Top 5 Resin Tips for Jewelry Making from the Editor of Our Newest eMag

13 Dec 2010

Tammy Jones editor Jewelry Making Daily
 
Tammy Jones is the
editor of Jewelry Making Daily.

Have you ever gotten so excited about something new that you couldn't wait to share it with your friends, family, and just about anybody who would listen? Everyone at Interweave is feeling that way lately, thanks to our brand-new, first-ever multimedia digital eMag, Handcrafted Jewelry Studio. It combines all the best features of our great magazines with the interactivity and convenience of the Internet and your computer.

Imagine a magazine that's vibrant and dynamic with videos and live links to sites where you can learn more or buy products and materials--that's Handcrafted Jewelry Studio! You can download and print the mixed-media jewelry projects and take them with you to your jewelry-making supply or bead store. Plus, in this revolutionary format, you can watch video how-tos, interviews, and studio tours with leaders in handcrafted jewelry, see slide shows of inspiring handmade mixed-media jewelry projects from top-notch jewelry designers, and more.

Handcrafted Jewelry Studio is also full of tips and tricks for improving your handmade mixed-media jewelry, like the five resin jewelry-making tips here, exclusively for you from Handcrafted Jewelry Studio Editor Danielle Fox. Enjoy! Tammy
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Danielle Fox is the
editor of Handcrafted
Jewelry Studio,
Handcrafted Jewelry,

and Stringing.

The suspense in Interweave's jewelry-making office is palpable. We just released Handcrafted Jewelry Studio—a digital magazine or eMag that offers rich media related to mixed-media jewelry making—and we're waiting to hear if readers love it as much as we do. We expect they will. After all, what's not to like about a product that delves into do-it-yourself jewelry making via text PLUS zoomable photos, hyperlinks, videos, slide shows, and more? (Try Handcrafted Jewelry Studio yourself!)

 
My first two-part epoxy-resin project!
 
One of my favorite articles in Handcrafted Jewelry Studio is about the three main types of resin: two-part epoxy resin, UV resin, and resin glazes. Not only do we discuss the differences between all three (the FREE downloadable resin comparison chart here is your preview!), but we show you how to use each in videos presented by experts in the field. Whether you're new to resin in jewelry making or have used it for years, this article is sure to teach you something you didn't know.

Now I have a confession to make. While I've known about resin for a long time, I didn't actually use the two-part epoxy type until earlier this year when I volunteered to make a resin-filled ring for Handcrafted Jewelry magazine, our eMag's older sister. In fact, the aforementioned resin article was my impetus—it calmed my fears (How do I tame this finicky material? Will I keel over from breathing it?) and gave me the confidence to give resin a go.

My first attempts at using two-part epoxy resin didn't produce perfect results, but I was surprised at how easy the material was to work with. Let me share the top five tricks I learned or came up with along the way!

 
Use your bezel as a stamp.

1. Use your bezel as a stamp. Cutting out paper to fit inside a bezel isn't easy. That's why some bezel manufacturers have developed tools to cut out shapes to fit perfectly inside their bezels. I came up with my own solution: Ink up your bezel in a stamp pad just as you would a rubber stamp and then use it to stamp on your paper (or whatever material you're putting inside your bezel). Wash and dry your bezel thoroughly to remove all the ink; then use scissors to cut along the inside the of stamp mark. Trim as necessary.

 
Seal all sides of your paper really well.

2. Seal, seal, and seal again. If you don't want resin to seep into your paper, you must cover it with sealant, such as Mod Podge. Seal the top, bottom, and sides and apply several coats, allowing the sealant to dry between coats (this doesn't take long at all). I didn't seal my paper well enough the first time, and a bit of resin seeped into my paper, making that area look a little darker than the rest-a big bummer for a perfectionist like myself.

 
Some mistakes can be camouflaged!
 

3. A matte finish hides mistakes. This tip relates to the previous one. Because I liked everything about my ring design except the small dark patch where resin seeped into the paper, I really wanted to salvage it. Cynthia Thornton's amazing Enchanted Adornments book to the rescue! In it I had remembered reading about Cynthia's technique for creating a satin finish on dried resin: You simply rub the resin surface with 600- then 2000-grit wet/dry sandpapers until you achieve the desired "matte-ness." Surely Cynthia uses this technique for its visual effect, but it's a great way to camouflage mistakes, too!

  Soda bottle turned ring stand.
 
4. Soda bottles make great ring platforms. When it was time to pour the resin into my ring's bezel, I realized I needed to find a way keep the ring steady and upright. A plastic soda bottle did the trick—the shank fit into the opening while the bezel rested perfectly on top. I filled the bottle with sand so it wouldn't tip over. If I had channeled my dad, I might have thought of taping the ring to my work surface with duct tape. It held our family station wagon together, so I'm sure it could affix a ring to a table.

 
Work in a warm room or the bubbles in resin
might not dissipate.
 

