How to Make a Bespoke Chess Set in Under an Hour

How to make chess pieces with resin

 

Has anyone else watched the Queen’s Gambit on Netflix? I never considered myself a chess lover, but after watching that series, I’m thinking that through again. Of course, that means that not any chess set will do. Which is why I’m showing you how to make a chess set with resin.

Resin Supply list:

resin supplies for making chess pieces

Silicone chess mold set
Quick-curing polyurethane resin
Mixing cups
Stirring sticks
Safety gloves
A color for your resin

Before you start making your chess set, there’s a big thing you need to know.

[insert dramatic music here]

The resin I’m using for this project is not for beginners. You barely have a minute to mix the resin and pour it into your molds. That means if you’re a beginner and still fumbling with mixing resin, don’t try this resin yet.

If you’re a beginner, use a slower-curing epoxy resin. Substitute super clear resin for the quick-curing resin. You’ll have 20 to 25 minutes to work with the resin instead of only two minutes with the quick-curing stuff.

Step 1:  Set up the resin chess piece molds

 

Because these chess piece molds are long and must stay upright, you’ll need to find a way to prop them up. Because I never throw anything away, I used a cup from a previous art project.

Okay, it was from an Easter egg dying project. And yes, I’m not embarrassed to say I’m I Gen Xer that still dyes Easter eggs.

Step 2:  Measure the resin

Measuring and mixing resin

Measure equal parts of the resin and hardener by volume into separate mixing cups.

💡 Pro tip: I’m a big believer in using two separate cups to measure your resin and hardener. That way, if you overpour one part, you’re not guessing how much of the other part you need to add to make up the difference.

 

Step 3:  Mix the two parts together

mixing the resin

If you’re multitasking, come back to me.

You only have 30 to 60 seconds to mix this resin before you must pour it into molds. That’s why when I made these resin pieces, I made them in two batches. I needed about 2 1/2 ounces total of resin, but I wasn’t comfortable that I could mix that much resin and pour it into the molds before it started to cure.

Yep, even the pros still have challenges when crafting with resin.

💡 Pro tip: If you mix this resin and feel the cup getting hot, that’s your cue to pour the resin into your molds NOW.

 

Step 4:  Add a drop of resin color

Add a drop of your chosen color to the resin, but only partially stir it into the mix. This resin cures opaque white by itself. But you’ll see in a minute what happens when you don’t mix the resin color completely.

Quick-curing resin is quite fussy about taking colors. It doesn’t like moisture, so you have to use colors designed for polyurethane resin.  Otherwise, your resin will bubble and make a mess.

Trust me.  I’ve done it.

Step 5:  Pour the resin

pour resin into chess piece molds

Pour the colored resin into the chess set molds and allow it to cure. One of the best parts about using quick-curing resin is that your resin chess pieces will be ready to demold in about 15 minutes.

Step 6:  Demold

Demolding resin chess pieces

Peel the silicone away from your cured resin chess piece.  The king and queen can be difficult to demold.  You can add soapy water to the mold to make it peel off easier.

Finish any sharp edges with sandpaper if necessary.

You get some neat marbling effects by not mixing the color entirely into the resin.

Step 7:  Play chess!

resin chess piece set DIY

Because working with this resin doesn’t leave much time to take pictures of every step, I’ve got a video walking you through how to make a chess set. You’re welcome.  😉


Ready to learn more than how to make a chess set with resin but anxious about getting started?

 

It’s why I wrote the ebook Resin Fundamentals.  I’ve condensed my seventeen years of resin experience into a PDF book that costs less than a resin kit.  Buy the PDF book now and have it to read in minutes!

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2023 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  DIY Valentine's Day Conversation Heart Jewelry

2 thoughts on “How to Make a Bespoke Chess Set in Under an Hour

  1. Great tutorial! I have been working with standard resin for some time, but I haven’t yet ventured into polyurethane resin. Looking forward to trying it – chess pieces seem like the perfect choice.

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