Love opal jewelry but don’t love the price? Making a faux opal with epoxy resin is fun and easier than you might think. Not only are they fun to create, but they will cost you only a fraction of the price of real opals.
Step 1: Choose a mold
Use a jewelry mold in a shape you like.
Step 2: Apply mold release
Mist mold release over your mold and let dry it dry for at least 30 minutes.
The mold release ensures your faux opal charms pop out of the mold easily.
Step 3: Cut papers
Cut iridescent papers into various sizes, about the size of a dime. You can buy iridescent papers in the gift wrap section of craft stores.
Crinkle the papers or leave them smooth. (more coming on that)
Step 4: Add resin
Only fill mold cavities halfway with the mixed clear epoxy resin.
Step 5: Add papers
Put your cut papers into the clear resin in the mold. Use your stirring stick to move the papers to release any trapped bubbles. When you’re happy with the first layer of your faux opal charms, cover and let cure.
Step 6: Add another resin layer
This layer needs a color. That’s what will make your resin look like a faux opal.
Mix another 1 ounce of super clear resin, then split into 3 cups. Add opaque color pigments and stir well.
💡 Pro tip: If you’re unsure what color to use, go with black.
Pour the second layer of colored resin over the clear layer with the paper. Remove any bubbles. Cover and allow to cure.
💡 Pro tip: Learn how to use a heat gun to zap bubbles.
Step 7: Demold
Twist the mold while pulling at a faux opal edge. Your resin will peel out.
Here are the finished faux opals:
The top row has charms made with crinkled iridescent papers. The bottom row has resin charms made with smooth pearlescent papers.
You can see the difference between the two styles. The crinkled paper charm is at the top and looks more like a natural opal.
Finish your faux opal charms as pendants, or string several together to make a bracelet.
⭐️ BONUS: Here are several options to turn resin charms into wearable jewelry.
Ready to take on more resin jewelry crafting projects?
I’ve helped thousands of artists worldwide with their resin obsession, and I’d love to help you too. I wrote the ebook Resin Jewelry Making, with the resin beginner in mind. It explains the basics of how to make resin jewelry, plus includes several projects you can make in a weekend. Buy the PDF book now and get a download link to your email in minutes.
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