blast. If you have a garden that's missing a pond and can't get the real thing, creating a small resin pond is a fun and creative way to add some flavor to your landscaping. Epoxy resin is a versatile craft material that you can use to simulate real water. If you follow the correct steps and take the time to design your creation, you can create a mini resin pond that you can be proud of.
Designing the Resin Pond
Determine the style or theme for your resin pond. There are different styles of miniature resin ponds that you can create. Think of what kind of pond you'd like to create and consider the aesthetic of your lawn or garden. Examples of ponds that you can build include a miniature koi pond, a frozen winter themed pond, or even a science-fiction toxic sludge pond. Once you settle on an idea, you can create a pond that reflects what you want to create.
- Consider different pond themes depending on the season or holiday.
- For example, during the autumn you can create a Halloween inspired miniature pond with mini pumpkins, ghouls, and ghosts.
- During the winter you can create a festive holiday pond with snow.
- Consider different pond themes depending on the season or holiday.
Sketch out the design of the pond. Once you have a theme in mind, it's time that you start designing the look of your pond. Use a pencil and paper to sketch out a rough design of your pond. Remember to add the features for the ground around the actual pond, as well as the pond itself. Once you settle on a design that you like, you can begin to build your project.
- Draw the overall shape of the pond before you start moving into finer details like rocks, plants, and other features that will surround the pond.
- Your pond can have ragged or smooth edges.
- If you want to keep it simple, draw an oval pond with no fine details.
Draw your pond design on a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick piece of styrofoam. The size of styrofoam you should get depends on how large you want your miniature pond to be. After you've designed the pond on a separate piece of paper, it's time that you transfer the image to your styrofoam. Use a marker to copy the design that you've created directly onto the face of the styrofoam. Draw the outer edges of your project before moving towards the center and drawing finer details.
- A great miniature pond size is a 1x1 feet (30.48x30.48 cm).
- Special details that you may want to add include bridges, foliage, fish, trees, pipes, waterfalls, and branches.
Creating the Base
Cut around the outline you drew. Use an X-Acto knife to follow the lines you drew and cut around the edges of your pond base. Keep in mind that the base isn't only the pond itself, but the land that will be around the pond. Once you finish with the outer edges, this will serve as the base for your miniature pond.
Gorge out a hole in your styrofoam for the pond. Use your X-Acto knife to dig around the outlines that you created for your pond. The depth of your pond will depend on how deep you cut when creating it. Make sure to leave at least a half of an inch of styrofoam when gorging your hole. Do not cut through the styrofoam when making your pond or else the resin won't have anywhere to harden.
- To add texture to the bottom of the pond, leave jagged edges and cuts when digging out your styrofoam.
Cut out the smaller details. Continue to cut out other details in your pond, such as rocky cliffs or places where the land will dip in. Make sure to vary up the depth of your land so that your pond doesn't look flat. Adding texture to the landscape around your pond will give it a more realistic look.
Cover your styrofoam in plaster. A base coat of plaster will prevent the resin from eating through the styrofoam when you pour it. Purchase Plaster of Paris from the hardware store and apply a coat of it to the entirety of your styrofoam base. If there are cracks or places that you missed, let the first coat of plaster dry and go over your base again with another coat.
- Once you lay down your plaster, allow the base to dry for a couple of hours or overnight.
- You can use a rough sandpaper to sand down rough areas before applying another coat of plaster.
Decorating your Pond
Paint the plaster base. Once the plaster has dried on your pond's base, you can start to paint it with acrylic craft paint that you can find at most arts and crafts stores. Use a brush to lay down basecoats for large details like the bottom of the pond and the area around the pond. You can also draw smaller details like fish or animals directly onto the plaster base. Remember to try to stay within your theme and choose colors that fit the aesthetic of your pond.
- The color of the bottom of your pond area will dictate the color of pond after you pour the resin in.
- Bright greens and browns work well with a koi pond.
- Browns, grays, and light greens work well with a toxic sludge pond.
- Add the impression of depth by painting the middle of your pond a darker shade than the outer edges of your pond.
Create other details around your pond. Adding details to your pond and the area around your pond will add complexity to your model. Consider adding things like miniature fish, lily pads, ducks, rabbits, or other wildlife created out of clay. To create these small additions, use a polymer clay to form them before heating them in an oven to harden them.
- Other details you can add include large rock formations, waterfalls, people, lamp posts, or anything else that you can imagine.
Paint and attach your details to the model's base. Once these tiny clay details have hardened, you can paint them to add depth to them. Once your paint has dried, glue them to your miniature pond with gorilla glue or superglue. Gluing things into the hole that you gorged for the pond will make them appear as if they are swimming in the pond once your pour your resin.
- If you want your details to appear like they are floating on water, you'll have to glue them to the surface of your resin once it has dried.
Use things you find in nature to decorate your pond. Instead of creating clay models for all the details in your miniature pond, you can use things that you find in your garden. Gather up pebbles, small stones, leaves, or tufts of grass from your yard and glue them around the exterior of your pond.
- You can also use small seashells if you are creating a coastal miniature pond.
Pouring the Resin
Mix your epoxy resin. Craft resin will usually come in two containers containing the resin and a hardener. You'll have to mix these together to create a usable resin for your pond. Make sure to read the directions on the resin's packaging carefully before mixing the solutions together. Combine the solutions in the recommended amount according to the instructions and stir it for five minutes, or until both chemicals are mixed thoroughly.
- Only mix a small amount of resin at a time.
Pour the resin into your pond basin. Once the resin has been mixed, you can slowly and carefully pour it into the spot that you made for your pond. If you don't have enough resin to fill your pond's basin, mix more in another glass and continue to fill it until your satisfied.
- Applying heat to the resin with a blow-dryer after your pour it can remove the bubbles from your resin pond.
Allow the resin to dry. Allow your project to dry out for 24 hours before trying to move it or adding any additional details. Once it has dried, you can spot paint and fill in your final details until the pond looks the way that you want and you are satisfied.
Things You'll Need
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick piece of styrofoam (can be any size)
- X-Acto knife
- Plaster of Paris
- Acrylic paint
- Clay (optional)
- Epoxy resin