How to use resin in open bezels
If you love the look of resin ‘floating’ in a pendant, then you are in the right place. Today, I’m going to teach you how to use resin in open bezels. These pendants require a few extra steps than your average pendant but these bezels are beautiful inside and out and by doing several pours over the course of a few days using clear resin, you can take full advantage of the depth of these bezels and the result makes it worthwhile!
First layer resin pour
First, apply your bezels to the sticky side of masking tape. I always use a good quality masking tape for this part. I press as firmly as I can without ripping the tape to create a seal, then I wrap the tape up the bezel. This makes it easier to handle.
If you don’t have any bezels, you can get open backed bezels for resin here.
Next, get your supplies ready. You need to use a clear doming resin for this project, as long as it’s clear. The Resin Obsession crystal doming resin is 1:1 (one part A to one Part B) epoxy resin with a 45 minute working time. Note: always follow the directions exactly for whatever resin you are using.
I used a mixing cup, measuring spoon, mixing stick, gloves, masking tape and wax paper. Note: I used a wood stick because it is all I had on hand but I much prefer the Resin Obsession stir stix. The design allows you to fold the resin better and introduces fewer bubbles as a result.
To pour your first layer of resin for these open bezels:
1) Mix the resin.
2) Use a stick to fill the bezel one-third full.
3) Pop the bubbles with a straw and toothpick or a heat gun.
4) Cover the bezels and let them cure for 24 hours.
Second layer resin pour
This is probably one of the best things about using resin in open bezels. You can add things to your resin and bezels where it looks like it’s floating!
For these resin pendants, I used metal charms. I used two different charms for this project, one charm has a loop (which I cut off) and the other has a hole (which I covered).
Using pliers, I snapped off the loop, then sanded down the rough edges left on the charm.
To cover the hole in this charm, glue a gemstone over it.
Next, add the charms to the resin.
I only mixed a little resin for this next step. I used ½ tsp of resin and ½ tsp of hardener, and it was more than enough. Note: this is less mix than the manufacturer recommends as generally, you have to do a minimum of a tablespoon-size measure. In my experience, the cure can be a little soft. But because I knew I was doing another pour over this one I wasn’t worried about it being a little flexible.
Put in a little resin, then instead of putting the charm directly in the resin, dip it in your cup of resin first. This will help reduce bubbles when you put the charm in the bezel. Add just enough resin to cover the charm.
The colored layer goes in your open bezels next
By the time it was ready to put the LOVE charm in the second bezel, I decided I wasn’t so in love with it after all. I changed course and decided to use some resin colourants instead. Maybe because I’m an indecisive libra or just fickle, but it’s not uncommon for me to change the plan as I go. This sometimes results in nice surprises and other times in a complete disaster. In any case, this is what I did next:
1) I mixed the resin with a drop of Castin’ Craft blue opaque colourant and used a stick to drop the tiniest bit of colourant in the bezel.
2) Then I added some Castin’ Craft pearl opaque colourant, which has a little bit of sparkle. You can see in the picture I cheated here and put it directly in the bezel instead of mixing it with resin first, I don’t recommend this, you should really mix it with the resin first in a cup and then add it.
3) Then, I put some teal coloured sparkles in a little cup and added only the tiniest amount with a toothpick. Why the cup you ask? Well, because more times than I would like to remember I have ended up with way too much sparkle then I planned. This way, I have more control.
4) Finally I used a toothpick to swirl it all together until I got a pattern I liked.
Cover the bezels and let them cure for 24 hours.
Third layer resin pour
Now it’s time to fill that bezel to the top! Mix and pour the resin the same way you did in the first layer resin pour.
Fourth layer resin pour
Remove the tape from the back of the bezels. There was some residue left on these open bezels, and the resin was dull (this is normal). I sanded them down on my 1000 grit-sanding block which I wet so that the little bits wouldn’t go everywhere, especially in the air. Note: you can use sanding paper here instead of a sanding block.
Also, some resin sneaked out, and I just used my nail to chip it off. The good thing about using high-quality bezels like these is that they stand up to a little scratching without leaving any marks.
Then, I did the last resin pour. Yay!!! It’s been a long journey and I can’t wait to see the results!
Note: this step can be replaced by using Resin Spray by taping up the sides of the bezel and spraying. Unfortunately, I did not have any, but hey I’ve come this far, what’s another 24 hours?
Finish the open bezel pendants
So if you are keeping track you will notice that I have done four resin pours, each requiring 24 hours (minimum) to cure, making this a 5-7 day project. Although lengthy, it’s not complicated, and I think the best way to take advantage of these deep bezels.
To make them wearable, add jump rings and necklaces.
In the heart pendant, the charm appears to be floating. In the other pendant, by using opaque resin colourant, the depth of the pendant makes for some real interest!
For the bezel with the love and the bezel with the crown: I used Castin’ Craft pearl opaque on the back resin pour giving it a little sparkle behind the charm.
For the hexagon bezel: Because I thought the shape of the bezel was so neat and really the best part and I didn’t want to take away from it so I did not add a charm, instead I added only a teeny bit of Castin’ Craft blue opaque and a teeny bit of Castin’ craft pearl opaque to the resin.
Ready to learn more about how to use resin in open bezels? Join thousands of other aspiring artists worldwide who have bought a copy of my book, Resin Jewelry Making. I wrote it with the beginner in mind to take you on a path to help you confidently create jewelry with resin. Buy now and download the ebook in minutes!
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