It seems that among jewelry-makers and beaders, nothing strikes fear into the heart as quickly as the suggestion of using resin for making mixed media jewelry. I'm a little perplexed by this -- I've seen people who are completely...
It seems that among jewelry-makers and beaders, nothing strikes fear into the heart as quickly as the suggestion of using resin for making mixed media jewelry. I'm a little perplexed by this -- I've seen people who are completely fearless when seated in front of a flaming hot glass torch burning at around 1,900 degrees Fahrenheit, but who shrink away when I suggest that maybe we get some bezels and make a few pieces of resin jewelry.
After a few of my own experiments with resin, I've found that resin really isn't scary at all! In fact, I love how easy it is to create heirloom-style mixed media jewelry using resin and copies of old family photographs. And resin-filled bezels make great focal points for both stringing and bead-weaving projects! It's affordable, and most of the resin supplies you need to get started are available at your local craft store. Are you ready to start working with resin? Check out these fifteen fabulous tips from Jewelry Making Daily's Tammy Jones!
I have a confession to make: I get nervous when I'm going to make jewelry with resin.
My fears are totally unfounded--I was taught by experts, use the best
materials, and follow instructions exactly--but I still inexplicably
hold my breath when I'm using resin. Yesterday, I realized why. I hate
Waste? What does that have to do with resin, right? When I'm drawn to
work with resin, it's because I have something special to encase in it, a
prized memento or souvenir . . . which, of course, there's only one of,
so if something goes wrong, the bezel is wasted and my treasure is
But not always. In addition to tips that help scaredy-cats like me
avoid common resin pitfalls (such as bubbles, cloudiness, and tackiness)
and ensure that resin sets properly and clearly, there are ways to fix
some resin mishaps, too.
Resin Tips1. Work in a dust-free area with good ventilation and turn off fans in the area that could blow dust, etc., into your resin.
2. Wear gloves that fit well and snugly. You don't need saggy glove tips dragging resin around and messing up your work!
3. Mix resins very carefully. If the ratios are off even a little, you risk resin that will not cure and set up properly.
4. Work in good lighting. I've found that good overall, all-around
light as well as a small lamp with direct light are best for me. The
all-around light helps me make resin jewelry without making sloppy
mistakes, of course, and the direct light really highlights tiny bubbles
in resin, like inclusions in a gemstone. The lamp's warmth will come in
handy for curing, too.
5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the cup when you're mixing resin,
mixing for about two minutes, but avoid working it too much--no need to
create extra bubbles to deal with. Mix until there are no streaks or
6. Pour resin into your mold or bezel slowly to avoid spillover and
prevent trapping air around your encapsulated treasures, which causes
those pesky bubbles.
7. For deep bezels or layered designs, work in layers to create the look
of floating. Items will likely sink to the bottom and appear all on one
layer if you don't work in steps, adding a base layer of resin and
putting items in place one layer at a time, allowing layers to almost
completely set in between.
8. Cover your resin masterpiece with an overturned cup or similar and
place it under your lamp. The warmth from the light will help the resin
cure. Resist touching or moving it until morning!
Resin Fixes1. Ideally, gravity will work the bubbles to
the top and out of your resin. If it needs some help, you have a few
options. For deep bubbles (in wet resin), pop with a pin or fine
toothpick. (Do this before the resin starts to set or you'll ruin it.)
2. For bubbles closer to the surface, a little hot breath can
sometimes give th