Simple (But Complete) Guide To Make Wood And Resin Jewelry

how to make wood and resin pedants

Hello again! So today, I’ll be showing you all how I create wood and resin jewelry. These resin pendants are easily my most talked about item at craft shows. They require power tools and a lot of elbow grease, but the result is something people are always in awe of. This tutorial has much to cover, so let’s dive right in!

Resin Supplies Needed

-Large mold at least 1/4 inch deeper than your wood slices
-Mold Release
Clear craft resin
-Mixing Cups
-Tree Wood Slice
Resin colors
– Sandpaper in grits 80, 150, 250, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000
-Table Saw
-Belt Sander
-Eye Hook
-Necklace Chain
-Power Drill
Jewelry adhesive
Resin Polishing kit

 STEP 1: MOLD RELEASE

empty resin mold on table being prepared for use

So like I stated above, my mold is a 7-inch square mold but feel free to use what you have. Before starting, I pre-condition my mold with some mold release being sure to cover the whole surface area. Let this dry before pouring resin into the mold.

 

Note: For this project, you could work with a different size resin mold, either larger or smaller. I find that 7 inches square is what works best for me.

 STEP 2: WOOD PREP

slice of wood with measurements for cutting drawn on and a ruler and a pencil
Let me start this step with a bit of advice.

If you’re buying your wood, here are some tips on picking a good slice:

-Look for a piece with noticeable age lines (some are too bleached).
-The more ridges in the bark, the better!
-Pick a piece that isn’t too thick. About 1″ thick will be the easiest to work with.

After picking the perfect slice, it’s time to measure your cuts. If your mold is 7″ squared, then you want the woodcuts to be equal to or less than 7″ wide so that it fits into the mold. You’ll notice that I divided mine into four cuts, leaving a square in the middle. I want to get as much use out of the bark as possible. The bark adds unique details to wood and epoxy resin jewelry.

͛STEP 3: WOODCUTTING

hands holding slice of wood and cutting it with a dremel moto saw

Now that your cuts are drawn out, it’s time to take your wood to the table saw. I’m using a Dremel Moto-Saw that I found for about $60. Some tips I have for using this particular table saw is to hold the wood firmly to the tabletop and go very slow to get straight cuts.

five cuts of wood on a table

I will admit that my cuts are always wavy and curved, but in the end, it does not make a difference because it will all be sanded down.

STEP 4: WOOD PLACEMENT

three cut pieces of wood in a square resin mold

 
There are three things to keep in mind when placing the wood:

*How big do you want your wood and resin jewelry pendants?
*Do you want wood on both ends of the pendant?
*What shapes do you want to get out of the pendants?

There is no right and wrong way to place the wood. But you ALWAYS place the bark side of the wood toward the inside of your resin mold.

STEP 5: SET THE WOOD

three pieces of cut wood in a resin mold with small plastic bottles used as weights
Once you know where to place the wood, remove it from the mold and mix up approximately 1 1/2 ounces of resin (based upon this size mold and the amount of wood I used). The Resin Obsession super clear resin is perfect for this project.  Not only does it cure bubble-free in molds, but it also cures hard.  Your resin won’t get bendy when you cut it with the table saw.  Pour it into the bottom of the mold and make sure it covers the whole surface.

Then, place the wood back into the mold where you had planned. This is a step I initially did not do when I first started making these pendants. But, I noticed that I would do a thick pour of resin, and the wood would float to the top and change positions. I set some weights onto the wood and let it cure for twenty-four hours.

STEP 6: RESIN MIX UP

resin mixture in a cup with wooden stirrer with droplets of lavender resin dye

 

Once you let the wood slice layer cure, it’s time to mix up a batch of colored jewelry resin. This amount will vary based on how much wood you are using and the size and depth of your mold.  The easy way to know how much resin you need is to use the Resin Obsession resin calculator.

Add your coloring. You can use opaque or transparent resin colors when you make your jewelry.

 STEP 7: RESIN POUR

three cuts of wood and lavender resin mixture in square resin mold
Once your color is mixed, and bubbles are gone, it’s time to pour the resin into your mold.  Be sure to flow resin into all the crevices to distribute it evenly across the mold. Let cure for at least 24 hours.

