Resin is one of the most versatile top-growing mediums of art. Not only are they fun to make, but are also very trendy and can be amazing gifts. From bracelets to earrings to charms, resin jewelry can come in many forms. You can choose from different shapes and colors to make your own piece. So how exactly do you start working with resins, and how can you DIY your own ornaments? We have gathered some very useful tips and tricks that will help you take off your resinous ideas.
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Which Resin to Choose?
Before indulging in making the jewelry, you need to know about the types of resins that are available in the market and how to choose between them. For jewelry making, there are 4 types of resins out there.
- Polyesters: The best thing about these is that they can be cured to form hard finished products that can be sanded and buffed to get the desired shape. However, extra caution has to be maintained when using polyesters as they have toxic fumes, and using gloves and respiratory protection is a must.
- Epoxy: They require a long time to cure and can be quite expensive. But they dry clear and are easy to handle.
- Polyurethanes: Like epoxy resins, they also dry clear and are expensive. However, they give out toxic fumes and require respirators and even ventilation hoods.
- Silicone: These are easy to use and result in water clear products, which is why they are high in/ the price range.
So which one do you choose? This depends on your skill level. If you are skilled, then using polyurethanes and polyester resins will not cause you to break a sweat. But if you are a beginner, go for epoxy resins, as they have fewer mixing and curating steps.
Molds or Bezels?
Different resins have distinct properties and work best in different conditions. You need to use separate types of resins depending on if you are using bezels or molds to make your jewelry. Otherwise, you will not achieve your desired result.
It is obvious that for working in bezels you need to have a thick resin mixture so that it can level down properly but won’t drip down the edges of the product. This raised, the curved surface will give your jewelry the shine it needs.
For this case, you can go with thinner resins like a casting resin that has a watery texture and does not allow bubble formation. Due to their texture, they won’t give a dome-shaped finish but a flat surface.
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Ready to Get Started?
Now that you have chosen your resin, it’s time to get started. Roll up your sleeves and dive into the following steps.
What Are You Making?
At first, you need to decide what jewelry you would be making. You also need to pick either molds or bezels for your product.
As we mentioned the type of resins available, depending on your skill level and time in hand, select the resin that best suits your purpose.
Cover Your Workspace
Since resins are reactive chemicals, you need to cover your workplace with some protective covering. Freezer papers and wax papers can be used to protect from resin drips.
Personal Safety Supplies
Don’t forget to tie your hair if you have long hair, and wear gloves for any type of resin that you use. If you are using polyurethanes or polyesters, then use respirators and ventilation hoods. Handle resin kits with extra caution.
Get Your Supplies
For jewelry making, you’ll need some supplies.
- Casting resin
- Mixing cup
- Stirring utensils
- Safety equipment
- Level surface for castings, such as a specific area on the floor or a table
- Protective tarp
- Resin molds
- Mold releases
Mix and Pour
Depending on the type of jewelry you are making, you need to accurately measure and mix your resin. After making the mixture, pour it into the mold of your desired shape.
Time to Cure
Now you have done the pouring, you need to allow some time for the resin to set in the molds. On many occasions, UV is applied while curing to reduce cure time.
Finish and Enjoy
After your product is set, take it out of the mold and buff or sand if needed. Now your jewelry is all set to be flaunted.
Add Your Findings
This is probably the coolest part about DIY resin jewelry. Want to give someone a small flower? Why not make it into permanent jewelry? You can add different findings to your product in several ways.
- Embed while it cures: You can embed your finding into the mold while the resin is still in liquid form. This will cause your jewelry to dry with your finding in the middle. You can add flowers, leaves, stones, and even dead insects and embed them in your locket.
- Drill a hole: Have a pendant drill? Use it to drill a hole in your already finished and dried jewelry, and use a small amount of glue to fix your finding into that hole. Be careful with the drilling. You don’t want to spoil the masterpiece that you have created.
- Wire Wrap: Wrap your finding with a wire around your jewelry. This will give it a creative twist and make the piece unique.
Want your process to be smoother? Check out what designers and experts have to say about working with resins.
2-part Epoxy or UV?
UV cures faster than epoxy but has to be applied in thin layers and each layer can only be applied once the previous layer has been curated.
Choose A Specific Area
You should not move your resin piece too much while it has not completely dried. For epoxy resins, the product has to be kept in a dust-free area, while accommodating UV lamps, therefore, a wider space is needed when working with UV resins. You need to have a proper, specific area so that you can work without any interruption.
While working with 2 part resins, make sure that you add the parts in equal quantities. Otherwise, the mixture will not have the desired texture and won’t cure properly, resulting in a faulty product.
Temperature and Humidity
When your resin is curing, there is a temperature and humidity requirement for the chemical reaction to happen. Too much humidity will not cure properly and too low temperature will cause your product to be cloudy. 78℉ is the best temperature to carry out the process.
Remove Bubbles Constantly
Bubbles can form at any time during the process. So always keep an eye on the product as it dries and removes bubbles whenever needed. After pouring the mixture, wait for 5 minutes for any bubble to travel up and then pop it with a pin.
Resins Have Shelf Life
Most resins have a shelf life of 12 months. After that, the resin might turn yellowish, which will not give you a clear product.