Resin has taken the arts and crafts world by storm. Over the last few years, it seems like you can find the material in just about any creative product, from stunning jewelry to awe-inspiring pieces of furniture. While its ethereal swirling beauty might seem like it's impossible to achieve for yourself, you’re in luck—creating your own resin art, particularly jewelry, is a doable DIY for anyone that wants to learn.
What is resin?
The type of resin that's used in art making is a synthetic material that starts as a viscous substance and is then is cured into a rigid form. Typically, it is a “thermosetting plastic” that is mixed in two parts—a methyl methacrylate liquid has a catalyst added to it which causes it to set into a transparent form. For this reason, it's sometimes referred to as AB resin.
UV resin is also a popular type of material to use for smaller objects. Unlike AB resin, this form of it is solar activated; just put it in the sun or under a UV light and it will cure in just minutes.
Resin Art Supplies
Resin is rarely used by itself. In art, it has colors added in or it's used to encase objects such as dried leaves or small charms. Here are the general supplies you'll need to get started (although your tools might change based on your project):
- Epoxy or Casting Resin — There are different types of resin available on the market, but you’ll want to look for one that that has “epoxy” or “casting resin” on the label. They will come in packs of two; one will be a catalyst that creates the chemical reaction to harden the resin. (Try these highly rated resins that are geared towards artists: Art ‘N Glow’s Clear Casting and Coating Epoxy Resin; ArtResin’s Clear Epoxy Resin; and Clear Castin Resin with Catalyst)
- UV Resin — If you're interested in using solar-activated resin, crafters swear by DecorRom's non-toxic formula.
- Epoxy Resin Pigment — Want to add some color to your creations? DecorRom sells a set of 23 color pigments that are made for epoxy resin.
- Disposable Cups — You will have to mix your two-part resin together, and you will want to do so in a disposable container. This set of clear plastic cups has graduated markings on the side.
- Wood Sticks — Mixing epoxy resin is a science. You’ll also want a set of wood sticks for stirring.
- Disposable Gloves — Again, since you’re dealing with chemicals, you’ll want to protect yourself best you can. Invest in a pair of latex gloves to keep your hands safe.