I asked some of the best resin crafters I know for their advice on crafting with resin. Here’s what they had to say:
My best advice for people crafting with resin for the first time is not to be scared. First-timers have repeatedly told me that they bought a kit and were afraid to mix it.
Two essential primary techniques to getting resin right are:
1- Measure exact. As painful as it is to slow yourself down and get this right.
2-Mix well for one minute as if you are folding eggs. Then, scrape the spatula and the bottom of the cup to get it all mixed well.
That’s it! You are on your way to getting a perfect epoxy resin pour. You really can not go wrong at this point. Have fun and embed anything that you want.
— Susan Lenart Kazmer, mixed media artist
If you’re using paper or something else that can absorb liquid, seal it before putting it into the resin. Seal it with at least two or more coats of glue.
— Kate ‘Rijacki’ Ledum, resinista and chief designer, Rijacki Design
Measure, measure, measure!
Measure accurately, and then check again that you have the correct quantities. I find it helpful to measure the resin and hardener in two separate cups. Use a permanent marker to mark the right amount on each cup (especially important when using a 2:1 ratio resin). Then get down to the cups at eye level to check you’ve measured accurately. I also like to mark those cups as R and H (Resin and Hardener) or A and B (or whatever the manufacturer has called the two separate components) to re-use the cups with my resin crafting session.
— Mylene Hillam, resinista, author, and jewelry designer, Mill Lane Studio
Never get discouraged, and always keep experimenting. There are 101 reasons why resin won’t cure properly, so it’s so important not to let that get to you.
— Jasmine Moore, Resin Obsession resinista
Resin is a versatile medium for creating jewellery, sculpture, artwork, and more. Make sure you measure the resin and hardener out carefully (according to the manufacturer’s instructions), as this is where most mistakes are made. There are loads of handy tips and resin tutorials online to guide you through the basics of using resin. Read the health & safety guidelines, and above all, don’t be scared of resin!
— Kate Battes, Resin8
Don’t give up! It may be tricky at first with some disasters, but it’s worth figuring out because resin has many possibilities.
— Zell Lee, resinista, jewelry and mixed media artist, Asana Natural Arts
Consider pouring resin in the evening when crafting with resin. My best resin pours are usually easy to attribute to a nighttime pour. About 45 minutes before I call it a night, I mix and pour my resin. Then I babysit it for resin bubbles for about 30 minutes and head straight to bed. Then, in the morning, I wake up to a nice piece well on the way to a finished cure.
When I pour resin during the day, I end up poking at it or trying to add last-minute inclusions. Also, I often bump the jewelry bezels, and there was the famous incident when my sleeve brushed across the table, picking up 6-8 curing pieces. So, the less chance I have of disturbing the initial pour, the better things end up for me.
And if you have a cat, cover your curing pieces with a plastic bowl.
— Carmi Cimicata, jewelry artist, resin blogger, I Love Resin
Keep a journal of your resin activities. I found when I went to demold my resin projects, I couldn’t remember what I had done to either have the outstanding results or resounding failures.
— Katherine Swift, author, resin jewelry artist, and owner of Resin Obsession
Want more help crafting with resin?
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Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC
44 thoughts on “7 Experts Share Their Advice For Crafting With Resin”
Keep your failures, for 3 reasons: (1) to remember what you did wrong for next time. (2) what you consider a failure may be someone’s favorite. It seems that the pieces I dislike the most sell the fastest! (3) Wait a few days. Often the “failure” can be corrected or adjusted to make it a success!
Do NOT, never ever, let your cats stay in the room while you are working or suring curing. It is hard enough not to have lint or cat fur in the pieces…just stay tough to all those begging meowing and keep the door closed!
No food or drink on the same table as your curing pieces! Spills of anything really can spoil your projects!
Wonderful post! I definitely needed this back in 2007 when I first experimented with resin and FAILED horribly lol. I gave up and a little birdie whispered that I should try again in 2014. It worked on the first try and not I can’t live without it.
My first tip is never be afraid to think outside the box. Resin is so versatile. Once you get the mixing down there really aren’t anymore rules.
Secondly, always create your pieces a few days before you need it or create double. Anything can happen during the curing process. I’ve woken up to a mosquito being stuck in my resin among other things. Those extra days give you time to play doctor or start over.
Leave test pieces on a sunny windowsill. The sun speeds up the aging process, making it easier to see any potential yellowing/ fading/bleeding issues.
A newbie question; (1) So, I can use any water based acrylic paint mixed in with clear epoxy rigid ???.. And how much paint should I mix in.. ….
i.e. ; example 1/2 tea spoon for every 3 ounces of resin, or is there a set amount??? Thank-you for your wonderful u tube bids and forums…. You guys Rock…….
There isn’t a set amount when mixing acrylic into resin. I like to go no more than 1 part acrylic to 10 parts mixed resin. Resin doesn’t like moisture. I would recommend even less if you can get the effect you want.
Make sure that the environment your’e casting in is dusted and clean! and always put the casting on a level surface, away from anything (or anyone) that might knock it. Once you are sure that Your piece is free of bubbles and specs of dust that still find their way in no matter how careful you are, Put the piece into a plastic box with a lid to protect it until it’s cured. I use A4 size boxes and line them with silicon mats. That way, if anything dribbles, it won’t stick to the box and ruin it.
Thank you for the good advice
I am trying to cast leaves into my resin, but the leaves keep losing their color about 3 days in. Thoughts?
You should try sealing them first. We have a few articles on how to do that here: https://www.resinobsession.com/tag/drying-flowers
Thank you so much!
