Saturday, December 27, 2008

Resin Tips

This blog entry was inspired by my Twitter buddy, SuperTeeTee !

There are many pieces out there on basic directions for making resin jewelry. I recommend this one by resin goddess, isewcute !

This is just a list of my tips—my “been there done that” advice. There are so many ways of doing things, I do not recommend mine over others. This is just the way I do it. These ideas are for you to take or leave as you wish. As a matter of fact, some people might read this and think I do it “the hard way.” If you have easier tips, please share!

Please follow all directions and precautions given by manufacturers of resin, this includes proper ventilation, gloves and a mask while sanding!

I want to recommend the ultimate resin how-to book by Sherri Haab, The Art of Resin Jewelry (I must admit I am a bit envious that it is now being sold with a DVD!!). It is awesome and exciting!! She also has a great website

My first frustrating batch of resin was STICKY. It never cured. So disappointing!! I am not a very precise person, and I realized I would really have to change that if I wanted to succeed in resin. To measure the resin, I ordered these fantastic little disposable medicine cups .

This allows for very precise measurements of the resin and hardener, which is vital. I use Easy Cast resin, which I find at Michael’s. I always use the 40% off coupon (did you know they accept Joann 40% off coupons as well?) which really knocks the price down!

My Michael's also sells one resin mold, which is a nice starting place. If you really get into it, you can get more from the internet. My favorite site doesn’t seem to be up right now, I’ll keep checking and get back to you in later posts. Sherri Haab’s website also sells molds, as well as sites on ebay, etsy, etc. I have also found silicone (they must be the rubbery material!) ice cube trays at Dollar Tree, which work great with resin!

A word on Mold Release… I do not take responsibility for your decision on this, but I find I don’t really need to use it on my resin-specific molds. I do have it, though, and I used it at first, so maybe that primed my molds, or maybe they just didn’t need it to start with. I found this at Michael’s, right next to the resin.

Ok—so I use those medicine cups for measuring the resin. In addition, I get Popsicle sticks from the Dollar Tree, and plastic “party” cups from the grocery store. I also keep a nice supply of toothpicks handy.

If I am mixing up a very small batch of resin, I measure it into the medicine cups, and pour the hardener into the resin to mix. I have a timer, so I do not estimate, but time EXACTLY two minutes of mixing. I have found mixing it a key to proper curing (and not that sticky mess!). THEN I put it into a new, clean, medicine cup, use a new, clean popsicle stick, and mix for an additional two minutes, on the timer. The directions say one more minute, but I do it a full two. Then it is ok for me to use.

If I am mixing a larger batch of resin, when the combined amount of resin and hardener won’t fit into the medicine cups, I cut the tops off of the plastic drinking cups, and use two for my two mixing containers. I find if I cut the tops off, it is easier to pour. The top is more flexible, and I can squeeze it a bit to make a spout. I will also use my Popsicle stick to “drip” resin into small spaces.

Bubbles!!!! I used to use a hair dryer WITH A DIFFUSER to remove bubbles. The diffuser kept the dryer from blowing the resin to smithereens!!!! I recently received a heat gun on loan from a friend, and that thing works GREAT!!!!!! It is amazing how quickly the bubbles disappear.

Now that I am in winter, I see many more bubbles, and the resin takes longer to cure. Resin likes warmer temperatures!!!

I am typed out for now…. Soon I will do a “tips on finishing resin” entry (my least favorite part)! It will take some time for your resin to cure, and by then hopefully I will have that entry done!

Questions and comments are more than welcome!


PolymerClayTutor said...

These are really great tips! I have been wanting to try resin for awhile now and it is good to learn from your mistakes rather than having to learn from mine! Thanks for the links as well... they are very helpful! ~Cindy Lietz

Hello there! My name is June said...

Just catching up on my blog reading from over the holidays & am so delighted you posted this article with a link to my tutorial.

I love what I do so much & always hope that other crafters are not too afraid of the materials to try it out for themselves.

Thanks so much! ;^D