Originally written November 2013. Updated March 2020.
So while this is a tutorial on how to make a resin bracelet, it’s really an explanation of how to make things float in resin. Making items in resin appear like they are floating is one of the fun and mind-bending techniques you can accomplish with resin casting. In this DIY bracelet project, I’m going to walk you through the steps on how to make things float in resin.
So how can you get your buttons to float like the resin bracelet above?
You’re going to have to pour multiple layers.
For this resin project, I am using bangle bracelet mold 390. As you can see, if you place the buttons in with the first casting, they will sink to the bottom. If you leave them like this, they will all be on one side of your resin bracelet. In order for the buttons to ‘float’, you will need to pour a thin layer of resin first for the buttons to rest upon when you pour the second layer of resin.
Mix an appropriate amount of resin.
Not shown: Prep the bangle bracelet mold with a light mist of Castin’ Craft mold release and conditioner and allow to dry.
For this casting, I knew I didn’t need much of a first layer to raise up the buttons. I only poured in enough to cover the bottom with a couple of millimeters of resin.
This shows how much resin I ended up pouring into the bottom. I didn’t measure the amount of resin, but instead just ‘eyeballed’ to the level where I thought the resin needed to be. For this mold, it didn’t take much — 3 to 4 milliliters or so.
Here’s the trick on how to make things float in resin
Once the first layer has (at least partially) cured, pour in a small amount of resin for the next layer.
Gently place the buttons into the mold and use a stir stix to help you move the buttons into place.
You may be wondering why not place the buttons, then pour the resin. Doing it that way will make it more likely that you will trap air into your resin.
Once the buttons are placed where you want them, completely fill the mold with the remaining resin. Cover and allow to cure.
I won’t go into the demolding steps here, but there is a video on our youtube channel on How to demold a resin bangle bracelet.
Sand off any rough edges with wet/dry sandpaper.
I started with a 150 grit sandpaper and worked my way down to 600 grit. Here’s where you can learn more about sanding resin to get it smooth.
Polish your resin bracelet as desired.
For this bangle bracelet, I used the Novus polishing compound kit.
If you look closely enough, you can actually see where the first resin pour ended. This happened because I let the resin fully cure before pouring the second layer. If you pour the next layer while the first layer is in the gel phase, this line will be minimized if not totally absent.
However, I would say 98 percent of people would never notice this on a finished bracelet, so don’t worry if this happens to you.
Enjoy your new piece of jewelry!
If you are asking yourself how to make things float in resin, here what you do not want to do.
Do not place your inclusions in the resin once the resin starts to cure. Why? Two reasons:
1. It will be almost impossible to get your inclusions to ‘stop’ at a certain level.
2. Once the resin has started to cure, disturbing it in any way will likely introduce bubbles that you won’t be able to get back out.
Pouring in layers is the best way to making things float in resin.
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