Seven experts share their advice for crafting with resin

crafting with resin

Seven experts share their advice for crafting with resin

I asked 6 of the best resin crafters I know, plus threw in a tip of my own, for their advice for crafting with resin.  While the question was directed as help for beginners, perhaps even experienced resin crafters can see some ‘room for improvement’ when it comes to resin casting and crafting.

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My best advice for people using resin for the first time is to not be scared. First timers have over and over told me that they bought a kit and were afraid to mix it.
Two major important techniques to getting resin right is…
1- Measure exact.  As painful as it is to slow yourself down and really get this right.
2-Mix well for one minute as if you are folding eggs. 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 resin pour. You really can not go wrong at this point. Have fun and embed anything that you want.

— Susan Lenart Kazmer, developer and creative director of ICE Resin

If you’re using paper or something else that can absorb liquid, be sure to seal it before putting it into resin. Seal it with at least 2 or more coats of sealant.

— 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 out the resin and hardener in two separate cups. Use a permanent marker to mark the correct quantity on each cup (especially important when using a 2:1 ratio resin) and 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) so that I can re-use the cups throughout my resin 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 cast properly, so it’s so important to not let that get to someone, and figuring out as much as you can allows mess ups and mistakes happen less, plus it’s just fun.

— Jasmine Moore, Resin Obsession resinista

Resin is a super versatile medium for creating jewellery, sculpture, artwork and more. Make sure you measure the resin and hardener out carefully (according to the manufacturers instructions) as this is where most mistakes are made. There are loads of handy tips and 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!

— Clare John and Kate Battes, jewelry designers, entrepreneurs, web developers, Resin8

Don’t give up! It may be tricky at first with some disasters but it’s worth figuring out because there are lots of possibilities with resin.

— Zell Lee, resinista, jewelry designer and mixed media artist, Asana Natural Arts

Consider pouring resin in the evening. My best resin pours are usually easy to attribute to a night time pour. About 45 minutes before I am going to call it a night I mix and pour my resin. Then I babysit it for bubbles for about 30 minutes and head straight to bed. 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. I often bump the 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. Oh, and if you have a cat, do cover your curing pieces with a tupperware type bowl…..

Like this post? You may be interested in  10 reasons why your resin casting is a disaster and how to avoid them

— Carmi Cimicata, jewelry artist, resin blogger, I Love Resin

Keep a journal of your resin activities.  I found when I went to demold my first projects a few hours to days later, I couldn’t remember what I had done to either have the outstanding results or resounding failures.

— Katherine Swift, entrepreneur, author, resin jewelry artist, chief resinista, Resin Obsession

When I asked this question on our social media channels this week, I also got some great tips from our readers:

My 6 year old says, ‘Don’t drink it’.  — Kathryn P. on Facebook

Read the rest of the suggestions on Facebook

Wear an outfit that you don’t care about because if you spill resin on your clothes, mixed or not it’ll ruin your clothes!!! R.I.P. My favorite Hello kitty pajamas????  –preciousartcreations on Instagram

Cover your working area because you will spill.  rubybijou on Instagram

Read more of the Instagram suggestions here

What advice would you add to this list when it comes to crafting with resin?

 

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2016 Resin Obsession, LLC

33 Comments

Chris Maqueira

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!

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Kathy

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!

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Alice Ryan

No food or drink on the same table as your curing pieces! Spills of anything really can spoil your projects!

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Shamair

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.

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Tanya Logan

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.

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Robert Wolfe

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…….

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Katherine Swift

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.

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julia Portland

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.

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Lycee Anaya

I am trying to cast leaves into my resin, but the leaves keep losing their color about 3 days in. Thoughts?

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Maggie M

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.

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Sue

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?
Thanks

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Katherine Swift

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.

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Joe Ann Nassida

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?

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Jeanne Chapman

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.

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Veronica Neugebauer

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??

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Katherine Swift

Make sure it is free of any grease or oils. I like to cover my pieces with a large box or plastic container.

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Veronica Neugebauer

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

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April

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?

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Katherine Swift

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.

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April

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.

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Susan

When is the best time to add color to resin, and will it affect curing time ?

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Katherine Swift

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.

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Katherine Swift

I’m not sure since I don’t do acrylic pours. I’ve read where other artists wait 30 days before covering with resin.

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kkay

sorry i forgot to mention that the pour is with elmers glue , acrylic and water mexed.

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kkay

Thank you very much, Katherine, for your prompt reply. Will stick to epoxy pigments and resin.

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