Get Started Making Resin Jewelry
I had a difficult time finding a well written and thorough "how to" guide when I first began working with resin. Once I ironed out the details, I decided to share what I learned. By that I mean I am going to tell you what NOT to do.
First, supplies. I use Envirotex lite resin, which you can buy online or at a paint store (I found mine at Sherwin-Williams). It comes in two jugs that are mixed together 1/1. There are many resin brands available, but Envirotex Lite is very easy to use and does not emit fumes. Since I try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, that is what I chose to use! Plus, you can work with it inside with no ventilation. Which is awesome. And important.
For molds (you have to pour that resin somewhere!) I found I like Deep-Flex Resin molds. Pieces come out easily and are nice and shiny. Cheaper molds will make your pieces look dull and do not flex as easily so the molds only last a few pours.
Mixing it up!
If you are planning on embedding something inside your resin piece, have this prepped. If you are just getting started, you might want to make a few plain pieces to try it out your skills before getting too fancy!
Again, the resin I use is mixed 1/1, so there are two parts that need to be mixed equally. I use three plastic shot cups. (you really want to use three to keep the mix just right). To keep everything organized, I have labeled my bottles and my cups 1,2, and three just so there is no confusion!
Pour equal amounts from each resin bottle into two (different!) cups. Measure and mark a line on each cup will help make sure you mix properly. Then, pour cup 1 and 2 into the third cup and mix really well. Do not mix too roughly or you will end up with tons of air bubbles. Some air bubbles are normal and we will get there in a minute. Stir the cup for a minute or two, making sure you scrape the sides of the cup.
Want to add color?
If you are looking to add color to your piece, I found using good old acrylic paint works really well! Here is a few things I learned by trial and error.
- You only need a drop for most colors. The more paint you use, the longer it will take for your work to dry. Sometimes a piece will have to dry a long time to get an intense color, some times too much paint will result in the piece NEVER drying.
- Black requires two or three drops or it will be grey.
- Red tends to look pink no matter how much paint you add, but adding the tiniest drip of black darken it up. I just dipped a toothpick in the black paint and mixed it in.
-Avoid yellow!!! I tried using yellow once and it NEVER dried. Honestly, a week later it was still wet. It nearly ruined some of my favorite molds. Perhaps it was me, maybe the paint was bad, I don't know. Yellow pigment tends to make anything it is added to softer, so experiment with care!
- Don't be afraid to mix, swirl or layer colors. As you get more confident experiment!
Time to pour!
So, now your resin is mixed and colored (if you like). Keep in mind that the time from mixing to pouring in the mold should be between 5 and 10 minutes for Envirotex lite (and 10 is stretching it) . Other resin brands start setting much quicker, so make sure you read your directions and pour quickly.
If you want to add bauble (such as a bead or picture) pour a tiny bit of resin in first, then place your addition in. Otherwise, you can end up with an air bubble. Also, seal pictures or paper with Modge Podge before hand to protect the image.
Pouring needs to be done with a steady hand. Try really hard not to over pour or under pour. Over pouring can be fixed by filing the piece, but under pouring leaves a dip in the back of your work. So be careful, and pour slow.
A few minutes after you pour the resin into the molds you will notice air bubbles start to surface. Don't worry this is normal! Most will pop on their own, but you will need to watch you resin for the first twenty minutes or so. (You don't have to sit there and stare at it, just check in every few minutes for new air bubbles!)
To get rid of the air bubbles lightly blow on the resin. Keep in mind it is the CO2 in your breath that pops the bubbles, not how hard you blow.
If you are creating necklace charms, be sure to add a hook before it dries. I find adding the hook after the resin has started to set a little bit works best. I have lost some of my favorite works in the making when the hook slipped down into the resin. Jewelry wire and even guitar strings work well as hooks. Make a U shape and bend over the end so it can stick in the resin.
Now all you have to do is wait. Drying time will vary depending on the amount of paint you add and temperature. Your best bet is to let them dry at least overnight. Sometimes it can take up to 12 hours to completely dry. A heater set on low under the table your pieces are on will help speed up dry time. DO NOT use direct heat.
