Getting Started with Resin

Resin is gaining a lot of popularity lately. Although you can use resin to make large pieces, I’m not there yet so these tips are more for small pieces. Resin is a great way to personalize jewelry pieces and be very creative. Different things you can make include, keychains, pendants, dice, chess pieces, coasters, trinket boxes, earrings, magnets and ornaments.

The idea is you mix the resin together and add in what you want to either the resin or the mold. Then the resin is poured and once it hardens you can take it out of the mold and your piece is ready. It’s not a hard process but there are some safety and set up things you need to consider.

Safety is extremely important and I may be overly cautious but there’s a lot of precautions you can take:

  • Wear a respirator and goggles when mixing, pouring or sanding your resin pieces. Some resin is non toxic but I would still do this just to be safe.
  • Work in a well ventilated space. Outside is ideal or a room with good air circulation or large windows works well.
  • Wear gloves and long sleeves, this is very hard to get off of your hands.
  • When sanding, wear that respirator and sand over a box or something that will catch the dust, the dust particles are not good for you. Also do not sand until your pieces are completely cured.

Tips when working with resin:

  • Set up your workspace before you mix the resin. Have all your tools readily available
  • Use a drop cloth or mat when working with resin to protect your workspace.
  • Measure correctly. This seems obvious, but crucial to having it set right.
  • To pour, use either a silicone measuring cup with a spout or a resin syringe to control how quickly it pours out.
  • Mix small amounts at a time. My first time using resin i tried to mix a full bottle. It was a disaster, I couldn’t mix it evenly so it never fully hardened. Plus a little goes a long way, a lot of molds are small so you wont need to do a lot at once.
  • Don’t skip mixing. I usually mix small amounts for 3 to 5 minutes straight. If it isn’t mixed it won’t set properly.
  • After mixing, let sit for a few minutes to help limit the amount of bubbles. You can also use a heat gun or a tooth pick to get rid of bubbles.
  • Don’t add water or have any drip into your resin, it will ruin your piece.
  • Wait until the piece is cured based on the instructions before removing pieces from the mold.

Things to Buy:

  • Resin – I use 2 part epoxy resin. It’s even parts and easy to measure. There are non toxic versions, uv resin versions. It worth doing a bit of research before you start to see what’s best for you..
  • Popsicle sticks – You can buy these at the dollar store, perfect for mixing and then throwing out.
  • Silicone mixing cups – I like to use these because they have a spout, once hardened I can take the remainder out of the cup. Once you use a cup for resin, do not ever use it for anything else.
  • Resin syringe – These are so good for small molds, it helps control the mess.
  • Silicone mold – Molds are available at Michaels, amazon or etsy. Theres so many options its crazy and you can reuse them. Once you use the mold for resin, it can not be used for anything else. Keep these separate from any candy or baking molds so they don’t get mixed up. I use a sharpy to mark resin molds.
  • Heat Gun – to help get rid of bubbles. Bubble can ruin your piece so this is handy.
  • Things to mix in – see list below.
  • Tweezers – for placing small items in.

Ideas to add to your resin. There’s no limit to what you can do so to help get you started, here are some things i played with:

  • Pigment powder – Craft stores with a resin section will have different powder colours you can use.
  • Dyes – Like the powder, craft stores will also have different dyes. I would buy specifically for resin to make sure there’s no water in it.
  • Glitter, Confetti, Sequins – Glitter is a very cheap way to add colour. All of this can be bought at the dollar store. It’s a nice cheap way to work. Glitter is a really cheap way to add colour to your pieces.
  • Buttons or Beads – These can look really cool and add a lot of character.
  • Scrapbooking paper – You can cut into small pieces and place in.

Hopefully this is enough to get you excited and a good jumping off point for working with resin.

A small tree I made with white glitter

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