Encasing breast milk and placenta in resin

Resin jewelry making resin art supplies Forums How Can I…? Encasing breast milk and placenta in resin

This topic contains 44 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Paula McNorton 3 months ago.

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  • #1288 Reply

    Katherine Swift

    This question comes through email by Nicole:

    Hi I am new to resins so any and all info would be great! But In my free time Im a doula and a placenta encapsulator….. Yes, its weird but lots of people find great benefits 😉 anyway I saw recently another doula was creating keepsake jewelry with the dried placenta(it is dried into a fine powder) it looked like she shaped the powder into a mold like a heart or butterfly, then encased that in a clear resin…. I have a few clients who may be interested in this. So what could I shape the powder with first that wouldnt cause it to clump? And then what would I put it in to put into a pendant? And I also saw she was encasing breastmilk in shape of a heart? I assumed freezing it first in a mild then sealing in a glue? And then putting into the resin? I know this may sound out there but I figure you could help better with your knowledge of your product and how it dries and cures….. I asked her to teach me and she says its a secret….
    Im in no competition with her since she lives on other side of the world 🙂 and I love learning new things so any info on what you have that will work with one or both of those kind of projects. I came across your blog it has some great stuff I hope to read more of it as I start using these products thanks in advance! And if you ever send out small samples so I can make sure it will work with my material that Im encasing would be very helpful 🙂

  • #1289 Reply

    Katherine Swift

    Hi Nicole,

    The first thing youre going to have to do is dry your biological specimens.  I dont necessarily have any personal experience with drying either one of these items, but I can tell you that they need to be very dry.  You can see what I did for drying sand in this tutorial:  https://www.resinobsession.com/Resin-Tutorials/248/Seashell-resin-jewelry-and-magnets.html

    Once your powder is dry, it should be fine to encase in resin.  It may darken once it comes in contact with the resin.  If you dont mind that, you can cast a small form with the resin and powder, then recast that into a larger resin mold.

    If you want to form the powder without mixing it into the resin, I would suggest using a clear drying glue and the powder together.  Once it is dry, then coat it with a layer of our resin gloss sealer spray.  https://www.resinobsession.com/ItemPage/5510/CastinCraft-Gloss-Resin-Sealer-Spray-760-UPS-Ground-Shipping.html  Then place it into your resin castings.

  • #1290 Reply

    alison

     I saw someone had put breast milk into a vial which was then encased in resin. This was done in liquid form. Im not really sure how long it will stay good for?? 

  • #1291 Reply

    Rhonda

    Encasing the milk in a tube, and then in resin….  Well….

    You can watch the milk curdle and separate, maybe mold. 
    Better to take a few drops and let it dry, scrape it up and pulverize it, then take the powder and mix it with the clear drying glue, let dry and encase in resin.  It Is easier if you have a vacuum drying machine or a dehumidifying machine for drying fruit, then you can do a larger amount, if needed, and its faster. Also, just letting milk dry on its own may not get all the liquid out of it and milk has fats which dont evaporate. If not thoroughly mixed with the glue, dried and sprayed with the sealer and thoroughly dried, the resin may not set.
  • #3943 Reply

    laura

    I think I have figured this out!

    It works much better for me to mix the liquid milk with modpodge or white glue and then dry that together. It is not only easier, but has a much better texture and is whiter than drying the milk first. I dried a small amount on a plastic lid, then tore off a piece and formed it by hand (the texture is similar to plastic wrap) into a loose circle. This was my inclusion for a big-hole bead. It turned out amazing!

    I think you could cast this milk/glue mixture into a tiny mold, as long as you were willing to do it in several layers. Or you can form it by hand. The dried mix is quite malleable. You cold also fold many layers together and then cut out a shape.

    Drying first and then mixing with glue does work, but it was much harder for me to work with and had more of a gritty rather than liquid look. Milk definitely needs to be sealed. It turned dark orange in maybe a week.

    Placenta seems to work fine with no sealer. Mine did sink. I’m not sure if it always sinks or if it depends on how fine it was ground.

