How to make Resin Jewelry and the Best Jewellery Resin [Tutorial]
The list of materials that can be used to create beautiful jewellery or dreamlike accessories is almost endless. But hardly any other material is as versatile and can be processed as individually as epoxy resin. If the crystal-clear surface is in itself an absolute eye-catcher, you can conjure up unusual unique pieces with small, incorporated details such as pearls, stones or flowers. In the resin these elements set beautiful accents and remain forever. In the following article we will show you with many tips and tricks how you can easily create precious epoxy resin jewelry yourself.
- 1 What can you use as Jewellery Resin?
- 2 Best Resin for Jewelry
- 3 Which Objects can be Cast in Resin?
- 4 Perfect Resin Jewelry Molds
- 5 How to create Resin Jewelry
- 6 For advanced Students: Cast Resin Jewelry with Wood
What can you use as Jewellery Resin?
For the production of your individual pieces of epoxy jewellery you have the choice between different resins: epoxy resin, UV resin, or polyester resin. All variants are available in a well-assorted hardware store, craft shop or in any case online. With epoxy resin and polyester resin the right mixing ratio is extremely important for an ideal result.
You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the package very carefully when mixing resin and hardener. The resin is often available in relatively large containers. The hardener, however, is often available in smaller bottles. The reason for this is that epoxy resin for moulding casting must be mixed in unequal proportions.
Therefore, a measuring cup with a scale, which allows measuring to the nearest millimetre, is very helpful for mixing. A kitchen scale is also very useful for measuring. Alternatively, you can choose a synthetic resin with a 1:1 mixing ratio, where resin and hardener are used in equal parts, or you can opt for a UV resin.
Differences between the Different Resins
The biggest difference between epoxy resin and polyester resin lies in the duration of curing and in the appearance. As polyester resin is very robust and dries quickly, it is often used for mould parts such as profile plates, mould construction or in boat building. It is usually slightly cloudy when cured. Epoxy resin, on the other hand, with its crystal-clear appearance, is much better suited for processing into jewellery and accessories.
A very good alternative is UV resin. This cures within a few minutes using a UV lamp and no two components need to be mixed. A disadvantage is that the layers can only be cast very thinly. This is not so important when making jewellery, as these are usually small pieces.
Best Resin for Jewelry
The following Resin for jewelry works for almost every piece you can imagine. For fast results and smale pieces us UV Resin, for bigger Resin jewelry pieces use Epoxy Resin.
Which Objects can be Cast in Resin?
There are no limits to creativity when selecting the elements to be cast in the resin. Flowers, stickers, pearls, stones, glitter, food or even real prepared insects – everything is possible. Sometimes it is advisable to test the effect of such an element in the resin before casting the actual object.
It is definitely easier to work with solid, compact but not too heavy elements, because they do not lose their shape in the epoxy resin. (e.g. small beads, glitter or mica flakes) These can also be mixed with the resin without any problems. Heavy objects such as crystals and small stones must be poured in between the individual resin layers, otherwise they would sink. Casting resin is low viscosity, i.e. very thin in consistency (in contrast to resin used for resin art and picture casting).
Filigree objects such as natural materials or dried flowers must be placed in the still liquid resin with a lot of dexterity, otherwise they might appear as unsightly lumps in the resin. In this case it can be helpful to seal the elements with napkin glue beforehand.
The casting of natural materials is also very decorative. The idea with the prepared insects is of course a matter of taste.
Perfect Resin Jewelry Molds
There is a wide range of ready-to-use silicone moulds so that you can start casting jewellery immediately. Especially in the jewellery sector, there is a large selection of moulds – from earrings and pendants to finger rings or bracelets.
How to create Resin Jewelry
Epoxy Resin Casting Jewelry in Silicone Mold
- Once you have decided on a suitable jewellery silicone mould, it is very useful to estimate beforehand how much of the mixture is actually needed to fill the mould.
- Then mix only about half of the required amount and pour it into the mould. Optionally, the resin can be additionally colored after mixing.
- Objects which are very light can be positioned in the still liquid resin as already mentioned.
Afterwards the mixture should dry for at least 24 hours (or as long as recommended by your resin manufacturer)
- Once the first layer has hardened, position larger and heavier objects that you want to cast. If necessary, you can fix them with a small amount of resin to prevent slipping.
After this has hardened, fill the rest of the mould with the epoxy resin and let it dry as recommended by the manufacturer.
Tip: Any air bubbles that may have formed in the resin can be removed by briefly (!) swivelling a hot air blow dryer or Bunsen burner over the material.
Remove the Resin Jewelry from Mold
Exact information on how long the resin you are using takes to cure completely can be found in the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging. Please observe these during processing. With most synthetic resins which are suitable for epoxy resin jewellery, the casting is sufficiently hardened after approx. 48 hours to release it from the mould. Attention: Often rough or sharp edges form in the mould on the underside of the finished piece. Please take care not to injure yourself when removing the piece of jewellery.
Finishing of Epoxy Resin Jewellery
Any sharp edges can be easily removed with fine-grained sandpaper. If you have used conventional silicone moulds, the finished resin jewellery often lacks the necessary shine due to the mould. With polishing paste and a soft cloth you can achieve a crystal clear, shiny effect in a flash. Alternatively, the object can be finished with gloss varnish or crystal clear resin.
To learn more about Epoxy Resin sanding, please read our in-depth tutorial on how to wet sand resin
However, it is best to use polished silicone molds. These have an extremely smooth inner surface that gives your jewelry a perfectly even finish. This eliminates the need to finish the casting. Suitable silicone moulds are available in a variety of designs. There is a wide range of different shapes for pendants, key rings, earrings, rings and bracelets.
To learn more about Epoxy Resin polishing, please read our in-depth tutorial on how to polish resin
For advanced Students: Cast Resin Jewelry with Wood
It is also possible to combine epoxy resin and wood for jewellery. This resin jewellery looks especially noble and valuable. Above all it is extremely individual. The procedure is completely different here. First a blank is cast from one (or more) suitable pieces of wood of your choice and resin with the help of a mostly rectangular silicone mould. Alternatively, you can also make the mould yourself.
The absolute supreme discipline is the production of epoxy resin jewelry combined with wood. These pieces of jewellery are very noble and timeless.
The pieces of wood are placed in the mould and the whole thing is then filled with resin. It is particularly effective if you work with dyed resin. This blank is removed from the mould after it has completely hardened. It is then cut into the desired shape or appearance and subsequently This requires a little more craftsmanship than with conventional cast resin jewellery, but with a little practice it is not so difficult.
We can recommend these silicone molds for resin wood jewelry: