Looking for an alternative to genuine opal jewelry? Making a faux opal with resin is easier than you think. Not only is it fun to create these, but they will cost you only a fraction of the price of real opals.
By the way, if crafting with epoxy is new to you, take a moment to learn what is resin and why it’s the most amazing crafting material ever. 🤩
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. This takes 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 get iridescent papers in the gift wrap section of craft stores.)
You can crinkle the papers or leave them smooth. (more coming on that)
Step 4: Add resin
Mix 1 ounce of jewelry resin for this project. The super clear resin is perfect for this project because it cures crystal-clear. It releases bubbles quickly, so you aren’t stressed about getting them out of your resin.
Only fill mold cavities halfway with the mixed clear epoxy resin.
Step 5: Add papers
Put your cut papers to the resin in the mold. You’ll need to move the papers around to release any trapped bubbles. When you’re happy with the first layer of your faux opal charms, cover and allow to 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 as necessary. Cover and allow to cure.
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. Which faux opal style do you like better?
You can see the difference easier in the two charms with the black opaque resin layer behind them. The crinkled paper charm is at the top and looks more like a natural opal. (at least to me)
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 book 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 ebook now and get a download link to your email in minutes.
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