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!