You might notice that I don’t fully fill the mold with resin.  I leave some of the wood exposed for a few reasons:

-It leaves a place to anchor down the wood to ensure it doesn’t float.
-I can save resin by not fully covering the wood.
-It ensures my pendant isn’t extremely thick and heavy.

 STEP 8: POP OUT OF THE MOLD

three wood cuts in lavender resin and square resin mold

Releasing the resin from the mold is pretty easy. I pick up the entire mold and give it a little twist like I would an ice cube tray and then flip it over to push up on the bottom corner until I can grab it with my fingers to pull it the rest of the way out.

YIPPIE! You have a block of wood and resin for jewelry!

STEP 9: PLAN YOUR CUTS

pieces of wood in lavender resin with cut measurements drawn in pencil

Draw out some lines on your wood that you want to use to approximate what you want your pendant to look like. There are no right or wrong cuts. You will see the belt sander will transform everything.

STEP 10: BACK TO THE TABLE SAW

wood cuts in lavender resin being cut my dremel moto saw

 

four pieces of cut wood and lavender resin

 

left hand holding up wood and lavender resin shard

I’m using the same technique as before when using the table saw, slow and steady. I will get about 10-12 pendants of varying shapes and sizes from the whole block. As you can see, these are VERY rough cuts but pick your favorite, and we will shape it into something beautiful using the belt sander.

central machinery belt sander

BELT SANDER TIPS:

Before you get going, I need to review a few things about the belt sander. This thing is very intimidating and can potentially be very dangerous. I have it set on my basement floor because I have more control sitting. But, a sturdy workbench will work too.

-Wear short sleeves and do not wear gloves! Lose clothes like sleeves and gloves can get caught and jammed into the belt sander, which, as you can imagine, would be extremely painful!
-Trim your nails. Yes, I have broken a nail by it scraping against the sandpaper, and yes, it hurts.
-Wear goggles or glasses. Dust will be flying all over the place
-Read the safety instructions of your belt sander for further precautions.

PS: My belt sander is from Harbor Freight, and I’m using 80 grit sandpaper.

 STEP 11: SHAPING

holding wood and lavender resin shard on belt sander surface
holding wood and lavender resin charm on belt sander surface
Now that I have scared everyone, let’s begin shaping! My machine was off for the photos, but I wanted to show my hand placement when shaping. I always start by sanding down the face of the pendant first so that the wood and resin are flush.

Hold the piece against the running belt, being sure to have a firm grip, with your fingertips as far from the belt as possible. Once you have a flush pendant, you can start shaping. Like before, have a strong grip with your fingers safely placed. Always start with one edge and slowly lower the rest of the pendant towards the sander. You don’t want the belt to catch a corner and send your pendant flying across the room (yes, it happens). Try to make your pendant as symmetrical as possible, but don’t worry about slight mistakes. Hand sanding can fix that.

Notes about using the belt sander for these wood and resin jewelry pendants:

I use the belt sander dry. I have had no issues with the resin melting or getting soft on these larger pieces, but when I shape and sand the face of the pendant, I do lift the part off the sander often so that it doesn’t overheat. Some resins will get soft and crumbly when you do this, but the super clear resin stays hard.  It’s why I love it for wood and resin jewelry.

left hand holding up sanded wood and lavender resin shard

STEP 12: LAYOUT YOUR SANDPAPER

sandpaper grit 80 150 250 800 1000 1500 and 2000 on a table
As I stated in the supplies list, you need sandpaper grit 80, 150, 250, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000.

Lay them out on your table in numerical order from coarsest to finest. This will be your assembly line. The goal is to buff out all the scratches from the belt sander to return the resin to a shiny clear finish. I also set out a bowl of water because sandpaper grit 800-2000 should be done wet.

STEP 13: ARM WORKOUT

This step is pretty exhausting and takes at least 40 minutes to get through, but this is the final step before you make your pendant into a necklace.

Typically I will spend about 2-3 minutes sanding per side at each sandpaper station. I have no specific technique, just quick back and forth movements. If you notice tiny white scratches going through your pendant in certain spots at the end, it just means you didn’t sand enough. When this happens, I start at grit 250 and go back through the rest of the paper.

STEP 14: POLISH

left hand holding polished shard of wood and lavender resin
You can skip this step if you want a more opaque color like mine. But if you choose to have some translucency to your piece, I suggest polishing it. I will dab some polish on the cloth and buff it into the resin in circular motions. Avoid using it on the wood parts; sometimes, it can slightly discolor it. Also, Polish will not hide or remove any of the scratches left behind from the sanding but will make the resin shinier and more see-through.

