Originally written 2014. Updated May 2020.
One of my favorite resin projects is to make resin paperweights. They make great gifts for almost anyone. By adding something that’s personal to the recipient, you can truly make it a special and memorable gift.
Apply a light coat of mold release to your mold. Here, I applied a couple of the Petrolease mold release.
Note: Because I wanted a round, but deep paperweight, I’m using the center of a bangle bracelet mold for these resin projects.
It’s time to measure the resin for the resin projects. You will want to use a casting resin for a project like this. It’s meant for molds, which will give you the clearest, most bubble-free results. Never heard of casting resin? This article explains the difference between casting resins and doming resins.
In measuring the amount of liquid the center of the bangle mold could contain, I found it could hold 2 ounces total. (If you aren’t sure how much resin your resin projects need, this free resin calculator does the math for you.) After getting accurate measurements with 1 ounce mixing cups, I poured both in a larger 10 ounce mixing cup to make it easier to mix the two parts together.
Pro tip: You want to leave a little space in the mold for what you are including in the resin. Mix a little less resin than what you think you need. I mixed 1 3/4 ounces (total) of resin for this resin paperweight.
Part of making sure resin cures properly is also making sure you get a good mix. Using the Resin Obsession stir stix to mix the resin helps to make sure that happens. While stirring, be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the cup. Stop and scrape the stir stix along the side of the cup as well from time to time. Stir for approximately 2 1/2 minutes.
Note: Notice I said stir the resin. I didn’t say whip, puree, scramble, frappe, or anything else. You want to combine both parts deliberately and thoroughly without creating a frothy mix.
Once the resin is completely blended, pour it into the mold. Pouring in a thin stream helps to pop any large bubbles before they get to the mold.
After filling the cavity about a third of the way full, add in your inclusions. In this paperweight, I’m using buttons. Whenever I use inclusions, I coat them with resin first. This makes it less likely you will introduce bubbles into your resin projects.
Once you have all your inclusions in, don’t forget to check for bubbles. Run a heat gun over the top several times to remove them.
Note: If you have never done this before, be careful because heat guns can get hot enough to melt molds!
Cover the resin and let it cure according to the resin directions.
To demold the casting, twist and pull at the sides of the mold. This plastic mold is fairly flexible, but if you pull too much, you will change the shape of mold so much that you may not be able to use it again.
Push it from the back too. Keep twisting and pushing from both sides until the casting comes out.
You will know if you’re making progress when demolding if you see an ‘air line’. This is when air has moved in between your cured casting and the mold.
Once the resin paperweight has pushed out a bit, you can grab the edge to help pull it out the rest of the way.
Enjoy your paperweight!
I love my new paperweight! This is one of those resin craft ideas that I will be doing again.
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