After your pieces have dried, they should pop out of their molds easily. If not (and you are sure they are dry!), try flipping the mold over and lightly tapping each piece with the butt of a screwdriver or a rubber mallet.
Filing the edges of the resin pieces creates a cleaner, more professional look. I used a nail file, but you could use fine sandpaper.
I hope you find my tutorial on how to make resin jewelry useful. Have fun, and feel free to ask questions or leave comments about what works for you!
HummingPug on July 05, 2020:
PLEASE PLEASE do this OUTDOORS! Resin gives off very toxic fumes and I have seen several people destroy their lungs by doing this just a few times without adequate ventilation.
MercurialGirl from North Carolina on September 26, 2017:
Wonderful Tutorial! I love that you mention using products that can be found at The Pain Store!!
Pattie McDonald on May 21, 2017:
Thank you for the good info. I hadn't thought of Modge Podge coating on pictures. Thank you for your help.
JL on October 23, 2016:
If I use real flowers and ferns to make resin jewellery will the flowers and ferns turn brown after some time?
Loraine Brummer from Hartington, Nebraska on October 11, 2014:
You've given us a very thorough tutorial. I haven't tried this craft yet, but after reading this I'm interested. Thanks!
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on January 21, 2014:
Thanks Lady! When I couldn't find a decent tutorial, I knew I had to write one. Good luck!
Lady Summerset from Willingboro, New Jersey on November 05, 2013:
What a wonderful Hub! I was looking for clear information on how to make resin jewelry since I've been making glass pendants. I saw some pieces that I really like but the price range was a bit much and thought I'd give this a try! Thanks so much for the information!
Natasha from Hawaii on January 22, 2013:
Huh. I've never thought to use just regular craft paint to color resin. I have some specialty resin colorants because they were given to me, but I've actually never used them, either!
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on January 21, 2013:
The smoothness of the pieces results from the type of mold I used. The brand I mention in the article gave me an extremely smooth finish, but other brands of molds left a murky finish. So yes, with a high quality mold you could get a glass like finish. Best of luck!
Marco Piazzalunga from Presezzo, Italy on January 18, 2013:
very interesting your instructions, and I was wondering, after seeing the pictures of your finished jewelery if it is possible to create resin jewelry having a resemblance to those made by lampworked glass.
Surfaces may reach a degree of smoothness that made you look like glass?
Voted UP and interesting!
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on October 15, 2012:
I have not tried amazing mold putty, but I did notice some clouding when I used molds that were not super smooth. I am assuming by the topside, you mean the side that touches the mold?
Unfortunately, you need an extremely smooth mold surface to get the "glass"like finish. Any slight texture to the mold will cause the cloudiness you are seeing. Also, it could be the item you are creating the mold from. For example, plaster would not create a good mold, but soap stone would.
What I am trying to say is that it might not be the material you are using to create the mold, but the object you are casting the mold from.
Hope that helps!
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on October 15, 2012:
Thanks! I am really glad you found it useful. I had such a hard time figuring it out with out a tutorial, I am glad others find it useful :)
thefrogshop on October 09, 2012:
I was wondering if you have ever used Amazing Mold Putty to make your resin jewelry with. I have been trying to and my resin keeps coming out with a cloudy appearance on the top side. I purchased the resin you suggested here. I am thinking about going and buying Mold Builder to use instead of the Amazing Mold Putty. Do you think this will make a difference? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
C E Clark from North Texas on August 25, 2012:
I like all the tips you've included. I also like your instructions for where to find the ingredients/components for the resin. For someone like me, you really have to give the small details and you have done that which I appreciate.
This sounds like a great project for Christmas which will be here before you know it! Voted up and useful and beautiful. I just know the finished products will be beautiful. Will share with my followers.
talfonso from Tampa Bay, FL on August 21, 2012:
I've always wanted to make some charms because I saw many tutorials on YouTube and other sites, but I'm so afraid of the fumes! I am going to try buying Envirotex Lite. Also, there are translucent dyes for the resin, so I might delve for just the blue just to tint it into water-white. Thanks for making this Hub!
