Beginners how to guide to making resin jewellery/cabochons.

In-depth beginners how to guide to making resin jewellery

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You will need:

* Silicone mold of your choice:
If it’s your first time go easy on yourself and choose something simple. Don’t be tempted to go for a plastic mould either, silicone or nothing!
With silicone moulds check the texture inside if it is smooth and shiny you will get smooth, shiny, clear resin. If the texture is smooth but not shiny. Your resin will come out cloudy. I occasionally like this effect, but be sure to check before hand! Ice cube and chocolate molds are great for getting fun shapes.

Not compulsory but strongly advised.

* Resin:
Obviously! I use Pedeo Crystal Resin from Hobbycraft. For no other reason than it’s what i have always used and I can pick it up from hobbycraft in a hurry.

*Disposable plastic cups:
Washing resin off things is a b**ch, so although the environment won’t thank me for this you will.

*Kebab skewers or lollipop sticks: For stirring.

Step One:

Measure out your resin as per the instructions, this is very important. Two parts resin to one part hardener. If like me you like to shove things in without proper measuring this is not the time to be doing that! Resin is a stroppy substance, don’t think you can whack in a little more hardener so it sets quicker or just hope for the best and roughly measure it out, it will have a diva strop and leave you with a sticky mess, and there is no and mean NO way of rectifying it. Not even unicorn tears can save you. So do as it says, two parts resin to one part hardener, the Pedeo kit comes with handy little measuring spoons, use them!

Step two:

Mix away! Give it a good old stir, the mix will look cloudy at first but keep mixing until it’s clear. The Pedeo kit gives you a lolly pop stick to do this with, I occasionally use some wooden kebab skewers. Yet again the less washing up the better!

The kit also give you plastic gloves, I like to live dangerously and not wear these. But I would and should probably advise that you do wear them. You won’t die if you don’t but I find my hands to get a little itchy when exposed to too much resin. ( feel free to comment on how stupid I am!)

I would also advise you do this in a clear area and that you are covered up too. I have a duvet cover, curtains and many T-shirts that have been subjected to resin related incidents they will never recover from.

Step three:

Leave your resin for a good ten mins, this will allow all of the air bubbles to escape that you have just mixed in. This sounds like the stupid step you can miss out, but believe me you will thank me later. If you don’t do this you will have to sit and pop your resin air bubbles later on, or have resin with bubbles in it. Not cool.

Step four:

As you’ve got to wait for your resin to de-bubble, you might as well use this time wisely to get your molds ready.

I have chosen to explain this process with glitter, but at this step you could put whatever you wanted in to your mould. Glitter and sequins are my faves hands down. If you’re a fan of chucking things in and hoping for the best this is your moment.

I personally put my glitter into the mold first, I think that this gives me more control of the glitter and means I can attempt to ensure an even distribution. It also means I can use a variety of colours. I will occasionally mix glitter into the cup of resin if doing a big batch of one colour, but I prefer the look of glitter not fully through the resin which is what putting the glitter in first and the resin after achieves.

A note on glitter- when working with resin the cheaper the glitter the better. I don’t know why but the more expensive glitters loose or change colours in the setting process. The 6 pack of glitter from WHSmith is a prime culprit for this, the red will come out gold, purple comes out pink etc. I learnt this the hard way making a iron man necklace which came out orange. Everyone knows iron man only comes in red and gold!
Poundland and 99p store are ultimate glitter winners for me. I also find some colours of glitter at hobby craft to be good too, black in particular. The hobby craft green glitter however not so preferable. A similar situation occurs with some sequins, I think it’s something to do with the dye used.

So pour your glitter in. I fill the mold about half to three quarters full depending on whether I want to fill the mold to the top with resin or not. I then give the mold a light tap on each side to distribute the glitter evenly, be careful here this is the part where I usually end up with glitter everywhere!

Remember glitter is a magical substance with a mind of its own, and that anything under the influence of resin will not sit still or stay where you want it to for the whole setting process. This is something I love about working with resin as it make the outcome so beautifully unpredictable, however this can be a pain when you want to do something slightly more specific so bare this in mind.

Step five:

Pour your resin in, you can either just tip up your cup carefully and go for it or I find that the stirring stick collects enough resin that you can blob it in with that if you want to be more specific. The slower the better here. Make sure it gets to all areas of the mold, remember it has to sink through the glitter so allow it to do that.

You may start to see bubbles float and pop at the surface now (depending on how well you did step three!) I use my kebab skewer to pop these if they appear.

Step six:

Leave your resin on a very flat surface for 24hours. Make sure it’s not too cold. You want a normal room temperature, the warmer the better. Summer is better for most things, resin is most definitely one of them. Expect a longer set time if it’s colder.

Some people suggest covering your resin over to stop dust getting into it. Perhaps I’m too dazzled by glitter but I have never noticed this to be a problem so cover or uncover to your delight. I’d probably cover if I had a cat ( or other pet that enjoys licking at things).

Step seven:

Have a party, go shopping, hibernate, cover yourself in glitter and walk down the high street or whatever for 24 hours. DO NOT be tempted to stick your finger in your resin to check it, believe me this will have two outcomes- either you will end up with a sticky resin covered finger or your resin will have finger prints on it, you will regret both. Believe me when it says 24 hours it means it.

There is no easy way to speed this process up. Some say something about putting in the oven 15 times, running around it seven times and asking a pixie to come to your house to bless your resin; but I believe in the good old fashion way of waiting. I like to think of it as a present I get to open in 24 hours time.

Step eight:

This is your moment, the one you’ve been waiting 24 bloody hours for.

First check your resin is hard, a little squeeze of the mold will tell your this. If so, gently de mold, with a silicone mold you should just be able to peel straight back and your resin will pop out!

Hooray! You win!

Step nine:

If you are happy with your resin, you may want to file the edges. I have a fancy drill thing for this but I also use a nail file sometimes too, both do the job!

This is where I would either glue the resin to a ring, cufflink, earring or hair pin or drill holes into it to make it into a necklace. The world is your resin oyster!

I hope that was helpful! Please comment any questions and I will do my very best to answer them!

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