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How to use resin in crafts

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How to use resin in crafts
September 19, 2019 Books 1 comment

 

or I could have alternatively titled this post

What I have learned about making resin jewelry and crafts

Originally published June 2014.  Updated August 2018.

I started crafting with resin in 2006.  Looking back on my experiences, there were a few things I wish I had known up front about making things with resin.  I have no doubt it would have saved me some time and aggravation!  Here is what I wish my resin fairy godmother would have told me:

1.  You are not going to be good at resin right away.

In fact, it is going to take a few weeks to months to get beyond the “I keep making a resin mess” stage.  When you think about it, this really isn’t any different than anything else, right?  We are not perfect drivers the first time behind the wheel or expert pastry chefs the first time we get in a kitchen.  So why did I expect resin to be any different?  There are so many skills to learn and build upon that I failed to realize it wasn’t something I was going to get right in the beginning.  I am glad, however, that I liked it enough that I kept playing with it.  Otherwise, I would have lost out on learning such a creative medium!

If you are new to resin, here’s what every beginner needs to know.

2.  Don’t blame it on the resin.

In other words, the reason something didn’t work is most likely my fault, i.e. operator error.  Resin is not very forgiving of mistakes.  While it may be tempting to blame mistakes on the resin itself, in my experience, it is almost always my fault.  I have learned the hard way that improper or incomplete techniques (as insignificant as they seemed to me at the time) can result in a disaster.

Here’s an article with my resin troubleshooting advice.

3.  Keep a journal.

There were so many things that I tried doing with resin and couldn’t remember what I had done when I went to demold resin castings days later.  AACK!  I learned that writing everything down in a journal made it much less frustrating when I wanted to recreate (or not recreate!) something later.  I found it was even important to write down everything, no matter how insignificant it may seem at the time.  Details about temperature, humidity, pot time, etc. were invaluable learning tools in the beginning to help me know where I went wrong.

Here are some other beginner resin tips to help you too.

4.  Pick your crafting spot carefully because you and it are likely to get it messy
.

I thought I was careful with resin, but somehow I managed to get drips, ink stains, glue and all kinds of glittery, cured resin stuck to my resin crafting area.  Make sure you pick somewhere to craft or paint where this isn’t a big deal.  (or least be creative with how you’re going to handle drips on your kitchen counters…)

Here’s how I make inexpensive resin crafting trays.

5.  Good lighting is essential.

You have got to see what you’re doing!  Whether it’s measuring the resin or looking for bubbles, a good, bright light (I prefer LED) will make things so much easier.

 

I would love to hear what you wish you would have known before you got started making things with resin.  Please, add to the list in the comments box below!

 

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2018 Resin Obsession, LLC

 

Related

Last year, the crafty word of the year was “Marbled”. (I just made that up.  I marbled a ton of different things last year, but I don’t really speak for the rest of the crafting world).  This year’s hot topic in crafting?  Resin.  I’ve seen it used in so many different ways for different applications and it is super cool.  I think this year will be resins moment in the sun.  It does look like it’s not the easiest thing in the world to work with, so I’m going to do my homework this time and pick a good starter project.  I’ve been looking at a lot of tutorials and found tons of great information on resin crafts!  ***This post contains affiliate links.  I you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you!***

Resin Crafts – The Tools

It looks like if I’m going to want to tackle this resin trend, I’m going to need to invest in some new craft tools.  It’s definitely a specialized craft that will require a few new things.  Here’s what I’m considering.

Resin – Shocker, you need some resin to make a resin craft.  There are different types for different applications, so if you start a project, make sure you get the right stuff!

Heat Gun or Butane Torch  – I saw some type of heat element used in most of the tutorials that I read.  They help get rid of bubbles.  I also saw one tutorial that used a lamp placed directly over the project so that it was getting some heat from the light bulb

Dremel Multi Tool – I saw the Dremel multi tool used for a couple of different purposes.  It was used to sand and polish the resin to get that glossy shine.  It was also used as a drill in some of the jewelry tutorials I found so that the chain could be added to the pendant.

Packing Tape – I was surprised to see packing tape included in many of the smaller scale projects that I found.  It helps to keep your piece from moving around and stops the resin from pouring out of the bottom/sides of your project.

Straws – This is another odd ball thing to use, but many of the tutorials called for using a straw to blow out the bubbles that might be in the project.

Resin Crafts – Jewelry

I’ve found lots of amazing, colorful and bold jewelry pieces  while researching resin projects.

I’m obsessed with these wood and resin necklaces that I found on Resin Crafts Blog.  I’ve already showed them to you before in this Hygge post.  I’m determinded to make these at some point, but I don’t think I would call them a beginner project. They require a dremel tool and I don’t have one of those in my crafting repertoire yet, so I’m thinking I might look for something a little more unplugged for my first try.  They are pretty, though, aren’t they?

