Call it hoarding, but from the beginning, I have always held onto my failed resin projects. I tried to salvage them if I could, but even if I couldn’t, I just couldn’t bear throwing them in the trash. I soon learned that having these reject resin castings turned out to be pretty useful from time to time. Here are a few ideas on what you can do with your failed resin projects attempts:
1. “Abuse” some. I try very hard to make sure when I sell jewelry that it’s something people will be able to have for years to come, however, I continue to be amazed by how customers can literally abuse their jewelry pieces. I will take some of my reject castings and put them in ‘bad’ situations to find out exactly what happens. What’s a bad situation you ask? I will hold them underwater, place them in direct sunlight, put them near something hot, etc. just to get an idea of how the pieces react. I can then know how to advise customers on caring for their resin jewelry purchases.
2. Use them as practice pieces. Want to try side drilling some charms to string together as a bracelet but don’t want to risk ruining your good pieces? Try techniques you’re trying to learn on a few mistake pieces until you get good at what you’re doing.
3. Use them in a few experiments. For example, I wanted to know how compatible different brands of resins were with each other. I had a few projects I had created with epoxy resin from one manufacturer and wanted to know if I could layer it with an epoxy resin from a different manufacturer. I found out I could, which comes in handy if I have leftover resin that I don’t want to waste.
4. Turn a few resin jewelry mistakes into samples. Can’t remember what resin looks like when sanded to different degrees? You can sand your pieces with different grits of sandpaper and label which ones you used. You will be able to look at your samples and know where you go with your project. Love the color you got in a casting but it’s unsuitable to wear because of bubbles? Write your color formula and tape it to the resin charm so you know how to get it again next time.
5. Save them for customer samples. Maybe the bangle bracelet you made has bubbles in it, but it doesn’t mean the customer can’t put it on to get an idea of what wearing the bracelet is like. These also work great for customers when you maybe worry that they will get dirt and grease all over your jewelry (like at craft festivals that also sell carnival food). If the sample gets ruined, you aren’t out anything.
6. Show them in your craft fair booth. People love to see you’re not perfect! It makes them appreciate that you go to great lengths to make sure you put out a quality product (and that it’s not as easy as it may look). People love seeing these on your blog posts and social media pages as well. In case you are wondering, here are the five biggest mistakes beginners make with resin.
7. Save them for class examples. My mistakes work great for when I’m teaching classes. I can show people what can happen without actually having to intentionally mess up a project.
8. Inspiration and appreciation. It shows you how far you’ve come and how (hopefully) you have improved.
What else do you do with your resin jewelry mistakes?
Trying to avoid resin jewelry mistakes to begin with? Uh…of course! Then you will want to buy your copy of Resin Jewelry Making. I wrote it for beginners to give you the vital factors in making resin jewelry that will have people saying, ‘Wow, you made that?’
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