Renowned for both its experimental nature and ethereal aesthetic, resin is proving particularly popular among today's top creatives. While the compound—which can be cultivated naturally or synthetically created—has traditionally been used in polishes and varnishes, many contemporary artists and designers are finding new and inventive ways to incorporate the malleable material into their practice. Lustrous like glass but compositionally similar to plastic, resin effortlessly pairs form with functionality, resulting in an endless amount of artistic possibilities.
Here, we will learn more about this versatile medium and how you can start creating resin art, yourself. Additionally, we will take a look at an eclectic selection of resin art, from spectacular sculptural works and three-dimensional “paintings” made on unconventional canvases to twinkling jewelry and avant-garde furniture. Dazzling and diverse, this collection of crystalline art showcases the versatility and beauty of the remarkable material.
What is Resin?
Resin, or epoxy resin, is a synthetic material that can be combined with other objects to create many different types of art. The type of resin that is used in art usually begins as a viscous substance and is then cured into a rigid form. While it is a liquid resin, it can be manipulated by adding ingredients and other materials, and once it is fully cured, it is extremely durable and can withstand extreme temperatures.
Typically, it is a “thermosetting plastic” that is mixed in a ratio 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 can be removed using chemical solvents like IPA, or isopropyl alcohol.
Resin Art Supplies
Resin is rarely used by itself. In art, it typically has components added like pigment powder to create a colorful hue, or it's used to encase objects such as dried leaves, flowers, sand, 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 different types of 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 the best you can. Invest in a pair of latex gloves to keep your hands safe.
How to Make Epoxy Resin Art and Jewelry
If you’re just beginning to make your own resin art, it’s best to start on a small scale. Jewelry, for instance, is something that’s easy to manage while still having a lot of creative possibilities. You can use different shapes of pendants, insert dried flowers or charms, and infuse them with a variety of colors.
Don’t know where to start? Check out these helpful YouTube tutorials that show you how to make your own resin art and jewelry with easy-to-follow instructions. You'll want to make sure you have a good work surface before you get started.
Top Tips and Tricks to Create Resin Art for Beginners
Artist Sheri Vegas offers some of her top tips for anyone wanting to make resin art; it's a great video if you're a complete beginner because it introduces you to the very basic techniques and materials needed.
Dried Flowers in Resin by Garden Answers
This DIY shows how to incorporate dried flowers into a half circle mold to create your own paper-weight or art object.
DIY Aquarium by jedrek29t
In this tutorial, maker jedrek29t shows the meticulous steps he took to create a dazzling aquarium scene from resin.
How to Make 12 Resin Rings by NerdEcrafter
Making resin rings is easier than you think. NerdEcrafter shares how to create 12 different rings using the same process.
Resin Pendant Jewelry Tutorial by Keepsake Crafts
Sandy Huntress of Keepsake Crafts demonstrates how to use UV Resin to create pendants with preserved flowers in them.
How to Make a Secret Wood Pendant Necklace by Ben's Worx
In this six-minute video, Ben's Worx shares how to make a pendant using resin and wood.
21 Clay and Resin DIYs by 5-Minute Crafts
Once you've got some experience using resin, get more inspiration for creative products when you watch this video. It demonstrates a step-by-step process but doesn't offer a detailed explanation of each action taken.
Create a Resin Geode by Taryn TrueArt
Learn how to incorporate glitter and pigments into one stunning geode resin.
Fairy Pendants Made From Dried Plants and Epoxy Resin by Maria Aprelskaya
Here's another video to save once you've gotten more comfortable with making your own resin jewelry. The compilation offers great inspiration by doesn't articulate any steps taken. Instead, it simply shows you Aprelskaya's process.
Resin Art Books
If you prefer a source you can refer back to at your own pace, then consider picking up one of these books on resin art. Some of these texts will provide great insight into starting resin jewelry, while others elaborate on essential techniques. There are also guides on how to do woodturning with epoxy resin.
Examples of Resin Jewelry
Examples of Resin Furniture
Examples of Resin Sculpture
Examples of Resin Painting
Frequently Asked Questions
Does resin break easily?
Once the resin is fully cured, it should be highly durable and can withstand extreme temperatures, and does not rust or corrode.
What is resin artwork?
Resin artwork is jewelry, sculpture, furniture, and paintings made with epoxy or casting resin.
This article has been edited and updated.