The fine art of resin casting. I wish I could say that’s what I do. But, alas, I’m just a humble crafter with a fearless (or senseless) attitude towards using dangerous chemicals in my work.
|"CANDY" Pendant with real cake sprinkles.|
I will say this, resin can be expensive when you are just starting and have to buy supplies. The resin itself costs a minimum of $15, however, for that amount of money, you can make a lot of stuff. Then, there’s all the stuff you don’t have to buy, but want to buy (molds, colorants, books, etc.). It’s sooooo worth the money because resin is awesome!
|Hairpins embellished with resin cabochons.|
We'll start the first project tomorrow. Today, we're just going to go over some preliminary instructions. This stuff isn't exciting, but I urge you to read it as it is important to successful casting!
|One of my earliest resin pieces, a trivet made from a candle plate, an image from an old cookbook, some Christmas trim, sequins, glitter, and real Christmas lights.|
You need two basic things to start resin casting: 1) some resin, and 2) a mold. Sounds simple enough, right? Well....
Resin. There are several different brands of casting resin available and several different types (epoxy, polyester, polyurethane, etc.). So many choices. Resin Obsession is both a blog and an online store. This site is a great source of information on different sorts of casting resin. I recommend you check it out if you want to start experimenting.
I am going to use Castin’ Craft Easy Cast by ETI because I like this product. Like all resin, Easy Cast comes in two parts: the resin and the hardener. Whatever resin you use, it will need to be mixed accurately. Easy Cast is, indeed, easy as it is mixed at a 1:1 ratio. Do pay attention to the mixing instructions or you may end up with a rubbery mess, or a casting that won’t come out of its mold. With Easy Cast, you can do a fairly large pour, which is another reason I like using it. With other resins, you may have to pour in increments. But the real reason I like using Easy Cast is that it degases well and dries crystal clear.
|Resin comes in two parts, the resin and the hardener.|
Of course, you do not necessarily have to unmold your casting. You could, for example, use a flat shallow plate like I did with my friend Joe’s Liberace Trivets. Or do a casting in the bottom of a wooden box or tray. Jewelry bezels are fantastic for making resin cast charms. Fishbowls, glasses, a table with a lip on it. . . If it can hold water, it can hold resin.
With molds you can really use your imagination and experiment. Just keep in mind that once you use an item for casting, it’s not a great idea to use again for it’s original purpose, especially if it was meant for food. Dangerous chemicals. Remember that.
|Some of the other things that make resin molding fun.|
Objects to Embed
You can embed anything in resin: photos, charms, beads, buttons, bugs, fabric, rocks, toys, decorative papers, glitter, candy, etc. One of the great things about resin is that you can work with dimension instead of everything being flat. Take advantage of this!
|Candy is fun to embed.|
The other thing to consider is that when you embed paper or fabric, you need to seal it first. If you don’t, the resin will soak into the paper/fabric. To seal it, cover both sides with white glue or decoupage medium and let it dry before embedding it. Trust me on this one. You will NOT be happy if you don’t take this step.
Finally, I would think twice about embedding any precious object. Once that resin hardens, you are never getting it back out. It wouldn’t be a great place for great-grandma Mabel’s engagement ring, for example.
Resin is made of toxic substances. Fumes from some resin products are very strong, the liquid is toxic, and it can cause irritation to skin. Don’t be scared off. The same would be true of your average permanent marker! You need to take a few safety precautions and all will be fine.
- Work in a well-ventilated area
- To avoid harsh fumes, do not put your head near the mixed resin
- Wear gloves when mixing or pouring resin
- Safety glasses are a good idea, especially when mixing
- Keep pets and children away from resin until it is fully cured
One last word of advice, consider wearing an old apron or clothes that you don’t care about ruining. I’ve done resin casting for years and have only spilled on myself once. If you do spill, however, it’s not going to come out.
That’s it for the primer. Tomorrow, we’ll start casting!
|A marbleized flat disc technique I came up with. I'll show you how to do this in the coming weeks.|
Now about that giveaway....
To enter, you must be a follower of Sara vs. Sarah. Leave a comment on on this blog post letting us know what you would try to cast if you won the Castin’ Craft prize pack. Be sure to include your email address or other way to contact you when you comment.
Entries will be accepted until Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm MST. Any entries received after this time will not be considered. We’ll post the winners the morning of Monday, April 11, 2011. On Monday, we will also open another giveaway of a Castin’ Craft prize pack to be sure to enter that (and there will be yet another one after that—3 chances to win).
Open to US residents only. Only one Castin’ Craft prize package per person. Winners will be chosen using random.org.
Thank you once again to the good people at ETI (EnviroTech, Inc.) who make the fabulous line of Castin’ Craft products who made this giveaway possible!
Good Luck!!! Pin It