Friday, March 11, 2011

experiments in epoxy


I'm a little late to the epoxy/resin jewelry craze. I've had some books on it for over a year now, but hadn't taken the time to search out all the supplies needed to try it. I'll admit, I was a little intimidated since my books recommended the use of a respirator while dealing with the actual chemicals (yikes!). But despite the inhalation risk, all the instructions I'd read for projects using epoxy seemed so straightforward and easy. So when I spotted a box of "EasyCast Resin" at my local Hobby Lobby, that was just the push I needed to actually give it a try. The verdict? It really is that easy! Here are the steps I followed to make the pendant above:
  1. Find a fun image and re-size it to fit your pendant. I printed my image on regular copy paper using my HP Inkjet printer. The pendant above is Hobby Lobby's Square Pendant Bezel. It has a diameter of 23mm (21mm inside the pendant).
  2. Seal the image using Modge Podge on both sides, then secure the image to the pendant using Modge Podge. (this step is what protects your image ... without the Modge Podge your paper will turn clear after reacting to the epoxy)
  3. Mix up your epoxy using the product's instructions.
  4. Carefully pour the epoxy into your pendant.
  5. Remove air bubbles! I used a hair dryer on low, per my epoxy's instructions, but I found that if I wasn't careful I would actually blow the epoxy out of the pendant by making it overflow over the sides ... so next time I'm going to try using a toothpick.
  6. Let your project cure. It'll take at least 24 hours, minimum. A good tip I heard was to fill a bottle cap or something of similar size as your project with epoxy at the same time. That way you can test how cured your epoxy is with your "tester" cap and not risk ruining your actual project!

Based on this initial success, there will definitely be more experiments in epoxy in my future!

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