PROPER SAFETY EQUIPTMENT IS A MUST WHEN HANDLING ANY KIND OF RESIN AND IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR YOUNG CHILDREN,OR PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS UNLESS ALL SAFETY MEASURES ARE PROPERLY FOLLOWED!!
What are epoxies and resins?
- Epoxies and resins are chemicals that can form a hard, strong surface when they cure. They are often used in two-part glues or surface coatings. As epoxies cure, they generally turn into much less toxic polymers.
- These chemicals include styrene, methyl methacrylate, epoxy resins, vinyl chloride, and others.
Why be concerned about exposure?
- Some of the chemicals in this group have been linked with an increased risk for fertility problems, miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects.
- We do not know what levels of these agents are safe for pregnant women.
- Keep in mind that smelling or not smelling a chemical doesn’t mean you are safe or not safe. Harmful levels of chemicals cannot always be smelled, and some much less hazardous chemicals have an odor.
For more info visit: Epoxies and Resins
Resin is not only so much FUN to play with, but you can create so many beautiful things from memory keepsakes to teachers appreciation gifts or even a bookmark for yourself, the possibilities of what you can make are ENDLESS!!
Project Ideas are at the BOTTOM of this post!
Epoxy/UV resin can not only be used to make MANY different items but it can also be used to seal things such as vinyl on top of a keychain or putting a glittery/shiny coat on items such as cups, pens, badge reels, so many options!!
When starting out with epoxy/uv resin if you have no supplies at all or youd just like to have a good variety of supplies/decorations to start with, the best way is to get a “kit” or “bundle”. There are tons of great options with great reviews on Amazon!
CLICK HERE to check out EPOXY resin kits on Amazon.
CLICK HERE to check out UV resin kits on Amazon.
CLICK HERE to shop DOLLAR TREE for decorations, silicone items, parchment paper, and more!!
–mixing sticks (popsicle sticks work great too!)
–grill lighter or toothpicks (for popping or getting rid of bubbles)
–silicone mat (or something to put down on your work surface & possibly the floor to avoid resin spills as its VERY hard to get off anything including your hands!)
–embellishments/decorations to add to your resin (the possibilities are ENDLESS!)
–gold/silver foil flakes
-sand, shells, rocks
–DRIED pressed flowers (MUST BE dried because fresh flowers will rot inside the resin and release water over time)
–vinyl (cut out made with your Cricut machine!)
-crystals, gemstones, & stones
-household items (such as safety pins, push pins, crayons, Legos, etc)
-polymer clay objects
TOOLS THAT ARE HELPFUL TO HAVE
–silicone tip applicator brush (they sell these in the beauty aisle or online at Dollar Tree!)
–baby wipes/paper towels (to help clean up messes)
–rubbing alcohol (put in small spray bottle to lightly mist the top of your projects to get rid of bubbles, this also can help remove resin from unwanted places)
–silicone mixing cups
–Dremel or sandpaper for sanding, polishing or correcting
Our Best Resin Tips!
-Work in a well-ventilated area (Resin is toxic and direct contact should be avoided so always protect yourself!! It is also known to cause headaches and can cause long term problems that go unnoticed so protect yourself from the beginning! Always remember just because you can’t smell it or see it, doesn’t mean the fumes aren’t there!!
–EPOXY Resin starts the curing process as soon as it’s mixed so work quickly for best results! It helps to have all your tools and decorations laid out BEFORE you even touch the resin!
-Do not touch your resin until it’s fully cured (usually about 24-48 hours for epoxy and about 5 minutes under a UV light for UV resin, but each brand can differ)
-Avoid direct sunlight (it cures it faster!)
-Try to work & let the resin cure in an area that’s room temperature (not too hot or cold because either of these can prevent your resin from curing properly)
-Let your UV/epoxy sit in warm water before you use to help reduce bubbles and make it easier to work with, REMEMBER this reduces your work time so YOU MUST work quickly after!
