How to make resin jewelry
Originally published February 23, 2012. Updated April 14, 2018.
Making Resin Jewelry
Not only is resin jewelry fun to make, it can be an inexpensive way to be creative! You can add colors and found objects along with molding your resin into unique shapes. The possibilities are endless!
Here are the basics on how to make your own resin jewelry
Before you get started
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 talked about when using resin. Learn more about the resin vocabulary.
Choose an area to work with resin where you can cover it with wax paper. Resin won’t stick to wax paper. Have a clear dome (plastic storage containers work well) to cover your resin pieces while they are curing. There’s nothing like a little dust or cat hair to ruin your piece!
Make sure your casting environment is ideal. 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 Mod Podge, Nunn Design glue 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 will affect the appearance. If the answer is yes, then you need to seal it.
When using a mold for a project, you need to prepare it with a light layer of mold release. This will keep the resin from sticking to the mold, especially if something should go wrong.
Mix it up!
Whatever resin you use, follow the label directions! You will 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.
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 stir stix or something similar. While a few air bubbles are to be expected, do not mix too roughly or you will end up with tons of air bubbles. 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 addition in, otherwise, you may trap an an air bubble.
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, but you will have some that need to be popped. I use a heat gun, but you can also lightly blow over the bubble with a straw or go over the top of the resin with a flame from a lighter. Check your projects again several times over the next hour as more bubbles may have shown up.
Finishing your resin charms
If you used molds, you can demold them by gently twisting the mold while grabbing your casting after they have completely cured.
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 a 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.
To get an extra final gloss to your project, you can recoat with another layer of resin or use the Easy Cast Clear 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?
Here’s a beginner book to help get you started: Resin Jewelry Making
Resin Jewelry Making kits that have resin and other supplies to get you started making jewelry with resin: How to make resin jewelry kits
What other questions do you have on how to make resin jewelry?
Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2018 Resin Obsession, LLC