Mixed-Media Jewelry-Making with Resin: Five Things NOT to Do With Resin

This summer, I started playing around with resin after seeing some absolutely beautiful resin pendants and earrings at my local farmer's markets and craft shows. It seemed easy enough: measure, mix, and pour. My first few resin pendants and earrings were successful, so I thought I'd venture out into some new mixed-media jewelry-making techniques using resin and see what I could do.

I wouldn't say that this most recent batch of resin projects was successful. In fact, I'd have to call them "successful failures" in that I didn't come away with any nice-looking resin pendants and earrings, but I did learn a whole lot about what not to do when it comes to using resin for mixed-media jewelry-making!

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These two bezel pendants illustrate what NOT to do when using resin for mixed media jewelry-making!

1. Let your sealer dry completely. I should have seen this one coming. But, being in a hurry and working on a deadline, I decided to put my sealed papers into the frames and pour my resin in before the sealer was completely dry. Resin and damp paper do not mix well together, and it totally destroyed the patterns on my fancy papers! Not good.

2. Work in a warm room. Living in upstate New York, we have some chilly mornings. I discovered that when you pour resin in a cool environment (under 70°F) not only does it take longer for that resin to cure without a UV light, but I also noticed more bubbles in the resin that stayed there after the resin cured.

3. Pour resin on a level surface. I figured that my dining room table would work nicely for pouring resin, but I was wrong. I had no idea that the table was actually slightly tilted, which made my resin slide over one side of my pendant bezels.

4. Pour resin slowly. Okay, so resin is NOT like working with metal clay where it dries out in about three seconds. You can take your time when pouring resin, and you should. Pouring your resin too quickly can make you overfill your bezels, and if you aren't pouring on a level surface (see point number three above), you'll end up with a lot of sloppy resin over the edges of your bezels.

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I called this glitter and resin filled bezel a "successful failure". The resin part didn't exactly come out how I had planned, but I can still use it to perfect other resin techniques.

5. When using glitter, you CAN add too much sparkle. I thought some glitter might look lovely mixed in with the last of my resin, so I poured in some sparkly black glitter that I found at my local craft supply store. I poured on the sparkle, thinking that more would be better. What I discovered was that adding too much glitter effectively blocked out everything that I wanted to see on the bottom of my bezel. On a bright note, however, I can now test my techniques for making rounded domes on these pendants the next time I mix up a batch of resin!

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Are you looking for expert advice when using resin in your mixed media jewelry-making projects? Check out Kristal Wick's Beaded Bracelets with Fiber, Beads, Crystals, Resin and Wire DVD. You'll get to sample four different mixed media jewelry-making techniques including epoxy clay, resin, fiber beads and wire work, and you'll get to combine them all into a spectacular one-of-a-kind bracelet! Mix up your jewelry-making projects with some fun new mixed media techniques with Kristal Wick in Beaded Bracelets with Fiber, Beads, Crystals, Resin and Wire.

Have you learned how to make resin jewelry yet? What are your questions about using resin? Do you have any tips for others who are starting out with resin? Leave a comment and share your questions and tips here on the blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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