What is Resin?
When most of people hear about resin, the first thing they think is Amber. While Amber is a naturally occurring type of resin, it’s not exactly what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the type of resin that you mix and let your imagination take over as you create beautiful pieces to share with others.
There are two main types of Resin: UV and Epoxy. There are many brans on the market. You just need to experiment on which brand you are more comfortable with for you.
Epxoy resin is a pourable resin for all kinds of projects. This is the type of resin people work with. It has two parts to it, a hardener and the resin itself. When making this resin, you use a 1:1 ratio and stir it for 3 minutes. After this step is done you can then pour it into a mould.
UV resin is a bit unique. It comes in two formats itself: hard and soft. They come in dark containers so that available light sources don’t start the curing process before you have a chance to use them. These resins don’t need to be mixed. Just open the bottle and pour into your mould. Add your extras and leave it to cure either in direct light, or under a curing lamp/gel nail dryer (yup, you heard that right.)
I poured it, it's very plain looking. Now what?
I’m sure you’ve by now poured mixed (if you needed to) your resin and bought some moulds, and poured them in. If your moulds have funky shapes, great! You now have a one colour, funky shaped resin piece. Maybe that’s what you’re going for, maybe you were hoping for more. Well how do you spruce up your resin?
Let’s talk add-ins!
The easiest additive to either resin is glitter.
In the Epoxy resin, you can mix quite a bit in to the mixing cup. Then it gets poured into a mould and left to harden. It can take 24 – 48 hours (but usually around 24 hours,) to cure. If it feels slightly tacky when you touch it (always wear gloves), or poke it with needle (gently, so you don’t create a puncture in your work,) it isn’t done. Leave it a bit more.
When you’re done, you’ll have a glittery piece to shine on the world.
In the UV resin, a bit is added to the mixing cup and then poured into the mould (not much, this can completely overwhelm and ruin your project.)
Then you use a UV light or lamp to cure the resin in minutes. That’s why you can’t use much in this resin, the lamp won’t be able to penetrate and cure the resin if there’s so much glitter that it’s light can’t get through.
These provide an easy way to colour your resin projects. You must make sure you only use alcohol inks made for resin. Other inks won’t work right and will destroy your project by not allowing it to cure right, or breaking down the resin itself.
For the Epoxy resin, you can fill a mould 3/4 full, then drop the inks one drop at a time in to it. You can add as many colours as you like, until you achieve the effect you want. Then let it cure. Once this part is cured, you can mix more clear resin and add it on top to “top up” the mould.
Another fun thing to do is fill your mould 3/4 of the way full, and add your inks. Then add a white “sinker” ink on top of the other colours. You can then take a a toothpick or a pin and make patterns in the resin. Then cure it and see all the beautiful effects you can get.
With UV resin, you mix the colour into the resin and pour into a mould. You can’t do the ink drop into UV resin as it doesn’t cure properly under the lamp, and just makes a mess of your project.
You can still have different colours in layers, but you’d have to do these seperately, and cure them one layer at a time, building up. It’s harder to do and mostly ends up being stripped projects.
Glow in the Dark Powders & Paints
Pretty Self explanatory
For Epoxy resins you mix the powder or paint in to the mixing cup and pour it into your mould. You can effectly layer the glow in the dark mixture with regular clear or other coloured resin to add a bit of a pop to your projects.
Like with most epoxy resins, they need the regular time to cure, and then you have to leave them out in the sun or under a lamp to charge up the glow in the dark powder or paint.
As with all UV resins, you mix the powder or paint directly into your resin. Quickly though, as this resin cures quickly.
The handy part about using glow in the dark powders and paints with UV resin is that it cures at the same time it charges the powder or paint. It’s more of a one step project.
Nail Art or Chameleon Powders
Depending on which powder you choose to use here you’ll get a different effect. Nail Art powders give a shiny effect. Chameleon powders, like their namesake, give a colour changing effect.
Epoxy resins need you to brush your decided powder(s) into the mould before you pour your resin in. You’re imagination is your only limit in your colour choices here.
Again wait the time for it to cure and then pop your project out for a beautiful suprise.
The same method is used with UV resin. Brush the powders in before you pour resin. You can use as many colours as you like before you pour your resin in.
Because it’s on the bottom of your mould, there is no problem with the UV resin curing.
Dried flowers, found objects, stickers, and nail polish transfers (Epoxy only) can also be used with both resins. Really, you are your only limit in what you can do with resins.
Both of these Resins are excellent ways to make fun, funky or dramatic jewellery projects. There are endless ways to use this medium, and it can be used by beginners or experts alike.
Experiment and have fun!