Help embedding a spider!

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    • #831

      I have a black widow that I found in my backyard last night soaking in alcohol to preserve it. Im wanting to put it into resin so I can make it into a pendant. Any ideas on how I would go about getting it from the alcohol into resin?!?!


    • #833

      I never thought about dipping the spider first & then embedding! See, thats why I had to pick someone elses brain! 🙂 Its going to be a multi-step process & a learning experience to get this done!! Ill keep you posted on how it goes!


    • #832
      Katherine Swift


      Assuming the alcohol has preserved your spider (I dont know much about preserving arachnids, insects, and the like), my next suggestion would be to let it dry for a couple of days.  (It probably wouldnt take that long with alcohol, but I would want to be absolutely sure there is no alcohol that could get mixed in with the resin).

      I would then very carefully dip my spider into the resin and allow to dry.  Thats going to be the tricky part as you will need to set her on something that allows her to keep her shape in addition to not destroying her when you go to get her after she cures.  My suggestion would be to set her on a silicone mold of some sort as you can just bend the mold to get her loose.  If you dont have one, then my next suggestion would be a piece of wax paper (resin peels away from wax paper).  Shes going to pool resin, so be prepared to trim off any extra after she cures.

      This resin dipped spider is now going to be much easier for you to include in a future project.

    • #834

      Kara!  Did you embed your Black Widow yet, & if so how did it turn out?!
      I actually have captured a Black Widow as well & Im going through the same trouble.  Please let me know how it turned out for you & how you did it.  Thank-you. 🙂

    • #835

       Im afraid if I let the Black Widow Spider "dry out", the body (Im afraid) will shrivel up to look like a raisin? would I be able to get around that problem?  Any info I can get on that, I would appreciate it!    thanks,    Pat

    • #836
      Katherine Swift


      I have heard that preserving them in alcohol first works well. 

    • #8784

      I have recently taken up making paper weights by encasing dead scorpions in resin with good results so far. Alchohol works great to clean them and it only takes a few hours for them to dry. I fill the mold halfway then set them in (upside down since the mold is upside down). Then I let it set up for about an hour and a half before pouring the rest of the resin in. The reason for this is because the light weight arachnid will float to the top while the resin is setting. This way the specimen winds up floating in the center when everything drys completely

      • #8785
        Katherine Swift

        Great idea Rick! It’s how you can make them look like they are floating.

      • #11368
        Stacy Young

        Hi Rick,

        Have you had any issues with a spider “cooking” while you wait for the resin to dry? My spiders start to emit an oil or the contents of their body as soon as the resin starts to heat up.

        I have ruined many spiders and cannot figure out how to do it.

        • #11372
          Katherine Swift

          Have not heard that before. Weird!

          Are you preserving them in alcohol first? Maybe the alcohol would remove the oils before you place them in resin.

    • #11367
      Stacy Young

      How can I keep a spider from “cooking” in the resin while it sets up?

      • #11373
        Katherine Swift

        The resin is going to heat up, so I don’t know that there is a good way to keep it from ‘cooking’. Maybe try soaking the spider in alcohol to remove the oils first? You might also try dipping the spider in resin and allowing it to cure on wax paper. Peel off once cured. Maybe the thin layer of resin will insulate it when you put it in a larger casting.

    • #14754

      I’m working on the same project as well. I did a practice run and I had put the black widows (preserved in alcohol) right into a silicone mold and did a two part pour. HOWEVER, it has now been a week or two and the spiders are rotting from the inside. So their cool abdomen is totally deflated and only a sheer exoskeleton is left. This is goin to be a wedding gift so I need to fix this quick before I make the actual gift. I was thinking of trying to dry them out or maybe spray them with a mod podge sealer? Has anyone tried this or has any other advice?!? Please let me know!

    • #14971

      maybe they need to have their organs removed first. i know when tarantulas and large bodied insects are pinned they often cut open the abdomen, remove the juicy stuff, then fill with cotton or something. though it would be difficult on a smaller specimen like a black widow.

    • #15171
      Tiffany Little

      I put mine in the freezer first.
      1. Catch live or find dead black widow
      2. Place her in the freezer for at least 1 hour to verify that she’s dead.
      3. Fill a silicone mold 1/2 way with epoxy
      4. Place your widow in the epoxy and arrange her legs while the epoxy is setting.
      5. Once the epoxy sets fill the remainder of the mold with epoxy.
      6. Wait 12 hours and remove from mold.

