If there is one thing that is for sure around here at the DIY Craft Club studio, it is the fact that we absolutely love working with resin! And there is so much you can make with epoxy resin, the creative possibilities are just endless.
A favorite of ours when working with epoxy resin is creating geode resin art and doing resin pours. There are so many different techniques and materials that are out there for creating resin art, from having a good resin silicone mold on hand to coloring epoxy with alcohol ink.
We have some amazing resin tips, resin tricks and absolute resin hacks that and thought we would share some of our best resin discoveries with you, our readers in one great article.
Our biggest tip when working with resin is to create safely. Here is our resin safety video showing you how to work safely whenever you are using resin. We also show you in this video the difference between mica, alcohol ink and acrylic paint as resin colorants:
We have found a way to get resin off of your hands without using harsh chemicals if you happen to get some on your skin. We always recommend wearing the proper PPE (and please read our safety article about working with epoxy resin here as we get real about everything you should know when it comes to working safely with epoxy resin) but if you have gotten some on your skin before, you know just how sticky and nearly impossible it is to get off!.
Here is how to effectively get resin off of your hands using natural ingredients:
If you are doing your resin pour on a canvas or wood panel (or anything) with thick edges, you may opt to have the resin pour run down the edges for a continuation of your art down the sides. Alternatively, you may want to have the edges clean and paint them afterward.
I personally like to paint my resin edges, and the way I like to do this is by using painters tape from Amazon. When working with resin on anything with an edge, let it partially dry for an hour or so or until it sets a bit.
The make sure to take the tape off before the resin cures, and therein lies the resin trick. Once the resin is totally cured, we typically paint a white or metallic edge. We like to use Golden Fluid Acrylics from Amazon when painting my edges.
If you are wanting a mixed media look, pour the resin mixed with mica powder next to resin mixed with acrylic paint and blast with some heat. The mica pigments will gently float over your acrylic creating a neat effect! This resin effect can add a very realistic look if you are going for geode or agate art.
If you are using mica powder to color your resin, you barely need to use any to achieve a vibrant color. I think coloring resin with mica is my favorite way to add color to resin.
When I first started working with resin, I remember creating these gorgeous lines of glitter: chunky glitter, mixed glitter, fine glitter... After a while, the glitter and sparkle would disperse and float around the resin, still leaving a very nice effect but not the concentrated, well-defined glitter line I was going for.
So what I started doing was drawing out where I wanted my concentrated line of glitter to be, then going over it with a clear glue from my glue gun on either side, making a well.
Once the glue gun lines were dry, we would mix glitter and resin together, then pour into the well the glue gun created. The resin and glitter stay in the lines will look concentrated and very sparkly.
Then what we would do when the resin art was done, would be to color over the glue gun lines with a metallic marker that matched my glitter. A great tool for this are the Krylon Leafing Pens to go over the clear glue lines that are left showing afterward. They give me the perfect look I am going for every time. If you want a closer look at the gold leafing pen that we use, we have a great article here.
Another thing you can do is buy glitter glue gun sticks! This pack of 72 glitter glue gun sticks comes in 12 colors and fits a mini glue gun, plus they are a great price for that many. Grab the pack right here on Amazon.
You can read all about the best glitter to use with resin in our article, Best Glitter Ideas For Geode Resin Art.
Resin wasting: you don't need to waste your resin anymore with a bit of planning ahead! A little resin can absolutely go a long way if you plan your pours and think to yourself: 1) less resin is more resin, and 2) you remember exactly how much of your choice colorant you mixed with your resin.
Mix with mindfulness! That way, if you run out of a color in the middle of a resin pour, you can easily make some more.
On the opposite end, if you finish your resin art and have leftover resin mixed in your cups because you have made too much of a color, you don't have to throw it out if you are prepared!
Here is what we do with leftover resin: pour it into a silicone mold that we have ready to go. There are so many silicone molds out there that you can have on hand to make some unique pendants, bookmarks and bookcase covers, bracelets and other items with your leftover resin, all on Amazon.
Here are some molds that we bought and tried with our most recent resin pour with leftover resin. We filled this silicone mold with the leftover resin we had from some geode resin art made with shades of ink, white and gold! They came out perfectly. Your DIY jewelry will come out beautifully, especially if you are using the best resin for jewelry.
The first time we were playing with resin in the DIY studio, we were measuring from the Art Resin bottles into little cups by pouring it out, and it would run down the sides of the bottles and create the most sticky mess. There was resin on the bottles, resin on our paint bottles, resin on the glitter tubes, resin on the mica packages... Resin here, resin there, resin resin everywhere.
Here is how we work with resin and keep it clean: We discovered that we had some pumps from our flavored Torani coffee syrups that happened to fit PERFECTLY on the 32 oz Art Resin bottles! This eliminates the need to pour resin into cups. Simply put pumps on bottles, pump resin into cups and go!
(Hint: Have another look at our cover photo for this article to see the Torani pumps on our Art Resin bottles!) Now, we make sure we have many of those Torani Pumps on hand, as they are quite inexpensive and save so much time cleaning up.
