Not only is resin jewelry fun to make, but it can also be an inexpensive way to spend an afternoon with some creative time for yourself. What makes it so awesome? You can keep your epoxy resin clear or you can add colors and found objects to your resin. Plus, you can mold it into unique shapes. The possibilities are endless!
Here’s what you need to know about how to make resin jewelry that will make you look like a pro.
Before you get started
Please don’t skip over this part. I get that you want to jump into a project, but I’m trying to help you avoid an ugly cry moment later.
Make yourself aware of your resin’s pot time and cure time. Pot time refers to the amount of time you can work with the resin after it is mixed until it starts to cure. Don’t mix any more resin that you can comfortably use during that time. The cure time is the total amount of time needed for the resin to completely cure.
Pro tip: There are many more terms you might run into when using resin. Bookmark this resin vocabulary page so you can refer to it later.
Choose an area to craft with resin where you can cover it with wax paper. Resin won’t stick to wax paper. Have a clear dome (like a plastic storage container) to cover your resin charms while they are curing. There’s nothing like a little dust or cat hair to ruin your curing resin.
Make sure your crafting environment is the ideal resin mixing temperature. Resins best cure at a temperature in the low 70’s Fahrenheit which could mean you may need to run the heat or air conditioning if your room is outside of these temperatures.
You will need to wear gloves to protect your hands in addition to having adequate room ventilation. Read these safety articles so you know how to properly handle and dispose of your resin.
If you want to cast your resin with something inside it, you need to prepare the item before mixing your resin. Completely seal your image or finding with a clear-drying glue such as Elmer’s, Mod Podge or Ultra Seal.
Pro tip: How do you know if you need to seal something before including it in resin? Ask yourself if getting it wet affects the appearance. If the answer is yes, then you need to seal it.
Mix it up!
Whatever resin you use, follow the label directions. Precisely. You need to mix a specific amount of the resin with a specific amount of the hardener. Don’t go a little more or a little less. Use graduated mixing cups so that you can be exactly sure of the amount you are pouring. By the way, there is not set of universal resin mixing instructions. You need to read and understand your epoxy resin kit directions before you ever open a bottle.
Pro tip: Use two separate cups for measuring; one for resin and one for hardener. If you over pour one or the other into separate cups, you can return it to its original container without contaminating your entire stock.
Stir the resin carefully with a stirring stick. While you should expect a few air bubbles, do not mix too roughly or you will end up with more air bubbles than your favorite fizzy drink. Stir the cup for a minute or two, making sure you scrape the sides of the cup with your mixing stick.
The video below shows resin mixing in action:
It’s color time!
If you’re adding colors, glitter, micas, etc. add a drop or tiny amount and mix. Add more if needed.
Ready, Set, Pour!
Carefully pour the resin into your mold or bezel. If you have mixed a large amount of resin, you may want to use your stirring utensil to drip resin into the cavity. Resin can pour quickly and there’s nothing worse than having a big glob of resin covering your project and work area.
Pro tip: If you want to add something (such as a bead or picture) pour a tiny bit of resin in first, then place your item in, otherwise, you may trap an air bubble underneath.
Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble
Even if you are careful mixing your resin, you will likely have a few bubbles to deal with. Many will rise to the surface and pop, not all of them. I use a heat gun to get the ones that stubbornly stick around. Some people use a propane torch or lighter, but not only can you start a fire (BAD), you can also damage your mold and it permanently sticks to your resin (MORE BAD). Check your projects again several times over the next hour as more bubbles may have shown up.
Finishing your resin charms
Wait until your resin is fully formed before touching it. Then, you can demold them by gently twisting the mold while grabbing the edge.
Trim any excess resin with scissors or sand the edges with sandpaper. Start with a coarse grit wet/dry sandpaper (400 or 600), then work down to very fine grit sandpaper (1500 to 2000) to get a smooth edge. If you need to do a lot of sanding, sand the charm underwater so you do not breathe the dust. (Not you, just the charm.)
To get an extra final gloss to your project, you can recoat with another layer of resin or use a gloss resin sealer spray.
If you created resin charms, you will need to add findings to make them wearable. Otherwise, if you used ‘ready to wear’ bezels, you should only have to add a necklace, earwire, etc to be able to wear them.
Looking for more resources on how to make resin jewelry?
I wrote the beginner resin book, Resin Jewelry Making, with the beginner in mind. I’ve concentrated on the details beginners need to know to make something you can’t wait to show off! Buy the ebook now and you get a download link to your email in minutes.
Of course, the easiest way to get started is with a resin kit for beginners. It has everything you need to make jewelry and crafts with resin the same day you receive it.
What else do you want to know about how to make resin jewelry?
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2021 Resin Obsession, LLC