How to Make Botanical Jewelry and Bookmarks with Pressed Flowers and Resin
- A two part clear epoxy resin kit such as Envirotext Lite
- Resin jewelry mold either pre-made or cast from polymer clay
- A mold release spray such as Castin Crafts mold release for epoxy resin
- Measuring cup (that will not be shared with food products)
- Sturdy disposable mixing cups
- Toothpicks or disposible crafts sticks
- Your favorite type of pressed flower (you can also use seashells or bugs)
- Large necklace pinch bails (you can substitute a screw bail if you prefer)
- A standard drill with an 1/16" bit or craft drill that can drill through resin
Make Your Own Botanical Resin Jewelry
Creating botanical resin jewelry is moderately easy and lets you create very beautiful and unique pieces to keep, give as a gift, or to sell. No two pieces will turn out the same and any pressed flower that will fit in the mold can be used in your design.
The first and most important step in creating resin jewelry is to properly prepare the mold. When purchasing a mold, it is important to make sure it is smooth and flawless inside the casting areas. Any imperfections in the mold will appear in your finished product. If your mold is new, wash it with hot water and dish soap. Let it dry thoroughly. When dry, spray the mold release product to the entire mold heavily, making sure it gets into the jewelry cups. Allow the spray to sit on the mold for at least 10 minutes. Use a paper towel to wipe the spray from mold. Make sure there are no puddles inside the cups.
Next, place your flowers inside the individual resin cups. Make sure the fancy side of the flowers are facing down as this will be the side that will show on your piece of jewelry.
Prepare the resin mix according to the package instructions. When it is prepared, get a drop of mix on a toothpick or craft stick. Slowly drop the resin solution from the stick into one of the mold sections on top of the flower. Repeat this step until the cup is full. Do not overfill the cups with resin as this will become part of the pendant.
Give the mold about five minutes to start curing. If air bubbles will occur, they will begin to rise. You can pop them with a sharp pin or use a hair dryer blown across the tops of the cups to blow the bubbles out of the mix.
The resin mix will become solid in as little 16 minutes depending on what brand you use. In this time the flower may float around the mold. During this time you can recenter it with a craft stick. If you move them, do so slowly with little pressure. Pressed flowers are very brittle and may break. When this happens to me, I scoop the flower and all its broken pieces out and replace it with another flower before the resin dries.
Do not touch the resin for at least 8 hours or your fingerprints will permanently appear on the jewelry. The resin must cure in a dry place outside of wind and dust. It is best to allow the resin to harden overnight.
When the resin is cured, it will not have a tacky feel to it. It is ready to be removed from the mold.
After removal, any uneven edges can be trimmed with scissors. Very jagged edges from overfilling cups can be sanded with fine grit sandpaper. Never sand the front of the pendant unless you plan or recoating it.
Using a drill, drill a small hole in the front of the pendant all the way through the back. This is where you will insert the pinch bail. If you prefer, you can drill a hole into the top of the pendant and insert a screw bail. Put super glue on the bail tips and slide them into hole. Squeeze them to close the bail. If necessary, tighten with pliers. If you are not comfortable using a drill or do not have one, you can purchase high quality glue on bails from stores like Hobby Lobby. You can glue it to the back of the pendant and let it dry. Works just as well as a drilled bail.
Your pendant is now ready for a chain and ready to wear and enjoy!
Special Tips and Suggestions:
To prevent large and small bubbles from erupting during the curing process, warm both parts of the resin solution before use. Place them in warm water in the sink for 10 minutes before mixing.
- It is easier to get the pieces out of the mold by tapping it from the back. This will also save your mold so you can reuse it.
- If you make a mistake in a piece of resin jewelry such as fingerprints or an indention, the piece may still be salvageable. Allow the piece to dry completely. Wet sand the entire surface of the piece with fine sandpaper, at least 220 grit. Allow the piece to dry overnight. It will look very cloudy. You can apply a thin coat of new resin to the surface and it will be as good as new.
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