I do not polish or seal the wood. I have tried many times with different products to get a glossy look over the wood, but my jewelry always comes out streaky, or the wood absorbs the liquid. So in my process, for now, the wood stays unfinished after the sanding process.

STEP 15: ATTACH NECKLACE CHAIN

left hand holding wood and lavender resin pendant with eyehook and chain

You can do this step in two ways.

If you have wood at the top of your pendant where you want the necklace to dangle from, then it’s easy to screw in the eyehook. Just keep twisting until it is flush with the wood.

But if the top of your pendant has resin instead of wood, you will need to use a power drill to drill a small hole at the top. I will then use a little bit of jewelry adhesive on the screw portion of the eyehook and place it in the spot you created with the power drill.

STEP 16: ENJOY!

wood and lavender resin pendant on chain and in designer packaging
Enjoy your new wood and resin jewelry pendant!

Eager to learn more about making resin jewelry but overwhelmed with where to start?

It’s okay. I felt the same way as a resin beginner! It’s why I wrote the book Resin Jewelry Making.  It gives beginners the vital details to make beautiful resin jewelry from the comfort of home. It’s the book I wish I had when I started creating with resin!

 


Originally written by Michele Rober

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2022 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  How To Make Resin Jewelry that Looks Amazing

62 thoughts on “Simple (But Complete) Guide To Make Wood And Resin Jewelry

  1. Thank you for doing this tutorial. I’ve been wondering how it’s done after seeing some similar ones on Pinterest. Really cool!

  2. Have you ever tried beeswax for the wood? It wouldn’t make it glossy but it would help condition and protect it.

  3. WOW how impressive. While looking thru the steps I thought that some of us who don’t have a saw could use some sawdust or smallish bits of timber and put it straight into jewellery resin molds. Must admit I do want to try the large slices of timber.

    1. Hello!
      Great idea! I have tried using cuts from thicker tree branches and while the look it different, it still makes for a unique pendant without the need for power tool investments.
      Thank you for reading!
      Michele

  4. Thankyou for showing this , often wondered how it was done, hopefully I will get around to trying, the colours are
    beautiful Cheers Sandra

  5. Thank you for the tutorial! It’ll be fun to try this technique. One note: the saw you are using is a scroll saw, not a table saw. #toolnerd 🙂

  6. Hi, I would have assumed that the wood in the resin would need to be sealed with something like other items put in resin. But it sounds like you didn’t seal the wood at all? So you didn’t have issues with bubbles coming out of the wood or bark area into the resin? PS – Wow these are beautiful!! Thanks for sharing! c-

    1. Hello!
      I did not need to seal the wood before hand and I have had little issue with bubbles. This may be because I am using store bought wood, so it is possibly sealed with something already? Not quite sure.
      Thank you,
      Michele

  7. it may also be because you’re not fully coating the wood in the resin- if you poured resin over the top of all the wood, the bubbles would float up to the resin covering it. …at least that’s my hypothesis. 🙂

  8. Great tutorial, thank you so much. I have 16 acres of woods surely I’ll find something out there to resin. Again thanks, great instructions.

  9. Your work is just beautiful and your instructions are clear and concise. After seeing this, I’m sure I can do it 🙂 You have taken the fear out of the process. Paula

  10. Great idea love the color! Have you tried using the mini wood slices? Just curious. I’m wondering if that would save a few steps? Can’t wait to try this. I have some gold flakes to add as well! Thank you!

  11. Thank you for taking the time to show us how you do your beautiful work.ive wanted to do this for so long but couldnt find any tutorials on it.

  12. Thanks for this informative tutorial…I had to laugh at the belt sander instructions. Yes! that thing is intimidating. I had a piece “go flying” and tore my basement apart looking for it, only to find it wedged under the disc sander later. Your pendants are beautiful. (I still have a lot of practice to do!)

  13. When you’re creating the base to hold the wood in place before pouring the rest of the resin mixture, are you doing just 1 1/2 ounce of the resin by itself or the full mixture of resin and gardener. I am just now becoming interested and wanting to try my first project.
    Btw these are beautiful and so easy to follow the instructions on what you’re doing. I was beginning to think this would be too difficult to try until i stumbled onto your tutorial!!

