Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Resin Casting Project 1 Tutorial: Fabric Pendant

Let the casting begin!  We’re going to start with a fabric encased pendant.
This fabric pendant would have been a perfect scrapbuster for last month!

Castin' Craft's Easy Cast resin (you can buy something else, but the instructions here are specific to Easy Cast; be sure to make adjustments for curing times and mixing ratios if you use a different kind)(enter our Easy Cast giveaway here)
Scraps of fabric (paper will work too)
Decoupage medium (or watered down white glue)
Craft Brush
Disposable gloves
Safety goggles
Small plastic cups (the kind you get take out salad dressing in, yogurt cups, sour cream containers, etc.) 
Popsicle sticks for stirring
A mold (I’m using an Easy Cast mold, but you can use any mold you like)
Mold release spray (optional)
Dremel drill
Heat gun or hair dryer (with a low setting) for degassing


Step 1:  Cover your work surface with wax paper and gather all your supplies together.  You don’t want to be running all over your house looking for things when you do this.  Believe me, I have a bad habit of doing just that.  Learn from me how to not be an idiot.
Preparing my work area
Step 2:  Decoupage both sides of your fabric scrap.  The scrap should be larger than your mold.  Once dry, cut your fabric down to fit your mold.  Be sure to decoupage before cutting as that way, you won’t have frayed edges.
Decoupage the fabric to seal it using matte decoupage medium.
Cut out fabric once dry.
 Step 3:  Prepare your molds.  Make sure they are clean and dry.  I also make sure I have an extra mold of some sort on stand by.  If you have some leftover resin, you can pour it into the standby mold, throw in a few beads or some glitter and make a cute little bead.

Step 4:  Put your gloves and goggles on because we are going to mix our resin!  You can make your own measuring cup by taking two containers that are exactly the same and marking a line at the same height on each container.  To do this, pour water into one cup and mark the line, then pour the water from that cup into a second cup and mark a line on that.  They should be equal.  Now dump the water and dry your cups.
Add water to first cup and draw a line at the waterline.

Pour the water from the first cup to the second cup and mark the waterline. Now you have equivalent measuring cups.

Pour the resin into one cup and the hardener into the other.
You won’t need much resin for this project so don’t go overboard.  Roughly two tablespoons of hardener and two tablespoons of resin will be about right for two pendants.

Once you have measured your resin, pour them together into a third cup.  Take your popsicle stick and start to stir.  You want to stir constantly for 2 minutes.  You don’t have to stir fast; go at a steady, constant pace.  Make sure you scrape the sides of the cup with your popsicle stick.
Pour the contents of both cups into a third cup.

Stir constantly for two minutes.

Step 5:  Fill your mold about half full with mixed resin.  Take your heat gun (or dryer set to low), turn it on, then move it so it’s blowing on the resin about 4-6 inches above the surface.  We are doing this to degas the resin which eliminates bubbles.  Be careful when you do this to avoid splashing! 
Fill mold half full.  You can see all the nasty bubbles.

Degas with a heat gun.  If you don't have a heat gun, try a blow dryer on the low setting.  It's not heat that degases it, but carbon dioxide.

Now the resin is crystal clear.
Step 6:  Lay your cut out fabric on the surface of the resin, right side down.  Using your popsicle stick or a toothpick, carefully tap the fabric over the entire surface of the back to make sure it is firmly set into the resin.
Lay your fabric on the resin.
tep 7:  Fill the rest of your mold with resin.  Ideally, you will fill it to the top, but don’t let it over flow.  Again, take your heat gun and degas the resin as you did in Step 5.

Step 8:  This is the single hardest part of the process!  You now have to wait and do your very best not to mess with the casting until it is fully cured.  This will be like torture because you will want to touch it and you’ll ruin it if you do.  Curing will take approximately 24 hours, depending on where you live.  I live in Arizona which is dry and hot so resin cures faster here than it would in Minneapolis on a muggy, August day.

Step 9:   After waiting for 24 hours, you can finally touch your cast piece.  Yay!  Just pop it out of the mold.  If you have problems popping it out of the mold, try putting it in the refrigerator for an hour or so. 
The finished product!
Step 10:    Drill your hole and polish your pendant.  Using the Dremel and a small bit, drill a hole (or holes) in your pendant.  Even though it looks like glass, it’s not and it will, therefore be easy to drill.  If needed, you can carefully sand the edges of your pendant with very fine sand paper to smooth off any roughness.  You can also go over your pendant with car polish using a microfiber cloth to buff it. 
I used a few large jump rings and a thrift store chain to make this fun choker.

  • I read a tip somewhere that you should keep a mirror on the table so you can lift the mold up, hold it over the mirror and see what your casting will look like (and alleviate your desire to touch it before it’s dry).  Do not try to look under it or you risk spilling your resin (possibly in your eyes!).
  • If your casting is too soft or rubbery, it’s because the resin wasn’t mixed at the proper ratio or it was too cold.  Let it cure for another day to see if that helps.  Read those instructions!
  • Do not sand the surface of your casting, just the edges.  Sanding the surface will make the pendant look scuffed.
  • Don’t be discouraged if you mess up some of your castings.  Sometimes, I feel like I’ve had more screw ups than successes.  It’s still fun!
Remember, we have a giveaway going on where you can win about $75 worth of resin casting supplies!  You can find the giveaway info here.  And, if you don't win this week, we'll have two more chances for you to win this month!  

I'll be back next week with another resin casting project!


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Kharlie Bug said...

WOW! That is so neat! Thank you for sharing. I've been wanting to learn to cast in resin. Beautiful!!!!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

this is so cute!! what an awesome pendant!

I'd love for you to link this up to my new link party, Your Whims Wednesday! http://mygirlishwhims.blogspot.com/2011/04/your-whims-wednesday-1.html


super nice idea..lovely

Anonymous said...

thank you for the tutorial on resin..it was clear and extremely informative!! I am at the beach and trying to save a couple of teenie tiny sand dollars.. I know they wont make it home.. Question... I want to put the hookie thing on without drilling.. the part that has the straight thing with the loop (I dont even know what to call it when I buy one).. you said to drill.. how do I fasten this so it wont fall out?? thanks bajreeve@yahoo.com

Dawnna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dawnna said...

Sorry about the miss spells

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