Epoxy resin – how to make unique DIY jewellery?
Epoxy resin – what is it?
Epoxy resin – what can we make of it?
With epoxy resin we can create a very wide range of handmade artisan jewellery in the form of castings with embedded elements, i.e. dried flower petals and buds, dried leaves, grains, feathers, shells, photos, insects, glitters and all other decorations, as well as wooden and metal elements e.g. watch cogs, and elements made in 3D technology. We can create castings from the clear epoxy resin itself, but we can also give it various colors using resin dyes and pigments. In our offer you will find transparent dyes. The epoxy acquires a specific color after adding the dye, but it still remains partially transparent, and the degree of transparency depends on the amount of dye added. In addition, we recommend pearl pigments, thanks to which the resin acquires a captivating effect in the form of depth with a varied texture. We offer pearl dyes in shades of: gold, red, blue, green and black. In addition to the above dyes, we will get a magical effect by adding a glow in the dark pigment – the most popular shade is blue.
Epoxy resin – how to start?
- protective gloves (latex, vinyl or nitrile) – available in most local stores,
- a protective face mask – despite the recommended resin is odorless, the hardener has a slight ammonia smell and for some people vapors may be irritating – masks can be purchased in any stores with tools like B&Q, Castorama, Halfords etc.
- protective glasses – when pouring resin using a syringe, there is a risk of splashing in various directions, also available in stores such as B&Q, Castorama, Halfords etc.
- protective clothing – to protect against splashing – available at B&Q, Castorama, Halfords etc.
- we will also need containers for mixing dyes, preferably with a measure (they can be plastic) – the size depends on how much epoxy we need at once – available in some grocery stores such as Tesco, Asda, Carrefour etc.
- mixing sticks (wooden ice-cream sticks are great) – available at grocery stores,
- toothpicks helpful in creating compositions from submerged elements and removing air bubbles – you will find in most grocery stores,
- paper towel – available at local shops,
- protective foil or paper for the table / surface we work on – available at B&Q, Castorama, Halfords etc.
- make sure there is good ventilation in room where you work with epoxy resin.
Before you start working with epoxy resin, please remember to read carefully the MANUFACTURER’S INSTRUCTIONS. This is a very important step, because if we do not follow these rules, our mixture may not harden, overheat, and in some cases it can even ignite. For Crystalline 940 resin, in addition to the instructions on the packaging, we also provide the resin and hardener data sheet available to download: download the resin data sheet and download the hardener data sheet.
When using best epoxy resin for jewellery Crystalline 940, apart from keeping the ratio of 100: 50 by volume, it is worth ensuring that the temperature in the room is most preferably 25 °C, and if this is impossible, a minimum of 20 °C. However, it should be taken into account, that the lower the temperature, the longer curing time. At 25 °C, partial cure takes about 16 hours. Partial curing means that our resin, depending on the thickness of the layer, may already be ready to be removed from the molds, however, it takes 7 days for it to fully cure – because only after this time the epoxy is full cross-linked and is ready for some treatments like: grinding, polishing or drilling. This information may surprise you, but it is worth knowing that all epoxy resins for castings available on the market need about 7 days for full cross-linking.
Silicone molds make it easier!
When we take care of all the points listed above, at the end we present the perfect solution for both, beginners and more advanced resin casting jewellery fans, namely silicone molds for DIY resin castings. At first, very useful, because they are easy to use, reusable, they can be easily cleaned and you have full control over the final effect of the resin art, maybe almost full. We can find a wide choice of silicone forms on the market in various shapes, sizes, with or without holes, with or without textures, in the form of rings, bracelets, pendants, beads, cabochons or in the form of geometric figures. For the more demanding, we will also find the shapes of animals, plants, shells or e.g. snowflakes.
Our collection of silicone molds offers a set of 6 different forms for rings: flat ring, faceted ring, cat’s ear ring, faceted ring and 2 irregular shapes.