The link to this super cool key and resin pendant is not working, so I can’t tell you where it came from, but I can tell you I think it’s pretty awesome!  If I’m going to make a pendant, I’m going to have to either invest in a drill or a dremel in order to be able to get the hole at the top for the jump ring (that’s what it’s called, right?).  I love the simplicity of this.  This would get compliments for days.

These earrings from Nunn Designs are pretty special.  Their step by step tutorial is amazing.  This might be the best place to start for me.  They are really just gorgeous.  I don’t wear jewelry often, but if I made these, I’d wear them on repeat.

Shoot, I really love these pressed flower pendants from Beading Gem, too. I love a moment of nature frozen in time.  Maybe this will be the first thing I try.  If I get those bezels, I won’t have to worry about drilling anything.  Those two above are actually examples of the artist’s “woops”, but I really love them.  Where does one find such tiny flowers, though?

Resin Crafts – Decor

These feathers in resin are simple and perfect.  So delicate.  I would love these hung in a window like suncatchers.  This one also doesn’t seem to have a source to get a tutorial from, but I think if I could master a couple with tuturials, I could probably take a shot at this.

Sasha at Life’s Carousel used an Epoxy Resin to seal her DIY Faux Granite Countertops.  The epoxy resin gave her counters a beautiful shine and protection from the normal wear and tear you get near a sink.

I love these Resin Photo Coasters from Something Turquoise.  I would totally make these, maybe not with photos, but with some type of pretty paper.  Except, we totally don’t use coasters here!  For those of you that do, give these a try!

That graphic print on this serving tray from Resin Craft Blog is actually fabric.  This tutorial looks relatively simple and would be a great first project, but I’m in the mood to do something with jewelry, so I’m still leaning that way.

Resin Crafts – Art

I don’t really have any words for this stunner.  Except to tell you that it’s made with resin and love.  There’s a tutorial for you from Zart Art. This is definitely not the first thing I would try with resin, but it might be the last one.

If you’re more into a 3D project, there is this gorgeous flower cast in resin.  I’ve looked again for a source with a tutorial, but have not been able to track one down.  It’s just lovely, though.

So, what do you think?  Which was your favorite?  What would you like to see me make?  I definitely want to start off easy, but I plan to work my way up to something like the poured resin painting.

PS!  UPDATE!  I’ve knocked out two resin projects myself so far. Take a peek:

DIY Resin Monogram Necklaces

Easy Art: Painting with Resin

If You Liked It Then You Shoulda Put a Pin In It!

 

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Filed Under: crafts round up

Wood Slice Resin Pour Ornaments for Resin Crafts updates! at Resin Crafts Blog to come up with as many useful and fun ways as possible to use Resin.

What kind of resin should I use for making jewelry, crafts and other resin projects?

Originally published March 2013.  Updated April 28, 2018.

If you are asking yourself ‘What kind of resin should I use?’, you have come to the right place.

This is one of the most common questions I get asked about making jewelry and crafts with resin.  There is no ‘one size fits all’ resin, and there are MANY things to consider when choosing a resin.  I will walk you through how I look at the process, whether I am doing resin for myself or helping another resin crafter make a decision.

Let’s imagine you have walked into your favorite butcher shop.  You tell the meat cutter at the counter that you want a steak and ask what kind you should buy.  One of the responses you’re likely to get is a question asking “What do you want to make?”.  Choosing a resin is really no different than this situation.  To be more specific, I would frame my response into “What are you hoping the end result to be?”

If you’re a beginner resin caster, I cannot stress here enough that you need to start with an epoxy resin.  Why?  Relatively speaking, epoxy resin is the ‘easiest’ to work with.  It generally doesn’t require wearing a respirator mask and tends to be the most forgiving of environmental factors, such as humidity.  Epoxy resin also has the longest shelf life.  I also like that epoxy resin generally has the longest pot time (approximately 20 to 40 minutes to work with it), so it’s great for beginners that are still fumbling and getting used to working with resin.

So you may be asking yourself, “What kind of epoxy resin should I use?”  Once again, it depends on what you want your final casting to look like.  Here’s a few other things to consider when choosing a specific epoxy resin.

Clarity:

If you want your final project to be clear, you want to make sure to start with a clear resin.  Also realize that clear doesn’t necessarily mean ‘color free’.  Some clear resins will cure with a yellow tint, depending on the resin brand.  If you’re unsure about how clear the resin is when cast, check with the retailer or manufacturer before making a purchase.  Know that the clearer and more color free the resin, the more it will cost.

Mold or no mold?

Are you trying to cast the resin into something, or are you wanting to put the resin on as ‘stand alone’?  If you want to place the resin on something without sides, you want to be sure you are using a doming resin.  This kind of resin is a bit thicker and has the extra surface tension to make sure it doesn’t run over the sides.  Know too though, that this resin being a bit thicker, is also more difficult to remove bubbles from.

