Now that my kids are a little older, their school projects have become a little more sophisticated. When they had to do a diorama as a book report, I took that as an opportunity to take on my own resin diorama project.
If you aren’t familiar with dioramas, they are a miniature way to capture a scene from history, a book, a movie, etc. I didn’t necessarily have a theme or memory in mind to make into a diorama pendant but chose instead to ‘work backward’ with their leftover diorama miniatures. Any store that sells supplies for dollhouses and model trains should have suitable items for making your own resin dioramas.
Resin diorama pendants project 1
I found a piece of clip art with a Stegosaurus dinosaur.
To make sure it would lie flat, I placed it into my domino size silicone mold along with the dinosaur model to make sure they both fit before pouring the resin.
Once I knew the paper fit, I sealed it on each side with a couple of layers of clear-drying white glue. By doing this on freezer paper, I’m able to pull up the clip art without tearing it once it’s dry.
After the glue dried (wait 12 hours or more), I mixed Resin Obsession super clear resin to go into my silicone mold. I poured in enough resin just to cover the bottom, then used my stir stix to spread it.
By coating the paper with resin before placing it into the mold, it will make it less likely that bubbles will get introduced.
I did the same thing with my dinosaur before I put him in the mold cavity. I added more resin to the top and allowed him to cure.
Once the resin cured, I was able to demold the resin diorama by flexing the silicone mold.
My dinosaur looks prehistoric in this pendant. All I need to do now is file off the sharp edges and apply a bail.
Resin diorama pendants project 2
I wanted to create another pendant with clip art, but this time used an extra large rectangular silver bezel blank.
Once again, I checked to be sure the clip art and diorama figure fit in the pendant before pouring the resin.
Next, I applied a layer of clear-drying white glue.
Then, I placed the clip art over the glue and placed another layer of glue on top of that.
Tip: Make sure your glue is thoroughly dry before proceeding to the next step. Otherwise, moisture stains can still wick into your clip art.
I poured a small amount of mixed Resin Obsession super clear resin in the bezel.
Because I only want the resin to barely coat the bezel, I didn’t fill it all the way. Instead, I added a small amount of resin, then rotated the bezel to coat the bottom.
Once the back was coated, I placed my farmer on the resin. I added a bit more to cover the back, but not too much. I didn’t want him covered as I was trying to achieve a three dimensional effect like this was a real diorama.
My finished farmer pendant turned out pretty cute. I like how he looks like he’s standing on a hillside.
Resin diorama pendants project 3
This seahorse is pretty cute, and I thought it would be cool to make a pendant like he is swimming underwater.
I was pretty happy to see that he fit into this jewelry charm mold.
My first resin pour, I wanted to create the bottom of the ocean for the pendant. I propped up the resin mold, then poured a small amount of super clear resin into the cavity. I only wanted it to take up the bottom half of the mold.
To that, I added a tiny bit of sand. Then, I let the resin cure.
Once the first layer completely cured, I tilted the mold the other way and added super clear resin that had been colored with the Resin Obsession transparent blue pigment.
After allowing the second layer of resin to cure, I placed the mold flat. I mixed more super clear resin clear for a third pour and put the seahorse in that layer.
Note: Carefully plan out all layers of your diorama. I wanted blue resin to make the seahorse look like he was swimming, but I needed to be sure it was behind him. Otherwise, you may not see him very well if he has colored resin over him.
My little seahorse looks like he is gliding across the bottom of the ocean. Now all he needs is a name!
Resin diorama pendants project 4
In keeping with my ocean theme, I want to make this crab into a drop pendant using a clear silicone cylinder mold. He is a little too big for the mold, but fit okay once I put him on his side.
I wanted my crab to look like he was walking across the sand. First, I poured super clear resin into the bottom of the cylinder mold.
While the resin was still liquid, I added a tiny bit of sand.
I added a bit more resin after adding the sand. Because I knew the crab would only fit in the mold on an angle, I propped the mold up on a bottle cap before allowing it to cure.
After the first layer cured, I mixed more resin and added a small amount to the mold. I coated my crab with resin before adding him to the mold.
I pushed my crab into the mold and added more resin.
Unfortunately, this is where things started to go wrong. Because I used too much resin in my first pour, my crab didn’t fit in the mold. I placed clear packing tape over the top to try to get the crab below the top of the mold.
I secured the tape with a rubber band and allowed the resin to cure.
After demolding my crab, it had a rather large defect in the top where the resin didn’t completely cover it.
I put the crab casting back in the mold and put more resin on top to fill in the void.
While the resin filled in the defect on the top, it made it uneven. I wrapped tape around the casting to create a ‘mold’ to pour more resin.
Not shown: I added another 1/4 inch of resin to the top.
So while I was able to add resin to the top of the crab, you can see a casting line. Ugh. Not my best work.
Resin diorama pendants project 5
For the last pendant, I wanted to make these little roses look like they were growing in a field with a beautiful blue sky behind them.
I cut a piece of the ‘grass’ and sealed it with a white glue.
Not shown: Since the flowers were delicate, I used a couple of layers of the resin gloss sealer spray to seal them.
For the back of the bezel, I wanted it to look like the sky. I colored some of my super clear resin white using the Resin Obsession opaque white pigment.
Next, I swirled in a tiny bit of Resin Obsession blue pigment. I didn’t use much — only the amount that stuck to my toothpick when I dipped it in the bottle.
I was able to get a beautiful marbled blue background to my bezel.
Once my flowers and grass were sealed and dry, I dipped them in more mixed clear resin before placing them in the bezel.
I placed the flowers and grass on top of the fully cured resin sky and added a bit more resin.
Tip: The Resin Obsession drying mat is great for working with resin in bezel pendants. The open squares allow the pendant bail to fit inside them so the pendants can sit flat.
The pendant turned out great. I love that the flowers kept their shape.
Finished resin diorama pendants
A few technical notes if you want to try your own resin diorama project:
- Some of these diorama figures are rubber and might want to float in resin. You may need to pour resin in several layers in order to get the figure to stay where you want it. (If you need help visualizing that, this article will give you some ideas: How to make things float in resin.)
- I did not cover some of my figures completely by design. I wanted them to have a three-dimensional look, which sometimes gets lost when you completely encase things in resin.
- If you are going to do this, you might want to have several diorama projects ready to go at once. You won’t use a lot of resin with any one pendant, and it’s a shame to waste the stuff. *wink*wink* If you have some resin leftover and don’t know what to do with it, here is an idea: Resin statement ring DIY.
Ready to take on making your own resin diorama pendants but still feel like you need more help? It’s why I wrote the book Resin Jewelry Making. The Amazon best-seller has helped thousands of aspiring resin jewelry artists worldwide make resin jewelry that’s good enough to sell! Buy a copy of the ebook now and read it in minutes!
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