How to prevent mishaps with your papers and findings in resin

One of the most frequently asked questions I get at Resin Obsession is how to properly seal papers and other assorted items before including them in resin.  Here's a few of my tips based on what has worked well for me:

sealing papers

1.  I don't know that the sealer itself is as important as how many times you seal.  I seal everything a minimum of twice and I will do it more if I'm still concerned the item isn't coated well enough.  We carry the Ultra Seal product, but Mod Podge or Elmer's glue will also work. 

2.  Once you seal, make sure the item is completely dry before inserting into the resin.  Tacky doesn't count; it has to be dry.  If not, the resin can still seep into your piece and cause a water stain.

3.  If you're using clip art, make sure it is on high quality paper.  If I'm printing the art myself, I use a "very bright white" paper (brightness of 96 U.S. or above).  The colors will come through much brighter than they will on a standard copy paper.  Along that line, I would also mention that I get much better clip art printing results with a color laser jet printer compared to an ink jet printer.  Yes, I know color laser jet printers are much more expensive, but I have been much happier with my overal resin jewelry making results.

4.  If you have a porous item, you should dip it in resin first and let it cure.  This will either keep the air bubbles in or out instead of submerging the item in your piece only to have it release bubbles later.

5.  When it comes to vintage papers, test a small practice piece in resin first before using in a project.  I don't know if it's the acid in old papers or some kind of other chemical change, but even with sealing, I've sometimes had vintage papers cause bubbles in resin.

6.  Consider laminating your clip art.  This has worked for me in a pinch, when I need to get something in resin right away (instead of waiting for glue to dry).  Make sure if you use this technique, you leave a thin edge of lamination around the area you cut out, otherwise, resin will still leak in from the side.

What other sealing tips for resin jewelry findings do you have?