5. Room temperature does matter. I admit that I mentally rolled my eyes when I read in Susan Lenart Kazmer's instructions for her two-part epoxy Ice Resin that an optimal room temperature for mixing resin is 72°F. My first resin projects turned out great. They were created in late summer when it was probably at least 80°F in my studio. However . . . when some coworkers and I were playing with resin in the "studio" (read: basement) here at work where it was maybe 40°F, the bubbles that formed in the resin didn't dissipate. That's because it's the heat that pulls them to the surface, apparently. Okay, Susan, I guess you're right! To fix this problem, I've learned I could have set the resin under a warm task light or popped any bubbles that remained with a toothpick or piece of wire within about a half hour after pouring. Back to Tip #3 I go!

For more resin information, check out our free Resin Comparison Chart, or better yet, download your copy of Handcrafted Jewelry Studio and learn more about resin and other mixed-media jewelry-making topics while enjoying a fun new interactive magazine experience.

—Danielle


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Comments

LynnC@49 wrote
on 30 Dec 2010 9:56 AM

When will  "Handcrafted Jewelry Studio" be available for the iPad?  

The Interweave Store Insider today talks about the benefits of using an e-reader, which would be great for  "Handcrafted Jewelry Studio".  I could have my iPad right there in my work area to do projects.  

There are iPad magazine creators, such as www.yudu.com, which allow all multi-media, including video, to be used for e-publications.

TammyJones wrote
on 5 Jan 2011 9:43 AM

Hi Lynn, thanks for your comment! While there are no plans for Handcrafted Jewelry Studio on iPad right now, we do offer our eBooks through Zinio.com that are available for your iPad. Totally Twisted is a favorite jewelry-making title available there now, and more jewelry titles will be added soon.

MarianelaA wrote
on 19 Jan 2011 5:18 PM

Excelente articulo. en mi grupo de trabajo utilizamos un encendedor para disipar las burbujas

cdscholtes wrote
on 10 Jul 2013 10:55 AM

Great article!

I have a question. I am making a sand resin ring for my wife on our first anniversary.

I am using a sterling silver ring, with a bezel. Do I put the sand in first, and pour the resin over it, or do I put the resin in first, and put the sand in?

Please help! It's my first time, and I'd like to make it perfect. I'm an artist, and I've worked with all types of liquids, so this doesn't scare me off.

Thanks!

TammyJones wrote
on 18 Jul 2013 9:34 PM

Hi cdscholtes, thank you and thanks for writing.

It depends on how you want the ring to look. If you want to preserve the sand under the resin, put the sand in first and cover with resin. (You can even put in a little sand, maybe at an angle covering about the bottom half of the bezel, and then cover with a thin layer of resin; then do about the bottom third of it with another layer of sand and/or going in another angle, and a thin layer of resin on that; then about a fourth of it with sand and then resin. That will make it look sort of like layers of sand or hills of sand--kind of like dunes. You might want to use blue paper behind all of that to look like the sky. If you do use paper, be sure to seal it with Mod Podge or some other sealant or the resin will bleed into the paper. If that beachy look is not the look you're going for, you can put some sand in the bezel and then fill the bezel with resin completely.

On the other hand, if you want the sand on the surface, you can use the resin like glue. If the bezel is deep, you'll want to fill it nearly full and let that cure/harden; then do a thin layer of resin on top of it and sprinkle sand on that. Otherwise if you put the resin in and then the sand, it will probably sink to the back of the bezel and you won't feel it on the surface.

Hope that helps!

Tammy

Please help! It's my first time, and I'd like to make it perfect. I'm an artist, and I've worked with all types of liquids, so this doesn't scare me off.

Thanks!

cdscholtes wrote
on 22 Jul 2013 3:36 PM

Thanks Tammy!

I went ahead and made the ring with the sand first, and the resin second. It was very easy to work with; the resin stayed on top of the sand and didn't soak in. It quickly made the dome, and it set perfectly!

My wife loved it, and is getting all kinds of compliments on it. I'm getting a lot of compliments as well for my handywork!

-Chris

andidanie wrote
on 27 Jan 2014 6:06 PM

I know this article is 3 yrs old, but I just found it, and have a question about sealing the image (tip #2).

I'm a big fan of Magic Glos, and always use clear packing tape to seal my images, as Mod Podge is not Magic Glos friendly. Do you have another method of sealing paper that works well with MG?

Thanks!

gatlin wrote
on 13 Feb 2014 7:01 PM

how do you keep bubbles out of the mod podge  and the resin ? any info would help me greatly just started trying this . thanks for any help you can give me

TammyJones wrote
on 14 Feb 2014 10:42 AM

andidanie, I use MagicGlos too and I seal pieces with very thin layers of simple white craft glue. I've also used clear nail polish in a pinch, but once or twice it has created the same effect on paper that resin does if the paper isn't sealed properly--or perhaps I didn't get it all sealed well enough those times. Thanks for the reminder about packing tape--I always forget about that!

TammyJones wrote
on 14 Feb 2014 10:45 AM

gatlin, I just pop bubbles with a pin in both ModPodge and resin. You can also remove resin with heat--see #5. I also use MagicGlos if I'm very concerned about bubbles because it's premixed. It seems mixing the two parts of most resins is where bubbles are created, so when I do have lots of bubbles in mixed resin, I let it sit for a few minutes before I pour. Many of the bubbles dissipate in that time. Good luck!

Tammy