How to make a painted Grinch decoration using cement and resin.
Okay, so I love the Grinch. Maybe sometimes I feel a sort of kinship- argh, at stores, at restaurants, the sound of Christmas music before Thanksgiving drives me up a wall!
Is my heart “two sizes too small”?
All kidding aside, I may be a bit Grinchy, but I really do love Christmas and the Grinch. Besides, Christmas will come “just the same. It will come without ribbons, without tags, it comes without packages, boxes or bags. Maybe Christmas, perhaps…means a little bit more”?
Christmas means a little bit more? I might agree.
Heart to heart, hand in hand- my interpretation? Christmas gifting can mean so much more by making handmade gifts for our loved ones. How good do you feel when you make something for someone? It’s kind of the best feeling, right? And how about when they open it? Treasured forever. Oh man, between making things for family and friends and my beloved Dr. Seuss, The Grinch, I do really love the Christmas holidays.
I’m sure that when the Who’s from Whoville sing… “Christmas Day will always be, just as long, as we have we! Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart, and hand in hand!” they mean handmade…I’m sure that’s what they mean.
By the way, if you haven’t seen it yet and are looking for more ideas on what handmade gifts to make, I have a post showing tutorials for 20 Easy Handmade gifts – all made with concrete! I even made a Grinch lit up string art tutorial last year.
Some of the links on this page have been provided as a convenience for finding materials. These links may also be affiliate links, meaning if you purchase something, I receive a commission, at no extra cost to you. These fees help me with my costs to keep the blog running. I only recommend products I’ve used and loved, unless otherwise stated. Also, for each project, I do lots of tests and if a material or tool doesn’t work, I won’t list it. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
DIY Difficulty Level | Easy
Tutorial Materials For Making Cement Grinch Decor
This tutorial is broken down into two parts. Part I is the cement tile phase, Part II is the resin phase.
- CementAll, Rapid set
- Charcoal pigment
- Durable nitrile gloves
- 2 Disposable plastic cups- scooping cement and water
- Disposable bowl for mixing cement
- 220 grit sanding sponge
- Safety glasses
- Paper towels or rags
- Hot glue gun
- Glue sticks
- Ruler or t-square
- X-acto knife with fresh blade
- Painter’s tape
- Corrugated plastic sheet– (Michaels or Home Depot)
- Cutting mat with a semi-rough texture (not smooth)
- Transfer/graphite paper
- Sharpie oil paint marker– black- fine or medium point
- Regular Sharpie – any color
- Epoxy resin- I used Total Boat brand, but you can use any 2- part Epoxy resin
- Disposable plastic measuring cup for mixing resin
- 3 or more disposable plastic cups for coloring resin (small)
- Craft sticks
- * Plastic yarn/knitting needles
- * Toothpicks- good quality
- Resin colorant– must be opaque
- Piece of wax paper- cut in half
- Rubbing/isopropyl alcohol
DIY Cement Grinch Decor With Resin Tutorial Steps
Step 1 | Print The Grinch Face Outline
I created an outline of the Grinch’s face outline for this. So the first step is to download and the free printable of The Grinch.
Step 2 | Mask The Outline Of The Frame
Print out the Grinch printable. Then using painter’s tape, temporarily tape The Grinch to the underside of the cutting mat. If your mat has a shiny side, tape it face up to that side because you will be working with the cement on the semi-rough side.
Now flip it over so you can see the Grinch’s face and then use the painter’s tape to mark out the edges of the frame. Carefully line up the tape with the lines of the frame so that it’s nice and straight.
Step 3 | Make The Walls For The DIY Cement Mold
Turn on the glue gun to a low temp for Step 4.
Take the corrugated plastic sheet and with the ruler, mark out (4) strips at ¾” wide and 6″ long.
Make sure your marked lines aren’t exactly on the raised line from the plastic sheet because it will be difficult to cut, move the line slightly left or right of the plastic line, the ¾” doesn’t have to be perfect.
Now using the X-acto make the long cut your first cut. It was easiest to do this in 2 passes. The first pass slices through the top layer, the second cut goes through the bottom.
I didn’t get a photo of this, but next you’ll mark the stopping point for the cement. So using the regular Sharpie, measure ⅜” from the bottom of the strip and make a mark on the inside of each of the walls.
Step 4 | Make The Frame Of The Cement Mold
Take the hot glue gun and make a thin line of glue near the inside tape edge, just set in slightly. Dip the edge of the first side in the glue then drag it forward to line up exactly with the frame edge and make sure the wall is straight. Try to avoid getting glue inside of this line.
You don’t need to have it secured firmly right now, you just need it to hold in place while you glue the rest of the strips.
Once you get all four sides set in place, go back around the outside and reinforce them. Be sure to get the outside corners as well.
Now remove the Grinch printable before you start the cement.
Step 5 | Mix Cement With Pigment And Pour Cement
Fill the plastic measuring cup with cold water (you won’t use most of the water). Now pour about 2 ½ cups of cement mix into the bowl.
Then add about ½ tablespoon of charcoal pigment to the dry mix first, until well blended. The photo above shows the cement pigment mixed in, it should look like a medium grey.
Start adding a little bit of cold water at a time until the consistency is somewhat formed, like a mud pie and there are no lumps. Next add the cement to the mold and tamp it down so it is nice and level, ensuring you are close to the ⅜” line you marked off. Vibrate and shake the mold to help release air bubbles.
Set a timer for about 8-10 minutes and then take the ruler and mark out the center point at the top to prepare for making the hole for the tile to be hung in the next step.
The center point should be about 1″ down from the top and 3″ from the sides. Don’t forget the timer!
Step 6 | Create The Hole For Hanging The Grinch Tile
When the timer goes off, feel the cement with your finger. It should be somewhat set, but not too firm. Take the end of the regular Sharpie and push it in at your center point at a 45 degree angle.
*Be sure to not poke through to the bottom, like I almost did. My hole was too deep.
Let this cure for at least 2 hours.
Step 7 | Demold The Cement Grinch Decor Tile
Once the tile has cured, remove it by bending the flexible cutting board. If it doesn’t pop right out, then just peel back the sides of the mold. If you need to, use the X-acto knife to slice through the corners of the plastic walls.
Sand any rough edges and the back if needed. I didn’t sand the top because I didn’t want it to be too smooth or shiny, plus it usually opens up the pores, exposing more pin holes.
Rinse it off and let dry completely.
Step 8 | Trace The Outline Of Grinch
Take the transfer paper and tape it to the front of the cement tile. Only the darker side of the transfer paper will transfer, so make sure you have that darker side facing downward.
Next take the Grinch printable and place it on top of the transfer paper, line up the framed outline with the tile and tape it to both the transfer paper and tile. **Be sure you have the head taped on so that the hole to hang it is at the top.
Using a pen or a pencil, trace the outlines of the Grinch. You may need to press hard to get the lines to show up, so it would be good to test with a small line first so you know how hard you need to press. When done tracing, remove the papers from the tile.
And now trace over the graphite lines with the Sharpie oil marker.
Step 9 | Mask The Cement Grinch Decor Unpainted Areas
I was surprised by how -not messy the painting part was in terms of dripping resin in areas you don’t want it to go.
The first tile I made only had a thin string of resin that went onto the exposed portion of concrete.
However, to be safe I recommend masking this area off with the painter’s tape. Just tear off little pieces of tape and cover the areas that won’t be painted.Part II
Step 10 | Prepare For The Resin Painting
**This portion of the project took me approximately 3 hours to complete. I was a little overly obsessed with perfecting the colors and with the painting detail, so it may have taken me longer than it might for others. Three hours is a long time to pretty much sit in one place and paint, so you may want to break this down into two separate sessions.
The tutorial is written as one, but if you decide to paint it in two sessions, just leave the hat (the red and white) for the second session.
Start by getting your workspace covered in something protective and then gather up the resin 2-part epoxy, the main mixing cup and 3 small cups for the colors, wax paper, craft sticks, lots of light-duty gloves and toothpicks and plastic needles. I used the extra mixing cups to hold my tools.
Pour some rubbing alcohol in a 4th resin cup. This will help with clean up and spills. I found it helpful to cut up several paper towel pieces to have on hand for drips and also put a plastic grocery bag in a trash can for disposing of everything.