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on June 27, 2012:
Caitlin: The hook could probably be drilled in later, but that seems like it would be a pain. I used guitar string to make a "U" shape, and then bent the ends at an angle so they push in the resin. The U rests on the side of the mold outside of the resin and two "prongs" stick in the resin. These are added while the resin is still liquid. I advise giving your resin a few hours to cure so its not completely liquid (but not yet hard) . Waiting until the resin cures a little bit will keep the hook from dropping in while you aren't looking and ruining your piece.
I hope that helps, if you need for clarification please let me know :)
Caitlin on June 10, 2012:
oh and you used that mold release stuff? Do you always need to use it? How do you use it?
Veronica Almeida from TORONTO on June 10, 2012:
Hi, I have the same question as Caitlin, how exactly do you put the metal loops without damaging the resin bead? especially because the mold doesn't give any space to put the loop and usually the look would be placed on the top part of the bead...
I'm thinking of making some to put at my partner's store...but not quite sure how to put the loop. I know some people let the resin pendant completely dry and than drill a hole... but I'm thinking that is not only more work and may even brake the pendant no?
Great hub though! bookmarked it!
Caitlin on June 10, 2012:
when you are putting the metal loop in the resin do you just take it out of the mold and then put it in? if so do you put it back in the mold after? but then the loop would get in the way... That was the only part I was confused about. :)
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on June 04, 2012:
I have not tried food coloring. I am not sure you could get the same depth of color. Acrylic paint worked well, so I stuck with that :)
Stevie on May 24, 2012:
Thank you, really informative.... just one question... you used acrylic paint to colour, have you ever tried and if so, what result did you get using food colouring? thanks :)
Touch-finish from Twin Cities on November 28, 2011:
This made me so excited to start making some jewelry! It's a great tutorial!
Lissette from Central Florida on July 21, 2011:
I read this a while ago and have been wanting to try it ever since. I am excited to make this a summer fun thing to do with my 8 yr. old. Do you mind sending me or posting a shopping list that I can print of everything we will need to get started.
I just want to grab the list and head to the store.
Lissette from Central Florida on July 21, 2011:
I read this a while ago and have been wanting to try it ever since. I am excited to make this a summer fun thing to do with my 8 yr. old.
fashion on July 15, 2011:
GREAT! You wrote an informative Hub Article.I want to try this now!
Tiffany Regan on July 10, 2011:
After reading your article, my daughter and I spent the day making resin jewelry. We had so much fun! Thanks for the idea. Definitely voting this one up.
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on July 09, 2011:
LaynieLou- You are so sweet, thank you so much! I do have an etsy store, but do not have much of my resin stuff up. It sells pretty fast at art markets. If you have a second, you can check out what I do have up at trashedthentreasured.
LaynieLou from USA on July 09, 2011:
Girl, if you don't have a shop on Etsy.com then you should! :) This is way cute.
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on July 07, 2011:
ThePelton, thanks! I know that reds and yellows tend to be "soft" colors, but I was surprised when yellow gave me an issue and not red. Thanks for the input, I will def. look it that.
ThePelton on July 07, 2011:
I have found that yellow, orange and some red colors are made using Cadmium. Perhaps Cadmium messed up your molds.
Sarah Carlsley from Minnesota on July 07, 2011:
This is really cool! And it looks like a lot of fun :) I definitely want to try this now!
ournote2self on July 06, 2011:
Very cool. I'll definitely be trying this. Thanks!
UrsulaRose on July 05, 2011:
Congratulations Danielle on getting "Hub of the Day". :-)
La Papillon from Melbourne, Australia on July 05, 2011:
This is the best description of resin 'how to' I've seen.
I've been looking for a simple, but spot on way to create resin pieces.
Thanks and 'thumbs up' and a 'useful'.
Good on you and cheers, Louise ;)
RTalloni on July 05, 2011:
Neat project pics with great tips! Thanks for info on products, too.
