A Beginner’s Guide to Epoxy Resin for Crafts

beginners guide to epoxy resin for craftsWhoa. You just spent hours scrolling Instagram and are now want to make geode resin coasters or epoxy art. You’ve got the inspiration, but as you look for more craft with resin information, it gets confusing. Do you need this? Do you need that? Why are they doing this? And the most important question — which epoxy resin you should use to make your crafts?

What you’re feeling right now is totally normal. I was just as perplexed when I started my resin art career more than fifteen years ago. I made a lot of mistakes and had more than a few ugly cry moments. Through lots of trial and error, I learned the big secret to making something beautiful with resin.

Now, back to your question.  How are you supposed to know which epoxy resin to use to make your crafts?

Ready for it? Answer this one question and you’ve already won 80 percent of the battle.

Do you want the resin to fill a space or coat a surface?

Resin is resin, right? Like why does this matter?  Because there is no ‘one size fits all’ resin.

I’m going to say it again.  THERE IS NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL RESIN.

If it looks like I’m yelling there, you’re right. You can’t buy one resin to make every craft you want to with resin. Each formula has specific properties to ensure you get the best results possible.

{I won’t dive into a rabbit hole here, but if you want more details, dive into this article about choosing the best epoxy resin for your project.}

If you are filling a space, like a mold or something with sides to contain the resin, you want to use a casting resin.

These resins

*Mix in a thin consistency, so they release bubbles easily
*You can pour them in thick layers
*Cure hard and durable

Best small pour casting resin

 

Resin Obsession super clear resin

This is my go-to resin for making small mold projects. You can mix anywhere from 1/2 ounce to 3 ounces at once. Then, pour it into your mold, and it’s ready to demold in under 12 hours. Plus, it contains top-level UV protectants to ensure your resin stays clear for a long time.

Do you know what else I love about this resin? It cures hard and is durable. That means resin rings and resin bracelets won’t soften with body heat. Yep. No more soft and bendy jewelry when you use this jewelry resin.

tic tac toe game

Here’s a tic tac toe game set I made with the super clear resin.

Best large pour epoxy resin

 

Resin Obsession deep pour resin

This resin works great for making wood river tables. The thin consistency of the resin means it can fill cracks and holes in wood completely. The slow-curing formula avoids overheating and resin cracks. Plus, you can pour it up to two inches thick at once. Should you need a resin layer deeper than that, let the resin gel, then pour your next layer. Mix and pour as little as 3 ounces to as much as 3 gallons at once. Tip: you can use this thick pour epoxy for casting large figurines, paperweights, and orgones.

wood and resin coasters

In fact, that’s how I like to use it. Here are resin coasters I made with the deep pour epoxy.

If you want a resin to coat a surface, like giving a glossy coating to a tile, recoating a countertop, or covering a drink tumbler, you need a doming resin.

This formula

*Mixes thicker
*Clings to a surface better and makes it easier for you to avoid holes and fisheyes in resin
*Self-levels to produce an even finish

Because they mix thick, though, you shouldn’t pour them in layers deeper than 1/8 inch. All the bubbles may not escape before it starts curing.

Best clear craft resin for coatings

 

Resin Obsession crystal doming resin

This is my epoxy of choice when I need a crystal-clear, glossy finish on my jewelry bezels, epoxy tumblers, artworks, and photographs. It contains our best level UV protectants, plus it has a thirty to fifty-minute working time. (If you are anything like me and find that time gets away from you, you will love having the extra time.) Plus, it cures durable, so I never worry about the surface looking scuffed.

photo resin pendants

I used the crystal doming resin to make these photo pendants. I love how it gives a glossy finish to the photos and makes them pop out of the bezels.

Best craft resin for coloring

 

Resin Obsession artwork resin

Sometimes though, you need an epoxy resin that’s a great value, especially when you need a lot of it to color for your crafts. That’s where our epoxy art resin comes into play. It locks in colors. They don’t sink or fade and keep their beautiful hues for years. In case you decide to keep it clear, don’t worry. It does contain UV protectants to guard against yellowing.

