Sunday, April 14, 2013


I recently met a local beader via Facebook (Judy Y.) and we have met and talked a few times. I love making resin pieces, and she had never tried it out, so she asked me to teach her how. We met last Saturday at her house for our session.

I am amazed at how many jewelry/beady people I talk to on Facebook that are afraid of resin! It is one of the easier things I have tried.

Here are the supplies you need: Two part epoxy resin (brands include Ice Resin, Easy Cast), Mod Podge or Elmer's Glue, bezel, photo sized to the bezel frame or scrapbook paper, measuring cup, stir stick, scissors, paint brush, protection for your work surface (in this case the rest of the piece of paper from which we cut the photo). Optional supplies: oval punch, fixative spray (if you are using an image from an Inkjet printer).

Some of the supplies we used for Resin Day
This particular bezel doesn't have a great finish on it and I've had issues with the resin causing the brass to turn green, so I coated it with clear fingernail polish before I got to Judy's house.

Judy scanned and resized this photograph of her mother before I arrived. She has an Inkjet printer, so I brought along my Krylon Workable Fixatif spray sealant. It prevents the ink from smudging, takes only a quick spray or two, and dries in about 10-15 minutes.

You always want to coat any image or paper that you want to put under resin. Otherwise, the resin will bleed through in spots, darkening the paper only in certain areas. It's not a nice look (ask me how I know)! I use Mod Podge to coat my images, usually 2 coats. Judy coated the images and we let it dry about 10 minutes between coats.
Judy coats the image with Mod Podge; the original photo is in the upper left corner
Judy had purchased Ice Resin in a plunger-style container, so that is what we worked with. The most important thing is to FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE PACKAGE EXACTLY, regardless of what brand you purchase! Different brands have very different directions, so be sure to read and re-read so you following them to the letter. That will be the biggest key to success with resin.  If you purchase a two part resin, get a measuring cup to ensure that you get equal parts. I have mis-mixed, and the results are not pretty. It's better to dump the whole thing than bother pouring it and waste bezels, artwork, your time, etc.

The Ice Resin instructions say to push the plunger into a container, mix for 2 minutes, then let them sit for 5 minutes to let the bubbles settle. I strongly recommend that you use a timer to make sure. It's amazing how long 2 minutes seems when all you're doing is stirring...

Push, stir...
...and wait.

While we were waiting, we glued the now-dried and coated photo into the bezel. Again, you can use Mod Podge to do this. You only need a very little bit, you shouldn't see any white areas - if so, you have too much Mod Podge on the bezel.  Burnish or push down the edges of the image into the corners of the bezel.  We used the opposite end of our stir stick. BE CAREFUL, the image is wet and will want to tear.

After the resin sat for 5 minutes, it was time to pour. Judy asked me where to pour - usually you pour right into the middle, seeing how the resin flows, and adjust where you are pouring. If you can see in the photo below, it was pooling toward the top, so she adjusted toward the bottom of the bezel. POUR SLOWLY. You don't want to get to this point and overpour!!

Pouring resin..go slowly!

Bubbles are inevitable. You can get rid of them in several ways - a pin or headpin, a lighter, blowing through a straw, blowing directly on the bezel.  I usually use a pin, or blow directly on the bezel. You blow with an open mouth, like you are warming up your hands on a cold day - NOT like you are cooling down your soup! It is the carbon dioxide we exhale that pops the bubbles.  You always carry your warm breath with you, but you may or may not have a pin, lighter, or straw handy.  You really have about 4-5 hours to pop bubbles.  After about an hour or so, you must use a pin to pop the bubbles; the resin has gotten too thick to blow them away.

Resin is self-doming; it has enough surface tension to dome on its own. Here is a side view of the bezel after Judy poured all the resin in. We made just enough!

Side view of newly poured resin
That's it...all that's left to do at this point is wait. The resin will cure hard to the touch in 24 hours, and will totally cure in 72 hours. Resin definitely works better in warmer weather, so now through the end of summer is perfect resin-pouring time!
Judy finished her necklace this morning, and here is the finished product. Do you see any bubbles? I don't - looks like Judy blew the all away.

Red was her mother's favorite color, so she made sure to use red beads in the necklace. She has an heirloom she can wear around her neck, to remember her mother at all times!
I hope you that this tutorial will encourage you to give resin jewelry a try!

Judy's finished necklace - an heirloom she created herself!