How to Encase an Insect in Resin

Written by courtney johnson
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How to Encase an Insect in Resin
Insects like bees can be preserved in resin. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

One way to preserve something delicate is to encase it in synthetic, clear resin. Both adults and children can turn an insect into a fossil or find a way to keep an insect's body and features intact by placing them into a resin mould to harden. Using materials available at a craft store, and within 24 hours, a mould containing the insect can be made. The mould is hard and will protect the insect so that it can be clearly seen and enjoyed for years to come.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Insects
  • Plastic resin
  • Catalyst
  • Eyedropper
  • Disposable wax-free cups
  • Popsicle sticks or other mixing tool
  • Mold
  • Tweezers
  • Mold release (optional)
  • Medium-grade nail file
  • Fine sandpaper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Let your insect(s) dry out. If they are dusty, make sure to brush them off before you encase them.

  2. 2

    Read the instructions for making the resin and catalyst mix on the containers. Add enough resin and catalyst to make one layer. Use the eyedropper to make sure you use the right amount of catalyst. Place the resin and catalyst into a wax-free, disposable cup. Save a small amount of the mix for later use.

  3. 3

    Take your Popsicle stick, or other stirring device, and mix the two together to eliminate air bubbles. Let the mixture sit before pouring so that more air bubbles will escape.

  4. 4

    Add the liquid into the mould slowly in layers. This will make the bottom layer for your resin casting.

  5. 5

    Leave the bottom of your casting to set. When it is set, it will have the firmness of gelatin. Use a stick to check the firmness.

  6. 6

    Place your insect(s) onto the bottom layer, using tweezers to make sure you do not damage it. Make sure you place it in the direction and on the side you want it to be facing. Pour a small layer of resin (saved from Step 2) over each insect to help eliminate air bubbles.

  7. 7

    Follow the directions to make the second layer of catalyst and plastic. It is important to note that the directions may call for different amounts of the mixture or may be different for the second layer, especially the amount of catalyst.

  8. 8

    Pour the top layers of the casting slowly. You need to complete this step before the bottom layers of your casting have hardened or they will not bond together.

  9. 9

    Allow your casting to cool. You should wait a minimum of four hours before you pop it loose from the mould. A good way to tell if the resin is ready is to tap it with your stirrer to see if it makes a clicking sound.

  10. 10

    Complete your resin casting by smoothing it with a medium-grade nail file and fine sandpaper.

Tips and warnings

  • Using 1/4 inch acrylic is also an option if you are planning to encase a large amount of objects. The acrylic can serve as the base and bottom, replacing the need for a mould.

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