You are inspired to get creative which may lead you to wonder how to make resin crafts. Maybe you’ve seen beautiful resin geode coasters, or you’re drooling over the idea of making resin paperweights, but you’re not sure how to begin.
I felt the same way, too, when I wanted to know how to make resin crafts. That was almost fifteen years ago, and since then, I’ve made it my mission to help other crafters get started with their resin endeavors.
I want to help you make resin crafts too.
What is resin?
The critical thing to know about resin is that a chemical reaction must happen to turn the resin from a liquid to a solid. In the case of two-part resins, that happens when you mix the resin (Part A) with a hardener or catalyst (Part B). With UV resins, that occurs when you focus UV light on the resin.
The liquid mixture eventually becomes a solid mass that can be used in jewelry, paperweights, serving trays, and coasters. Plus, you can use it to give a glossy coating to art, countertops, and tumblers. (If you want to learn more, I’ve got an article that explains what resin is.)
Yeah. Resin is pretty awesome.
How do I mix resin?
I may sound a little overdramatic here, but you need to pay a lot of attention to this part. If you don’t measure the parts accurately and mix them together thoroughly, your resin may cure sticky or gooey — or maybe not at all.
This should go without saying but start by reading the resin kit directions. Not all resins mix the same! Your instructions will tell you how much of each bottle to mix together (in the case of two-part resins) and will tell you how long you have to use it before it starts to gel or harden.
As you’re mixing the parts together, you need to scrape the sides of your cup and mixing utensil several times during the process. For those of you with baking experience, it’s similar to scraping the sides of your mixing bowl with a rubber spatula. The stuff stuck to the side doesn’t get mixed unless you make a point to do it. And if you end up using the poorly mixed resin, that’s one of the biggest reasons it cures sticky. (There are other reasons for sticky resin too, but this one is the one that happens most often.)
If mixing resin to make resin crafts is new to you, please spend some time reading this article on mixing resin in five simple steps.
What resin do I need to make resin crafts?
Believe it or not, choosing the best resin for your resin crafts project comes down to one question: Are you going to pour the resin into a mold or use the resin to coat a surface?
If you are going to pour it into a mold, you want to use a casting resin. These are designed to fill molds and cure bubble-free. You can also pour them in thick layers, sometimes as deep as two inches!
Best resin for small molds
Resin Obsession super clear resin
Mix between ½ ounce and 3 ounces at once
Cures hard and crystal-clear in 8 to 12 hours
Top-level UV protectants to guard against yellowing
Best resin for large molds
Resin Obsession deep pour epoxy resin
Mix between 3 ounces and 3 gallons and pour up to two inches thick at once
Slow curing formula to prevent cracking and shrinkage
UV protectants to keep your resin clear
If you are going to use the resin to coat a surface, you want to use a doming resin. These resins are designed for surface coatings, avoiding voids and fish eyes, plus finishing with a raised, even covering.
Best clear resin for coating surface with a clear, glossy finish
Resin Obsession crystal doming resin
Mix between 1 ounce and 1 gallon at once
Thirty to fifty-minute open time
Professional grade UV protectants
Best resin for coloring, then coating a surface
Resin Obsession artwork resin
Mix 3 ounces to 1 gallon at once
An economical choice when needing large volumes of resin
Locks in colors so they won’t fade.
What other supplies do I need to make resin crafts?
Once you start creating with resin, you’ll find that there are endless projects for you to try. You can soon find yourself wanting lots of resin products and supplies! But do you need them all?
Regardless of what you are making with resin, there are a few essential supplies to make resin crafts
Optional supplies to make resin crafts
For a comprehensive list of what you need to make resin crafts, check out my beginner resin casting supply checklist.
Where do I find resin molds?
You can find molds meant for resin in the Resin Obsession store. We are always looking at the latest trends and work hard to bring you quality molds at great prices. Here are a few of our customer’s favorites!
What about using silicone molds meant for food? You can use these with resin, but they almost always require extra finishing to get a shiny surface. This article explains why cloudy resin happens and what you can do to fix it.
You can also make your molds using silicone mold putty, but this is an advanced resin crafter project better suited for when you are confident with your resin skills.
What if I don’t want to use a mold to make resin crafts?
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to! This is where you can use a doming resin to coat a surface. Quickly resurface a countertop or give a drink tumbler a glossy finish. Know that these projects can get a little messy since your resin won’t be contained to something with sides. Imagine syrup running off a stack of pancakes. The same thing happens here!
How can I make something unique with resin?
That’s where inclusions and found items come in! Here are a few of my favorites: glitter, charms, candy sprinkles, glass beads, and stickers, but of course, the list doesn’t end there. Here are ten of my favorite things to include with resin.
Pro tip: You can’t put anything you find in resin. Here are five things you should never set in resin.
How can you color resin for crafts?
Right away, don’t feel like you have to add color to resin. Leaving resin clear and adding things like coins, nails, paper clips or other funky stuff is a lot of fun. But if you decide you want to color your resin, you’ve got options!
You’re going to get the best results by using colors designed for resin. Why? These are tested for color stability to make sure you don’t experience any curing issues. You can use liquid or powder pigments; both work equally well to color resin.
Is there anything you shouldn’t use to color resin? While you may see other resin crafters talking about acrylic paint, it’s not something I recommend. It can make your resin cure rubbery or maybe not at all. Nail polish also doesn’t always work to color resin. It can turn your resin yellow or leave clumps of color in the resin.
If you want to learn more, this article dives deep into how to color clear epoxy resin.
I want to get started right away. What’s the easiest way to start making resin crafts?
Try one of our all-in-one resin beginner kits! They contain the basic supplies to let you get started the same day you get the kit.
This resin beginner kit comes with a Resin Obsession super clear resin 6-ounce kit, a Resin Obsession exclusive mold, plus mixing utensils, and gloves.
This resin jewelry beginner kit comes with a Resin Obsession crystal doming resin 8-ounce kit, twenty jewelry blanks, mixing utensils, and gloves.
Save money when buying either kit over purchasing the supplies separately.
Want to try making resin crafts, but want more help?
Then you will want to get a copy of my book, Resin Fundamentals. I’ve taken my almost fifteen years of resin experience and condensed it into an eBook of the essential details beginners need to know to have success making resin crafts on day one. You can buy the book to download and read this afternoon for less than the cost of a resin kit!
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