Hello, I’m back again to show you how I created this colorful wood and resin pendant using sticks and twigs! I love this project because whenever I go on a trip or experience a memorable event, I pick up a few sticks from the location and make jewelry out of them to preserve the memories. I also find these pendants so enjoyable to make because there are so many ways to use the sticks to create different looks and designs within the necklace. Let’s begin!
Step 1: Mix and color resin
How much resin needed is all dependent on how many pendants you plan on making. (If you need some ideas on how calculating how much resin you need, this article will help: How much resin do I need?) For this tutorial, I am making three medium-sized pendants, so I used 1/2 ounce each of EasyCast hardener and resin mixed together. Because I am loving the color purple lately, I combined my two favorite shades of acrylic paint by adding one small drop of each in the resin and mixed them together, but of course you can use any resin coloring/dye you prefer.
Set mixture aside to let bubbles pop and/or surface while you work on step 2.
Step 2: Place the Twigs
A few things first:
-There’s no right or wrong mold for this project, but the mold I am using has different sized rectangles that I like using for long chained necklaces. I did cut off the stems that were in this mold because I like using screw-in eyehooks rather than large jump rings, which is simply my personal preference.
-There are no right or wrong twigs either. Any size and/or shape that will fit in the mold will work perfectly. Just be sure they are dry and can easily be snapped.
–Just like there is no right or wrong mold and no right or wrong twigs, there is no right or wrong way to place the twigs either. Have fun with it! Do some haphazardly, some nice and neat, whatever your mood is. Know that they will drift a little when you pour the resin, so you don’t need to be too precise with placement.
Pro tip: Don’t stretch the mold to fit the stick. It will create a lopsided rectangle and will make sanding more difficult because it won’t surface after the resin is poured.
Step 3: Resin Pour
Pour your colored resin evenly into each of the prepared molds. Your sticks will float to the top but that is what you want to happen. Once they are filled, set the mold aside to cure for 24 hours.
Step 4: Pop Out the Pendants
Once the pendants have cured, pop them out of the molds. Silicone molds are super easy to use; push on the back and they fall right out.
While I’m working on step 5, I let these charms cure another couple hours or longer outside of the mold. The sanding process in thinner pendants can actually heat up the resin enough to make it pliable. I find that waiting a few more hours minimizes the chances of that happening.
Step 5: Prepare the Work Station
Like in my last tutorial making wood and resin jewelry, you will want to create a little sanding assembly line from smallest grit to largest grit. Pictured from left to right are grits 80, 150, 250, 800, 1000, 1500, and 2000. I sand grits 80 to 250 dry, and grits 800 to2000 wet, so having a little bowl of water nearby is helpful.
Step 6: Sand down the pendant
- Eighty grit (pictured) is the coarsest, so I will use it to do the bulk of the sanding process. You will keep using the 80 grit until the sticks and the resin are completely flush and the resin has no more shine to the front. I usually only sand the front of the pendant but you can sand all sides if your arms are up for the workout.
As far as sanding technique goes, for grits 80 to 250 I usually do a quick back and forward motion making sure I have equal amounts of pressure when pushing on the pendant. For wet sanding using grits 800 to 2000, I usually use a circular motion. I spend about 2 to 3 minutes per side at each of the sandpaper stations to be sure I am buffing out any scratches left from the higher grit sandpaper.
Safety tip: Wear a dust mask during this process. You do not want to inhale resin dust.
You should have something that looks like this when you are done sanding. If you find there are tiny white scratches in your pendant, go back to the sanding assembly line and start with grit 250 moving back through grits 800 to 2000.
Step 7: Drill
Using the smallest drill bit that you have, push it as far into the drill as possible. I do this because I find I have more control when drilling into small pendants. Next, find the center of your pendant and create a small drilled hole at the top. (You can use a ruler and mark this spot with a fine tip Sharpie first.) Do not drill too deep, but only enough to get the screw of the eyehook started. This step can be omitted if you used a mold that created a hole for you.
Step 8: Finish Necklace
I find it easier to add the necklace chain to the eyehook before screwing it into the pendant. I do this by using two sets of pliers to slightly open the hook and placing the chain in it before closing it back up.
Next, screw the hook into the hole created by the drill until the bottom of the hook is flush with the top of the pendant. If you drilled too deep and the hook slides all the way into the pendant with ease, remove the screw and add a little E6000 or mixed resin to the end and slide it back into the pendant.
Step 9: Enjoy your new wood and resin pendant!
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