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How to Make Acrylic Paperweights

Updated April 17, 2017

You can make unique personalised paperweights with liquid acrylic casting material. Pour the liquid, which has a consistency similar to corn syrup, into a mould. Then, before it dries, add coins, shells, pretty stones, small toys or even photographs, and you'll have a customised keepsake paperweight for yourself or friends.

Cover your workspace with waxed paper or coated butcher paper to protect it from spills. Put on rubber gloves.

Mix enough catalyst and casting resin, following the manufacturer's specifications for the ratio of resin and catalyst, to half-fill your mould. Use an eyedropper to accurately measure the catalyst, and mix the resin in a disposable measuring cup.

Blend the resin and catalyst with a wooden stick. Cut the mixture slowly with the stick to avoid incorporating bubbles into the resin.

Pour the resin mixture into the mould.

Embed the chosen items into the resin in the mould when it stiffens to the consistency of jelly. Place the items so that the tops face the bottom of the mould. Brush a coat of vinyl resin sealer over photos and other paper items before embedding them in the resin.

Mix enough additional resin and catalyst to fill the mould to about 1/4 inch from the rim. Pour the resin mixture into the mould, covering the embedded items.

Cover the rim of the mould with cling film; take care that the plastic doesn't droop down and contact the resin mixture.

Remove the paperweight from the mould when it has completely cooled and hardened. This can take up to 24 hours.

Tip

You can embed almost anything in resin: Leaves, dried flowers, insect carcases, twigs, paper or cardboard (brush paper items with the vinyl resin sealer before you embed them).

Warning

Work in a well-ventilated area. The resin has very strong fumes

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Waxed or freezer paper
  • Plastic disposable measuring cup
  • Wooden tongue depressor or stirring stick
  • Casting resin
  • Casting resin catalyst
  • Eyedropper
  • Latex or silicone rubber mould
  • Small disposable paintbrush
  • Vinyl resin sealer
  • Cling film
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About the Author

Gretchen Maron has written content for journals, websites, newspapers, radio news and newsletters, ranging from the International Horn Society journal "Horn Call" and the Air America Radio website, to non-profit organization websites. A librarian for over 30 years and a professional writer since 1996, she's an experienced, knowledgeable researcher.