  14. Beautiful. Your tutorial is so clear. I appreciate your helpful hints. I never imagined I could be using my power tools to make gorgeous jewelry!

    I get my wood for free. I have gotten some very nice pieces from companies cutting down trees. So far, each tree service has been kind enough to give me the wood once I explained why I wanted it. One tree service even gave me their card and said I could have more wood slices when I need them. It never hurts to ask.

  15. Have tons on trees that were taken down at my house ! So do u soak the branch slices in borax? I would think you would have to because of bugs ? for Kathy P or whoever knows answer

  16. Hi,
    I ‘m new to resin and i wondered how these pieces were made
    Thank you for sharing!
    Before rushing out to buy new machines, would it be possible to do it all by hand?
    Do you sand down the side of the wood that touched the resin in the bottom?
    Thanks!

  17. Thank you so much for this great set of instructions. Can you use a band or table saw to cut the resin? Will cutting resin
    dull the blade? Can you use a stop saw table saw to cut this resin? Again many thanks for this tutorial.

  18. MICHEL
    depuis un an je confectionne des pendentifs en bois précieux
    ébène,palissandre,racine de thuya etc (une centaine) je viens d’y incorporer de la résine crystal gédéo proportion
    1/3 durcisseur et 2/3 résine . dans votre tuto très bien détailllé vous écrivez proportion 11/2 mesure que je ne
    saisi pas ? pour l’équipement machines pas de problème
    j’ai tout ce que vous recommendez y compris un scie à chantourner Hegner . encore merci pour cette bonne marche à suivre

  19. Muchas gracias por tu tutorial y las explicaciones tán específicas en forma y tiempos, además de tús consejos. Realmente has hecho un gran trabajo 😊

  20. Hi Kathryn! I hope the world finds you doing well and healthy. This is so terrifying, living in this world has be one a world we can’t live in!
    Enough gloom. I love your work, totes & blog of all you share! The wood resin pieces are the main reason I’ve been interested in resin. They are just Gorgeous!
    Do you know of anywhere to buy pre fab wood pieces? Since downsizing all the big tools are gone!
    If you think of anyone, please holler back ♡
    Thanks for everything! Katy

    1. Hi Katy, I hope you are healthy and well too! I’m afraid I don’t know of any places to get premade wood pieces, but perhaps this is a good time to connect with another woodworker you may know of? S/he may be able to get you some small custom pieces to include in your resin project.

  21. I love this! I’m looking at buying a 2.3 amp belt Sander, do you think that will be enough to sand this project?

  22. I have recently become obsessed I
    with this process, using store bought wood slices to create wood and resin pendants. They are turning out beautiful (thanks to this amazing tutorial) but there is one problem I’m running into. Some of my pieces are breaking in the bark areas. I guess because the bark is so fragile. I don’t really want to coat them with anything because I like the natural wood look.
    Does anyone have advice on how to stop this from happening?

  23. Such unique designs of wood jewelry, especially the rings are very beautiful and unique. People who are looking for wood jewelry designs should consider this blog.

  24. I wondered how people got wood the same shape as the intended mold. I would never have guessed this method. Brilliant. So many questions answered and done in an easy to understand tutorial. I love working with power tools so this is going to be a blast. And I have access to all the free wood I can ever want. Can’t wait to get started. Thank you so very much.

  25. Hi I’m trying to start a resin pendant business and was just wondering if the water when sanding caused any swelling with the wood, I have done wood and resin pendants and it seems to separate the join (though I do go from 240 grit to 10,000) Was there an issue like this or not really

        1. Hmm. I wouldn’t expect that to separate from wood. It sounds like something in your wood might be acting as a resist and keeping the epoxy from fully bonding.

  26. Thankyou for a great comprehensive list of needs, you are so detailed in all your instructions. I have watched a lot of tutorials over many years of different types of crafts.
    I have not seen the opaque resin, I really like it. I haven’t made anything with resin yet. Have done lots of research and raringto start.
    I have been looking for wood or bamboo that I can use for hair bun sticks. Would you have any ideas, where I mind find an outlet, it was the bun stick with a resin top part which got me looking into resin. I would appreciate any input. Once again thankyou for a great tutorial…⭐🥰💜

    1. Hi Lindi, I’m afraid I don’t have any idea of sources for hair bun sticks made with bamboo.

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