    • #4998 Reply

      amanda

      How do you seal the milk and what do you seal it with? Im almost done my breastfeeding journy and would like to make a keepsake for my girls shadow boxes.

      • #4999 Reply

        Katherine Swift
        Keymaster

        I have no personal experience sealing breast milk for inclusion in resin. Laura in a post above shared how she has had her best results.

    • #5839 Reply

      Jessica

      What is the breast milk to mod podge ratio? How long did you let it sit until completely solid?

  • #4804 Reply

    Faith

    Hi, I was reading this thread but I’ve got a question. What do you mean by sealing the milk? How to seal it?

  • #4811 Reply

    Katherine Swift
    Keymaster

    The idea of sealing the milk is so that it won’t look like a liquid when mixed with the resin.

  • #4882 Reply

    Meagan

    How do you seal it though? Does mixing it with glue seal it or is there something else you do to it?

    • #4883 Reply

      Katherine Swift
      Keymaster

      I have no personal experience sealing breast milk for inclusion in resin. Laura in a post above shared how she has had her best results.

  • #5000 Reply

    Laura

    Hello, I too would like to know how to seal the milk. Laura’s description was great but she doesn’t mention how she seals the milk. I wonder if it’s a spray sealer? Also laura did you burn off your milk before working with it? I’ve seen people mentioning this too.
    Thank you. I’m called Laura too 🙂

  • #5082 Reply

    Nym Pseudo

    I found a great little guide over at this address: https://boobshalffull.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/milk-and-casting-resin-tutorial/

    My wife is interested in it, so I’m going to try to make this happen for her 🙂

  • #5206 Reply

    laura

    This is Laura from above. Apparently, I wasn’t clear enough.

    This is my technique for a swirl effect with breast milk.
    1. Mix a small amount of milk with a small amount of mod podge or white glue. Sorry, I don’t have any ratios, I just mixed some of each.
    2. Spread in a thin layer on a plastic lid (easy to peel off this). You can put it in a dehydrator on a low temp if you have one, but a thin layer dries pretty quickly either way.
    3. Paint a coat of glue or mod podge over the dried milk/glue combo for a better seal. Then peel off the lid and coat the back side as well. If you will be cutting it into smaller pieces it wouldn’t hurt of seal the edges as well. I have never tried a spray sealer, but it would probably be easier!
    4. Your inclusion is ready!

    I put strips into a charm bead mold and am very happy with the results.

    By sealing, I mean to create a barrier between the milk and the resin, as it turns dark orange within a couple of weeks when they touch each other. In my first post, the sealing and drying were all one step. After several months, my previous bead had some slight yellowing. Since the milk I “preserved” at the same time and the other resin I poured at the same time did not discolor, I’m guessing it’s a chemical reaction between the milk and the resin. So for these instructions, I added an additional seal coat.

    I don’t know how to do all the other effects. All I have so far is the swirl. It is possible to dry the milk first, grind it into a powder, mix it with glue, and put it in a tiny mold, but it hasn’t worked especially well for me. Remember, you can’t mix the powder directly with resin because of the color change.

    I think the key might be some chemical or maybe a glue, that acts as a catalyst to make the milk something that can be cast and then coated in resin. I recently saw a video where the maker said she added this mystery ingredient to the milk and let it sit in the fridge for a week, and then it was ready. Another said the milk was chemically hardened. I don’t know enough chemistry to figure out what the secret is. I have one technique that works, so I guess I’ll stick with it!

    • #10323 Reply

      Beanie

      Hey Laura, How is your modpodge/breastmilk/resin looking now a year on? Has it discoloured in any way? Is there any way we could see photos please? Do you have any updated technics.? Really interested to hear! Thank you.

  • #5209 Reply

    Katherine Swift
    Keymaster

    Thanks so much for the update Laura. It’s a topic I have no experience with. Your comments are very helpful!

