Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tutorial: How to Make Resin Photo and Mixed Media Pendants

My mixed media pendants- freshly filled with resin



Anyone who has a lot of interesting paper, small objects, paintings, or other doodads has probably wondered how to turn these scraps into wearable art. Creating your own resin pendants is easy; however the start up cost and investment is a lot more than one would pay for a piece made by a jewelry artist. A great idea would be to split the cost of materials and have a pendant making party with a few friends. Now, I am going to walk you through the materials and procedure of making your own assemblage pendants.
MATERIALS:
-2 part epoxy casting resin
-empty bezel cups/pendant trays/settings
-scissors
-jewelry adhesive
-craft sticks
-pencil
-paper, photographs, and objects to embed
-glitter nail polish
-2 disposable containers, such as small plastic cups
-cleaning rag for glue and spills clean up

WHERE TO PURCHASE MATERIALS:

Since I don't have a car, I bought everything I needed online at either etsy.com or ebay. You can also buy the resin and bezel cups at Hobby Lobby and other large craft stores. They are considerably more expensive there. I purchased the supplies in Jan. 2012 and paid about 25 dollars for 20 bezel trays and 20 dollars (plus shipping) for the resin. I also needed to purchase chains for the pendants separately, along with paper and decorations for my jewelry.

HOW TO MAKE THE PENDANTS:
Select background paper and trace an outline with a pencil. Trim the paper a little smaller than your outline, so that it fits in the empty bezel cup.


Using a craft stick, apply a small dollop of jewelry adhesive to the back of your background paper and press it into the setting. If you do not glue it down, the background can float up when you add the resin. Use a fast-drying adhesive with little water content. Trapped water under the resin can cause rust to form in your pendant.

Select decorations for your pendant and secure inside with the adhesive. Use nail polish for glitter effect. You can also use seed beads, small stones. dried flowers, twigs, photographs, and text from vintage books. The sky is the limit to using small objects to decorate your pendant.

Allow the decorations in your empty settings to dry for at least an hour before proceeding with the resin.



MIXING THE RESIN:
Two part epoxy resins have both a clear resin component and a hardener. They are in separate bottles. You will want to mix your resin in disposable cups, 2-4 oz in size that are flexible for pouring. Mix equal parts of A and B components and stir with a craft stick for two minutes. Then, pour the mixture into a second clean cup and mix for an additional two minutes. You can pour the resin in the settings from that cup. If you have questions, the resin has detailed instructions included. It takes up to 2-3 days to fully harden and cure.

The box of resin used to make my pendants. Bought online at etsy.com.


Resin, hardener, mixing cups.



Mix the resin twice for 2 minutes, then fill pendant trays.



The pendants I made are displayed at the top of the article. They require 2-3 days to harden completely. In the first hour after pouring, monitor the pendants every 15 minutes and poke out any large bubbles with a pin. When the pendants are hard, find a matching chain, add some extra decorative beads and you are ready to sell it, gift it, or wear it!


Please see my etsy shop Mylana to purchase these pendants, and others. They will be ready for sale during the first week of March, 2012.








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