Tuesday, December 2, 2008

How To Create A Resin Finish On A Tile Pendant

In my Etsy shop you can find a wide variety of hand-painted resin pendant necklaces. Once I began creating and selling these unique pieces of wearable art, people began asking me about the process and how to work with resin. Resin is actually quite simple to work with, but it can be troublesome and messy if you don't know what you are doing. I'm sure that different people have different methods of working with resin, but here's my process.

All of my pendant necklaces start out with a wooden tile. After I create the miniature painting on the tile and seal it, I then mix up the resin and add the resin finish to the surface of the tile.

Here are the materials that you will want to have on hand to create the resin finish:
  • two-part resin mix
  • 3 oz. plastic bathroom drinking cups
  • 1 oz. measuring cup/spoon
  • tongue depressors
  • toothpicks
  • paper towels
  • a timer or clock that counts seconds
  • a flat surface to work on that you don't mind getting messy
  • lots of light
To begin with, make sure that you are working in a well-ventilated area. Set up your workspace on a flat surface that you don't mind getting messy. Feel free to lay down any paper or board to catch any drips or mess that you make. Lay out your tiles face up. Check to make sure that they are dust and lint-free. To the left is an image of some of my tiles that have been painted and sealed, and are ready for the resin finish.

Next you will want to mix the resin. Using the 1 0z. measuring device, measure out 1 oz. of water and pour it into a 3 oz. plastic cup. Mark on the side of the cup where the top of the water is. Add another 1 oz. of water and make a second mark. Pour out the water and dry the cup. Pour 1 oz. of the resin into the cup up to the first mark you made. Add 1 oz. of the hardener up to the second mark you made.

Make a note of the time. Using a tongue depressor mix the two parts. After two minutes the resin should be mixed. There will be bubbles in the resin. This means that you have mixed the resin properly. In the image to the left you can see the bubbles that remain in the resin after mixing. Click on the image to make it larger.

Next, use the tongue depressor to drip resin onto the surface of the tile. Some people pour the resin on, but I find that using the tongue depressor gives me more control. I suggest putting less resin on the tile than you think you need. If after a minute or two the resin hasn't reached the edges of the tile(like in the image to the left), add a little more. Resin is self-leveling, which means it will spread until it reaches an edge to "cling" to.

You will notice that there may be bubbles in the resin on the pendant. You can see this in the image below.


After a few minutes, you should be able to use a toothpick to pop and or pull out the bubbles. Some people use a small blow torch to get rid of the bubbles, but I do not have one and have found that a simple toothpick works just fine.
After you have removed any bubbles, closely examine the resin for any lint or dust that may have fallen into it. Make sure you have several different light sources at different angles so that you can see reflections on the surface of the resin. Once you are finished, cover it with one of the 3 oz. plastic cups.
This will keep the tile and resin protected and keep dust from falling into the resin while it dries. Follow the timetable for drying time in the instructions included with the resin. For my tiles I allow three days total drying time before I turn them into pendant necklaces.

Good luck and happy resin-ing! :)

31 comments:

Jacqueline said...

Oh thatz really interesting! I never know how that is done. This is a great tutorial! Thanks for sharing. n_n

Brandon said...

What a great tutorial!! I just never knew.

Candice said...

awesome tutorial and cute blog!

Christy said...

Great tutorial. I've always wondered how that works. Might have to try it out sometime.

ModFarmgirl said...

This is awesome! Thank you for this great tutorial (amazing pictures!!)!
All your pendants look great! Love this one http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=sr_list_1&listing_id=16377589

Andrea said...

Really interesting. I had wondered how this was done. Your pendants are beautiful.

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Nice tutorial! Thanks for sharing.

Valerie said...

Great tutorial, maybe I will try it on my polymer pieces. Thanks.

UberArt said...

I've been staring at a bottle of resin now for months, scared to use it! Thanks for the tutorial, maybe that will give me the courage to give it a try!

Forever Foxed said...

Thanks for sharing your technique.

auryndesign said...

Great tutorial - for smaller amounts, I like to measure with the cap! Just be sure to use the right caps and not mix the two :)

cherbie said...

thanks for sharing!! i'm trying it tonight!

ching said...

thank you for sharing this info. it is very helpful.I wanted to try too. yeah!

Susie said...

Oh cool! I've always wanted to resin pendants with my artwork, but couldn't find a good tutorial. thanks!

Anonymous said...

this really is great info. I must have undermixed (by alot it sounds like) and had poor results. thanks and I will try again.

kittyanydots said...

thanks! i have been wanting to try this! :)

Rebecca said...

on your round pendants, it looks like the whole piece is covered in resin... are they? or just on top like the square (tile) pendants

mrscoachhatfield@yahoo.com (that is my best contact

vestque said...

That was awesome! I've been wondering how since I first laid eyes on your pendants. How cool!

Out of the Blue said...

I loved your tutorial...you make it seem so easy :) I really want to try it out now!

HandiCrafts said...

Do you know if resin is safe to use on photographs too?

nas_nz said...

Thank you so much for this! I've always wondered how this is done :)

Anonymous said...

can you explain what you mean by "sealing" the pendants after you paint the design? thanks so much!!

Wendy said...

This is a great tutorial -- very clearly written, with good photos. Thanks!

Starfish, darling! said...

Carbon dioxide breaks the bubbles in resin. If you take a drinking straw and gently blow on the bubbled tiles, the bubbles will break. It can take a little time, and you have to be careful that the condensation from your breath doesn't drip onto the resin.

Resin can be messy but pretty easy to use. Nice tutorial!

Imaginative Intentions said...

Wow, this is a awesome tutorial. Really informative, great pictures. You did a fabulous job!

Priscilla said...

Thank you!!! This is an exellent tutorial, I have seen lots of these pendants on etsy and wanted to learn how to make one for myself. I have no idea where to find the materials in the uk.......but really want to try

xx

Multifarious By Design said...

Thanks for the tutorial! It's not as intimidating as I thought and may just start my holiday presents project!

Magnolia Fern Studios said...

This must be one of the simpliest and friendliest tutorials I've seen for resin. The other's I've seen have always made it seem so daunting, thanks for posting! Oh and I love your art!!!

Anonymous said...

What is the name of the resin you use?

Anonymous said...

ca c'est bon! je vais essayer!

Kolye modelleri said...

Love the idea ! Thanks