How to Make Resin Badges

Written by melissa j. bell
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How to Make Resin Badges
Craft your own badge from plastic resin materials. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Creating plastic props and parts is a big part of costume making. Many costumes, from flashy superhero wear to grand historical garb, require pieces that may not be readily acquired in their original materials. For example, a large piece of gemstone jewellery or a gold badge would be expensive to reproduce, so many costumiers opt instead to make plastic reproductions. The best material for making plastic items like badges at home is resin, a liquid product often used in toy manufacturing.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Badge mould
  • Mold release agent
  • Vapour respirator
  • Latex gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Plastic cup
  • Plastic spoon
  • Laminating resin
  • Resin catalyst
  • Particle respirator
  • Sandpaper
  • Auto wax
  • Rag
  • Pin back
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Find a mould for the badge style you want to make, or create your own using liquid latex. To do so, sculpt the badge design in a water-based clay, then paint liquid latex directly onto the clay. Once the latex has dried, pull it away from the clay.

  2. 2

    Coat the inside of the mould with a spray can of mould release agent, which will prevent the resin from adhering permanently to the mould.

  3. 3

    Suit up for some serious resin work. Put on a vapour respirator to protect yourself from fumes. Wear latex gloves, long-sleeved clothes and safety goggles to protect your skin and eyes from resin contamination. Bring your supplies outdoors or into a well-ventilated workroom.

  4. 4

    Fill a plastic cup with laminating resin and add the catalyst. Check your product's packaging for brand-specific ratios, or use the chart in the Resources section to determine your own ratio. Stir with the plastic spoon until well mixed.

  5. 5

    Fill the mould with resin and leave it for at least 48 hours.

  6. 6

    Open the mould once the resin has dried and pull out the badge. It will feel like a hard chunk of plastic.

  7. 7

    Put your safety goggles back on and wear a particle respirator. Sand down the surface of the badge until it is as smooth as you like.

  8. 8

    Polish the badge with auto wax or paint it as desired.

  9. 9

    Hot glue a pin back onto the back side of the badge. Be careful not to melt the resin.

Tips and warnings

  • To prevent damage from resin spillage, cover your work surface with plastic.
  • If you would like to make your resin coloured without painting it, add resin pigment when mixing the resin.

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