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.