      • #15191

        Do the bodies not shrink or shrivel after they’ve been imbeded? I’m trying to find a good way to do these. I’ve heard you soack them in alcholol first and not to. Do you have any pictures of the final product? Thanks!

    • #16211

      I freeze the insect in a covered container. Then place it on a wet tissue in closed container. Keep checking that tissue does not dry out. I leave it for a couple of days. You will find that it is quite easy to display the animal and move the legs etc.,.
      Use a plastic container and half fill with resin then place insect in.
      Make sure that the insect is put in the right way so it is not upside down in the finished mould.
      Make sure you have not missed mixing the hardener in the resin.
      You can also mix a few drops of food colouring in the resin mixture to enhance the finished mould.

    • #16376

      I have cast probably 40 spiders. here in south Florida we have an abundance of brown widows I have a black widow hourglass themed motorcycle. Once you have caught her they will stay alive several days a couple air holes and a drop of water. Prep mold thin layer of resin let dry. Put spider in freezer for an hour you don’t want it to freeze hard will split open if you a cooking it you are using too much hardner the resin will set without hardner just takes forever just use a couple of drops. Pore another thin layer then set your unfrozen spider in the position you want her. The hard part is the abdomen has fine hairs that want to trap air around her. She will start to decay and the hourglass will fade to where you can’t see it. I have found a really nice big one that I am going to catch in the next couple of days have to get some more resin first. I am going to try using some oil on a cotton swab and wipe her down first. I will let you know how that works

    • #42619

      Encased insects are beautiful but please think about the time you are freezing them for before placing them in resin. A spider who has spent 1 hour in the freezer will only be in hibernation. The best practise, to be sure this is done humanely, is to.leave them in the freezer over night and then submerge in alcohol. Only this way can you be sure they are dead. Even freezing over night only assures hibernation, not death, so the alcohol step is important. Good luck and I would love to see some of the finished results!

    • #48221

      Hey! I have wanted to try a similar project. What kind of resin is everyone using?

    • #82416
      Therese Kyker

      I have a scorpion that has been frozen for about 3 years. I want to make a hat pin with it. I have a friend that does re-enactments from 1980’s.
      I have a hat pin that I can glue it to. My question is should I put in alcohol first? Can I spray it or do I need to dip it. I don’t think I could handle gutting it. What product would you recommend?

      • #82423
        Katherine Swift

        Hi Therese,

        You have a lot going on here!

        I want to help you with your project, and I think this situation is best suited for a one-on-one consulting call where you and I talk back and forth about what’s going on. A 15 minute consultation call is $20. I do them by video so I can have a chance to see what you are working on.

        If you are interested, please send a message through the ‘contact us’ page and I can get this going for you.

        Best, Katherine @ Resin Obsession

    • #82711
      April Parker

      I really wish there were some pictures! Please post your projects😁 I would love to see how they all turn out. Thanks!

    • #82721

      i encase insects in resin for education- you’ll always have better luck with invertebrates that have tough exoskeletons (like scorpions, beetles, etc.) & i thoroughly recommend letting them dry for a long time before encasing. it’ll help prevent a reaction between the organic material/water & resin. using a high-viscosity resin will help tremendously; i no longer pre-coat any of my insects in resin before putting them in a mold.

      and as loretta said, just one hour in the freezer (& for some, any length of time in the freezer) will not kill the animal, so please be humane!

    • #82727

      This is horrible! Why would anyone capture a living creature then do these terrible things to it? Fir art? That’s disgusting. It’s one thing to find a dead scorpion or whatever, but to capture living spiders, etc, and kill it just to embed it is so very wrong. ☹️

      • #82794


    • #82793

      IT’S. A. BUG, NICKI.

      • #82809

        Exactly Kimberly. A living creature that isn’t yours, no matter how entitled you seem to feel. Your selfishness is not very becoming and says a lot about you.

        • #89128

          So nicki if a mosquito bite you are you going to slap it or are you going to let it suck your blood?

