How to use flower petals in resin

using flowers in resinOriginally published January 2015.  Updated April 2020.

This article is part of a series on using dried flowers in resin.  You can read the previous article, using dried flowers in resin.

A couple of weeks back, I took on the challenge of drying flowers for use in resin.  One of the methods I researched involved drying flowers on contact paper.  Of all the flower drying methods I tried, this was the one I was most skeptical about.  I didn’t necessarily understand the importance of the paper, as it seemed like more work!  Nonetheless, I was eager to try the technique and see how they turned out in resin.

flowers petals on contact paper coated with resin gloss sealer spray

Seal the flower petals

Before using the dried petals, I sealed them with a layer of resin gloss sealer spray onto the surface that wasn’t stuck to the contact paper.  I sealed them with three coats of spray, waiting approximately 20 minutes in between layers.

trim petals from contact paper

Once the petals were dry, I trimmed away the excess contact paper to within a few millimeters of the edge. For the large petals I wanted them to fit exactly into the mold, so I trimmed them down and made sure they fit before I ever poured my resin.

Use the flower petals with resin

I used an epoxy casting resin for this project, casting the resin in a plastic resin jewelry mold.  I also prepped the mold with a light layer of Castin’ Craft mold release and conditioner and allowed to dry before pouring the resin.

pouring resin into a plastic cabochon mold

I poured in enough resin to cover the bottom of the mold cavity.  I then dipped the petals with the resin in my cup before adding to the mold.

placing a leaf into resin

I carefully adjusted the placement of each flower/leaf before allowing to cure.  Tapping the inclusion from one end to the other will also help to release trapped bubbles.

checking resin for bubbles

It’s not a bad idea either to check the underside to see if you can see any bubbles.  Warning – be careful when lifting a mold full of resin over your head.  You should also have a good light source to help you with this step.  You will see why this is important in a few steps.

Demold the flowers and resin

flower petals cast in resin

I did this experiment like my last one:  some of the petals were sealed with the gloss sealer spray, while others were not.  Here’s what the castings looked like after curing.

flower petals on contact paper placed into resin

I’m not so sure that I was happy with the results of either of the small leaves and petals samples in resin.  Both leaves took up water stains.  I also didn’t do the best job of checking for bubbles (AACK!), so that doesn’t help either.

rose petals sealed in resin

The rose petals that I cut to fit the cavities fared much better.  No bubbles and no stains.

ridge along side of resin flower cabochon

I did have one very strange phenomenon happen with the resin casting this time.  Several of the flowers ‘bowed up’ in the middle.  This didn’t happen to me last time and it doesn’t appear to be related to bubbles in the resin.  I’m suspicious that it is something with the contact paper, but I can’t explain why it did this on some pieces, but not others.  Hmm.

Overall, I did like how the rose petals turned out.  The contact paper kept them from crumbling when I cut them, and I didn’t worry at all about handling them with the resin.  I would definitely do this technique again if I knew my petals were going to be too large to fit the resin well.

What do you think?  Would you try this method?

 

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC

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One Comment

Dotty

Katherine,
The bubbles could be “dew drops” if you wanted them to be! Or at least you could tell people that story. I don’t know what you could say about the water marks. The ridge rose up because they are “rose” petals, of course. Just a little humor from my quirky mind.

I like your work and I like that you share your successes and your failures. That gives the rest of us hope that we can one day get it right.

Thanks,
Dotty

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