Friday, February 6

How to Make Resin Jewelry - Part Two

Part Two - Mixing and Coloring

MIXING

You will need your EasyCast Clear Casting Epoxy Resin, which includes 1 bottle of Resin and 1 bottle of Hardener.



TIP: (It is best to use these products at room temperature. If they are too cold when mixed it can create a lot of air bubbles that you may not be able to remove, creating a cloudy look in your finished piece.)

Now, determine how much resin you will need. Many of the ready made jewelry molds only hold 1 – 2 oz. TOTAL of resin. So if you are just using one mold, and want to fill all the cavities, you will likely need 2 oz.

For my project, I wanted to make 5 oz. total. EasyCast resin has a 1:1 mix ratio, so I needed 2.5 oz of resin and 2.5 oz of hardener; to make a total of 5 oz. when mixed.



Take your plastic mixing cup and pour the RESIN to the desired line.



Next, pour in an equal amount of HARDENER.

You can see in the photo that when I poured the hardener, it went slightly over the 5 oz. line – that’s ok. If I’m going to go over on my measurements, I want to err on the side of adding more Hardener, which is why I always pour the hardener second. (Note: this is ok on a sort of larger batch as shown here. The smaller the batch of resin, the more accurate you need to be. If for example, you are mixing only an ounce or less or resin, a few drops too little or too much can make a big difference on how the resin cures. For the best results, try to be as accurate as possible.)

Now, with your wooden stir stick, start mixing. You will notice that the resin and hardener are slightly different colors. When you first start mixing, it will produce a swirly effect.




As you keep stirring, the mixture will become cloudy.



Keep stirring. As you do, scrape the sides of the cup with your stir stick to make sure you get all the resin combined. Keep stirring until the mixture has again become clear, about 2 minutes. It never hurts to stir a little more – you want the resin and hardener to be thoroughly combined to avoid softness or tackiness in your final product.

You will probably notice a lot of tiny air bubbles in your resin – it’s okay. Most of them will rise to the surface and pop as the resin sits and warms up a bit. You can avoid creating too many bubbles during stirring by stirring slowly, not whipping the mixture. You will also be able to remove bubbles with your heat tool.

USING COLORANTS

Now it’s time to color!

Different forms of colorants include resin dyes and tints, artist pastels, mica, and pigment powders. For all of these types, add the minimum amount, one drop at a time, until you reach you desired color. Too much colorant could react with the resin, not allowing it to cure properly, producing a soft or sticky piece.



If you want to make several different colors, set out several 1 oz. mixing cups, and divide your resin mixture among them. Then, color away!



For liquid dyes and tints, just add one drop at a time, and build up slowly.




For powdered pigments, use a clean stir stick to gather just a tiny (1/2 pea size) amount at a time, gradually adding until you reach the color you want.



Yes, you can mix dyes and colorants, liquids and powders! They will produce lots of fun colors and effects.



This is white opaque liquid dye mixed with antique silver pigment powder.
Mix thoroughly to create an opaque or uniform look. Or, just lightly swirl the colors together to create a marbled effect.

POURING

Now you’re ready to pour. The shallow, flexible type molds do not require mold release, so all you have to do is pour it in. Slowly fill the mold cavities to the top or just below.

If you see any air bubbles, you can remove them by using the heat tool. Sweep it side to side about 2-3 inches above the mold, in a continuous motion. (Be careful not to stop too long in one spot, as it could melt your mold!)

Set your mold(s) in a safe place to cure overnight. They will be ready to remove in the morning. The longer you wait, however, the easier they will be to pop out from the mold.

This type of resin takes 24-72 hours to fully cure, depending on temperature and humidity.



Oh, and that big mess you made? You can just leave it overnight too – everything will be easier to pick up once it has cured and is no longer sticky.


I like to leave stir sticks in my mixing cups and use them as a sort of handle to pull the old resin out after it has dried. Voila!

