Monday, February 8, 2010

Resin Tutorial

by Sarah Bober of SB Design



I started working with resin about two years ago, after realizing that a lot of the jewelry I was drawn to used one resin technique or another. I am now officially hooked. I love the versatility resin presents, and how easy it is to make personal, meaningful items. Resin photo pendants make a great gift for anyone. Check out this site for some ideas. You can also check the out resin pieces I've created in my shop.

A word about resin: this tutorial uses resin, which is durable, permanent and waterproof. There are lots of resin-type products on the market that aren't actually resin, such as Diamond Glaze or Crystal Lacquer. Be very careful when purchasing something that does not specifically say resin. These products are often water resistant but not waterproof. Either product will work, just be sure you know what you want for your design.




This tutorial will teach you how to make three different items using resin: Pendants, Flat Magnets and Round Magnets.




Materials List

Images
Mod Podge
Paintbrush
Scissors
1" Circle Paper Punch (optional)
Magnet Sheet
Magnet Buttons
Pendant Frames
Resin
Mixing Cups
Stir Stick
Resin Dye
Plastic Paint Palette
E6000 Glue

A few notes about materials:
The pendant frames I use are from Becky Nunn at Nunn Designs, part of her Patera Jewelry line. They are the large pendant squares available in antique silver, copper or gold. Check out her website to find where to buy them.

The resin I use is Envirotex Lite, which can be purchased at Michael's or Joann Fabrics. They also sell the resin dye, if you choose to color the resin. Don't forget to bring your 40% off coupon!

1. Prepare your workspace.
Resin is sticky...very, very sticky. The best way to deal with resin spills is to avoid spilling on anything you care about, like your dining room table. Put down a layer of newspaper to protect your work surface. Your resin pieces will take about 24 hours to cure completely. Find a flat, portable surface, like a tray or a book, that you can move to an out of the way place to dry. I use a wooden tray that I cover in wax paper.

2. Prepare your images.
There are so many incredible images out there. The beauty of resin is you can use anything, from magazine pictures to cards to photos, which allows you to create items that are very personal. The images I used are from etsy seller Petite Paperie, who has tons of incredible, high quality image sheets. The best part about working with these sheets is you can save them to use again and again. The sheets I chose were 1" x 1" Square Fruit Crate Labels, 1" x 2" Halloween Postcards and .75" square Bright Flowers. Check out her shop for more options.
Pick the specific images you want to use and cut them to size. Use a paintbrush to coat the images in Mod Podge. Be sure to coat all surfaces, front, back and sides, at least twice and allow to dry completely. You want the image to be completely covered so no resin will seep in and damage your image.




3. Prepare magnets & pendants.



Flat Magnets: Cut the magnet sheet to the size of the image. I keep a very small border of magnet around my image to make sure the resin completely covers the design and adheres to the magnet. Peel away the film to expose the adhesive and apply the image. Trim any excess magnet with scissors.



Pendants: Trim the images to fit inside the pendant frames. Apply a small amount of Mod Podge inside the pendant to glue your images in place. Be sure the outside and corners of the image are firmly stuck to the pendant. This will keep air bubbles from forming.



Round Mangets: Trim the images to fit into the paint palette using scissors or a 1" circle cutter.


4. Prepare the resin.

These directions are specifically for Envirotex Lite Resin. If you are using a different resin, be sure to follow the directions that come with the product.


Warm the resin. This will prevent air bubbles from forming and make the resin easier to mix. Put a bowl of water in the microwave and heat. Put resin and hardener bottles in warm water for several minutes.


Measure the resin into 2 mixing cups. Envirotex Lite resin is a 1 to 1 mixture, meaning equal parts resin and hardener are used. Be sure you measure each part carefully. If the resin mixture is off, your pieces may not cure correctly or may be sticky.






Pour the resin into the hardener. Stir with your stir stick slowly to prevent adding air bubbles to the mixture. When you begin to stir, the mixture will become slightly cloudy. Stir for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture becomes clear again.






5. Apply resin to the pieces.





Flat Magnets: Use your stir stick to slowly drizzle the resin over the magnet sheets. If you apply enough resin it should flow to the outside of the magnet without spilling over. You may need to guide the resin into the corners with the stir stick. If you spill the resin just slide the magnet over a few inches away from the puddle and allow to dry.