This resin also has a shorter working time, which comes in handy when pouring colors. Your colors are less likely to blend at the edges, avoiding muddy colors.

ocean resin painting

I love this epoxy resin for all my colored resin painting projects. For example, I used it to make this ocean-themed resin painting.

Whichever of these epoxy resin for crafts you choose, rest easy using them for your next project. They are all

*VOC free
*Toxicologist certified safe for arts and craft use
*Conforms to ASTM D-4236, which is the highest government safety standard for art materials (not all resins have this certification!)
*Made in the USA

While our resins are the safest on the market, that doesn’t mean you can ignore resin safety precautions. {Like I hope you wouldn’t ride around in the safest car without wearing a seatbelt.}  Wear gloves, work in a well-ventilated area and dispose of unused products safely.

Now that you know which epoxy resin for crafts you need, here are a few other things you should know.

How do you mix epoxy resin for crafts?

Once again, all resins don’t mix the same way. Read and understand your epoxy resin directions entirely before starting your craft. Some use equal parts of resin and hardener (parts A and B), while others measure more resin than hardener.

After measuring part A and B, pour together, and stir until the resin mixture is clear and streak-free. This will take two to three minutes, depending on how much resin you are mixing. Make sure you scrape the sides of your cup and resin mixing stick during this process. If you don’t, this resin will only partially cure or leave a sticky surface on your epoxy crafts.

Let me take a moment here to talk about bubbles. One of the best ways to avoid bubbles in your resin is to be very careful when mixing. You are not making whipped cream! Instead, be deliberate but careful about mixing.

If you want more help, then walk through my process on how to mix resin and hardener.

How much epoxy resin do you need for crafts?

Well, that all depends on what you’re making. This article explains a few ways to figure out how much resin you need for a project, including a link to our resin calculator.  (hint: The calculator is the ‘easy button’ option.)

What can you include in epoxy resin for crafts?

Pretty much anything you can think of. Here are some of my favorites:

*Resin colors
*Dried flowers
*Glitter
*Candy
*Beads
*Stickers
*Paper
*Metal charms
*Paper clips

Pro tip: You shouldn’t include anything ‘wet’ in resin. That means no fruit, fresh flowers, or anything else with a lot of moisture. Not only can the extra water affect resin curing (resin HATES water), but they will spoil and change colors. If you don’t believe me, here’s what happened when I used fresh flowers in epoxy resin.

Now that you know what epoxy resin for crafts you should use, what are some of my best tips to share with you?

1. Make sure you understand your kit’s directions. Resin directions are not universal.  You need to know

*how much of each part to mix together
*how long you have to work with the mixed resin (pot time)
*how long it takes to cure

2. If you are using your epoxy resin for wood crafts, be sure your wood is sealed first. If it isn’t, it will release so many teeny tiny bubbles into the resin that they are almost impossible to get out before the resin starts to cure.

3. Your cured resin crafts will only be able to tolerate warm items, not hot items. That means you won’t be able to put a pan straight from the oven onto a resin countertop without it leaving a mark.

Ready to try using epoxy resin for your crafting projects but want more help getting started?

 

It’s why I wrote the book Resin Fundamentals. I’ve condensed my resin knowledge into an eBook you can download and read this afternoon. It’s all the exact details you learn at my in-person classes, but all from the comfort of home. Buy the book now, and you get a download link in your email inbox in minutes.

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2022 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  7 Gift Ideas For Resin Artists And Jewelry Makers

4 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to Epoxy Resin for Crafts

  1. I am Tanzania
    Am very interested with this Epoxy Craft
    I would like to have your email or your WhatsApp number, I want to do this business

  2. I’m just starting out using resin, this info is useful, I did a coaster set and holder, the holder I had to bin as the sides didn’t set and was bendy

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