How to Make Faux Druzy Components using 2-Part Epoxy Clay
There are several ways to make faux druzy components - one is using hot glue and microbeads. Another is using epoxy resin and materials that give it the look of a geode's dazzling, gorgeous innards.
Real druzys are stones with a layer of tiny crystals. They can be encrusted with quartz, amethyst, calcite, and garnet, to name but four minerals. But as they become scarcer and more expensive, here's another way to make your personalized, imitation counterparts:
The most important item is epoxy clay. Though some craft or beading stores sell them, you can buy packs of them online. Many brands sold with crafters in mind are the best. You can use the ones sold at home improvement stores, but note that some brands are less tackier and duller. Buy the quality brand you can comfortably afford.
Here are some materials that can be used to give the clay a druzy-like look:
- Nail crystal caviar
If you work at an occupation in which your nails have to be free of polish the day after a night out, know that this method allows you to use them for more long-lasting, less wasteful projects.
- Crushed glass (inclusing course-grit glass glitter)
This material gives the clay a realistic druzy look. I suggest coating the piece with a thin layer of epoxy resin to blunt the sharp edges slightly.
They give the clay a less realistic druzy look, but if you have kids too old to put anything in mouths other than food around, they are great materials to embed.
- Glass diamond-shaped vase filler
Look for the filler made of glass rather than acryllic. The varying sizes of the crystals give it a realistic look. If desired, crush them before embedding (but make sure to thinly coat the piece with resin after curing to blunt the edges slightly).
Step 1: Knead equal amounts of hardener and resin thouroughly
This step is very important!
Oftentimes, the package comes with a "Part A" and "Part B." Measure each by rolling 2 equal-sized balls. Then, knead them together until the clay is completely uniform in color. Use clean hands to keep the clay clean, or use gloves if necessary (especially if you have sensitive skin).
Step 2: Shape the clay
Pat the clay into a bezel if necessary. Or place it on wax paper and shape it in whatever you wish. Options include button tops or other inclusions in a bezel, embedded in fresh clay or secured onto a bezel filled with partially-cured (but tacky enough) resin. Stick small pieces of it on a side of the bezel for an interesting effect.
Step 3: Embed the inclusions
Pat the nail caviar, crushed glass (if you are using heavy-duty gloves to avoid injuries), or microbeads into the clay. To speed the process (the clay cures at different rates depending on brand and temperature), dip the clay in a small dish of the inclusions. Make sure you have them embedded for security.
If needed, make the surface of the inclusion-encrusted clay for a realistic look. Don't be afraid to make it imperfect! If you look inside a geode, the inner edges are uneven. This is your chance to be unique with the project!
Step 4: Cure the clay
Next, set the piece aside in a dust-free area to cure the clay. It can take 24-72 hours to fully harden for the inclusions to be properly secured. Again, it depends on the brand used and levels of room temperature!
If you are making freeform pendants, either drill a hole after curing or bore one with a pointed object or a disposable straw before curing to allow a jump ring to be inserted.
Let's make a ring! (You can sub the Crystal Splash for nail caviar or crushed glass with a thin layer of resin coated over once the piece is cured for safety.)
Filled a bezel with clay, set chatons or other inclusions in it, and set it aside to cure only to have some still-workable clay left over? Make freeform shapes using the faux druzy method! Grab some wax paper or other nonstick surface, dip balls of it in the inclusions, shape to secure them (don't be afraid to make them uneven), and let them cure.
Attach pin backs, adhere them to partially-set resin in bezels, or even embed them in fresh epoxy clay, if desired.