Epoxy resin is a polymer material, thanks to which you can create hundreds of amazing jewelry and other accessories with your own hands. In this article, we will once again tell you the main features of preparing epoxy resin for creativity and tell you in more detail about the use of molds for pouring and creating jewelry.
Main characteristics of epoxy resin:
creates an absolutely transparent solid surface;
non-toxic after solidification;
has good waterproofing properties;
excellent wear resistance;
If you decide to buy epoxy resin in a hardware store, be careful: by mistake, you can buy epoxy glue that is not suitable for creativity. In addition, only special jewelry epoxy resin is suitable for creating jewelry and accessories. In our catalog you will find all the necessary high-quality materials from well-known manufacturers.
How to work with epoxy resin
When the hardener and resin are mixed, a polymerization reaction occurs, during which a certain amount of heat is released. Therefore, it is important to observe safety precautions.
Be sure to wear an apron, gloves, a respirator, so as not to inhale fumes and not get your hands and clothes dirty (the resin does not wash off).
It is advisable to wear protective glasses.
Cover the work surfaces with a covering film.
If the resin or its components get on the skin, then they should be washed off as soon as possible with hot soapy water or wiped with a nail polish remover containing acetone. Rinse clean skin with water, dry, apply a greasy cream or vaseline.
In case of contact with the eyes, rinse them for 15 minutes with clean warm water and immediately consult a doctor.
How to prepare the resin correctly
In advance, put on the table all the materials and tools that you may need:
resin and hardener from the same manufacturer;
dyes and decorative elements;
disposable syringes (volume from 3 cubes), needles are not needed;
plastic disposable cups, plastic plate or other mixing container;
wooden spatula for stirring;
molds for pouring resin
Containers, spatulas and syringes cannot be reused. First of all, carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. Different companies may have different cooking methods, but the principle is the same everywhere.
Mix the resin with the hardener in a container. Measuring the right amount is most convenient with a syringe: you will know the exact volume and will not lose a single drop.
Gently mix the components with a wooden spatula, moving in a circle in the same direction to avoid the appearance of bubbles. Periodically evaluate the transparency of the mixture by viewing it through the lumen with a bright lamp.
During mixing, you will feel heat, this is a normal phenomenon, which means that a polymerization reaction is taking place.
Let the finished resin rest for 20-30 minutes. At this time, prepare the decorative elements. If you plan to add a dye, pour some of the resin into a separate cup and mix there.
If bubbles do appear, put the container with resin in a deep dish with hot water for a few minutes. Under the influence of heat, the air will rise to the surface, and the bubbles will disappear by themselves. In extreme cases, pierce them with a thin needle.
What kind of decor can be used for pouring into molds?
Molds are great for making jewelry with any volumetric filler: moss, dry flowers, shells, leaves, sequins and so on. Follow the golden rules:
never use poorly dried or fresh plants as a filler. They will rot and turn into a black mass, unpleasant to look at;
be sure to degrease the shells;
stained glass paints, potals, sequins are added in small quantities so as not to spoil the properties of the resin.
Never add more than 5% (of the total weight) to the resin liquid and more than 50% dry fillers and dyes. This affects the quality of the finished product.
How to pour epoxy resin into molds?
The first way. Mix the resin and let it stand for about 30 minutes so that the polymerization process is completely completed. Meanwhile, lay the decorative elements in the mold. Fill the composition with resin in a thin trickle. After solidification, carefully remove the product from the mold, clean and polish the upper edge (it will always be rough if the mold is open). With this filling, the filler is distributed unevenly.
The second way. If you want all the elements to be in a certain order, then first fill the mold with the settled resin, distribute it evenly and only then add the filler, helping yourself with a wooden toothpick.
Are you worried that bubbles will appear? Put the filled mold in a preheated oven to 80 degrees and turned off for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool completely and let the resin dry for at least 24 hours.
Why is it important to use special molds for epoxy resin?
If you use molds and molds that are not designed for epoxy resin, then you will inevitably encounter some problems.
It is difficult to get a frozen product from plastic soap molds without damage, and stains form on its surface.
In confectionery silicone molds, products with a cloudy surface are obtained. They need to be additionally sanded and polished.
Use special molds for epoxy resin. They are made of platinum silicone and are very convenient to use, because they provide high-quality solidification of the polymer, do not stick to the resin and do not react with it. Crafts made of epoxy resin are obtained easily and effortlessly.
Thanks to the variety of shapes and sizes of molds, you will be able to create unusual stylish jewelry with your own hands: bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants and much more. For pendants and earrings, we recommend buying accessories – settings and fasteners.
And some more tips when working with epoxy resin:
Before working, check the air temperature and humidity level. Ideal conditions for resin solidification: the temperature is about 23-25 degrees Celsius, humidity is no more than 55%.
A thin layer freezes much longer than a thick one, this is caused by the polymerization features of the material.
If you fill in several layers, you take a break of 6-8 hours between each one. In this case, the joints will be barely noticeable and the layers will bond well with each other.
The remains of unused diluted or colored resin from some manufacturers can be frozen and then heated in a water bath. Read the instructions carefully.
If the resin has spread and has not yet solidified, it is removed with acetone or isopropyl alcohol.
If small craters have formed on the finished product (this happens in closed molds for beads and pendants), fill them with a thin layer of freshly mixed resin and dry them again.
The fittings are attached to the finished product using resin or epoxy glue. If you need to drill a hole, this is done with a special tool.
The total drying time for each brand of resin is different, it is indicated in the instructions. The main thing is to make sure that during drying the mold is on a flat horizontal surface, there are no sudden changes in temperature and humidity levels. Always close the mold with a protective cover during drying so that dust or pet hair does not get on the product.
How to polish the finished product?
The upper edges of the product will always be slightly rough, sometimes a slight turbidity may form, so the surface always needs to be sanded and polished. This will require sandpaper. Due to the large amount of dust, we recommend working in a respirator, and pre-moisten the sandpaper with water.