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