Molds can be filled with clear epoxy, as well as mixed with dyes or pigments. The above mentioned elements can be embedded in the forms, i.e. plants, shells or other decorations. If the form is filled to the top, after complete hardening (7 days) it is necessary to file off excess resin. This can be done with files, sandpaper or grinder, and then polished with polishing tools. See our recording of how to perform basic epoxy resin treatment step by step here. Following the phrase that “practice makes perfect”, the more we work with epoxy resin, the better results we have in amount of resin needed and finishing. The diameter of the hole of the finished product is 17 mm. Here are some examples of epoxy resin rings:
For fans of larger dimensions we have a silicone mould in the form of a bracelet. When it comes to its use, we follow the same principles as for ring moulds. The only difference is that we need more resin. The silicone mould in the form of a bracelet has a diameter of 78 mm, an internal hole 62 mm and its height is 10 mm. The silicone bracelet is available here. Example of epoxy resin bracelet is below:
We also encourage you to experiment with silicone molds in the form of columns of various shapes. In our offer you will find a set of 10 different pieces such as: barrel, cuboids, hexagonal and triangular prism, and other polyhedrons. We also fill these forms with colored or clear epoxy resin with the possibility of embedding various elements in them. From ready-made products we can create easy DIY jewellery e.g. epoxy resin pendant, necklace or earrings. For this purpose, after about 16 hours from pouring, it is worth placing a silver headpin on the top, which will later serve as a pendant hook. The recommended headpin is 10 mm long, but the offer also includes 6, 8, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 60 and 70 mm. The time from pouring the resin is approximate, because many factors influence its hardening. The headpin should be placed when the resin is already hard enough to force the headpin into, with a slight use of force. In addition, we also recommend observing the headpin every few hours, to avoid sinking or skewing, because after full hardening we will not be able to change the position of the headpin. An alternative is to drill the hole of the fully hardened resin and then place the headpin in it, using a small amount of glue. The next step is to combine the headpin with the pendant, directly on the silver chain creating an unusual necklace or silver ear wires by making earrings. To connect elements, sometimes you will need silver jump rings which are available in various sizes. For these molds, we recommend adding slightly more resin above the mold line, because the resin when hardening – it shrinks, which creates a concave meniscus, and in this situation it requires grinding and then polishing, and the headpin mounted in it, will make this process more difficult. It is impossible to determine exactly how much resin should be added, but we will comfort you, that after pouring several forms, you will be able to determine this amount yourself, so that after hardening our upper surface is perfectly flat and does not require any treatment. Dimensions of finished epoxy castings derived from silicone molds vary within 9 mm in diameter x 45 mm in length. You can find columns shaped silicone molds here. Some examples of epoxy pendants below:
Another suggestion is a silicone mold for cube beads. We offer a set consisting of six forms in the same shape and size. You can find the product here. Molds can be filled with the same resin or, for example, each in a different color, depending on the needs. Obviously, we can also embed various decorative elements in them. For these bases, it is also worth adding more resin, creating a certain convex meniscus, to avoid concave meniscus after hardening. Through DIY beads we can pull e.g. a silver chain to form a necklace or mount them on a necklace base with a pin or a DIY cord bracelet.
The overall form has dimensions: 70×80 mm while ready-made cube beads have dimensions of 16x16x16 mm. Bead silicone molds can be found here.
An interesting proposal are also molds for small cabochons in four shapes: cube, triangle, polyhedron and cat’s head. Silicone molds are available here. Products can be used to create handmade jewellery, for example cute DIY earrings. For this purpose, after several hours from pouring the resin, when the epoxy is already hard enough requiring the use of slight force to place the element, we put a silver earrings base. For this kind of base, it is useful to get silver back stopper or silicone back stopper. An alternative, could be silver 925 wire, preferably 1 mm in diameter. After cutting off the appropriate length, we recommend smoothing the sharp edges at the cutting point. This can be done with a metal file and sandpaper, followed by polishing materials, such as wool or felt. When pouring resin, we recommend creating convex meniscus that will get flat during hardening. Dimensions of resin castings after removing from the mold are about: polyhedron: 5×7 mm, cat’s head: 7×8 mm, cube: 5×5 mm, triangle: 8×8 mm. You can find mini cabochon silicone molds here. Examples of handmade resin jewellery are below:
Finally, time for the most interesting silicone molds in the form of flat pendants with or without holes, in various shapes and sizes.The following forms offer us the most opportunities, because their entire surface is open, so we have more control over the creation of the composition of our resin jewellery. These forms are much bigger, thanks to which we can create more sophisticated arrangements. Some of them contain a hole, in which after complete hardening of the resin, we can mount a silver bail, which can then be mounted on a chain with a ring, creating a necklace with resin pendant or Alcantara choker. Smaller forms we can combine with triangle shaped jump rings or silver bail with a ring. For these forms, we also recommend pouring a mold with a slight convexity to avoid concave meniscus after hardening. It is worth placing a toothpick or silver wire in epoxy without a hole several hours after pouring, which we will later bend into a hook for hanging on a chain creating DIY necklace or other handmade silver jewellery. Another solution is to drill the hole after full cross-linking, which takes 7 days from flooding. Cabochons without holes can also be pasted into silver bases of the same size, creating some unique silver jewellery like: DIY silver ring, handmade earrings, pendants, bracelets or cufflinks. Few examples of epoxy jewellery are below:
Epoxy resin jewellery
Epoxy resin due to its unique properties is increasingly used in the jewellery industry. It looks great in combination with silver and gold. Resin can be used to create semi-finished products, e.g. beads, rings or bracelets, but also silver jewellery sets and handmade wooden jewellery. Its biggest advantage is no need of any machines or tools to create epoxy resin jewellery, as well as freedom in creating shapes and ease of combining it with other elements. Probably, at the beginning of your adventure with the resin, you will not avoid mistakes and disappointments of all kinds, but believe us, that this will change over time. Working with resin requires a lot of time and patience, but the phenomenal final effects can compensate everything. Therefore, if you are a fan of personalized and unusual handmade jewellery, we encourage you to play and experiment with this unlimited material, which is epoxy resin. If you need wholesale sterling silver jewellery findings, check here as there are almost 15 000 products in offer.
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