Of course each epoxy resin has its own specific advantages and disadvantages, so if you’re a beginner resin jewelry maker, I would suggest you experiment with different kinds of resin.  You will eventually develop a preference based upon your experiences!

So if epoxy resin is so great, why would I use anything else?

Unfortunately, epoxy resin can’t do everything.  Relatively speaking, epoxy is a ‘soft’ resin.  You may have noticed that when you cast epoxy resin, you can sometimes dent your fingernail in the finished casting if you try hard enough.  Polyester and polyurethane resin both cure very hard.  When fully cured, they can have the hardness and clearness of glass.  In fact, both can be polished to a high gloss with a polishing wheel and the appropriate compound.  (Epoxy resin may not withstand the heat produced by a polishing wheel and will turn cloudy on the surface.)

I know what you’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is exactly what I need!  I hate having to do all that extra stuff to epoxy resin to get it glossy!”  Sit down, I have a few downsides to share with you.  First polyester and some polyurethanes may require that you wear a respirator mask with them.  In my opinion, polyester resin will literally take your breath away the smell is so bad.  I would NEVER cast this resin in my house or a space that I needed to occupy in the next 12 hours.  When I do resin polyester in my studio, I save it for the last thing in the day.  I cast the resin then leave for the day or I will even cast it outside, weather permitting.

Polyester resin does have an advantage over epoxy in that is it generally cheaper and is great for casting deep molds.  However, polyester resin has a short pot time (generally 8 to 10 minutes) and the surface exposed to air during the curing will remain tacky.  You can either sand this side down or coat with resin gloss sealer spray once cured.  If you think you might want to cast polyester resin, here are five things you should know about using polyester resin.

Polyurethane resin, on the other hand, generally has fewer curing issues and there is a lot of options when choosing one, but you should know that polyurethane resin is VERY moisture sensitive.  If you’re going to venture into casting polyurethanes, you need to make sure to use colorants specifically designed for them.

So here’s my breakdown of how I use resin:

I use epoxy for everything unless I am trying to cast something larger that I want to have a shiny gloss finish.  In that case, I use polyester because I can polish it on my buffing wheel instead of using the gloss sealer spray or coating with another layer of resin.  I like polyurethanes when I need a casting quickly that doesn’t need to be clear or transparent.

Want more help selecting a resin?  Read our resin casting article for a complete breakdown of the resins we sell including their best uses.

You can also read the article advice on what resin to use to get more help.

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2018 Resin Obsession, LLC

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If you are feeling crafty and looking for some awesome new DIY ideas, think no further than resin crafts. You may or may not have seen these DIY crafts before, or at least you certainly may not have known you could actually make these cool looking creations at home yourself. I’ve long admired the look of resin jewelry and tables but had no idea this was something a novice DIYer could pull off. Turns out, you can easily learn how to make resin jewelry, coat fabric with resin and pour resin tabletops for some of the most creative coffee tables I’ve ever seen. Also a nice DIY craft idea when it comes to making homemade Christmas gifts, resin crafts are unique and not something other people are likely to be giving. So for the person who has everything, they still probably don’t have these.

Cool DIY Resin Crafts

1. Handmade Resin Pastel and Gold Leaf Bangles

dreamalittlebigger

Making handmade resin jewelry is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. When you see all the cool things you can put in these resin bracelets, you may not be able to stop coming up with new ones you need to make.

2. Glitter Resin Ring

craftychica

3. Gold Leaf and Emerald Resin Cabinet Knobs

doodlecraftblog

 

4. Clear Casting Resin Paperweights

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5. Seashell Coasters Made With Resin

runningwithsisters

6. Floating Glitter Necklace Using Resin

clumsycrafter

7. Fabric Covered Resin Table

tatertotsandjello

8. Resin Heart Buttons

craftychica

9. Coffee Table Refinished With Resin

resincraftsblog

10. Resin Orb Jewelry

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If there is one thing that is for sure around here at the DIY Craft Club studio, it is And if you are using mica powder to color your resin, you barely need to use.

How to Make Resin Jewelry

Petoskey Stone Coating with Amazing Clear Cast

Petoskey stones, found in the upper Great Lakes region, are fossilized coral that have a unique pattern when wet. While these stones can be polished to bring out the pattern, we've found an easier way by coating with Amazing Clear Cast by Alumilite. Once cured, you have a high gloss, highly durable coating that reveals each stones unique pattern.

Erasable Menu Board with Amazing Clear Cast

Turn your craft creation into a erasable board using the Amazing Clear Cast resin by Alumilite. Use it for menu boards, memo boards, grocery lists, Christmas wish lists, birthdays of the month, Employee of the month and more!

