This Instructable is all about casting resin into amazing and easy Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. You can do these for any holiday and with any theme you want, I just am using holiday themed cards for it... sooooo it's Christmas in May up in here. :)
Let's start by gathering up our tools and supplies.
Step 1: Tools and Supplies
There are a few different variations of these gifts you can make, but I am going to just go over the ones I created here.
For tools you will need:
For supplies you will need:
Molds (I used silicon pendant molds I found on Amazon)
EasyCast resin (or any resin of your choosing)
a stir stick (I chose an unused chopstick)
A cup to mix the resin (Clean applesauce containers work great)
greeting cards (I used holiday themed for this tutorial)
Chain and clasps
And last but not least... patience... lots of it.
Step 2: Casting the Resin
Gather up your molds, resin, stir stick and cup, waxed paper and your rubber gloves.
Take a single sheet of waxed paper big enough to go over the area you will be working to help protect the surface from getting any resin on it while you are working.
Next, put on your rubber gloves. Resin can get very very sticky and it can be tough to wash off. If you wanted to go the extra mile and wear an apron to protect your clothes as well, go for it.
Apply your mold release agent to your molds. I like to also take a paper towel and wipe any excess off. If you are using a mold that was applied with the mold release before, you may not need to use it again this go round. That stuff lasts through a couple casts. But if you feel more comfortable applying it again, feel free.
Take your resin and start measuring it out. My resin is a two part epoxy type. I don't actually measure it, I only eye ball it for the amount I need. The way I eye ball it is I first pore the resin itself (the white capped bottle) then I pour what I think is the same amount of the hardener (the black capped bottle). Then how I do it, is I put them next to eachother to see if the levels are the same after letting them sit for about 30 seconds so they can level out. If one is higher, I just pour a tiny bit more until they are level.
Start pouring into your molds. I only filled my molds up half way because I we will be finishing them up later on. I used two molds for this because I wasn't sure which shapes I wanted to use at this point for my project. This way I had several to choose from.
After you pour, you will see the bubbles... let them sit for about half an hour or so... come back and if the bubbles have not risen to the surface and popped, you can coax them with your stir stick to the sides and you can usually pop them there. Don't worry about "messing" up the surface, it is still too early in the curing stage to mess anything up. Gravity will pull it flat again, no problemo.
Step 3: The Waiting Game.
Once you have the bubbles popped and your resin is all flattened out and ready to cure.. the waiting game starts. I generally let small molds like this cure for 24 to 48 hours before trying to take them out of the mold. Just be patient. The longer it sits, the better. It doesn't hurt anything being in that mold.
Step 4: Taking Them Out of the Mold
After the time has past and you think they are ready, you can usually run your finger over the surface and can tell if they are cured. If your finger leaves any prints in the surface, usually indicates it didn't cure yet or our mixing was off and we didn't have the right ratio. You can start over if need be.
But, if you are certain they are set, you can take them out. Since I was using a silicon mold, I was just able to take the mold and bend it in half and pop the puppies out. If you have a more sturdy mold, you may need to turn it over and whack it on the surface you are using to knock them loose. Take care not to break anything.
Now I have all of these awesome shapes to work with for this project and then some that I can use for future projects.
Step 5: Cutting Out the Images
The cards I am using for this project are winter/holiday themed. I used a couple different ones as you will see in the end result. But I used the horse card to show how I went about cutting them out.
After I took a few of the shapes I had and placed them over the places I wanted for the images, I decided to just stick with the rectangular shapes for this project.
For this one image, I wanted the two main horses and the one in the background. So off the mold, I found the one rectangle that worked the best for framing all three in to it.
I then took my ruler and measured it out and then marked the card where I wanted it to be. You could also just take the piece of resin you want to use and trace it.. but I didn't want to accidentally mark it up with the pen ink.
When you cut it out, cut on the INSIDE of the lines. You don't want any of the ink on the card because the next resin step we do could cause it to bleed and we don't want that.
Once you have it cut from the card, place it under the piece or in to the mold slot for the piece you are using to make sure it fits.
Step 6: Cutting Out the Hole
Take the piece you cut out and the piece of resin it matches with. Line them up and we are going to cut out the hole on the top. Grab your Xacto knife and cut out the hole. Make sure you have a brand new blade as we want to be able to cut the paper with no problem. Don't want it snagging and ripping the paper at all.
What I did was did this with all the pieces I was working with and then made sure they all fit into their corresponding slots ok before going to the next step. A couple did need slight trimming around the sides before I moved on.
Step 7: Prepping for Next Resin Pour
We are going to refer back to step 2 here, but we are going to mix a lot less resin as we only need it for the 5 pieces we are working with.
Wax paper, check. Rubber gloves, check. Resin, check. stir stick and stir cup, check. This time we are bringing paper towels in to the mix. And you shouldn't need to add the mold release again unless you absolutely feel the need. I didn't and it worked ok.
Start mixing and when you pour, only start with enough to coat the bottom of the slots. I am doing this to create as much of a seal around the piece we already have as much as possible to make sure the front doesn't have any bubble pockets after its cured. Some people may decide to skip this part. Let it sit for about 30 minutes again and get rid of any excess bubbles.
Then take the resin piece you have made and push it into the layer we poured. It will push out around the sides, which is what we want. Push as much as you until you think you have it all pushed out. It may get messy, but thats why we have the waxed paper and rubber gloves. You can also push any that pour out of the slot back in with your fingers.
Now take your paper cut out and push it down face down and go around the center then the edges with your fingers to push out any air. Once you have all of the other pieces you are making done, now take the rest of your resin and pour it in to the molds to fill them up. Start at one end and go down the row. You may run low, but if you do, take your stir stick and run it flat from the full end to the end you ran out of resin and it will push and excess resin into the slots that are low. Again, this is messy.
To clean up the edges around the molds a bit, I took a paper towel and wiped them all clean so when I took them out of the mold, they all wouldn't be one piece.
Then the waiting game starts again. Another 24 to 48 hours should do it. Then you can crack these puppies out of the molds like we did before.
Step 8: Finishing Up the Pieces
So as you can see I have five super cool resin encased pieces I can make ornaments with.
Now one of them did end up with bubbles at the top, but they aren't too bad. I may just keep that one.
To finish them up, we are going to grab some large jump rings. We want ones big enough to fit through the holes on the top.
Loop those through on all the pieces, then grab some ribbon. I have some white ribbon that I wanted to use as it keeps it more wintery rather than any holiday. Cut a long enough piece to tie a bow with a loop large enough to go over the branches of a tree for an ornament.
Or if you wanted something less decoration, you can also add a key ring and make a cool keychain.
You could also just add a chain with a clasp and make a cool necklace too!
I made a couple of each to fit everyone's holiday gift list this year.
Step 9: Finished Pieces
And there you have it. 5 amazingly cool pieces with images in them.
You could do this with any greeting cards too. Some with flowers, birthday balloons, or those with the silly saying or animals. The possibilities are crazy!
Hope you enjoyed getting a little messy and being a little patient with me through this tutorial with me.
If you have any questions or critiques, please feel free to comment. I am always looking for advise on how to improve my skills and techniques.