–Mix resin slowly to avoid bubbles and scrape the sides and bottom often when mixing to get best results
-Mix until you see no more “Swirls” in the mix AT ALL, usually about 2-3 minutes, but read your resins directions to be exact
-Pour resin slowly down the side of your mold to get less bubbles
-For most projects, pour one layer of resin just covering the mold, add decorations, then top with more resin until filled (you want resin on the BOTTOM otherwise you may not have a smooth even coat on your project!)
-If you want to add vinyl you cut out with your Cricut machine to your project, you can follow the method above or stick it to your project when it’s done & cured (& then add resin over that to seal your design!)
-UV resin cures as soon as it gets hit with UV light
-Running a grill lighter across the resin surface helps bring bubbles to the surface and pops them or a blow dryer would work too!!
-Using a heat gun can melt silicone molds, so be careful not going to close to your mold when using & don’t use longer than 1-2 minutes at a time.
-Let each layer of your piece dry to have a “layered” effect (usually about 4-5 hours between each “layer”)
-ALWAYS read the directions your resin comes with as they all have different cure times, demold times, etc
-Use a little leftover resin from each batch of resin you mix to make something small so you can use that piece as a guide to see how long the resin takes to cure/dry without having to risk touching your other pieces when they’re not fully dry and leaving smudges/fingerprints in them
-Put alcohol in a spray bottle and spray a few times on the surface to get rid of any bubbles
-Let your resin cure somewhere where it will be undisturbed by ANYTHING, this includes dust, so if left outside you can cover it with cardboard to keep dust, dirt, and debris away from your pieces
-Make sure your “cure area” is a level surface
-Keep food and drinks away from your resin work area
–Dollar Tree sells TONS of silicone items you can use to practice with such as ice cube trays!
-If using plastic molds, you will most likely need mold release
–Not all resins are created equal! Make sure you use the kind for the results you want (such as using deep pour resin for bigger projects)
-When adding something to your resin to add color such as with acrylic paints, alcohol ink, mica powder, etc make sure you use SMALL AMOUNTS as too much will interfere with the curing of your item. Try to stick to about 1 part color to 10 parts of resin
-Silicone molds can collect dust, use duct tape or some type of sticky item to make sure nothing is on them before each use
-All resin turns yellow over time, some just do it faster than others. One way you can test for this is to make an extra piece with your resin and put it in direct sunlight for over 24 hours after its cured
-You may make mistakes, it’s a learning process but it’s truly not as hard as it looks or seems and most mistakes can be fixed!!
–Most resin mistakes are fixable!! You could take a blow dryer (or heat gun) to soften your project to add more resin or simply sand it and put resin over after)
–Sand projects for a nice finish by hand or using a Dremel. Sand a little from the entire project to get the most even surface over the whole project. After this, you can do one last coat with resin over your project to give it a finishing shine (WEAR SAFETY GEAR DURING THIS!)
–Don’t let children or animals around resin. Not only will that avoid little fingerprints and animal hair on your projects, but it is toxic, so better be safe than sorry, unless they are wearing safety gear as well
-Avoid touching anything you wouldn’t want resin on while working/handling your resin (your face/body, clothing, surfaces, animals, food/drinks
-Store your resin away from light in a room temperature location preferably in a dry, dark place, in between uses. Make sure the lid is screwed on properly as well.
-Some resin is food safe after a certain time, but most aren’t. Read your resin’s specifics. No resin is dishwasher or microwave safe though.
But the best piece of advice we have is….
Play around, experiment. test yourself and your limits, and create some beautiful handmade items!!!
Things you might hear beginning your resin journey…
CURE TIME=how long your piece takes to fully dry and harden (can be up to a month in some cases)
DEMOLD TIME=minimum time you need to wait before taking your resin out of the silicone mold
1:1 Mix Ratio=1 equal part resin and hardener, so for example if you wanted 200mL of resin to work with, you’d use 100mL resin & 100mL hardener
PPE-Personal Protective Equipment
-gloves (Nitrile is best)
-protected clothing and work surface
ALWAYS READ THE SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS INCLUDED WITH YOUR EXPOXY TO ENSURE BEST RESULTS!!
-coasters & coaster sets
-teacher appreciation gift
-family trip memory piece
-flower preservation keepsake
-jewelry (bracelets, rings)