Just starting out in the world of resin crafts? The right tips to guide you will help you rise to the challenge with as few mistakes as possible, and it will all mean a better and easier time all around when it comes to working with resin.
That all sounds great, right? But, what about the reason why these tips are here? Why should you listen to this article? This is all about putting my personal 5-years worth of experience to work to help your journey to success with resin molds much easier than mine was.
Since I want to help as many people as possible enjoy resin for all of its creativity, and as little as possible as its frustration, that’s led me to creating this handy helpful guide. From protecting your surface with a silicone mat, to the actual mix of resin, to the resin molds, it’s all going to be made easier with these rights. Here they are:
- Have all of the safety gear you need
- Prioritize ventilation in your crafting space
- Prepare to clean up before you start
- Bring all of your supplies together
- Make sure your room is the right temperature
- Have a plan for your resin design
- Measure the resin accurately
- Follow the instructions for your resin
- Stay bubble-free
- Learn how to properly blend pigment powders
- Have, and use a resin mold release agent
- Be patient and wait as long as it takes
- Don’t forget to cover your molds
- Prioritize cleaning your molds!
As fun as working with resin is, you have to remember that there is a huge, important safety focus. You must have proper safety gear, including a proper mat for spills, disposable gloves, glasses, long sleeve tops, aprons, and more.
This includes ventilation, but we’ll focus on that more in the next section. By not having proper safety gear, you put your health at risk. as well as your investment in resin and your silicone molds!
Working with resin is going to be a very smelly experience. So, make sure you are following all of the guidelines recommended when it comes to ventilation. If you’re working in a large space, don’t think you can skip this step! Open the windows or have a fan, and take a break if you feel dizzy.
Safety always comes first, right?
Seems strange, sure, but if you aren’t ready to clean up with baby wipes and access to paper towels and/or dish soap and water, your molds may be a whole lot harder to clean.
They may even be permanently damaged and you’ll have to buy whole new sets! Have all of your cleaning supplies close by so you don’t have to worry about that.
You can learn how to clean and take care of your resin molds here.
Yes, all of them! The resin you intend on using, pigment dyes, a silicone mat, the molds that you want to try, stirring sticks, mixing bowls, etc.
Have everything you want and need for your resin creation, including your plan (more on that in a moment), so that you don’t need to stop mid-creation and risk compromising the resin creation because you can’t find something. Check first!
Strange, but important! Resin needs to be at a comfortable temperature in order to set and cure properly, not to mention mix properly!
So, you’ll want to make sure that you keep it at the “just right” temperature for ultimate craft use. As far as that actual temperature, you can aim for 20-24 degrees C (70-75 degrees F).
There’s nothing like the stress of creation on a time limit to make you mess up. SO, design your resin creation on paper first so that you know what you want to create in case you forget or get stressed out. Unless random design is totally your thing.
Don’t be afraid to search online for some inspiration if you need it!
When you are creating something small, such as a resin coaster, you need less resin than something like, say, a resin serving tray. You’ll want to know how much you need for each project, and that means working with the right measurements for your molds.
Need a starting point? There are plenty of measuring guides online to help!
You can’t just randomly mix resin! You need to make sure it’s just the right consistency for mixing and curing, after all.
Read the instructions for your resin first and then actually follow them down to the very last detail when you mix resin itself. This is important to get right, as doing it wrong will mean that it won’t cure properly and all of that time and effort (and supplies) will be wasted!
Bubbles ruin all of the best plans, so make sure that you minimize that by knowing where they come from and how to avoid them. Firstly, mix and stir your resin slowly. Really slowly. The slower you go, the less agitated it gets, and that translates to little to no bubbles!
When you pour your resin into the mold, you can use your stick to pop the bubbles. No matter what you read online, don’t use heat to do this! It will damage your molds and can ruin your resin, too!
Now color! Read the instructions on your pigment powders and understand how much you want to add to your project. If this is your very first time using powders, remember that less is more. As you get used to them, you can play around with it more!
One of the best pro tips that you can take from this is to have a release agent for your resin molds. This will give you an easier, and stress-free time when the demolding process happens. Since this is the hardest thing to get used to as a beginner, really consider the release agent! Want to know a secret? All the pros use it...shhh!
This is the hardest part! When you've got your resin mixed and poured, and your bubbles popped, you need to wait! Your resin instructions should tell you how long to wait before demolding, but the average wait time is about 24 hours. For large, layered projects, you’ll be looking at 72 hours, though.
Resist the urge to remove it early, as it will ruin your project and you also may find that you have to work harder to clean your molds.
Yes, I learned this lesson the hard way. From pet fur to bugs, things will get into your resin as it’s curing. Invest in dust covers to cover your molds while they’re curing and, of course, put your molds somewhere safe and undisturbed for the entire process. This also lessens the urge to poke it, too!
Cleaning your molds is going to be one of those things that you simply have to roll up your sleeves and do. The thing is, it’s as simple as cleaning with warm soapy water and allowing the air to dry them completely (emphasis on “completely”), before storing properly. If your creation has cured properly and you've used a release agent, this will be much easier. If you haven’t...cleaning can, and will, take a while.
Simple tips that make the difference
All of those tips are pretty straight-forward, right? But, that’s the beauty of it! Understanding how to make the most out of your resin molds and your creations is all about getting those details working together on your behalf. If you ignore steps, you will run into a problem.
You want your creative adventure to be fun, right? These tips are all made for maximum fun and minimize mistakes that lead to wasted resin (and a whole lot more clean-up). And that’s what this is all about, isn’t it?
All created for you by example, these tips for working with resin are going to give you the right support to be successful the first time, and you'll also enjoy the process a whole lot more, which is going to be even more incentive to keep on working and creating!
Are you feeling motivated to get to work with that design you’ve had in mind’s eye for a while? Follow all of these tips and you’ll find that your final result is going to be stunning and it’ll motivate you even further to create more and more. The thing is, these tips are here to help you, not be annoying. So, if you keep that in mind, success (and a whole lot of fun) is going to be waiting for you with every project!