Wear protective GLOVES and if you can’t open a window, then run a small fan close by. The fumes will definitely give you a headache! And, as far as coloring is concerned, I used a little alcohol ink and worked great….just a couple of drops for 2oz resin.
If the resin is still bendable after it’s cured, is that because I didn’t stir it enough, or not the exact measurement?
And can it expire?
It can be the kind you are using, especially if it is a thin pour. Epoxy resins should be used within a year of purchase for the best results.
How do you rescue a piece that is sticky? And what causes sticky? Also spots that look like finger prints in the center and on one side?
It sounds like you may not have mixed the resin well enough. You will need to recoat with another layer of resin or use a couple of light coats of resin gloss sealer spray: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/tools-and-supplies/products/castin-craft-gloss-resin-sealer-spray
I ruined a favorite painting by forgetting to wipe up the silicone before pouring resin. There were dry spots all over the painting and I could not sell it. We have it in our hallway where people can’t see the difference in the surface.
How long does it take to cure?
I haven’t used it yet, but I’m ready too. I have a 24” x 14” aluminum/steel that I have sanded down to bare metal. Do I need to clean this metal with anything particular or put anything on this steel before I apply the resin mixture?? Also what suggestions to cover it as it cures??
Make sure it is free of any grease or oils. I like to cover my pieces with a large box or plastic container.
Thanks for I information. May I also ask which resin you suggest? I’m cover six sides of metal/aluminum chest, with wood slats (not covering wood with resin). It will be used opening and closing quite a bit. So I need something durable, shiny, and if I can’t get pattern swirls on metal I may paint design on metal but need resin clear or a one color paint to put in resin that won’t bleed., as I want shiny metal to show through. Any ideas on paint additives used this way? Thanks
Micro bubbles! Lots of tiny micro bubbles suspended in the resin, not floating up. I’m very careful when mixing and have tried to even warm the components before mixing/pouring. I have a theory that if I can produce a vibration to the surface they are curing one for a bit, then the bubbles should finally rise; but does anyone else have any suggestions?
Hi April, what kind/brand of resin are you using?
This time around I have been using Alumilite Amacing Clear Cast
That resin mixes really thick. I know it says it’s a casting resin, but I think it mixes too thick to cast it without bubbles. How much resin volume do you cast at once? I’m happy to make a recommendation.
So far, not a lot. I’ve been just making enough to make a few pendants at a time. 80ml at a time, at most so far.
For the amount you are mixing, the Resin Obsession super clear resin would work great. It mixes in a thinner viscosity, so if you are careful in mixing, bubbles are almost never a problem. It’s in several sizes in our store here: https://shop.resinobsession.com/collections/resin/resin-obsession
When is the best time to add color to resin, and will it affect curing time ?
It depends on the resin. Some suggest adding to the Part A before mixing it with the hardener, others will do fine if you add it after mixing both parts together. Depending on the color you use, yes, it can affect curing time. Colorants with a lot of water can make resin cure soft, slowly or sometimes not at all.
how long do i wait after an acrylic pour to seal it with resin?
I’m not sure since I don’t do acrylic pours. I’ve read where other artists wait 30 days before covering with resin.
Thank you so much for sharing fab tips … I just wondered if there’s any tips for avoiding sharp edges when using a mold – wondering if I should be putting something on top maybe … or do you just have to accept them and sand them down ? Thanks in advance !
Hi Ruru, I’m afraid you are going to have to sand them down after demolding.
Thank you Katherine x
sorry i forgot to mention that the pour is with elmers glue , acrylic and water mexed.
Thank you very much, Katherine, for your prompt reply. Will stick to epoxy pigments and resin.
How do you keep the inclusions from sinking towards the bottom of the mold. I have an elephant tea light/mini plant mold. I tried using crystals and stones, they all sunk to the bottom (which was the elephant head). I thought about layered pours, but still feel like the stones would sink. Any help would be great!
Hi Heidi, you need to wait until your resin starts to cure before adding the next layer of items. This article explains more: https://www.resinobsession.com/resin-tutorials/how-to-make-things-float-in-resin/
Hopefully someone is still watching these notifications! I’m new to resin, got molds, resin bottles etc., my concern is space. I have 1 bedroom in a shared home so I live in my bedroom (I cook in it too, the kitchen is disgusting). I can open the window and turn on the fan on low, will that be enough to not have to buy a respirator? I am planning on just making small trinkets and keychains, and when i used coating resin over my alcohol ink coaster tiles I did it in my room and immediately covered the objects with a box to prevent dust from coming in and fumes from leaking out, until it was fully cured. If I do that, and just make small batches, do I still need a respirator? 🙁
Hi Taylor, I’m glad to hear you are taking resin safety seriously. I discuss ventilation more in this article: https://www.resinobsession.com/resin-frequently-asked-questions/can-epoxy-resin-make-you-sick/
I am making knobs with resin and made molds. I started layering art and glow casting and coating epoxy resin inserting/suspending a stone/glass marble and topping off with a laser cut piece of wood with a circle cut out to see the marble. I wet sanded each knob from 400, 600, 800, 1200, 1500, 2500, 3000, 5000, 7000. Now I need to know what type of orbital pads and type of polish should I use to have them shiny and crystal clear?
I poured two different colors of resin at the same time into small molds (side by side) this morning I checked on them and the colors were still separated, but one on top of the other. They are also curing at different speeds. I’m very new to this, so I’m not sure what I did, or if the one color will even harden. It’s been about 18 hours so far and one color is still super soft.
For reference, I used colorant specifically made for epoxy resin.
Hi Carly, it sounds like one might be heavier than the other.