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How To: Alumilite Resin Casting and Mold Making for Jewelry Crafts
Whether you want to sell jewelry on Etsy, or make personal creations, resin casting creates a professional product every time. For a handmade gift that doesn't look handmade, or one-of-a-kind 3d nail art, learn the basics of resin casting. Many resin casting kits have incomplete instructions, or don't contain all the necessary items, or add unneeded complexity. For a complete beginner to learn resin casting takes a lot of trial and error. Skip some of the pitfalls by reading this resin casting tutorial.
First: Choose your Batch Size
Since we are just beginning, I'll assume that you'll want to try out just a few items and keep it cheap until you are sure that resin casting is for you. We have to deal with the fact, however, that this is not the cheapest hobby to take up. Neither is it the most expensive, however.
What you need to start:
- 2-part resin chemical kit
- 2 part mold making silicone putty (beginners- please get putty! There are liquid types, but this is by far the easiest)
- resin dye (yes, it's specialized, do not attempt dying with normal dyes)
- your target original object to make the mold from
- mixing and measuring apparatus
I have found all of these things at Hobby Lobby quite easily. Michael's carries about half of them, which is ridiculous as no one needs just 1 part of a resin kit, or dye but no chemicals. But I digress... the easiest way by far is Hobby Lobby. Wait until they put out a %40 off one item coupon (follow them on Facebook or get their ad to receive this) and buy a kit. If there is not a Hobby Lobby near you, here are some online options:
This putty is the most forgiving to beginners. I highly recommend you pick up this exact type or the one below, whether you get it online or in-store.
A mold putty you mix half and half, still very forgiving to beginners.
Pick up some dyes, but don't bother with things like green and purple. You can mix your colors no problem.
The most important part. Again, this is my top recommended brand and type. Least measuring required- just equal parts of both chemicals. Other's require you to measure by gram or use just a few drops of one, making small batches impossible. Always buy both parts together, to avoid buying incompatible chemicals. Recipes change from year to year, don't assume that the same brand will always work.
Do not mix and measure resin in your normal measuring cups
You are going to need some dedicated measuring equipment. I suggest flexible plastic items, which will be easier to get the resin off of if there is an accident. If you'd like to just buy the whole lot and not worry about getting the right equipment, try a resin casting kit. Alumilite makes a few very nice ones.
Finally.... you need an original.
To make your first mold, you need an original object. Whether you choose to make or buy it is up to you. For jewelry resin casting, there are premade molds available, but it's very satisfying to make one unique to your product.
You can buy single cabochons and cameos on Etsy, or Ebay, or Aliexpress if you want a lot of them. Same for nail deco pieces. Aliexpress is the cheapest per piece, but often you must buy 50-100 pieces at once.
Buy some originals. Mix your mold putty as directed. Press the originals into the mold and leave it alone for while. When you pull it out, the mold retains the shape and you can make as many copies as you like with the resin.
If you've used the mold putties I recommended, you should not need mold release as they will be flexible.
See my next article for instructions, tips and tricks.