The world of resin crafting is seemingly endless. From jewellery pieces to furniture, home decor items to flooring, resin can be used for a multitude of purposes, and can create a variety of stylistic effects.
Resin pieces are a growing category for the Sugar Trampoline brand. We currently stock resin earrings, studs, badges, and necklaces which utilise epoxy resin to create a unique and vibrant aesthetic. On our travels from one convention to the next, we receive a lot of questions about resin crafting and the production process of our pieces. While our specific techniques are a trade secret, we thought we would suggest a range of tools and accessories to help anyone get into this craft.
Two-Part Epoxy Resin
Depending on who you ask, you'll get a different answer as to which brand of resin to purchase. If you're UK based, brands like resin8 are a solid choice. You want a resin with a clear cast that will cure within a couple of days, and won't yellow with age. The resin pictured below must be mixed using a 2:1 ratio. When you're getting started, you may want to purchase a small volume of resin so that if you decide this particular craft isn't for you, you won't be stuck with lots of resin you'll never use!
Silicone Measuring Jugs
You will find that in epoxy resin crafts, many tools will be made of silicone. Silicone is the perfect polymer for the task as epoxy resin will not bond to it, and can be simply peeled away once it has been cured. Silicone jugs are no exception. Epoxy resin comes in two parts: a base plus a hardener, which must be mixed at exactly the ratio stated on the product container in order for the chemical reaction to occur effectively. Silicone measuring jugs allow you to measure the volumes precisely to prevent the dreaded sticky finish that never cures no matter how long you leave the resin to harden!
Wooden Lolly Sticks
A simple set of wooden lolly sticks make the perfect stirring tools for your resin pieces. They will not bend while stirring, or create any unwanted chemical reactions within the resin. They are also great for carefully dripping resin into small nooks and crannies, such as a more intricate mold for small pieces such as studs or beads. As a bonus, you can always set some aside to use for their intended purpose and make some ice lollies to cool you down after a long resin pouring session!
Silicone Pouring Pots
These mini jugs are ideal for mixing several different colours in one session. Pour in a little resin, add drops of your resin dye of choice, stir evenly, and you're ready to pour the solution into your mold.
The options for molds are endless. Try searching marketplaces like Etsy and eBay, as well as independent mold makers who conduct much of their business on Instagram. There are options for pendant or necklace molds, earring molds, home decor molds such as trinket boxes and paper weights... the possibilities truly are endless and once you get started on your resin journey, you'll find yourself exploring your creativity in a whole new way. (That, and mold collecting is surprisingly addictive!)
There are many different resin dyes to choose from, such as alcohol inks to create petri dish effects, or opalescent powders to create a smooth metallic finish. Select the type that is suitable for the creations you have in mind, and try to get a range of basic colours. Black, white, and the primary colours can be a great place to start. If you're pastel-inclined, do choose some pretty shades of pink, blue, and purple, as well as a white acrylic paint for a milkier pastel effect.
As you get more comfortable working with epoxy resin, you can incorporate more complex components and accessories into your crafts. Glitters, sparkles, and beads can be used to take your creations to the next level. But first, have a look around on YouTube for tutorials and time lapses of resin pouring processes to give you a clearer idea of the steps involved, how much time you might need to set aside, and as a way of picking up tips and techniques to help you get started.
While there is a learning curve involved, resin crafts are an incredibly rewarding art form with a wonderful community surrounding it. Share with one another and grow, but never copy any one else! The best part of resin is the freedom to create designs and aesthetics that are wholly self expressive and unique. Take the time to find your own style, and it will be even more rewarding.
While there are many YouTube tutorials and written guides out there on using epoxy resin for arts and crafts, there is a lot of misinformation about how to do so safely. Here at Sugar Trampoline, we receive a lot of questions at conventions and on Instagram about our resin pouring process, and how to get into resin crafting. While our specific techniques remain a trade secret, we have put together this mini blog series so that absolute beginners can form a basic understanding of what's involved, and how to approach their foray into this medium safely. The following advice is aimed at people interested in working with epoxy resin on a small scale, such as for creating jewellery and other small accessories. We hope you will find it useful!
Get a Respirator Mask and Filters
Many resin craft YouTubers state that they wear dust masks for their resin work, thus informing their impressionable audiences of a practice that is incredibly unsafe, and could lead to serious respiratory issues. A dust mask is used to protect you from just that-- large particles of dust and dirt. Chemical vapours are made up of tiny particles that will be able to seep through the fibres of a dust mask.
The only mask suitable for use with chemical vapour is a respirator that has additional filters. These can be found at hardware stores and specialist builders websites, such as Screwfix, or Respirator Shop. Make sure you purchase filters suitable for protecting you from chemical vapour. Ensure your mask fits you securely with no air leaking in between the mask and your skin. If fitted correctly, you shouldn't even know what your resin smells like!
Wear Protective Clothing
It is important to cover up body parts that could be at risk when working with epoxy resin. Some resins are more reactive than others, and if they come into contact with the skin, they could cause a dangerous adverse reaction. Lower the risk of this happening to you by ensuring as much of your skin is covered as possible. Do not sit at your resin crafting station in shorts, for example-- cover your legs and lap! Should you ever have the misfortune of knocking over a jug of resin, you will have time to remove your clothing without the resin coming into contact with your skin.
Wear Nitrile Gloves
As before, you do not want epoxy resin to come into contact with your skin. When pouring, stirring and working with your resin, make sure you are wearing a fresh pair of nitrile gloves. We love the pastel pink option!
Keep Your Resin Station Secure
If you have children, pets, or young family members in your home, make sure that your resin crafting area is not accessible to them. Ensure bottles of resin, or work surfaces containing uncured resin pieces are kept well out of their reach. The best thing to do is to have a separate room for your resin crafting that can be closed off from wandering toddlers or mischievous fur babies!
Wear Eye Protection
If resin can be dangerous on the skin, just imagine how dangerous it can be if it gets into your eyes. When pouring your resin, take care to do so slowly and evenly. When using large quantities, the safest course of action is to wear eye goggles, so that on the off chance of any resin splash back, you will be secure in the knowledge your eyes are protected.
Work in a Well-Ventilated Space
Pouring resin in a small cupboard or room without ventilation is not a good idea. Make sure you have not only enough space for yourself to comfortably move, but enough space for air to properly circulate. Keeping a window ajar during your resin pour session should do the trick!
Keep Paper Towels Close By
Tissues, toilet roll, or even kitchen roll are great implements to have on hand in the event of an accidental spill or a messy resin pour. Use them to clean up overflow on molds or spills to your work surface. Make sure that handwashing facilities are easily accessible to you so that you can clean both your skin or any other spills in your crafting space properly, to minimise the risk of accidental ingestion of the epoxy resin from touching a contaminated surface, and then placing hands on food or lips. While resin may look like the most delicious of snacks once pretty dyes are added, you absolutely do not want it in your mouth!
You're Ready to Go!
In the vast majority of situations, common sense should suffice! We hope you have a fun and safe time experimenting with resin crafts!