How to make your own amber using resin
Did you know natural amber is actually fossilized tree resin? It came from resin that oozed from tree bark millions of years ago. Wearing the fossil in jewelry dates back centuries and is a very classic look. Did you know that you can make in your own? (and you don’t need millions of years to do it)
Measure and mix your resin using 1 ounce plastic mixing cups and stir stix. For this amber resin project, I mixed 3 drams each of resin and hardener of Castin’ Craft Easy Cast epoxy resin. Once thoroughly mixed, divide the resin into two mixing cups.
To make the resin amber colored, I used two drops of Castin’ Craft transparent amber dye in the left cup and one drop of amber and one drop of Castin’ Craft transparent green dye in the right cup. (Adding the green alone will make the resin look ’emerald’ colored. You will need the amber dye to make it look like green amber.)
To give the resin the appearance of natural amber, you will need to add some inclusions. I used Stampendous mica fragments in the colors of bronze, tea and tarnished. The fragments will be large (approximately 4 flakes can cover the surface of a dime), but you can crush or tear the mica flakes with your fingers to vary the sizes.
Mix the mica into your resin.
Pour the resin into the mold. For these amber colored resin charms, I used rectangular cabochon mold 412. Not shown: before using the mold, mist with a light layer of Castin’ Craft mold release and conditioner and allow to dry.
After pouring the resin, remove any bubbles before allowing to cure. As a side note, you will notice that the larger mica flakes will sink to the bottom. If you want to have larger mica flakes more evenly distributed in the casting, I would suggest pouring the charms in 2 to 3 layers, allowing the resin to (at least partially) cure between layers.
Once the resin has cured (at least 24 hours), turn the mold over. Gently push and twist from the back to pop the pieces out. If everything has gone well, the resin charms should come out easily.
Trim up any excess resin as necessary. I like to use scissors to cut away any tags or thin pieces, then go over the edges with wet/dry sandpaper to smooth them up.
You can finish your charms as desired. Side drill them to link as bracelets or set into metal bezels as cabochons. For these resin amber charms, I added Aanraku large leaf bails to the back and adhered them to the charm with E-6000 to make them pendants.
Enjoy your new resin jewelry making technique!
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