How to make resin jewelry?

I have some questions regarding the basic coverage and techniques of resin jewelry, Im very much a newbie with resin. Im planning to make some transparent/colored pendants and beads with it. 1) What are the basic and most essential supplies for making resin jewelry? (coloring dyes, driller, etc.)…

I have some questions regarding the basic coverage and techniques of resin jewelry, Im very much a newbie with resin. Im planning to make some transparent/colored pendants and beads with it.

1) What are the basic and most essential supplies for making resin jewelry? (coloring dyes, driller, etc.) Where to buy them and what brands?

2) How do you make a mold to cast resin into?

3) How do I make the resin beads/pendants have a metallic faux surface?

4) Is it possible the resin beads/pendants have a crystallized/multi faceted gem-like texture? How is it done?

5) Can you paint on the surface of the resin beads/pendants? What paint should I use? (Ive had an experience with painting polymer clay with acrylic but it came out having a dull rough texture.. Is it the same with resin?)

Thats all. You dont have to answer all of those, if you have some knowledge to share specifically for one question, the contribution is still greatly appreciated.

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I use Ice Resin which is a non-toxic jewelers doming resin. It can be mixed in small quantities. Ive only used commercial molds at this point. Ive added color with acrylic paints and mica powders mixed into the resin. You can paint the surface or add papers then coat with resin for additional gloss. Ive also used colored resin as a sort of poor mans enamel for PMC projects. I buy Ice Resin at Abeille in Brookline. The product is a bit more expensive than other resins but its easy to use, non-toxic and doesnt bubble. Hope this helps.

check craft stores. my local Michaels has resin for 15bucks. You can put pretty much anything in the resin. Metals, plastics, magazine clippings, bugs, flowers, leaves, etc. Anything printed by a home inkjet printer onto regular paper has a tendancy to smudge and run. Crepe or tissue paper is great for slightly tinting the resin.

You can buy the colored or you can mix and knead well with the color you like, or you can paint on top after you shape and bake, you should apply a few coats of varnish (for acrylic). To make resin beads you can rolled them to a small ball and cut gem like with sharp cutter, make hole with big needle and bake, Good luck

…You *can* use something else besides colorants sold for resin to color it but those things must be oil-based not water-based. So use artists oil paints (in tubes). They will be transparent naturally, but if you want opaque colorants add some Titanium White to any color and it will become opaque.

…The line of resin called Easy Cast is an epoxy resin, but its a slightly tweaked version of epoxy resin which doesnt get as hard as regular epoxy resins, especially if items are thin or exposed to even as much heat as body heat. It does have the advantage though that it can be used in *deep* molds whereas regular epoxy resins cant be used in deep molds (shallow molds okay)… for deep molds, polyester resin is used instead.

1). You can find all those things discussed on this resin page at my site:

Brands will be listed separately under the catgories for Polyester resins and Epoxy resins since they are different lorants will be discussed more in the two subcategories called Coloring… drilling will be discussed primarily under epoxy resins in the subcategory Cutting, Drilling, Sanding, etc.

2). You can buy various molds (usually HDPE plastic or silicone), or you can make molds for resins from 2-part silicone putties, or from some other things as long as you a release is used –silicone gives great results though.

Theres loads of info on using silicone to make your own silicone molds on this page:

…click especially on *2-Part Silicone Putties* and *Brands*

3). Not sure what you mean by the metallic faux surface, but various glitters and metallic things can be mixed into the resin or embedded in it.

4). If you want a multi-faceted surface, youll want to use a multi-faceted mold.

5). I think you should be able to paint on resins with acrylics since I know that water-based sealers (like clear polyurethanes, etc) can be used, on epoxy resins at least, and paints intended for glass might work too. Acrylics would probably take a few coats though, and might require roughing the surface a bit first.

If you use an acrylic paint thats not a *gloss* acrylic paint (on polymer clay or on resin), youll end up with a matte appearance. If you want to add a gloss surface on top of matte acrylic paint, add a coat of water-based polyurethane, clear acrylic nail polish, Pledge-Future floor polish, or various other most scratchable surfaces like Diamond Glaze or gloss acrylic medium, etc…. or you could just make sure the acrylic paints you use are the gloss version.

P.S. Dont know why acrylic paints should have a rough texture on polymer clay unless you didnt have a smooth surface to begin with (polymer clay can be sanded if nec). Usually *2 coats* of acrylic paint are necessary on cured polymer clay for best coverage, but you could also try more coats if your clay wasnt smooth to begin with, or use a coat of white gesso as the first coat then the colored paint.

