Now that my kids are a little older, their school projects have become more sophisticated. So when they had to do a diorama as a book report, I took it as inspiration for a resin jewelry project.
If you aren’t familiar with dioramas, they’re a miniature way to capture a scene. (Like from a book or movie.) I didn’t have a theme or memory in mind to make into diorama jewelry. Still, I chose instead to ‘work backward’ with their leftover diorama miniatures. Any store that sells supplies for dollhouses and model trains will have items for making diorama jewelry.
Diorama jewelry project 1
I found a piece of clip art with a Stegosaurus dinosaur.
To make sure it would lie flat, I placed it in my resin mold with the dinosaur model to make sure they both fit before pouring the resin.
Once I knew the paper fit, I sealed it on each side with two layers of clear-drying white glue.
💡 Pro tip: By doing this on freezer paper, I can pull up the clip art without tearing it once it’s dry.
After the glue dried (wait 12 hours or more), I mixed Resin Obsession super clear resin to go into my silicone mold. I poured enough resin only to cover the bottom, then used my stir stick to spread it.
💡 Pro tip: Dipping the paper in resin before placing it in the mold reduces the chances of trapping bubbles.
I did the same thing with my dinosaur before I put him in the mold cavity.
Then, I added more resin to the top and allowed him to cure.
Once the resin cured, I demolded the diorama pendant by flexing the silicone mold.
Diorama jewelry project 2
II wanted to create another pendant with clip art. But, this time, I used an extra large rectangular silver bezel blank.
Again, I checked to be sure the clip art and diorama figure fit in the pendant before pouring the resin.
Next, I applied a layer of glue.
Then, I placed the clip art over the glue and put another layer of glue on top of that.
💡 Pro tip: Ensure your glue is thoroughly dry before proceeding to the next step. If you don’t, moisture wick into your clip art and stain it.
I poured a small amount of mixed Resin Obsession super clear resin into the bezel.
Because I only wanted the resin to barely coat the bezel, I didn’t fill it all the way. So instead, I added a small amount of resin, then rotated the bezel to cover the bottom.
Once the back was coated, I placed my farmer on the resin. I added more to cover the back, but not too much. I didn’t want him covered as I was trying to achieve a three-dimensional effect.
My finished farmer pendant turned out pretty cute. I like how he looks like he’s standing on a hillside.
Diorama jewelry project 3
This seahorse is pretty cute, and I thought it would be cool to make a pendant like he is swimming underwater.
I was happy to see that he fit into this jewelry mold.
For my first resin pour, I wanted to create the bottom of the ocean for the pendant. So I propped up the resin mold, then poured a small amount of super clear resin into the cavity. I only wanted it to take up the bottom half of the mold.
To that, I added a tiny bit of sand. Then, I let the resin cure.
Once the first layer completely cured, I tilted the mold the other way. Next, I added super clear resin colored with the Resin Obsession transparent blue pigment.
After allowing the second layer of resin to cure, I placed the mold flat. Then, I mixed more super clear resin for a third pour and put the seahorse in that layer.
💡 Pro tip: Plan out all layers of your diorama. I wanted blue resin to make the seahorse look like he was swimming, but I needed to be sure it was behind him. Otherwise, you may not see him very well if he has colored resin over him.
My tiny seahorse looks like he is gliding across the bottom of the ocean. Now all he needs is a name.
Diorama jewelry project 4
In keeping with my ocean theme, I want to make this crab into a drop pendant. He is a little too big for the drop pendant mold but fit okay once I put him on his side.
I wanted my crab to look like he was walking across the sand. First, I poured super clear resin into the bottom of the cylinder mold.
While the resin was still liquid, I added a bit of sand.
I added a bit more resin after adding the sand. The crab was a little too big for the mold and would only fit at an angle. Because of that, I propped the mold up on a bottle cap before allowing it to cure.
After the first layer cured, I mixed more resin and added a small amount to the mold. Next, I coated my crab with resin before adding him to the mold.
I pushed my crab into the mold and added more resin.
Unfortunately, this is where things went sideways. Because I used too much resin in my first pour, my crab didn’t fit in the mold. So I placed clear packing tape over the top to get the crab below the top of the mold.
I secured the tape with a rubber band and allowed the resin to cure.
After demolding my crab, it had a rather large defect in the top where the resin didn’t completely cover it.
I put the crab casting back in the mold and put more resin on top to fill in the void.
While the resin filled in the defect on the top, it made it uneven. So I wrapped tape around the casting to create a ‘mold’ to pour more resin. I added another 1/4 inch of resin to the top.
So while I was able to add resin to the top of the crab, you can see a casting line. Ugh. Not my best work.
Diorama jewelry project 5
For the last pendant, I wanted to make these roses look like they were growing in a field with a beautiful blue sky behind them.
I cut a piece of the ‘grass’ and sealed it with white glue.
For the back of the bezel, I wanted it to look like the sky. So I colored the super clear resin white using the Resin Obsession opaque white pigment.
Next, I swirled in a tiny bit of Resin Obsession blue pigment. Again, I didn’t use much — only the amount stuck to my toothpick when I dipped it in the bottle.
I was able to get a beautiful marbled blue background for my bezel.
I dipped the flowers in mixed resin before placing them in the bezel. This breaks the surface tension and makes it less likely I’ll trap bubbles.
I placed the flowers and grass on top of the cured resin sky and added more clear epoxy.
💡 Pro tip: The Resin Obsession drying mat is excellent for working with resin in bezel pendants. The open squares have room for the pendant bail so the pendants can sit flat.
The pendant turned out great. I love that the flowers kept their shape.
Finished diorama jewelry pendants
A few technical notes if you want to make your own diorama jewelry:
- Some of these diorama figures are rubber and might want to float in resin. You may need to pour resin in several layers to get the figure to stay where you want it. If you need help visualizing that, this article will give you some ideas: How to make things float in resin.
- I did not cover some of my figures entirely by design. I wanted them to have a three-dimensional look, which sometimes gets lost when you completely encase things in resin.
- If you do this, you might want to have several diorama projects ready to go at once. You won’t use a lot of resin with any one pendant, and it’s a shame to waste the stuff. Otherwise, have leftover resin projects ready to go.
Ready to take on making your own resin diorama pendants but still feel like you need more help?
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