One of our very favorite epoxy projects has to be making jewelry with resin. There are so many types of jewelry and so many design variations to try. Today we are giving you some of our favorite tips and tricks for making beautiful resin jewelry.
When it comes to making jewelry with resin, there is no limit to what you can create. You can add all sorts of beautiful items and colors to your creations and design the to match any outfit imaginable. It is so much fun to wear jewelry pieces that you have created yourself. Gifting unique pieces that you have crafted with your own hands is also heartfelt and rewarding. Here are some of the things that we have learned along the way about making jewelry with resin:
Making Jewelry with Resin: Tips & Tricks
Choose the Right Resin
The depth of your jewelry project with determine which resin you should use. We recommend Counter Culture DIY Artist Resin for pours of 1/4″ or less. This is the resin you should choose if you will be making thin pieces or working in multiple cured layers. For deeper pours you should go with Culture Cast Casting Resin. Both of our resins are VOC free and highly UV resistant. They will both give you a beautiful finish and durability. If you use casting resin but prefer a more shiny finish, simply paint on a thin layer of Artist Resin after your piece has cured. This will also give you an added level of durability!
When you mix your two resin parts, be sure to mix at least the minimum suggested amount. We realize that jewelry often takes far less resin than other projects. The problem with mixing too little product, however, is that there won’t be enough of each part to produce the chemical reaction that is necessary for resin to cure. The minimum amount is listed for you on the product containers so you won’t be left guessing!
Tools of the Trade
There are a few tools that you will need when making resin jewelry that you may not use in other resin projects. As always you will be using measuring and mixing cups, stir sticks, and a torch. But, don’t forget that you will need jewelry hardware such as ring bases, earring bases, clasps, pins etc. You will also need a pair of needle nose pliers to make any pendant or bracelet loops. Tweezers are helpful for adding small items to your resin and toothpicks are great for making small adjustments to the placement of those items.
The molds you’ll use are also usually specific to jewelry making. There are some great molds you can find that have a variety of beautiful shapes. You will also find some that are designed to make beautiful bangle bracelets and resin rings. We suggest using silicone molds whenever possible. The silicone releases your resin easily. It is also tough! It withstands the heat of curing resin and can be used over and over again. If you find a non-silicone mold that you just have to have (been there!) you can spray it with a mold release spray prior to pouring your resin in. That should help it release more easily after curing.
Choose your Additions
Here is where things get really fun (and unique)! There are so many things that you can add to your resin jewelry to make it fabulous. These are just some of our favorites:
You can choose natural items such as dried flowers, shells, feathers, or fossils. We’ve even seen some beautiful insect specimens cured in resin. The biggest thing to remember with natural items is that they need to be thoroughly dried before adding them. If they aren’t, the items will spoil inside the resin and that will ruin your piece.
Glitter is a really popular jewelry addition because, you know, bling! And, don’t forget that not all glitters are the same. Obviously there are tons of different shades to choose from but there are also different sizes. Depending on the look you are going for you can choose glitters of differing shapes and grain size. We have a huge variety of Counter Culture DIY glitters to choose from!
Jewel Pieces and Beads:
Take a stroll down the aisles of your local craft store and you will see zillions of possible additions for your resin jewelry. (Zillions may be a slight exaggeration but not by much!). There will be jewels of all shapes and sized, beads in the same varieties, and all manner of little bits and bobs you may want to add. We also like the idea of perusing your local flea markets and garage sales for items. You may find some jewelry items that are a little beat up (or mismatched) but that can be beautiful again in a new piece. The items you find can be dismantled, cleaned, polished, and added to your fresh resin!
There is no shortage of color options for your jewelry pieces! There is also many things that you can do with those colors. You can use pigments to create all one shade or you can swirl and blend them together. Jewelry can be made in several layers of different colors for a beautiful effect. You can add mica powder to give your work some serious shimmer. You could even coat your additions with a layer of color before adding them to your resin.
As you can see, there are so many ways that additions can make your jewelry pieces beautiful and unique. No matter what items you choose, you are sure to be delighted by the results.
To make the most out of your resin projects you want to have everything you’ll need at hand before getting started. This includes all of your molds, tools, and additions. There is nothing worse than scrambling for what you need while your resin is starting to set. Chances are you will be making a number of different items at one. In this case, group your additions and lay them out so you can easily add them at the right time. Having everything ready to go ahead of time will let you work quickly and ensure the best results!
When you are ready to pour your resin, add a little to each mold before putting in your additions. Next, gently place your items in the resin and adjust the positioning with a toothpick. Finally, add more resin to finish filling your mold. If you see any air bubbles, use a hair dryer or torch to remove them. These pieces and molds are smaller than other projects so apply heat carefully and in small spurts. This will prevent too much heat from doing any damage to your additions or molds.
Sand and Polish
When you are filling your resin jewelry molds, make sure to fill them to the top but don’t go over. If you overfill the molds your pieces will have an uneven lip on the back. Even if you fill the molds perfectly, you may find that there are some sharp edges to your pieces. This is easy to fix! Use some wet/dry sandpaper dipped in water to gently sand any sharp edges. The water will help to keep the dust down. It will also rinse the dust away from your surface so that you can better see what you are doing. You don’t want to over sand or your piece will start to become uneven. When you are done sanding give your piece a quick polish with a jewelry cloth and watch it shine!
So that’s some of the how-to’s of resin jewelry making. We hope you learned some new tips and are ready to start some new projects! If you are looking for inspiration and instructions for specific jewelry projects check out our post on how to make resin jewelry where we share some of our favorites!
If you want more inspiration and information we have a Facebook group for that. Join us in Counter Culture DIY Artist Support where we, and other artists, offer ideas, answer questions, and support each other!
Do you have an art project using any of our products that you want to share? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can feature them here! You can also tag us on Instagram using #counterculturediy.