When I first got into resin crafting I made a lot of mistakes and wasted a lot of resin. Placing the letters in the piece correctly was the most difficult thing to understand at first. So I had a lot of weird backward letters, misspelled words, and things that just didn't make sense. Here's how I have learned from other resin crafters and from my own mistakes.
- Resin (I use a 2 part 1:1 epoxy resin)
- Mixing cups and popsicle sticks
- Silicone mold
- Letter beads
- Glitter of choice
- Pigment/ Alcohol ink
- Pin studs and pin backs
- Barbecue lighter
Step 1: Layer One
It helps to have the letters for your pieces planned out ahead of time before you mix the resin. Because if you wait too long after the resin has been mixed it will start to cure and be difficult to work with. So for the first layer, you need to mix your resin according to the package instructions. Mine is a 1:1 ratio epoxy, so I mixed that until it was thoroughly combined. Then pour just enough resin to cover the beads completely. This will be the foreground layer with the beads. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick or barbeque lighter.
This is the most important step when adding the letters. Rotate the mold so that the top is facing you. Flip it upside down. Add the letters and move them around so that they read correctly from top to bottom and left to right. Keep in mind that this works for beads that flip on the horizontal and not the vertical. This way when you demold your piece the words will read correctly. If you have two or more lines make sure the word you want on top is on the bottom. Like in the 'Game Over' heart, the 'Over' is on top of the 'Game' but it's really on the bottom of the mold.
For the 'Game Over' heart, I added glitter and pushed them to the front of the mold and on the 'LVL Up' one I let the glitter stars sit on top of the resin. This can help create a more distinct foreground layer and a background layer. The 'Game Over' one is better at creating distance between the to layers. Let that layer fully cure for 12-24 hours before adding the next layer.
Step 2: Layer Two
Once the first layer has fully cured it's time to add the background. I mixed another batch of resin just as before, but this time I added black alcohol ink and holographic glitter to the mix. I didn't add enough ink to make it as opaque as I wanted them to be, but they still look great a bit transparent. I even added more glitter after the black layer was poured and it settled in the center and looks kinda cool like that. Let this layer fully cure before demolding them. I know it takes forever, but it's worth it because holo glitter is the best glitter.
Step 3: Doming and Done
After that layer is cured it's time to take them out of the mold. This is my favorite part because I finally get to see what I've been waiting for the last two days. But wait there's more! Now it's time to dome the backs and set the pins studs. Mix another small batch of resin and pour the clear resin on the back of the piece. Clean up any stray resin on the back. I like to sand my pieces after I dome them rather than before because sometimes it's easier to add the dome this way.
Make sure not to add too much resin because if you do it will overflow and cure on the front and ruin the piece. I like to dome my pieces on a silicone pot holder or on the side of the mold it came out of just in case it does it's easier to clean up. Add the pin studs on the back and make sure the base is covered with resin. Once that is cured I like to sand the edges with a nail file. I like to use a nail file because I can control how much to sand off and to get into the sharper corners. And now you're finally done! Pin it on your backpack, jacket, shirt, or from wherever you can show your pin off like a badge. These can be customized in any way and can be great gifts for friends and family.