by Mylene Hillam, Mill Lane Studio
You may have seen resin agate slice coasters, but did you know you can also make resin agate slice jewelry? You will have people thinking it’s the real thing!
Resin Supply list:
Clear doming resin
Castin’Craft Opaque Pigments: White
EasyMold Silicone Paste
Jo Sonja’s acrylic paint: Pine Green; Moss Green
DecoArt Metallic Lustre: Gold Rush
Disposable plastic piping bag
1-ounce graduated plastic measuring cups
Teflon craft sheet
BBQ torch or gas lighter
Wooden stir sticks
Tonic Studios scissors
Emery board: medium
To assemble the necklace:
13 gold eye pins
Gold reconstituted coral sticks
10 x 3mm gold spacer beads
14” medium-sized gold chain
4 x 4mm gold jump rings
Gold hitch and bail clasp
5-minute epoxy adhesive
Drill and 1mm drill bit
Pliers: chain nose, flat nose, round nose and flush cutters
Step 1: Prepare a piping bag
Cut approximately ¼” from the tip of the piping bag at an angle.
Step 2: Measure and mix silicone paste
Measure out equal quantities of Parts A and B of Silicone Paste by weight. I’ve used approximately 0.7oz in total.
Mix the silicone paste until no streaks remain and there is no unmixed silicone on the walls and bottom of the cup.
Step 3: Form irregular shapes with the silicone
Fold the piping bag back onto itself so that the top half is inside out and then scoop the silicone paste into the tip of the bag. Twist the bag tightly to force the silicone paste down into the tip.
Pipe at least four uneven oval shapes onto the craft sheet. The internal diameters should range from ¾” to 1-1/4” wide by approximately 1-1/8” high.
Use the tip of the piping bag to push the silicone into contact with the craft sheet. If there are any gaps, the resin will seep through. This will also help remove the roundness of the piping, giving the agate slices a more realistic appearance.
You can speed up drying of the silicone paste by applying heat to each of the outlines with the heat gun. If you don’t have a heat gun, place the piping bag into the refrigerator whilst the outlines are drying. The cold will slow down the curing of the silicone.
Step 4: Add a second layer of silicone
Once the first layer of silicone paste is solid, pipe a second layer on top, following the outline of the first layer. Apply heat to dry this layer.
Step 5: Add a third layer of silicone
Pipe a third layer. Make sure that the top edge is the same height all the way around each agate outline and that there are no gaps between the layers where resin could seep out.
Step 6: Measure and mix the resin
Measure 1 ounce total of a doming resin.
Mix the two parts together thoroughly for two minutes, scraping the walls and bottom of the cup. Transfer the resin to a second cup and mix for a further minute.
Step 7: Color some of the resin
Divide two-thirds of the resin between three small cups. Color two with the acrylic paint, adding only enough paint to make the resin opaque. If you add too much paint, the resin won’t cure properly. Color the third cup with white pigment.
Pour the Pine Green resin into the bottom of one of the agate molds.
Next, add white resin in the center of the Pine Green resin.
Then, pour Moss Green resin into the center of the white resin.
Finish with pouring clear resin into the center of the Moss Green resin.
Continue pouring the colored resins alternately into the center of the mold until each mold is filled.
Step 8: Remove bubbles
Pop the bubbles by passing the flame across the resin surface briefly. Keep the flame moving at all times. Repeat after 15 minutes then leave the resin to cure for 24 hours.
Step 9: Demold
Peel the agates away from the craft sheet and remove the silicone outlines from the resin.
Step 10: Finish edges
Use scissors to trim rough, sharp edges and to shape where necessary. Don’t go crazy here! You want your resin agate slice jewelry to look natural. Agates don’t normally have even edges, so yours shouldn’t either.
Sand uneven spots with an emery board. Take care not to scratch the surface of the resin agates. Learn more about how to sand resin smooth.
Step 11: Paint the edges
Apply Metallic Lustre to the side of each agate with a stiff-bristled paintbrush. The brush will help you push the color into all the crevices. If any gets on the front or back of the agates, scrape it away with your fingernail.
Step 12: String the necklace
String a spacer bead, a coral bead and another spacer bead on an eye pin. Bend the wire at a 90° angle.
Trim the eye pin to 3/8” with the flush cutters.
Use the round nose pliers to turn a simple loop. Make five of these components.
Arrange four agate slices in a row and place a coral component on each side of the faux agates. Decide where you need to drill on each piece and place a mark with the permanent marker.
Trim eight eye pins to 3/8”. Drill approximately 3/8” into each drill hole. Check that the eye pins fit all the way into the holes. If this is new to you, this is how you drill holes in resin.
Mix up a small amount of 5-minute epoxy and apply it to an eye pin.
Insert the eye pin into the hole. Wiggle it around so that the adhesive coats the inside of the hole. Repeat with each eye pin. You will need to mix up more than one batch of adhesive. Leave all the pieces to set for an hour before assembling the necklace.
Open the eye pin loop of a coral component and hook it through the loop of an agate slice. Close the eye pin securely. Continue adding components alternately, finishing with a coral component.
Cut the chain in half. Open a jump ring and connect one end of the chain to the end coral component. Repeat with the second piece of chain on the other side of the necklace. Connect the clasp to the two free ends of the chains with jump rings.
Wow, just look at this resin agate slice jewelry!
It makes such a pretty statement piece. And it looks completely natural!
Dreaming of making stylish and fashionable resin jewelry but don’t know where to start? It’s why I wrote the book Resin Jewelry Making. I give aspiring jewelry makers the details they need to make resin jewelry that will have people saying, ‘Wow, how can I get one of those?’ Buy the ebook now and it arrives in your email inbox in minutes!
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