Creating Keepsake Charms

I love my Pandora bracelet. It was given to me by my father and his wife, as a graduation present. The first charms were a fish and a graduation hat. Since then many more beads have been added; a turtle, snake, strawberry… picked out by my children as Mothers Day gifts. There’s a star charm from our trip to the states, a bible from when we got baptised and house from our purchase last year. If you meet anyone sporting one of these charm bracelets, ask them their story. We love sharing the meaning behind every charm.

I am super excited about these resin keepsakes! I hope I can create personal charms, to commemorate, celebrate and mourn.

Using a silicone mould, I fill the cavities with resin and place the keepsake, whether it be shells, hair or ash. They set over night. I pull the pair from the mould and let sit for a few days before filing down and sanding the edge.

Using E6000 jewellery glue I finish the charm off with a silver plated grommet.

They look stunning on a black braided leather bracelet. I have gifted these to my lil nieces for their birthdays. I look forward to adding charms as they grow and reach mile stones in their lives.

I have listed personalised charms on Trade Me and  Etsy and have a couple in store in Hamilton’s New Zealand handmade home décor and gift shop Story

 

Resin pebble plates

Check out my latest resin efforts! Texture rich plates made using shells and pebbles collected from New Zealand’s Coromandel beaches, Sailors Grave and Tairua Beach. 

 plate resin shells  
plate resin shells  plate resin shells   
plate resin stones  plate resin stones  
plate resin stones 

Resin Doming

To finish off my necklace charms I domed the base. This side was exposed to the air when curing and formed a concave side to the piece.

I purchased Norski Doming Resin, which mixes easily at a 2 : 1 ratio with its hardener. 

The hardest part was seeing where the edge of the piece was as it too was clear. I had a few pieces ruined as the doming resin overflowed and dripped down the sides. 

It took a good 48hrs for the doming resin to semi cure. I wrecked a few more pieces testing the surface too early and getting my finger all tacky! 

All and all a great product, and well worth the effort to make the pieces look complete, professional  and tidy. 

 resin doming  necklace charms  
resin doming  necklace charms  resin doming  necklace charms  
resin doming  necklace charms  resin doming  necklace charms  
resin doming  necklace charms  resin doming  necklace charms  
resin doming  necklace charms  resin doming  necklace charms 

Resin embedded magnets

I gave paper embedding another go, and I’m pleased I did! This time I used Modge Podge to seal the paper and Entropy Super Sap CCR Resin in a silicone mould!

 embedding paper in resin 
First step was to cut the circles to be embedded. I used a circle cut from wax paper to use as a guide of where to cut.

Then each piece was laid out on wax paper and coated twice with Modge Podge, before pealing off, flipping over and laying out on a fresh piece of wax paper to be painted with the Modge Podge again….. And again….

 embedding paper in resin  
embedding paper in resin  embedding paper in resin 
Next each circle is pedalled off and trimmed, preferably leaving a small edge of dried M.P.

 embedding paper in resin 
Now for the embedding!

I greased the silicone mould by wiping it down with some spray oil. Then filled the cavities with about 5mm of the Fibreglass Shop’s Entropy Super Sap CCR Resin, and let cure. 

 embedding paper in resin  
embedding paper in resin 
Then I poured another 5mm of resin and embedded the pieces of paper, being careful not to trap air bubbles. 

 embedding paper in resin 
The following day the pieces were cured and could be removed from the mould.

I’m super happy with the results and will glue some magnets to the back with Clear Liquid Nails! 

 embedding paper in resinThere were a few marks where the paper wasn’t completely sealed by the Modge Podge, and the resin has seeped thru, but not a major ; ) (maybe 3 coats next time)

 embedding paper in resin https://www.fibreglassshop.co.nz

Sandy resin bowl

Finished this cutie today!

I really love the look of sand in resin so will definitely be making more!

I used some empty containers as a mould. Cut the base off the larger bowl so that I could pour in the resin. I used silicone to stick the bowls to the ice cream lid base. 

Rookie mistake was to leave the label on the smaller bowl. This got stuck to the resin and needed sanding off once cured. 

The sand had been washed and left in the sun to dry before use. 

The resin I used was from the Fibreglass Shop. Ordered online and delivered the following day! Awesome service. (Would be nice if the safety infomation and instructions were included with the epoxy and it’s hardener, instead of having to print it off online myself.) 

I use Entropy Super Sap CCR Epoxy Resin. It’s easy to mix and quick to harden, and doesn’t  have the nasty smell that polyester resins have. 

http://www.fibreglassshop.co.nz/search?q=Ccr

 resin bowl  
 resin bowl mold mould 
  resin bowl   
resin bowl 
Not sure what it is worth so have popped it for sale on Trade Me ; )

https://touch.trademe.co.nz/listing/view/1026628089

Epoxy experience

So I was recommended an epoxy resin to use, and to be honest, two pots of Kleer Kast Polyester Resin and I’m over it. It smells soooo bad, takes ages to fully cure, and often leaves a tacky surface which needs doming or sanding to eliminate.

