Home crafters especially appreciate polyresin for its variety of versatile uses. This liquid plastic comes in two forms, epoxy resin and polyester resin, and is used to create gems, beads, buttons and rings among other things. Polyester resin in particular, is used to mould into larger items and embed objects for preservation. Epoxy resin, on the other hand is generally moulded into smaller items.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Stir sticks
- Newspaper/waxed paper
- Lint-free cloth
- Hot glue gun
- Foil tag board
- Silica Gel
- Airtight container
Prepare your work area. Lay newspaper or waxed paper on your work surface to protect it and facilitate clean up. Be sure you have all your materials at hand; once you mix your resin you will only have a short period of time to pour it before it starts to set.
Mix your resin according to the manufacturer's directions. Some manufacturers suggest sitting your resin and hardener in a cup of warm water to make the resin slightly warm. This keeps your resin clear and prevents the cloudiness produced when mixing cold resin. Mix your resin thoroughly. Combine your resin and hardener in one cup and use a stir stick to stir for one minute. Pour the contents into a clean cup and using a clean stir stick, continue to stir for another minute. Thorough mixing is required to prevent soft spots and swirls on your final product.
Make resin gemstones by pouring your mixed resin into a mould. Molds are available in various shapes and sizes and can be purchased at most craft stores. You can also improvise and use something like an ice tray or artist palette as a mould. When using moulds that are not specifically made for resin, you must spray the makeshift mould with resin release spray. Wipe off any excess spray with lint-free cloth and allow it to dry for ten minutes before pouring your resin. Once you have poured your resin, set it aside to dry and cover your moulds to prevent dust and particles from sticking to your gemstones. Remove the gemstones from the mould when they are set. For extra-shiny gemstones, use a hot glue gun to glue the flat area of your gemstone to a foil tag board. Cut away any excess foil and your gemstone is ready for use.
Coat a real flower with resin to preserve it. Place a flower with silica gel in an airtight container. Leave it there for a few days to remove the moisture in the flower. Spray your dried flower with craft resin. Allow the craft resin to dry and dip your flower into an epoxy resin. Use a slow motion to prevent air bubbles from forming. Place your flower aside and allow it to dry completely before handling. Touching wet resin will leave fingerprints. Dip the coated flower in epoxy resin again for a second coating.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid silicon moulds when casting resin at room temperature; your objects may not cure properly.
- Preserve flowers with thick petals such as roses, orchids or gardenia.
- Wear gloves to protect your skin from resin.
- Resin emits toxic fumes so you should work in a well-ventilated area.
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