I love experimenting with new materials. I had set my eyes on resin creations, but I thought they would be very difficult to make. But I got so much interested in them that I couldn’t resist. So I bought the materials to start making my first jewelry with resin pendants. A long tutorial follows with my tips on what to do and what to avoid when you first deal with resin. You’ll see my ‘masterpieces’ and my errors as well.
First of all, it is important to point out that it is necessary to wear gloves and either work in a well ventilated space or go outdoors. You can aslo wear a mask as you mustn’t inhale the resin.
I got silicone molds and epoxy resin (two bottles: one with resin and one with hardener), also known as liquid glass.
Also, I used syringes to select the desirable quantity of liquid from each bottle and a disposable cup to mix the two liquids. I prefer to use disposable materials which I can throw away because you can’t get rid of the remaining material. The very first time I used small dosing cups I had kept from children’s syrops.
- silicone molds
- epoxy resin
- a couple of syringes
- disposable cup
- dried flowers
- toothpicks or wooden sticks (to stir the mixture)
- glitter (or anything you prefer to use e.g. pearls, beads, wire, wood)
- resin dyes (I also used color appropriate for painting on glass and even nail polish on other resin creations later!)
- wire (to join the resin pendant with the cord)
- cord and clasp (if you want an easier way to seal your necklace, you can tie together the two edges of a long piece of cord; I like faux suede leather cord)
For my first resin pendants I wanted to make something romantic, so I used flowers I had already dried. I also added glitter; glitter residues were a hassle to clean from the mold and I may avoid it in the future. I thought a big silicone mold with many designs would be a great idea, but now I can see that with individual molds you don’t have to worry your materials are going to pass to the other pendants.
First I used the syringes to take equal amounts of liquid from each bottle, pour them in a plastic cup and stir them for two minutes (unfortunately I didn’t stir them enough the first time and the mixture didn’t become completely clear).
The specific brand I used recommended 1:1 quantity of the two liquids, but different brands may require different quantities. There are also resins in single bottle which I haven’t used.
The pendant in the middle looks like it has bubbles. These are not bubbles, they are tiny silver beads. But in case there are bubbles in your pendants, there are two tricks to do before they dry. You can blow over them with a straw or you can pass a lighted lighter over them.
Attention: Don’t use the same syringe in both bottles. Furthermore, protect your workbench. I put some old placemats under the molds.
I didn’t know how much mixture I would need, but I had many molds to fill. My mixture turns out to never be enough. I prefer to make different pendants on the same day, so that I don’t have to clean up many times. Of course, the first bottles of resin finished soon.
I poured some mixture in the molds and I also put the flowers and some glitter. Then I added some more mixture. In some pendants I also used epoxy resin colorings. Two things to avoid: use only a few drops and don’t put brushes in the resin. If you use a lot of color the result is going to be non transparent. In addition, your creation will take more time to harden. If you put your brushes into resin, you most probably have to say goodbye to them.
When I was making the first pendants I thought that the upper side would be the good side (that’s what I saw on YouTube). Nevertheless, the side that touches the mold becomes smoother. Needless to say, some of the pendants may not come out as you expect.
The upper side – especially if you don’t fill the mold up – may need some sanding and polishing. That’s why I prefer the down side as the good one. But if you overfill the mold, you will probably have a smoother result. In some cases, both sides look so well I can wear my pendants from both sides.
For this type of molds you don’t need to make a hole on the top as their design ensures there is a hole for a hoop or a cord. In a following article I will show how I made holes on my pendants without using any drilling machine.
The next day my pendants were ready to become jewelry. First I used a sand paper wherever it was necessary.
You can either use a cord straight to the pendant or you can put a hoop on the pendant to adjust it to a cord. I made my own hoop with a little piece of wire with the help of a pliers.
As I mentioned above you don’t have to follow the same procedure to make a hoop on the cord.
If you follow me on Instagram you have already seen this creation I shared there with you. That same day I decided to change the wire and instead of gold to use copper. Which color do you prefer?
Below is a similar pendant where I also put a few more pearls. This is my favorite one!
To sum up
Well, if I had to say how I found the whole process, I would say I liked it. The pros are that you can make a piece of jewelry which is really unique and you can make a creation totally handmade. The disadvantages are the cost of the resin, the mess it can make (no more glitter!) and the fact that you mustn’t touch or inhale the resin when it is in its liquid form.
I have made some more designs and I have ordered more molds to make different stuff and not only jewelry. Stay tuned for more!
What do you think of my resin pendants with dried flowers?