So I purchased 1.5L of Entropy Super Sap CCR (Clear Cast Resin) from the Fibreglass Shop in Hamilton.

http://www.fibreglassshop.co.nz/search?q=Ccr

It was so easy to mix, a 1:2 ratio to a hardener, and didn’t smell!!!!


I ordered a silicone soap mould, and had a go embedding insects and a fern that I had been drying out.

I wiped down the mould with spray cooking oil, then half filled each space with resin. After curing for 30min I placed the pieces and left over night.


 The following day I filled the spaces, covering the pieces to be embedded, and left the mould under a dome to fully cure.

It was a hot day and by the afternoon they were fully cured, with no tacky surface!!!!

I messed up tho and had quite a few boo boos.

The insects had continued to bubble. I should have stayed and watched it cured for a while ensuring all bubbles were expelled.

Even the fern was crappy. I should have pressed it firmly into place to push the bubbles out.

Oppsie. Oh well, heaps of fun playing in my shed ; ) will try again tomorrow.

Loving Fibreglass Shop’s  Entropy Super Sap CCR (Clear Cast Resin). Purchased online via their website and couriered to my doorstep the very next day.

  
  
  
  
  
  

embedding stuff in resin

Using these ice cube trays that had been wiped down with some spray cooking oil I made these awesome embedded resin pieces. They can either be left as curious pieces or have a hole drilled through to make beautiful pieces of jewellery.

I simply filled each mould compartment with Norski Kleer Kast Diamond Embedding Resin, waiting for it to cure a little then placed my insects, feathers and pressed leaves.

I topped up the compartments, and covered the trays until fully cured. With a twist of the trays the pieces easily popped out. The surface exposed to the air stayed a bit tacky for a couple of days. I could have coated that surface with Norski Doming resin to seal it, but in the hot weather we have been having lately, they hardened on their own.

 

The insects used had been drying out in my hot water cupboard for a week prior, and the fern leaves had been pressed dry. If there is any moisture in the object you will get a milky white appearance on them once embedded, and I suppose they will rot.

 

my second resin bracelet mould

Making a silicone mould

This was a really fun project. I love using silicone to make moulds. I started making my moulds with liquid latex, which is very time consuming and the result is a much more flimsy less durable mould. I purchase my liquid latex and silicone from www.stmpro.co.nzsilicon silicone mould mold for resin bracelet

I found this basic wooden bracelet at our local op shop, purchased for $1. I pressed pins into one side of the bracelet and trimmed them to approx. 5mm long. This created a kinda of tripod that the bracelet could stand on, so that the silicone would surround the entire bracelet, leaving a couple of tiny knobs to sand off at the edge, rather than a complete blunt edge to round.

silicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletsilicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletsilicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletI placed the bracelet inside a plastic container, and blue tacked a small bottle to the centre. I lightly sprayed it with cooking oil to aid in mould release.

 

 

Then I got ready to mix the silicone.

STM Pro provides very clear instructions with their product, outlining all the safety precautions necessary and the correct ratios of silicone to catalyst.

 

silicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletsilicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletsilicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletsilicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletsilicon silicone mould mold for resin braceletsilicon silicone mould mold for resin bracelet

Very happy with the end result, and look forward to producing some unique bracelets using Super Sap Clear Casting Epoxy Resin purchased online from http://www.fibreglassshop.co.nz

My Resin Obsession

Well my creative efforts have lead me to resin! And yes, I now have a resin obsession! I’m not sure why I’m always interested in hobbies that are bad for my health and my skin!!! I am not going to age well : (

I have quite a collection of purchased and handmade moulds made from latex and silicone which I am playing around with. Everywhere I look I now see mould potential; ice cube trays, cupcake trays, cheese and cracker containers, plastic lids….

The discovery of resin was inevitable. Living coastally in New Zealand I am surrounded by so many other creative people, using the environment as their inspiration. I try to walk my dog every day in the bush or on the beach, combing for tiny treasures. So resin is the prefect medium for me to capture these collections.

Also, it results in a beautiful, light weight, durable product that I hope to market to the curious tourist  ; ) So much more potential than my previous efforts using plaster and concrete, whose market is somewhat limited!

After a lot of late nights researching resin and the range of uses I purchased my first can of Norski Kleer-Kast Diamond clear liquid embedding resin. I ordered it online from Total Body Shop, along with some white pigment. It arrived safely a couple of days later, and I was off!  www.totalbodyshop.co.nz

I found many helpful tutorials on http://www.resinobsession.com

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The resin is easy to use, using just drops of a catalyst to start the curing. I found a perfect mould to practice on, using the plastic containers the Dip n’go’s crackers come in. They needed 30ml of the resin and 6 drops of the catalyst. I didn’t use any release wax, and once cured I could simply cut a nip in the plastic and peal the mould away. I was pretty excited and should have left them to cure longer, so unfortunately got a few finger prints on the pieces ; )

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I have a small glass front fridge that I use for storing my work while it is curing. This helps prevent debris contaminating the pieces and also helps contain the potent smell!

You can see in the crab piece below loose sand that has set in the resin

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Some other things I tried was coating a kina I resin and using my silicone moulds to make a domed magnet, sandy beads for my Pandora bracelet and a cicada encapsulated necklace droplet.

 

My first attempts at resin!

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