Handmade Jewelry Using Resin: Gorgeous Pendants, Pins and More
Resin jewelry has exploded in popularity in recent years as an on-trend DIY craft. The glossy, glass-like material allows you to encapsulate sentimental objects or create abstract designs. When cured, resin makes beautiful wearable art in the form of pendants, pins, rings, and more.
Crafting jewelry with resin opens up endless options for self-expression. You can combine found objects, dried flowers, photos, glitter, dye, and other embellishments suspended in clear or colored resin. The finished pieces have a sleek, high-end look.
What is Resin for Jewelry Making?
Resin refers to a two-part epoxy adhesive that consists of a resin and a hardener. When mixed together in the proper ratio, the components undergo a chemical reaction that causes the resin to harden into a durable, plastic-like solid over the course of several hours.
For jewelry applications, art resin provides a crystal clear backdrop that beautifully showcases inclusions and accent colors. Popular brands like ArtResin and EasyCast are formulated for maximum clarity, UV resistance, and low bubbles.
Benefits of Resin Jewelry
Crafting jewelry from resin offers many advantages:
Encapsulate sentimental objects like dried flowers or photos to make meaningful keepsakes.
Add colors, glitters, charms, etc. for completely one-of-a-kind designs.
Properly cured resin has an glossy finish that rivals store-bought jewelry.
Waterproof & Durable
Resin won’t tarnish or fade over time like other materials. Pieces hold up well to regular wear.
Fluid resin lets you create abstract designs and color gradients.
Make pendants, brooches, rings, earrings, bracelets, and more!
Gather Resin Jewelry Making Supplies
Resin jewelry making does require some specialty supplies. Here is an overview of the basic items needed:
You’ll need a quality two-part epoxy resin formulated for jewelry like EasyCast or ArtResin. Check that it has a long working time.
Containers & Stir Sticks
Mix resin in disposable plastic cups with popsicle sticks or disposable stir sticks. Avoid anything porous that could hold cured resin.
Items to Embed
Source meaningful bits like photos, coins, shells, and more to encapsulate in the resin.
Pliers & Wire
Use pliers to shape wire for bails and loops to attach resin pieces to necklaces or earrings.
Nitrile gloves, dust mask, safety glasses, and apron protect your skin and lungs during pouring.
How to Mix and Pour Resin
Achieving professional looking resin jewelry requires careful measuring, mixing, and pouring techniques:
Step 1: Prepare Workspace
Cover your work surface with cardboard or a disposable tablecloth. Work in a well-ventilated area.
Step 2: Calculate Amounts
Check resin packaging for the proper ratio of resin to hardener by volume or weight. Only mix as much as needed for each project.
Step 3: Dispense Parts
Accurately measure out the resin and hardener into separate disposable cups. Take care to avoid contamination between the two.
Step 4: Stir Thoroughly
Stir each component for 1-2 minutes before mixing them together to incorporate any settled pigments.
Step 5: Mix Parts
Pour the hardener into the resin. Use a popsicle stick to vigorously mix for 3-5 minutes until completely blended with no streaks.
Step 6: Remove Bubbles
Lightly wave a lighter over the surface to pop any air bubbles. Avoid direct flame contact with the resin.
Step 7: Pour into Mold
Slowly fill your mold, cup, or jewelry cabochon. Tap the sides to release any trapped bubbles.
Step 8: Allow to Cure
Leave the resin undisturbed while it cures fully. This can take 12-48 hours depending on the type of resin.
Useful Techniques for Resin Jewelry
Place meaningful items like flowers or photos into molds before pouring in resin. Ensure objects are fully coated.
Pour clear layers alternating with tinted or glitter resin to create stacked effects once cured.
Mix ultra fine glitter into resin for a shimmering look. Use a toothpick to place precise dots of glitter.
Alcohol Ink Technique
Add drops of alcohol ink into plain resin and use a skewer to swirl colors for marbled patterns. The inks flow beautifully through resin.
Doming involves coating metal components in a dome of resin. Use over bezels, pendants, and other base pieces.
Decoupage Under Resin
Adhere paper cutouts to cabochon blanks with decoupage medium, then cover with a layer of resin to seal.
Crushed Stone Surfacing
Coat the back of jewelry pieces with resin, then press into crushed stone, sand, or broken glass for texture.
Inspiring Resin Jewelry Design Ideas
Dried Flower Jewelry
Preserve delicate flowers like baby’s breath or ferns in clear resin pendants, paperweights, and tabletop art.
Beach Theme Jewelry
Create ocean-inspired designs with real seashells, sand dollars, starfish, sea glass chips, and glitter in shades of blue and green.
Get a gemstone-like effect by layering swirls of metallic and earth-toned alcohol ink poured into domed cabochons.
Butterfly Wings Jewelry
Real butterfly wings look stunning suspended in resin. Use wings shed during metamorphosis for an ethical, sustainable material.
DIY Paper Jewelry
Make paper beads, origami shapes, collages, and caning slices then coat in resin for a glossy finish. drones, or found objects into bezel settings, dome pendants, and rings.
Add sentimental value by embedding ticket stubs, old jewelry, coins, postage stamps, and more in clear castings. Use tinted resin or glitter to complement the items.
Troubleshooting Resin Jewelry Projects
When starting out with resin, you may come across some issues like bubbles, tackiness, or yellowing. Here are some common problems and solutions:
Bubbles in Resin
Prevent bubbles by mixing slowly, torching the surface, tapping molds, and pouring in thin layers. Let layers cure before pouring more resin over top.
Resin Not Curing Fully
Ensure the correct resin to hardener ratio is used. An inaccurate mix will prevent proper curing. Not giving the resin enough drying time can also be an issue.
Resin is Sticky/Tacky
If resin remains tacky, it is undercured. Allow it to cure longer until the piece feels fully hard. Low temperatures can slow curing.
Resin Turning Yellowish
UV light can cause resin to take on a yellowish tint over time. Use a UV-resistant resin and avoid prolonged sun exposure to prevent discoloration.
Inclusions Floating Up
Heavier items may float up through thin resin as it cures. Place them and pour initial thin layers of resin first, allowing them to set before flooding the mold.
Resin Cracked or Crazed
Cracks happen if pieces cure too quickly or experience temperature shocks. Slow the curing process and avoid drastic temperature changes.
Safety Tips for Resin Jewelry Making
While beautiful, resin does contain chemicals that require safety precautions:
- Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a respirator mask to minimize fume inhalation.
- Wear gloves to protect your skin and safety glasses to shield eyes.
- Keep uncured resin away from children and pets as it can irritate skin and eyes.
- Avoid repeated skin contact with resin. Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
- Only use resin in a space with adequate airflow. The fumes should not accumulate.
- Read product safety labels carefully and follow recommended handling procedures.
- Dispose of used materials properly. Cured resin can go in the regular trash but uncured resin may require hazardous waste disposal.
With the right supplies and techniques, you can create beautiful wearable art from resin right at home. Jewelry made with resin has an unmatched glossy, fluid look that shows off inclusions and color mixes.
While there is a learning curve, resin basics like measuring, mixing, pouring, and curing can be mastered with practice. Taking the proper safety measures is also essential when working with chemicals.