Now take out the following colors: red, yellow, green and white and remove the caps and plugs and set aside.
The wax paper will be used for the iris of the eyes and the whites of the Grinch eyes. Have a couple of sheets for this, you can cut them into smaller squares. You will need less than 2 oz total of the epoxy (divided up between the colors), so measure accordingly.
Step 11 | Mix The Epoxy Resin For Cement Grinch Tile Decor
Wearing the lighter-duty gloves and a craft stick, mix up the resin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. My Total Boat epoxy is 2 parts resin to 1 part hardener, yours may be 1:1.
Stir the epoxy resin well for 2 minutes and then divide it into each of the 3 containers, leaving some still in your main mixing container in case you need more for one of the colors.
Portion-wise, you will need a larger portion of resin for green, with red next, then white. In the next step, you will use the craft sticks and toothpicks/plastic needles to mix in the basic colors.
Step 12 | Mix The Colors To Match The Grinch
Since the colors from the bottles aren’t exact matches to the colors of The Grinch, you’ll need to play with them a bit to match up the colors. Other than the initial drop of color, it’s better to use the toothpicks to dip in the color, and then dab the toothpick into the resin. It takes a bit of adding a bit of this color and a bit of that color, to get the right color. Use an image from the internet to reference while mixing the colors.
I don’t want to overwhelm you with tons of details so feel free to experiment and determine the colors on your own.
However if you do want some guidance, just click here for a general guideline on what color mixtures I used to get a relatively close match to the grinch.
These aren’t exact ratios, but here’s what I did:
Face- Green: The Grinch’s face is a yellow-ish green so I started by adding a drop of green to the resin in the color mixing cup, and about a ½” drop of yellow- but start with less and add more if needed. I only used a couple of toothpick dabs of white.
Hat- Red: In another small mixing cup with resin, add a drop of red and a few toothpick dabs of yellow, then a few dabs of white.
Trim- White: Add a drop of white to the small cup of resin and you’re good to go.
Iris of eyes- Orange/red: On one of the pieces of wax paper, scoop a tiny bit of some of the red you made and then add a super tiny toothpick dot of yellow.
White of eyes- Cream: Also on a piece of wax paper, scoop some of the white you just made and then add a super tiny toothpick dab of yellow.
Step 13 | Paint The DIY Cement Grinch Decor
** To be safe, I do recommend waiting to paint the white trim until the very end because if for some reason the resin becomes unworkable by the time you get to the white, it won’t be a big deal to mix a new batch of new resin and add the white to it. If you had to remix one of the “custom” colors, it would be more difficult trying to get an exact match to the existing color.
At this point, the resin should be slightly thickened. If it’s not, I recommend letting it thicken a little first. By allowing it to thicken, it will be loads easier to paint by giving you more control. Once the resin has thickened some, you are ready to paint.
Start from the most inner colors to reduce the chances of smearing any resin. So the order will be:
- Orange/red iris of the eyes
- Creamy whites of the eyes
- Green face
- Red hat
- White trim
Take a craft stick and scoop up the resin so it is mounded up a bit on the stick. I liked scooping it and then giving it a twist or 2 since it sometimes gets stringy, the way hot glue does. Now apply it to the face of the Grinch and paint the way you would with a brush. Keep going and stop when you get close to the lines.
Once you have only the outline area left, use a toothpick to pull the resin to the lines. You’ll see how easy it is to control with the toothpick and thicker resin. The thicker it gets, the easier it is to control.
If you accidentally get some resin on the black lines, just scrape it off with a clean toothpick, or use a Q-tip. If you make any mistake painting, just use the Q-tips or even paper towel to wipe it off and just go back over it with the correct color.
I wasn’t paying attention and painted the ball trim of the hat red, but I just grabbed a paper towel, wiped it off and painted over it in white- no problem. It’s only when the resin drips on the raw cement areas you are not painting that it becomes a hassle, which is why covering those areas with the tape helps.
Let the resin cure for 2-4 hours.
final step | Finishing
If you need to, you can go back and re-outline with the oil marker any lines you may dripped the resin. And if any resin did end up on the tile, sand just that spot with the sanding sponge. Hang up the DIY cement tile and marvel at how glossy and vibrant your Grinch is!