To remove your finished resin pieces, gently flex and twist the mold. You will hear the pieces releasing. Turn the mold over and push on the back of the mold to pop the pieces out. If you have trouble, you can pop the mold in the freezer for a few minutes and try again.


Here are some of the cured pieces.



The next segment will discuss sanding, polishing, and drilling...

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it easy to understand and informative. I have complied all my tutorials, refined them, added new information and pictures, and added 2 complete step-by-step project instructions in this 32-page digital booklet, "Getting Started With Resin Jewelry". For more information, click here.

16 comments:

PixieVonAzia said...

Love your tutorial on preparing yourself to start making beautiful jewelry. I am a SUPER beginner. I have so many questions. I don't want to bombard you comment area so if it's not a bother I would like to converse more on making resin jewelry. You can leave me a message on my blog and i will give you my email. I appreciate it!

The Fab Miss B said...

How fab is this! Just what I need- another project to undertake! :) These look incredible and so fun. Thanks for sharing.

Kirsty C said...

Thank you Jenny, this is so wonderful.

Please, please put me out of my misery and go on to drilling, sanding and getting a nice shiny finish!

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful work Jenny! Did you go on posting on drilling and sanding? Who write very well, can't wait to try this. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is the best tutorial on resin jewelry I have found. Thank you so much!!!

angstmonkey said...

how clear is this resin uncoloured? does it have a yellow tings or is it totally clear?

cmande3 said...

Thank you so much for this blog. I just started making resin jewelry and I wish I would've found your blog before I started yesterday :) But you'll help make my second attempt a success. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Well I was wondering if there was another way to get out the bubbles,like if you don't have heat tool.

skinner studio said...

First off, start with your resin at room temperature (like 74 degrees C) before you start mixing - it really helps. After you pour, you can set it in the sun (like a windowsill) for a minute or two, and the warmth will also help, but it won't get the really tiny air bubbles out. You can try using your breath - panting just above the resin, like an inch above, just be careful that you don't get too close and get resin on your face!

You can try a hair dryer, but you really have to be slow and careful with it. If you want to try this, make sure the settings are on LOW and WARM/HOT - turn the dryer on away from your molds, hold it way up above the mold - seriously like 2 feet or more, pointing straight down, then SLOWLY bring it down closer towards your mold, watching carefully to make sure the air isn't blowing too hard and pushing any resin out of your mold. At some point, the heat will get close enough that it can pop the bubbles.

Hope this helps!

ANB said...

Just a quick question: where can you find those small graduated mixing cups? I've been searching all the stores around me (including the craft stores like Michael's and Joann's) and can't seem to find them. I even went so far as looking in the grocery stores and still nada.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your great instructions! They're very easy to follow. You inspired me!

Anonymous said...

If you don't have a heat tool, you can use a drinking straw and gently blow through it, directing the air to the bubbles on the surface of the resin. Just be sure to clear the straw occasionally because moisture will build up and splatter water on the surface of the resin-you don't want to do that.

I have a question, too. I have been careful to measure the two parts of the resin exactly and mix them well but some of my pieces are still a little soft and some others are still tacky. Others in the same batch turned out fine. They were poured about a week ago. I had added dried flowers and some metallic powder to the mix. The flowers came to the top and the metallic powder sank so that when you look at the piece from the front all you see is the powder. Any ideas on what went wrong?

Thanks! Love your site!

Davilyn said...

I use a heated seedling mat to cure my resin and it seems to turn out a lot better than not using it. I turn the heat mat to 75 degrees. I place a cake rack on top of - just about an inch above the mat. I place the resin molds inside a plastic storage container and close the lid. I place it on the cake rack and leave it for 24 hours and they come out perfect.

Jasmia said...

Thanks for you post and I would like to make resin jewelry. Definitley your post will be helpful to me for make resin jewelry.

Watch Faces

Anonymous said...

I have heard you are supposed to be in a "well ventilated" room when you do this. Does this just mean an open window, or a fan blowing or what? Thanks.

KagosaVampire said...

Thanks a lot for this post. It explained and covered all my doubts/questions.

Greetings from Costa Rica!