(Also, better quality acrylic paints, and especially the artist-quality acrylic paints in tubes, will give better coverage than the cheapest craft acrylic paints.)

There is a load of info on using resins for art/craft on the page I linked to above, and for putting beads into resin also check out the category called Inclusions there.

(Also, if you want more info about anything related to polymer clay, check out my polymer clay encyclopedia site… here is the Table of Contents page; be sure and scroll *all the way down* it:

Resin is an amazing medium, affording near endless possibilities for created new designs. There does, however, seem to be a blatantly large void in the realms of Internet information on the subject. So I wanted to share some of what I have learned in a series of tutorials on the materials and techniques used in resin casting. Ill start with the absolute basics

This first installment is just about materials and supplies. What to use and where to get them.

I recommend starting with EasyCast clear casting epoxy resin. It is great for beginners because it has an easy 1:1 mix ratio. It cures slowly, which is good and bad. Bad because you have to wait a day or more for your piece to fully cure before you can pop it out of the mold. But good very good, if you need time to fiddle around with colors or inclusions. You have at least a good half hour (depending on local temperature) before the resin starts to gel and thicken.

You can find EasyCast at most local craft stores, some hardware store, and of course online. The cheapest online retailers Ive found are Dick Blick and Mister Art.

2. Plastic Mixing/Measuring Cups & Stir Sticks

You will need plastic cups with graduated lines for measuring. Dont use wax coated paper cups, as the wax could flake off into your resin. The best part about plastic cups is that they are reusable without a big cleanup hassle. Just leave your mess of resin in the cup, let it cure, then peel the whole thing out.

Resin Obsession has a nice selection of 1 oz. and 8 oz. mixing cups, as well as little wooden stir sticks.

You can also find wooden stir sticks, or craft sticks at your local craft store or supermarket (Popsicle sticks).

A variety of ready made jewelry molds are available online. Resin Obsession has a fabulous selection of shapes, including letters, numbers and animals.

4. Wax Paper, Gloves, and Paper Towels

Resin is very gooey, sticky, and hard to clean up. You need to protect your work surface and yourself.

Disposable gloves will keep your hand sticky-free. (I just use the cheap vinyl gloves you get in your hardware store for painting.)

Waxed paper makes a great work surface drips wont soak through, and resin wont stick to it, so you can just leave all your mess right there and clean it up later after it has dried and is no longer ooey-gooey.

Keep some paper towels on hand to quickly wipe up drips that land where you dont want them.

This is not necessary, but very useful in removing air bubbles in the resin. Not so critical if you are using glitter or something, but with clear resin the bubbles will show a lot more and you will want to get rid of them.

You can get an Embossing Heat Tool in the rubber stamp aisle of your craft store, or online.

Dont try and cheat by using your hair dryer! A hair dryer blows more air than heat, and will likely blow globs of resin out of your mold. At best it will just make a mess, and at worse ruin your project.

Above are the bare minimum, basic items you will need. But whats the fun in that? You need some color!

There are liquid dyes and pigments made especially for resin. You can find a variety of colors online at Resin Obsession, Dick Blick, and Mister Art. Please note, this is the only type of liquid colorant you can add to resin. Normally with resin Id say, experiment, experiment, experiment! But not with this. Any other liquid (i.e, paint, food coloring) will react with the resin it wont cure and will instead stay a yucky, sticky blob forever.

Now, dry elements, well thats an entirely different matter! Anything dry, and free of oils, is fair game. You can use glitter, mica, artist pastels, pigment powder

Artist pastels offer an endless array of colors. Use a craft knife or razor to gently shave the edges of the pastel.

I especially like Pearl Ex powdered pigments for their subtle shimmer and deep jewel tones.

These items can all be found at your art/craft store. While you are there, peruse the aisles for other fun things to mix in your resin: buttons, candy sprinkles, etc.

Well, now that you have all your materials, youre ready to start casting! The next article in this series will discuss how to mix the resin and how to use your dyes and pigments

Sherri Gallagher on March 7, 2009 9:48 PM said…

I was so excited to find this information. I have been searching the internet for something straight forward. I cant wait to read what you post next.

I use easy cast resin as well but have found that it doesnt cure rock hard. I can squeeze it in my fingers and feel it give. I have tried acrylic paint, oil paint, and even Colores resin pigment. They all turn out soft. Is this normal? I read that easy cast does not get as hard as other resins. Is it better to use dry pigments? Do have any other brands of resin you would suggest that do cure ro

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