Resin jewelry is some of the most beautiful resin art out there. Today we are bringing you a tutorial from Kirsten of AlleghenyMoonArts who is showing us how to make beautiful preserved flower earrings. You are going to love these fabulous earbobs!
Making resin jewelry is such a rewarding craft. It is a fun process and so great to watch your creations being loved and worn by others. These preserved flower earrings are especially gratifying. Whether you grow the flowers yourself or gather them, seeing such a beautiful part of nature captured in a fabulous piece of jewelry is awesome! Kirsten (aka Kat) has been working with preserved flowers since 2019 when her grandmother passed her the old flower press that she had used as a child. She began to dry wildflowers and flowers from her garden and use them to create resin art. Her first project was a set of knitting stitch markers she made for her mother out of their native wildflowers. Her mother loved them so much she suggested that Kat sell them on Etsy. It wasn’t long before Kat began branching off into making jewelry. We can’t wait for you to learn how she makes some of her beautiful earrings!
Preserved Flower Earrings
We asked Kat to tell us a little bit about how she got started with her art. The story she shared is a wonderful one…
“I have a full time job doing communications for a small non-profit, but I felt like I didn’t have the opportunity to create art that I really enjoyed and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my hobbies outside of work. I’ve always been interested in nature, I grew up on a family farm in West Virginia and I currently live in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with the famous Blue Ridge Mountains and Skyline Drive on one side and the Allegheny Mountains on the other side, which creates a natural valley that is incredibly diverse in flora and fauna. When I was a child, I would find as many different wildflowers as I could and bring them back in bouquets for my grandmother. I’m surrounded by forests and farmland, and in the spring and summer my gravel road is absolutely bursting with wildflowers.”
She also told us about her business…
“I’ve diversified to making jewelry and decor with both wildflowers and plants I grow in my garden and I’ve made over 150 sales on Etsy. My goals are to both promote the importance of native flower species for our pollinators and keep my business sustainable by growing, instead of buying, my plants that I use. I use everything from moss and lichen to wild violas and my personal favorite, Queen Anne’s lace. My dream is to one day be able to go part time to work on my jewelry!”
Kat says that she has spent lots of time researching resin art and watching videos by other artists for information and inspiration. She especially credits Heather of Artsy Mad Woman for her tutorial help. We are grateful that Kat is now passing along her knowledge to all of us!
Preserving florals for your jewelry…
Kat has obviously been learning about flower preservation for quite a while now. If you are new to it though, don’t worry! The flowers that you will need for this project are meant to be flat. That means you don’t need anything fancy to dry them. You’ve probably seen the amazing 3D preservation work done by some artists. The process for this project is much less complicated than that. Kat mentioned her flower press and that is a great way to dry your flowers. If you haven’t gotten your hands on one yet that’s ok! You can start with regular paper and a couple of heavy books. Simply press your flowers between two clean pieces of paper and place them between the two books. Then walk away for several days and allow them to dry. That’s it! Just make sure that your flowers are absolutely dry before preserving them in resin. Any moisture left in your flowers and they will go through their natural rotting process in the resin. That will ruin your beautiful art!
Preserved Flower Earrings
- Counter Culture DIY Culture Cast
- Metal Open Bezels
- Completely Dried Flowers/Plants of Choice
- Resin tape or other clear tape I prefer the resin tape, packing tape tends to leave a sticky residue that is hard to remove
- Liquid Latex
- Micro Mesh Sanding Pads or 1000 and above grit sandpaper
- Heat Gun
- Jump rings that match the metal bezels
- Earwires of choice
- I select the metal bezel shapes that I want for the earrings and then cut a piece of resin tape that will hold both shapes at once.
- I carefully press the bezels down onto the resin tape, careful not to touch the tape on the insides so that I don't leave any fingerprints that might be picked up by the resin. They need to be pressed down firmly so that resin does not leak out of the bottom.
- I select the flowers and plants of choice, making sure that they fit in the bezel, trimming stems where needed. With tweezers, I carefully lay them on the tape, arranging them inside the bezels. If the flowers are very thin or delicate, I will pour the resin in first and then add the flowers so that the tape doesn't pull off any of the flower when I remove it later.
- I mix CCDIY Culture Cast resin, I prefer to use this over the Artist Resin for this project because I feel it's easier to work with and gives me a clearer end result with less chance of microbubbles since I prefer to use a heat gun on small pieces.
- I carefully fill the bezels with the resin using a wooden popsicle stick or toothpick until it is slightly rounded at the top but not overflowing. I then use a heat gun or a small handheld torch lighter to pop bubbles. Let cure for24 hours.
- After24 hours I peel the tape off the back and then brush on a coat of liquid latex and let it dry. This way, if resin runs over when I'm doming the top it will get peeled off again with the liquid latex.
- Once the latex dries, I flip the pieces back over so the latex side is down on my silicone mat. I lightly sand the top with a micro mesh sanding pad between 1500 and 12000 grit, this gives it a rougher surface for a new, thinner layer of resin to adhere to. I mix casting resin and then with a toothpick I start to add small amounts at a time to the top of the piece, spreading them to the edges in a thin layer until the entire top is shiny again. As long as you don't add too much resin, the surface tension will hold it on top of the piece and cure to a rounded dome. Cure 24 hours. If the resin over flows, it is easy to peel off the metal or when you peel off the liquid latex.
- After 24 hours I peel off the liquid latex and repeat step 7 on the other side.
- When both sides have been domed, I add a jump ring to each bezel and then my earwire of choice. Afterwards I carefully rub it with a lens cloth to get rid of any fingerprints.
The Wrap Up…
And that’s how it’s done friends! Kat’s instructions are so clear and helpful. Even if you’ve never tried this type of resin art before you’ll be able to do this project! Be sure to check out Kat’s Etsy shop AlleghenyMoonArts and follow her on Instagram to see more of her beautiful creations. Get out there and explore the nature around you. You’ll begin to see a whole new world of artistic opportunities open up before you! If you find an amazing wildflower and aren’t sure what it is or if you should pick it there are a couple of resources to help you out. There are some great plant identification apps available for your phone. And, your state’s DNR website should have a list of native plants that are endangered and illegal to pick. Armed with a little bit of knowledge you’ll be a professional wildflower collector in not time!
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