- Epoxy resin is a fun and affordable way to create individual and lasting DIY crafts.
- Different types of resin have various applications and uses; epoxy resin is the best for crafting.
- Crafting with epoxy resin doesn’t require special tools, but you always need to wear protection when using it.
- Learn how to use resin for crafts and projects that can be completely customized.
Thanks to its versatility and durability, epoxy resin is gaining popularity in the DIY and crafting community. It can be used for any project—smaller homemade resin crafts like earrings and keychains and large projects like serving trays or table tops with intricate resin inlays.
Crafters are discovering more ways to express themselves by creating unique DIY epoxy resin crafts with a personalized touch. Almost any embellishment can be added to epoxy resin projects, ensuring each project is one-of-a-kind.
Don’t know how to do resin arts and crafts? Learn how to use epoxy resin for crafts for successful DIY projects below.
Know the Difference: RESIN and EPOXY
Before starting your projects, you should know the difference between resin and epoxy. While epoxy resin is a type of resin, not all resins are epoxy. Epoxy resin is a two-component synthetic resin that needs a hardener to be activated. It’s also the most used type of resin for DIYs and art projects.
There are several types of synthetic resins depending on the different reactive end groups they contain. They can harden after being mixed with hardener or exposed to UV light. Some other different types of resins are:
- UV resin – This resin cures or hardens when exposed to UV light. The resin cures quickly, making it perfect for smaller projects like earrings or beads.
- Urethane resin – This one-component resin is perfect for giving your project a glossy finish. It can be applied to metal and wood.
- Polyester resin – This resin cures hard and is very durable. It can withstand sanding and buffing to achieve a smooth finish. Unfortunately, it does have a strong smell, and the finished products may start to yellow over time.
Now, let’s move on to our guide on how to make resin crafts.
Step-By-Step Guide to Use Epoxy Resin for Crafts
If you’ve ever wondered how to use epoxy resin for crafts and DIYs, our step-by-step guide will make it easy to start:
Choosing the Right Epoxy Resin
You don’t have to know how to make epoxy resin—you can purchase one. However, it’s vital to understand the type of epoxy resin necessary for your DIY because there are different kinds:
- Casting resin – This resin mixes thinner and is perfect for filling molds or other things with sides. It cures fast, is durable, and is self-leveling. It’s perfect for smaller crafts like jewelry, hair berets, coasters, and even larger projects like river tables. It flows more freely, so you can easily maneuver it around to eliminate bubbles.
- Doming resin – Due to its thicker viscosity it’s perfect for coating things like art canvases, resin painting, tiles, jewelry cabochons, etc. It’s thick enough to be spread around, and surface tension prevents it from spilling. It provides a smooth and glossy finish.
Preparing the Workspace
When using epoxy resin, it’s important to be well-protected. Always work outside or in a well-ventilated room. Open a few windows or turn on your fan for constant air circulation. It’s also a good idea to use protective equipment like:
- A mask or respirator to protect from fumes
- An apron to protect your skin and clothes from spills
- Safety glasses to protect the eyes.
Cover your work surface with plastic or a silicone mat (spilled epoxy is hard to clean), and keep baby wipes near to clean up any messes.
Before you start working on your homemade epoxy resin project, you need a clear idea of what you want to make and the effect you want to achieve. So, prepare your tools and materials beforehand. You’ll need epoxy, silicone molds, mixing cups, stirring sticks, inks, pigments, glitter, or other add-ins like gold leaf or dried flowers.
Measuring and Mixing
While mixing resin is usually done using a 1:1 ratio of resin to hardener (parts A and B), different brands may have different ratios. So, read the instructions for the resin carefully.
After measuring the correct quantities, pour them together and start stirring firmly but slowly. Stir until the mixture is clear, and scrape the sides. To avoid bubbles, don’t stir too vigorously.
Adding Pigments and Inclusions
If you want to add color to your epoxy project, the best thing to do is mix in some pigments. For a more transparent effect, it’s best to use alcohol inks as they mix well with resin, achieving a cool translucent color. For a solid color look, add some mica or opaque liquid pigments. You can add glitter or gold leaf directly to the resin while mixing or layer bigger mix-ins in the mold.
Pouring and Molding
Pour the resin slowly into the molds to avoid introducing air and creating more bubbles. Depending on the mold size and shape, you can use the stirring stick to guide the resin where you want it to go and use a toothpick to coax it into tight corners.
Removing Air Bubbles
Air bubbles are inevitable, regardless of how carefully you stir. But there is a simple way to get rid of them. Using a heat gun or lighter, move it across the surface of your project to pop any bubbles. Spraying some rubbing alcohol from a spray bottle can also pop any bubbles.
Curing and Drying
Once you mix parts A and B, you only have 20-30 minutes of working time before it starts heating up and curing. If it’s not sticky to the touch, the project can be unloaded after 24 hours, but it will be fully cured and hardened after several days. Once again, different brands have different curing times, so read the instructions carefully.
Sanding and Polishing
If there are any jagged edges because of overpour, carefully remove them with a sharp blade and sand them down using fine grit sandpaper. If this causes your project to become matt, apply a thin coat of resin to make it glossy again.
Sealing and Protecting
To extend the lifespan of your creations, apply a scratch and UV-resistant sealer. This will ensure your project remains intact and in perfect condition.
When using epoxy resin for art or DIY crafts, the creative possibilities are endless. Resin making is an affordable, easy-to-learn technique that anyone can master. You don’t need special tools, and as long as you use protective equipment, it can be done at home.
Now that you know how to use epoxy resin for crafts, don’t hesitate to start your journey of creative expression!