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on July 05, 2011:
Thanks for all the comments! DzyMsLizzy, the soap molds might work but I suspect the resin may come out looking a little dull. Also, make sure they are flexible enough to bend so you can pop out the resin when it is done drying.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on July 05, 2011:
WOW!! Great information!! Congrats on hub of the day! Well-desrved!
I tried this craft once, over 30 years ago, when my kids were little, using a kit that made one item. (I think it was a kitchen trivet.) I had to work next to an open door, the stuff smelled so bad. It is good to know they now have resin with no fumes.
I also had to use special-purpose coloring agents...good to know also that plain acryilic paint (of which I have tons) works as well.
Bookmarked, voted up, awesome and useful.
BTW--I have a few small (plastic) soap molds--I wonder if those would work, or if special-purpose molds are needed?
Tiffany Regan from Colorado on July 05, 2011:
The photos are great!
AppsHub from London on July 05, 2011:
Great Hub of the day. I just started today. Check out my new hub please.
t08c15 on July 05, 2011:
Thanks. I had a small pamphlet with similar subject once but did not know where to get materials. Now I know.
Solace Winter from OH on July 05, 2011:
Because everyone has grammar moments (especially me) In your sentence "Keep in mind is the CO2 in your breath that pops the bubbles, not how hard you blow." You need to add an it. Otherwise, excellent article and nice of you to give us your trade secrets!
Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on July 05, 2011:
Great Hub danielleantosz! You explained it well and thoroughly.
Kate Spenser from Austin, TX on July 05, 2011:
This is great! It definitely makes me want to try it out. It looks really fun and like it's a great but not too complicated way to be creative. Congrats on hub of the day - it's well deserved! Voted up/useful/awesome.
Jokylu from Waratah North, Victoria. on July 05, 2011:
Thankyou for your hub, you have inspired me too try something totally new.
Sharilee Swaity from Canada on July 05, 2011:
Wow, so beautiful! I have never tried to make jewellery, but think the process is so amazing and gorgeous. You have explained it so well, that it makes me want to try it. Congratulations on making "hub of the day!"
Veronica Almeida from TORONTO on July 05, 2011:
Wow thanks! It's a great hub and it comes really handy for me! :P
Very well written, informative and adorned with just the right visual aids!
Guanta on July 05, 2011:
Thank you danielleantosz for such a wonderfull and informative Hub. Welcome
seanorjohn on July 05, 2011:
Wow, great how to hub.My daughters will love trying out this new hobby. Congrats on getting best hub of the day award.Voted up and useful.
Jan on July 05, 2011:
This was really fascinating and I thought it would be much more fiddlier and messy to make this kind of jewelry. There is loads of tips within the information and for anyone who would like to have a go the insructions should see them producing some great stuff.
Very much enjoyed the read and thanks for sharing this.
Surfraz from India on July 05, 2011:
useful hub and we can make resin jewelery at home itself. thank you so much..
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on July 05, 2011:
Thank you! I really appreciate it.
Thelma Alberts from Germany on July 05, 2011:
Great Hub! Voted up and useful. Thanks for sharing and welcome to hubpages.
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on June 30, 2011:
Jamie Brock from Texas on June 30, 2011:
Great tutorial.. Thank you for sharing! I love doing resin jewelry :)
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on June 29, 2011:
Thanks! Its actually very easy to do. I was kind of intimidated at first,bu there is so many things you can do. Good luck!
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on June 29, 2011:
Ooooh! I've always wanted to make resin jewelry! I think it looks so cool, and one can make such cool things with it. Thanks so much for the helpful guide! Your original photos really make a huge difference. I've GOT to try this!
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on June 23, 2011:
Thank you so much!
JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on June 23, 2011:
Very informative and easy to follow. Great article! Voting Up and Useful!
danielleantosz (author) from Florida on June 22, 2011:
Thanks so much! I really wanted to give everyone what I wished I had when I started.
UrsulaRose on June 22, 2011:
WOW! You have written an informative Hub Article that is easy to follow as you explain the process of making resin jewellery ... thanks.
BTW - the end result looks fabulous and welcome to Hubpages!