Plus, we found an amazing RESIN HACK using these Torani Pumps! Easy measuring. One full pump from the resin, to one full pump of the hardener. This made measuring resin so easy. We can even measure the length of the pump with a measuring tape, and draw the halfway mark on for measuring exact half pumps of each.
*Another side tip to help you stay mess free, is to line your work surface with a silicone mat. Any uncured epoxy resins can fall on your silicone mat and won't stick to it once cured.
It is difficult to clean spilled resin from a surface or drips from your resin art and resin project.
We have been using half marbles A LOT as the reflective pieces in our geode resin art. However, they are quite hard to smash with a hammer and a cloth over them. Those little guys are strong.
NOTE: If you decide to smash anything breakable to add to your resin or other art, do so at your own choice and risk with proper protective gear for your hands, eyes and anywhere else.
The trick to crushing the glass marble is to bring the temperature of the glass up high, then cool it quickly. This heating then quick-cooling method should cause the glass structure to crack in some areas. Then, bring the glass somewhere safe (we like to go outside), lay them on a cloth and cover with a cloth and carefully hammer them. Continue reading for details:
Some tricks for heating up your marbles: you can carefully drop them in boiling water, put them in a heated frying pan and cover them, or even try them in a container in your dishwasher. Then, and very carefully with protective gear on, scoop them up with a spoon and drop them into a bowl of ice water. (Note, please be very careful if you choose to try this method and do it at your own risk).
Transferring the glass from hot to cold quickly will cause little cracks in the glass, which you will be able to see when you take out of the cold water bath. This method breaks down the structural integrity of the glass to make smashing so much easier. After placing the glass on a cloth and covering the glass with a cloth, (and wearing your protective gear) go ahead and hammer away, carefully! You should feel the half marbles smashing as you hit.
Depending on what size of gemstones you are going for, you can stop smashing as soon as you feel they are broken or keep going to get smaller pieces. Just keep in mind, there will always be tiny shards no matter what size you are going for. So make sure you have gloves on when working with shattered glass!
We have learned the hard way just how important it is to accurately measure your resin and the hardener. We like to use Art Resin which mixes at a 1:1 ratio, but each brand of resin has a different mixing ratio, so be sure to check your specific brand for mixing instructions.
When we first began playing with resin, we got comfortable after a while. We felt ok pouring our resin by eye into our cups (this is before the Torani Pumps we bought to do measured pumps from each resin bottle, see point number 6).
After the curing process from some of our pieces, we would notice that parts of our pieces still felt a bit sticky to the touch. The reason why our resin was still sticky, was because of the inaccurate measurement of resin to hardener. Here is why your resin is still sticky in some places: if the amounts are NOT mixed together according to the instructions, they will NOT cure properly and will still be sticky in places.
If your resin is still sticky after the curing time, here is what you do: mix your resin to hardener in the specified ratio to your resin brand, enough to cover your canvas or wood panel, and pour a clear coat on top of your piece. This is called a flood coat. This will set your piece and will harden perfectly as long as you are measuring the specified ratio accurately.
There is nothing worse than finishing a resin art piece you are sooo proud of, then letting it cure, only to come back to a piece with little indentations from unpopped air bubbles all over it. That totally ruins the shiny, beautifully finished effect. Many people like to use a fine tip tool to get bubbles out by hand, but we do not recommend that method.
The best way to get air bubbles out of uncured resin is by using a heat source: either by flame or a heat gun. We personally recommend using the heat gun to eliminate bubbles in your resin piece. It is a controlled method of bringing bubbles to the surface, popping them and spreading your epoxy resins around.
*If you watched our resin safety video at the top, you can see this exact one in action plus hear how loud it actually sounds.
After a resin pour, the air bubbles are going to come to the surface no matter what, and you can either get them out while your resin is still wet using your heat gun. The one we like to use for resin art is the Zap Heat Gun by American Crafts. It works beautifully for getting the bubbles out (and we think it looks really great in our videos for our YouTube channel too! Make sure you check us out and subscribe!)
You can also work on keeping the amount of bubbles down in your mixing resin by stirring slowly.
You can also read our article How To Get Bubbles Out Of Resin where we go into some other tidbits you definitely will want to know about!
Don't feel discouraged if the color you just poured isn't giving your piece the effect you are going for. Whether you are making resin art to sell or to give away, just think that every piece is unique and you never know what creation can come from what you pour! Let the art take on its own life and just go with it! It is also about learning and having fun, and resin art is totally therapeutic and fun.
So don't stress about how that gold is looking more like a tan color, or how your glitter isn't staying put (glitter likes to take on its own life and float around sometimes!) Just have fun, and let the resin guide you. Turn on some music and go with it.
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.
You may also be interested in checking out our YouTube channel. Here is a video we did for a tutorial of geode resin art.
And be sure to PIN any picture on this page right NOW so you can remember all of our resin advice later on! We would really appreciate that :)
Thanks, have a colorful day!
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