The first page of this article explains the basics of resin arts and crafts including safety precautions, the tools and supply list and a few examples of artists and crafters working in this medium. This article gives you a information about molds, casting epoxy and the instructions on how to make your own resin pendant or charm.
Ideas for Resin MoldsTo do this beginner project on the cheap, use bottle caps for your mold. If purchasing molds, use molds specifically designed for use with resin epoxy. Otherwise, the casting may not release from the mold. Additionally, I recommended you purchase mold release to coat the inside of the mold for easier removal.
If you don't want to fool around with making a mold, use a closed-back bezel instead. This jewelry making staple provide a frame for the casting and will have a link so you can attach the charm to a necklace or bracelet.
Online jewelry-making supplier Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has a bunch of different size bezels for sale. I've purchased from this online vendor for many years with 100% satisfaction. Their return policy is a stellar no questions asked and their shipping charges are pretty darn reasonable too.
Obviously, you need an object to cast. This is a fun present-making project using family photos (either human or animal!). If you decide to use a porous item like a picture, you'll need to give the photo three thin coats (three each of the front, back and sides) using craft glue that dries transparent, allowing the photo to dry completely between coats and also prior to casting.
Finally, let's not forget about the resin. Purchase some sort of two-part clear casting epoxy. Two-part epoxy resin is irritating to the skin and eyes when it is in liquid form. Once dry, most two-part resins are nontoxic. However, always confirm this fact with the product's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
Mixing the Resin
The medium consist of resin and hardener. The quantities mixed of the two must be precise so this is one arts and crafts project where close is just not good enough.
For this reason, I recommend using a product such as EasyCast. This brand's mixture is based on a 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener. Other products may be less expensive but their mixing ratio is not as easy to grasp as EasyCast 1:1 ratio.
Resin Casting Instructions
- 1. Measure the inside of the bezel and make sure your casting material will fit. Then place the casting material or image in the bezel, facing up.
- 2. Mix the two-part resin following the manufacturer's instructions.
- 3. Carefully pour the resin into the bezel until the resin slightly domes over the top of the bezel. If your casting material starts to float, use a straight pin to push it back down in place.
- Then, have patience. Allow the resin to dry according to the manufacturer's directions. Don't be tempted to touch it during the drying process to check to see if it's dry. A fingerprint will mar the surface of the resin.
Please note: If it is difficult to locally find bezels with a closed back for this project, use sturdy clear packing tape to create a back for your open bezel. Cut a piece of packing tape larger than the bezel and place the bezel face up on the packing tape. Make sure the packing tape is really stuck in place. Pour a thin layer of resin, allow to harden, then place the image in the bezel. Complete from step 3 above. Remove the packing tape when finished.