The five most common mistakes beginners make with resin
Believe it or not, I was once a beginner with resin. So I’m sure you figured that out before now, but I tell you this, because when I started with resin, boy did I make some mistakes. I only wish my teacher at the time had stressed some important things about resin to help avoid problems.
Okay beginners, I’m trying to make up for how I was taught and don’t want you to experience the excitement of your first resin castings turn into sorrow and anger when you find a goupy, sticky, what did I do wrong, kind of mess. Here are the five most common mistakes I see beginners make with learning to work with resin.
1. You don’t read and follow the directions. I get it. You want to get right to the fun stuff. Perhaps you saw a friend craft with resin or you saw a video on youtube. C’mon, how hard can this be? Yeah, it can be that hard. Stop and read the directions that come with the resin kit before you ever open the containers. Does your resin mix 1 to 1? Should you mix by weight or by volume? How long does it take to cure? Once you have read the directions, be sure to follow them. Every resin is a little different and has instructions tailor made to make sure you are successful. Besides, if things do go wrong, a lot of possibilities are eliminated by knowing you did everything exactly as the instructions stated.
2. Measure accurately. A capful of this. A spoonful of that. I mean, you have seen other people do it in their tutorials. What’s the big deal? Well, it probably isn’t a big deal …. part of the time. If you are mixing large volumes of resin, being off by half a teaspoon probably isn’t going to be a dealbreaker. However, if you are mixing only a little bit to cast into a pendant, yeah, that half a teaspoon is going to be a big deal. I like to use measuring cups, every time. Not kidding. I know they can get expensive, but if you are careful, you can clean and reuse them. You can see how I like to clean them here:
3. Mix thoroughly. In the beginning, this is the one I failed at the most. You put the Part A and Part B together, then mix it up. After 30 seconds or so, you don’t see any more swirls and the color looks uniform. What can go wrong? I’m here to tell you that the resin along the side of the cup and your mixing utensil is not mixed unless you make an effort to mix it. I will scrape the sides and bottom of my cup, along with my stir stix, a minimum of three times during the mixing process. And on another note, my personal rule is to mix for 10 percent of the pot time. For example, if the pot time is 30 minutes, I will mix for 3 minutes.
4. Not choosing the right resin for your project. Do a little research before you purchase your resin. What do you want to accomplish? Do you need a doming resin? Do you need a resin that cures hard? Do you want something that’s food safe? Sometimes failure comes from asking the resin to do something it is not designed to do. Note: we have a chart on Resin Obsession that explains the pros and cons of the resins we sell along with their intended best uses. You can read it here: Resin Casting Kit choices
5. Overestimating your abilities. I love helping people with their projects. I share in their vision and excitement of creating something magnificent all until I get to the end of someone’s request when they reveal ‘and I’ve never done this before. Do you have any pointers?‘ Oh dear. While resin is a ton of fun, it does require some skill. While some beginners are instant masters of resin, for most, it takes time to develop skills and to learn how resin works. Imagine taking an archery class. Would you expect to hit the bull’s eye the first time you picked up a bow and arrow? I know I wouldn’t. What I’m trying to say here is to go easy. Start small. You can get this, but get good at the basics first. If you are a beginner with resin, here’s my roadmap for your success: Resin Jewelry Making – What every beginner needs to know
And by the way, we have a bunch more beginner resin tutorials and articles to help get you up to master status. 😉
What other beginner pitfalls and problems have you experienced? What were some of your beginner resin mistakes?