I loooove crafting with clear epoxy resin! There are so many things you can do and experiment with, and most of the time, the results are fantastic! Still, things don’t always go as planned, but in life, they never do! So here are some of my favorite hacks for how to work with resin.
1. Cold resin is bad.
I work in my basement, and it tends to be on the cool side all year long. In the winter, the heat rises to the upper floors, and in the summer, the cooled air settles right into my craft room. I began using epoxy resin one summer before the air conditioner was on, and I was getting some great results. But, I could not figure out why all of a sudden, a week or so later, I was getting resin bubbles. Stubborn bubbles. I could not pop them with my lighter.
I searched the internet for answers. Maybe I was mixing too quickly….probably true…. but it hadn’t mattered a week ago! Finally, I found some suggestions about keeping your resin warm…hmmm. First, put your resin bottles in warm water before working with them. Another trick is to keep the bottles with water in a small crockpot (brilliant!) to warm them up. I did start putting my resin bottles in a small bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes before using them, and it did the trick! I did that for quite a while.
The problem with that method is the water. Water and resin don’t mix and causes curing problems. A few times, I did not wipe the bottles off well enough and dripped the water in the resin. Also, at that time, I was using my coaster mold with the parchment paper. Parchment paper is excellent unless it comes into contact with water. Then it wrinkles and messes up my coaster. There had to be a better way.
It occurred to me that I have a small heater under my desk, and it keeps my toes toasty. Why couldn’t it keep my resin toasty too? So, I began putting my resin bottles about 2-3 feet away from my little heater. It is close enough to warm them up but not too close to make them too hot to handle. Just remember, warm is good, hot is bad. So, I warm up my resin bottles, and my resin is thinner. It mixes better (I still mix too fast). I still get bubbles, but they are tiny, rise to the top, and pop easily with my lighter or heat gun!
2. Be smart.
Remember, you are working with chemicals. Resin is a great and fun medium to work with but make sure you have good ventilation and work with gloves. It’s smart, but it also beats trying to get all that sticky stuff off your hands!
3. Cleaning up a sticky mess.
You will have spills. You will get mixed and unmixed resin on surfaces they should not be on. Something will be unexpectedly sticky, and you may not know how it got there. Not to worry, rubbing alcohol. Get a big bottle of rubbing alcohol and keep it on hand. Use it with a paper towel for large messes, and use it with a cotton swab for small messes or mistakes or drips in a resin mold.
4. Plan ahead.
Think about the project you will be working on and have all the items on hand. Have your molds ready, gloves, stir sticks, mixing cups, whatever you are planning on putting in your resin, etc. In addition to the project you are working on, have an extra mold handy. Whether it be a jewelry mold or a coaster mold, if you happen to have excess resin, don’t let it go to waste. I have made many jewelry pieces with resin I happened to have leftover. I even made a coaster with multiple leftovers!
5. Experiment and have fun.
Don’t stress about something if it doesn’t come out perfectly! I like trying to put new things in resin, especially in layers. I like trying molds that weren’t made for resin. Try some unexpected ideas. Do what makes you happy.
I hope you have fun trying different things with resin, and I hope some of my tips come in handy.
Want to learn more about how to work with resin?
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originally written by Mona Schmitt
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2022 Resin Obsession, LLC