 

Coating Stainless Tumblers with Amazing Clear Cast Resin

Take your basic & boring stainless steel tumbler and give it some life by painting, applying vinyl decals, or decorative tapes! Personalize it for a friend, family member, or for a special event. Once decorated, Applying a coat of Alumilite Clear Cast Resin can give you a high gloss, durable, and FDA compliant coating, This video demonstrates the basic steps in coating your own project.

It is recommended to read all instructions and SDS prior to using Amazing Clear Cast and to test product to ensure suitability prior to application on main project.

 

How to Dome and Seal Wood Projects

Amazing Clear Cast resin by Alumilite is a great option for adding a protective coating over laser/hand engravings, or even craft projects using photos and/or embellishments. Watch this short video to see just how easy it is!

Arrow of Light

Amazing Clear Cast demonstrates it’s versatility by being used to cast colored sections of a Arrow of Light sign used in Cub Scouts when Webelos cross over to middle school Scouting. These poured sections create vibrant colors especially when back-lit. The added durability of poured epoxy panels allows for easy transport and handling.

Amazing Clear Cast
  1. Measure equal volumes of "A" & "B" sides
  2. Stir 3-5 minutes for adequate mixing
    • **TIP** - stir slowly so less air bubbles form
  3. Work Time:  30-40 minutes
  4. Pour slowly into mold or onto surface
  5. Cure Time:  24-48 hours
  6. Demold
Old Cutting Block Re-purposed into Kitchen Cart

Watch as we turn this old antique cutting block section into a functional table for the kitchen. Amazing Clear Cast was used to give it a high gloss and durable finish.

 

Fixing bubbles in bar top coatings and encapsulations

Even with perfect planning and preparation, air bubbles can seem to appear from out of nowhere and get caught mid stream in your resin when casting items such as table or bar tops. This video shows the process for repairing air bubbles and making those blemishes barely noticeable. If coating has been curing beyond 12 hours, light abrasion may be needed across entire surface to ensure adhesion between layers of Amazing Clear Cast.

 

How to add Liquid glass epoxy coat finish to a Photo board & table top

Table top & Photo board coating. Alumilite's Amazing Clear Cast not only coats bar tops, but also can be used to seal in photos and embellishments on tables, plaques, trophies, and more

Seal photos printed on wood. How to seal photos on wood plaques. Transfer photo to wood. Seal photos transferred to wooden plank. Apply a glossy, Clear Coat finish on your table tops and photo boards. Apply a glossy, Clear Coat finish on photos printed on wood and photos transferred to wood. a glossy, Clear Coat finish on photos on wood plaques. Clear resin coating. Table top epoxy resin

Refinishing Amazing Clear Cast Coatings

After years of use, especially for bar tops, the Amazing Clear Cast can be sanded and renewed in a few easy steps. This video demonstrates that you can take sand paper as low as 60 grit to quickly remove blemishes and pour a new coating of Amazing Clear Cast to revitalize the surface.

 

How to Mix Amazing Clear Cast Clear Resin - Alumilite

Mixing clear resins can be a challenge, as both sides are clear without pigment, unlike products that have color to determine adequate mixing. This video demonstrates a basic technique for mixing Amazing Clear Cast resin. It discusses how to properly measure and thoroughly mix the product to ensure full cure and great results.

  1. Measure 1:1 by Volume (do not go by weight)
  2. Thoroughly mix side A & B together (30 minutes open time)
  3. Wait five minutes for air bubbles to rise after stirring
  4. Pour into molds, surfaces and more!
  5. Full cure time is 24-48 hours
Clear Coated Game Board by Alumilite

This video shows the process of making a photo game board. A collage of photos are laminated onto the surface, which were then sealed in with a high gloss and protective coating using Amazing Clear Cast resin. Board will be used as a playing surface on a leather ottoman or on the floor.

Amazing Clear Cast Resin by Alumilite

Alumilite's Amazing Clear Cast is a clear casting and coating system that cures to a rigid, durable, clear plastic. Use Amazing Clear Cast for coating or finishing applications such as bar tops, floors, taxidermy scenery, crafts/tumblers, lenses, pen blanks and all sorts of other clear casting or coating applications. Amazing Clear Cast is an easy to use, 1:1 mix ratio system that cures overnight which allows time for air bubbles to evacuate prior to curing. Amazing Clear Cast can be colored with Alumilite dyes, Alumilite Alumidust powders, alcoholic inks, or other non-water base colorants. Complies with FDA CFR 177.2600 for food contact

how to use resin in crafts

Angel Crafts Clear Casting Epoxy Resin and Hardener Mix Kit: Clear Resin for Craft Art. Roll over . Great for a variety of crafts, easy to use and doesn't stink!.

how to use resin in crafts
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1 Comment
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