If you want to try your hand at making your own resin jewelry then you will need to learn about what resin is best for jewelry making. There are many different resins to choose from out there for your jewelry making projects. Each type of resin has different techniques and will give you different results. The three main resins for jewelry making are epoxy resin, UV resin, & polyester resin. We will explain each resin and how they work so you can choose what one you would like to try for making your own DIY resin jewelry.
We are going to go through some of our favorite brands for making your own jewelry and let you know which epoxy resin brands are the best for different techniques like doming & adding dried flowers to your jewelry. Also, there are different cure times and ratios of the hardener or catalyst, and this is what makes resin harden up. So even if you have used resin before, you always need to refer to the manufacturer's instructions on how to use their resin.
1. Epoxy resin will give you a crystal clear jewelry piece that is very hard and durable which is why it is so popular among jewelry makers. Epoxy resin is super easy to make jewelry with and gives you plenty of time to work with your piece before it cures. If you work with epoxy resin, be sure to read the instructions carefully because some brands are mixed 1:1 with the resin and hardener and some brands have a different ratio.
ArtResin | Best Epoxy Resin For Jewelry Making
Here is our top choice epoxy resin for jewelry making. We have worked with ArtResin for many projects and this is one of our favorite epoxy resins to work with. This resin is super easy to use and has a 1:1 ratio of resin to hardener.
ArtResin is high gloss so your jewelry pieces will turn out super clear and shiny. This resin is perfect for making jewelry with a dome, you will find this resin is perfect for that. You can use this resin for making jewelry in silicone molds, wood, pendant trays, and even free-form jewelry. This is one of the best resins for making your own dried flower pendants. And if you want to try making glow in the dark jewelry, this epoxy resin is great for that too.
2. UV resin cures quickly with a UV lamp and is easy to work with because no mixing is required, so UV resin is great to make jewelry with. If you have never worked with resin before, we suggest trying a UV resin first. It's easy to use and does not require any measuring. UV resin is best used on smaller jewelry pieces. Like with all resins, it is a good idea to do some testing before jumping right into making your own jewelry. For example, if you are using a certain color of glitter or colorant, after casting, the color may change. Also, during the curing process, this resin will shrink a bit so be aware of that.
Limino UV Resin | Best UV Resin For Jewelry Making
This is our top choice of UV resin for jewelry making. This resin made our best for jewelry making list because it's super easy to use for making pendants and for embedding glitter or flowers into your jewelry pieces. You don't need to measure anything or wait for cure time which some jewelry makers really love.
This resin will give you a crystal clear result for your jewelry with a glossy finish. This does have a bit of an odor but after it is cured it goes away quickly. You don't get as much product in each bottle like you would with the epoxy resin listed above but for smaller projects, adding accents or for practice, this UV resin is perfect.
With UV resin, you will need to pick up a UV light for curing.
3. Polyester resin has many of the same applications as epoxy resin and UV resin and is commonly used for large projects like boat building, but can be used for jewelry projects as well. Jewelry makers use this resin because it gives a super clear jewelry piece when buffed. And just as important, is that you can vary the cure time by adding more or less of the catalyst, unlike epoxy resin where you cannot vary the cure time.
If you are casting into a deep mold then this might be a good choice for you. The hardener and resin ratio is not always 1:1 so be sure to check the manufacturer's directions thoroughly before casting your jewelry with this resin. Polyester resin has a very strong odor that does not go away until fully cured. You might also need to sand off surfaces because sometimes it leaves a tacky surface.
Clear Cast | Best Polyester Resin For Jewelry Making
You can cast almost anything into this resin like coins, shells, dried flowers and insects. We highly suggest practicing first before jumping right in and using your expensive supplies. This resin has a very strong odor and chemical smell so you might want to use a full face mask with a respirator. We suggest this N95 equivalent face mask from Parcil Distribution. It's a good idea to use this resin in a space that is not inside your house if possible.
Before using any kind of resin, take the time to research and carefully look at the safety data sheets before jumping into your jewelry making projects. Safety data sheets should be available on the manufacturer's website. Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Not all resins are mixed at the same ratio or temperature. We have a helpful article on Resin Safety Precautions.
Should You Wear A Respirator Mask When Working With Resin?
You may also want to read more about whether or not you should wear a respirator mask when working with resin. Check out our article, The Proper Respirator Mask For Working With Resin, where we talk about why you should consider wearing a respirator, what the risks are if you do not wear a respirator, how comfortable one is, and how much you should pay for one.
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