Pendants: You can pour the resin into the pendant frames, or drizzle with the stir stick. Fill the resin to the top or allow to dome over slightly, whichever you prefer. Some people like to fill to the top on the first pour and dome with a second layer of resin once the first has dried. Since the pendant frames are not that deep you can dome in the first pour if you choose to, depending on the look you want.






Round Magnets: Pour the resin into the paint palette openings and fill about half way. Let resin sit for a few minutes so you can get rid of any bubbles that form. Once the bubbles are gone, place images face down in the resin and coat with a thin layer of resin. Be sure to leave enough room in the palette opening (at least 1/8") to add your second layer of colored resin.


6. Get rid of bubbles.

Bubbles...they happen. Sometimes they happen after a piece has set and you can't do anything about it. Learn to like them. If not like, at least learn to appreciate them. That said, there are a few ways to get rid of bubbles while the resin is still soft.

- "Huff" on the piece, with short bursts of air. Bubbles are popped by carbon dioxide. Your breathe will bring the bubbles to the surface and pop them. You can also blow gently through a straw.

- Pass some sort of flame over the piece. You have to be very careful with this - do not get too close or you can mar the surface of the resin or create ripples. It also makes the resin smell horrible. But, it does the job, at least most of the time.

- Use a needle or toothpick to get the bubbles to the surface, then either pop or remove them.

For more suggestions on getting rid of bubbles, check out Craft Zombie's blog. You have about a 10-15 minute window for removing bubbles. After that point the resin will start the set and you run the risk of ruining your piece.

Bubbles are MUCH easier to remove when the resin is fresh. If you allow the resin to sit for awhile and then try to remove the bubbles it may be too late. Even after following all these suggestions, you may still get bubbles. And to that I say, that's the beauty of handmade! It's not a mistake, it's artistic. Chances are, you will be your worst critic. Most people won't even notice that bubble that you agonized over. So...do what you can but don't worry too much about it.


7. Add the second resin layer.




This step is only for the round magnets. Anytime after 12 hours the second layer of resin can be applied. Mix another batch of resin and add resin dye. You do not need a lot of dye...a little goes a long way! Start with a few drops and add more as needed. Mix thoroughly. Pour colored resin over the first layer and fill to the top of the paint palette opening. This layer should be level with or slightly below the surface of the palette rather than domed. Watch for 15-20 minutes to remove any bubbles that form.



Cover paint palette and allow resin to cure.


8. Add finishing touches.

Pendants: Add necklace cord to pendants.



Flat Magnets: These should be finished! Put on your fridge and enjoy!




Round Magnets:
Once the resin pieces are cured, remove them from the paint palette. Put the tray into the freezer for 30-60 seconds to help release the pieces from the mold. Use E6000 to glue magnet buttons to back of the resin design. Allow to dry completely.






That's it! You can now make three different resin creations. Resin is not scary and it is far from rocket science, so don't be afraid to try it out. Have fun and be creative!

★★★★★This tutorial was designed as part of Tutorial Exchange Program from Totally Tutorials. Special thanks to Petite Paperie for the fabulous images! Be sure to check out the Totally Tutorials blog for inspiration for your next project.★★★★★





9 comments:

Cheri said...

this is really step by step, nice job and thanks SB Design!

Toni said...

Great tutorial Sarah! One more craft I need to try! :)

Mary said...

Very clear instructions. I may have to try this with my flower photos. Thanks!

ArtisticEdition said...

What a fantastic tutorial Sarah!! It was very easy to follow. :)

Thanks so much for sharing it! I can't wait to try it.

Jenna

QuirkyLove on Etsy said...

Thank you Sarah! Might have to do this with my nieces!

D Gotlib said...

This was such a fun tutorial. I wondered how all of that was done! Thanks.

Kellybot said...

Really great job, Sarah!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post and the step by step directions are spot on!!! One thing you might add....if you want to embellish with glitter or jewels in the resin do it while the resin is still very sticky so you can adjust the jewels. Also....to keep the resin from getting cloudy the room it is in while it hardens MUST stay the same temp...so if it is the dining room....make sure the furnace doesn't turn off or the AC doesn't kick on and cool off the house!!! (had that happen to me)

Ruby Price said...

I absolutely adore tutorials set up in this way! It makes it much easier for me to learn. I really appreciate your thorough description coupled with a lot of pictures!

I have been dying to try resin, I have all the stuff to make mini koi ponds, pendants, magnets, bangles, you name it, but I haven't the courage that it takes to dive in......yet. Tutorials like this give me the courage to start!