  • #5212 Reply

    Nicole

    Hi! I saw this post and just wanted to share my experience, I decided (after seeing several VERY expensive options to send my breast milk out to get it encapsulated in resin) to try my hand at it. And I have one successful piece still haha (my children are one and two so the piece is about 2 years old now) the main thing is to properly prepare the milk BEFORE trying to encapsulate it in resin because unfortunately it turns brown over time. I used 2 different molds and I boiled the milk before pouting it into the first, smaller, heart mold.I tried mixing it with resin before pouring it in and I tried putting down a layer of resin, then milk then resin…. the latter idea did not work for me. Mixing the milk with resin is what turned out favorable results! I then took my smaller heart piece and placed it into a square mold, but only filled the square mold with enough colored resin to cover barely 1/2 of the heart/breast milk piece. So it was kind of a 3d piece…. if that makes any sense! I still cherish that piece to this day as a reminder of my kiddos as young babies 🙂 I hope you find something that works for you!

  • #5238 Reply

    Bethie

    So I tried this out on Saturday night. I mixed the resin and boiled breast milk together and poured into the mold. Its been curing for 36 hours now and its still sticky. Did I do something wrong? This is my first time I’ve ever used resin.

    • #5241 Reply

      Katherine Swift
      Keymaster

      Resin hates moisture. It is probably the extra moisture from the milk. That’s why I suggest trying to use dried breast milk.

  • #5244 Reply

    Bethie

    Makes sense. I think I’m going to throw some in the dehydrator and go from there.

  • #5338 Reply

    Laura

    This is so interesting! I’m going to give it a go. It’s such a shame so many people aren’t keen to share their secrets.

    (Yet another Laura ; )

  • #5412 Reply

    Nikki

    Lovely to hear of you all experimenting. I’m afraid there’s no global secret, each artist has their own method. Once you have some pieces that have been white for a few months you could start to make them for friends and family but bear in mind that a piece can yellow slowly over the course of a year so it’s not a good idea to sell them just in case. You can have a lot of fun making breastmilk jewellery but a lot of heartache too.

    As for our community sharing the secret, I’m afraid we have all worked so hard that we can’t just give away a process that takes years to refine. Lots of us act as mentors and help each other along individually though. With a million babies born every day and only beginning to scratch the surface of the artistic possibilities here it’s not about competition, it’s about pride in our own work.

    • #5946 Reply

      Melissa

      Nikki,
      I’ve been trying to make breast milk jewelry as well but I am so close I refuse to give up.
      Are you willing to privately email me and be my mentor? <3 I would greatly appreciate any hints or tips you are willing to give me to get this to work!
      Melissa

      • #38266 Reply

        Paula McNorton

        Hi Nikki, if your willing to mentor or if anyone is willing to mentor me I would be so very grateful….

  • #5625 Reply

    Samantha

    Hi Nikki,

    I really appreciate your response on this thread. I have been wanting for the past year to make myself some breastmilk jewelry but since I have never even made any jewelry before I at a lose as to where to even begin. I understand that it can take a very long time to perfect this process but do you have any tips on how to get started/ literature to read that can be helpful to someone just starting out making jewelry ?

  • #6085 Reply

    Kys

    What a delightful thread to come across in my googling, I’m wanting to make a breastfeeding momento for my 3yo who is stubborn to wean. I’ve never even worked with resin before so feel totally blind going into this so if anyone is willing to share any more hints or tips even privately i would be so blessed.

  • #6321 Reply

    Kate

    I too am really keen to experiment making my own. I honestly find it a little disheartening those who have found a method are so unwilling to share.

    Both of my babies have been heavily supplemented by donors. I’m hoping to make them a piece of jewelry as a thank you for nourishing my babies. While it would be great to be able to afford to buy all 14 of them pieces, I need to make my own for costs sake, in additon to wanting to give back something I made as they have given me something of theirs so precious.