          • #92006

            You seem like a very cruel and horrible person I hope you don’t have any pets :/

      • #92007

        You are quite repulsive, imagine thinking you can kill things for fun

    • #82938
      Jeff Lovely

      I am also horrified that people would capture a living creature just to kill it to put it in some resin jewelry. Just a bug? Everything has life and I would just say stop and think about how you would feel if something tried to do this to you.

      • #83008

        Thank you Jeff! I’m happy to hear some compassion on this thread. It really gets me upset when people think they can do anything they want to other species. We may be the top of the food chain but threads like this make me feel we’re way down the chain of thoughtful compassion.

    • #83179

      I also find it very distressing that people kill bugs to preserve them in any medium. My interest in resin sprung from a desire to preserve these beautiful beings after finding them dead. Otherwise I think the best way to preserve them is to let them keep living.
      Ethics aside, has anyone tried using uv resin for preserving a specimen? I’m about to start working with it but not sure works be adequate for this purpose.

    • #83867
      Big Boto

      Brah, I usually just smash black widows on site…don’t know what I would do if I seen one on a walk, but in my garage big or small I kill them all….does anybody have suggestions on how to do a dog, other than the freezer or alcohol😂😂😂just kidding RELAX…I meant cat….

    • #84165
      Lyn Law

      I raise tarantulas and have a huge dinner plate size bird eater tarantula. I used resined on one of her exoskeleton sheds. There was no problem doing so after the shed had dried all I did was with a little soapy water moistened the exoskeleton, then with pins positioned it and let it dry.
      Then later poured resin.
      What I am saying is maybe to contact a tarantula breeder/hobby person and ask for some exoskeletons. This way no bugs get killed and the sheds can be used .
      Young tarantulas molt a few times a year, my big girl about every 18 months or so.

    • #84848
      sarah Donaldson

      I’ve been making jewelry w preserved insects for a few years…. w LOTS of trial
      And error. The 2 black widows I’ve done were so much harder than the beautiful and hard shelled beetles I usually work with. I actually have a widow in a mason jar in freezer rn. Spiders do the “death curl” thing, so in order to position her, I take her out of freezer and put her in a sealed Tupperware w a small piece of paper towel that’s been moistened and wronged
      Out well. The paper towel should NOT touch the widow, but her brittle body will soak in the moisture from the paper towel piece once you put the lid on. I leave her overnight(but not longer as she will mold), then the HARDEST PART…. positioning her. I use a piece of foam like for floral arranging, place
      Widow on foam, and use pins to stretch and position her LONG SPINDLY LEGS which is soooo tedious! There’s tons of vids on YouTube on how to pin insects so it’s be easier for you to watch those than me to try to explain the correct placement of pins. Once she’s finally in a nice position…. let her dry just long enough that the legs hold their pinned position. Let her dry too long and yes, that big beautiful abdomen will shrivel up. If yours is already a wet specimen, u won’t need to rebydrate w the paper towel, just pin her and let her dry into position. I put mine in deep dish pendants w a thin resin layer on bottom first w some color to make her stand out and give dimension. Once that cured I placed her on top, still had to tweak w her legs a bit, then sealed her in. I tried to attach a pic of how my first one turned out but not sure if it worked. Anyhoo, hope that helps…. good luck if u haven’t yet begun!


    • #84849
      sarah Donaldson

      Here’s a link to my IG account post if the photo didn’t show

    • #89423

      Hi there I have a little preying mantis that died and I’m devastated. She is fully dry as I left her in her spot. Can I just brush her with resin? Would that be enough to preserve her?

    • #90734
      Realistic Person

      OK Karen, thanks for your input

    • #91168

      Hi, I’ve read the post, but see little about avoiding air bubbles on hairy spiders. I made a resin paperweight containing a Red Back Spider many years ago and don’t remember having problems, but a friend of mine says he doesn’t do spiders because of lots of trapper air bubbles in the hairs.
      Comments appreciated.
      Kind regards.

    • #91720

      Hi there

      I know this is off topic, but does anyone have advise on setting a snake in resin? Our pet snake died and my son does not want to part with it. Any advice would be very helpful

    • #93605

      I’ve recently lossed my jumping spider and I want to encapsulate her is resin. She’s been drying out naturally for a few days but I want to preserve her properly before setting her in resin. What alcohol do I use to do so, and how long to keep her in the alcohol? Thanks!

    • #93632
      Katherine Swift

      Testing the jumping spider.

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