    If anyone figured out a process that doesn’t lead to yellowing I would love some help.
    Thank you

  • #7614 Reply

    Kate

    A friend recently asked it I could do this for her. I haven’t tried yet but I’m thinking of either making the milk into a plastic (casein) and then putting it into resin or dehydrating the milk before reconstituting it with alcohol. Tiny amounts of alcohol inks work with Elichem Total Cast (which I think it the best on the market) so in theory it should work.
    Link to making milk into plastic can be found on Google (we did it at school) or there is one here:
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-milk-plastic/
    Not sure if either will work but it’s worth a shot.
    Kate xx

  • #8262 Reply

    Marissa

    Hello-

    I am freaking out a little bit because I just bought mod podge (as suggested by the guy at Michael’s) to preserve my placenta from my baby boy that I just lost a couple weeks ago. I have one bezel that is open but the other with my favorite piece in it is enclosed and I am worried that it will mess up. If anyone knows how this stuff works, PLEASE HELP <3

  • #8267 Reply

    Katherine Swift
    Keymaster

    Have you dried the placenta first? The ModPodge will make a good seal, but only if it is dried first.

    • #11764 Reply

      April

      You will need to slice and dehydrate the placenta first. It will need to be dehyrated at standard 160°F for about 12-18 hrs. You can then snap, break, or grind into flakes.

  • #10438 Reply

    Minette

    Hi. I’ve seen a lot of youtube videos about casting breast milk. Just I want to know, what’s the effect in the finished product if I’ll cast the resin with my liquid form breast milk?

    • #11773 Reply

      Katherine Swift
      Keymaster

      Liquid breast milk will spoil in resin. You will need to dry it first.

      • #11929 Reply

        Greg

        I’m hearing that you need to boil the milk first so the pc will not turn bad I’m going to try it today both methods dried milk into powder then mix with resin/hardner thats from Amazon brand is easycast clear casting epoxy I will also try the boiled milk as well to see what works best

  • #11279 Reply

    Laura

    Check out the Tree of Opals blog. Nic has been generously sharing her secrets.

  • #12305 Reply

    Bernadett

    Not too sure about the Tree of Opals tutorial. Optiphen Plus cannot be the right preservative for milk… Research, before buying. Also, the tutorial doesn’t get into detail on how to get rid of the water content… Freeze drying is not easy at home, but a food dehydrator will produce a very yellow or even brown powder… An overhood could be great, but not all mums have access to a proper lab…

  • #13421 Reply

    Melissa Cossette

    Hi everyone just came across this thread ( sorry i am french trying my best here)
    I also would live to make resin breast milk jewellery . Here is a story that migjt (or not) help out .
    When my baby was only a few weeks old i had to manually get some milk out of my breast in the middle of the night. I used a glass cup and poured some milk into it and forgot it there for quite some time ( days and days..you know, new baby)
    Anyhow few weeks later i take the cup and the milk was all dry and shinny in there and on the sides of the cup . I think i could of just scratch that and use that powder in resin or sealed with mod podge . Worth the try i guess !

  • #13486 Reply

    preety maggo

    hi, iam from india and i wanted to start a business in breast milk jewellery but i am clueless about how can i start and where to start. can any one help me in details with step by step instructions here. plz help me grow

  • #13508 Reply

    Natalie

    I’ve been trying to do this with breast milk for the past few months, all pieces are turning out great by dehydrating the milk then powdering before mixing with resin. However I’m struggling with it being tacky to touch and not being shiny. Do I need to dehydrate further to you think? Also sometimes the milk powder doesn’t mix completely and then sits at the bottom of the mold… any tips would be greatly appreciated

  • #16825 Reply

    K

    So from what I’m gathering, the best method seems to be drying the milk in one form or another, then sealing the powder in glue, then preserving the dried glue/milk combo in resin. Is this right? Also is it possible to use pearl powder that’s meant for baking in this mix?
    Thanks 🙂

  • #17291 Reply

    Kat

    I’m somewhat experienced with resin and the milk +pva/midge podge sounds like the easiest,most viable option. You can mix water with pva so milk will be fine, and once it’s dried it can be coated in UV resin to seal it (if necessary) and then into normal epoxy. I’m just finishing weaning my youngest so I’m gonna give this a bash over the weekend. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.

  • #22673 Reply

    Michelle

    Holly of http://hollyday.co has a kit to make your own breastmilk jewelry. Perhaps using this kit would help in making your milk into resin items

  • #26704 Reply

    Shutch

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-dUFeEOD19Y

    I know this is an old post but just in case people are still searching or wondering.

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