Thursday, June 6, 2013

Vintage Inspired Resin Necklace


I found these cool oval bezels on a trip to Hobby Lobby, but this shape and size had no glass insert to fit it.  So I decided to get brave and buy some jeweler’s-grade, low-odor resin.  Now – don’t get me wrong, it’s not the kind of product you want your kids playing with or anything, but it was super easy to use and hardened to a wonderful clear finish.
I wanted a sort of vintage look, and I used a lot of scrapbooking materials in this necklace.  Surely, if you try it, you’ll have a different design in mind, but let me show you how to get started.
What you’ll need:
A deep bezel
Chain
Scrapbook or vintage papers
Mod Podge or craft glue
charms, pearls, stickers, etc.
Jeweler’s grade, low-odor resin and the tools to mix it.  Get the type that dries clear without any UV exposure.  I found mine at Michael’s but I assume most craft stores would have it, that’s just where I happened to be.
First, I trimmed some scrapbook paper to fit the bottom of my bezel.  Then, I used Mod Podge to adhere it to the bottom of the tray.  You want some sort of seal before pouring the resin, otherwise it can soak through the paper.  It still happened a little to mine with just one coat of Mod Podge, so two coats is probably smart.


Next, I added a few embellishments.  The flower stuck up over the edge of the bezel (and thus out of the resin), but I don’t mind at all.  I stuck them in place with a bit of Mod Podge just to be safe, then let it dry for about 15 minutes.


Then, I had to mix my resin.  Just read the packaging instructions very carefully and follow the directions that came with your resin.  Mine just needed to mix equal parts resin with hardener, and stir for several minutes.  I then needed to transfer is to a second container and stir again.  Gloves and protective eyewear are recommended here due to the chemicals, but I will say I didn’t have any trouble with drips, spills, or strange reactions.  I just used one dram of each for one pendant (which you can measure right on your measuring cup).


If you’re using the same stuff as I am, when you stir it, it will be very, very bubbly.  I was skeptical.  But it said that it would de-gas by itself after a few minutes once you pour it.  So, I moved forward.  I just used my popsicle stick to dribble it into the tray.  I thought that worked fine, though a disposable dropper would be ideal here.


If I was skeptical before… I was doubly so now.  It was FILLED with bubbles to the point of looking cloudy.  Turns out – this is okay!


After about five minutes, 95% of the bubbles had vanished.  It mentions in the instructions that gentle heat will pop the remaining bubbles, but you should wait about 20 minutes before attempting it (so that they all have a chance to rise to the surface first).  Now, don’t bust out anything big here – all I did was use a drinking straw, hover it over top of my piece, and gently breathe body-temperature air over the resin.  The bubbles all disappeared instantly.
Then, I set it aside in an out-of-the-way, level place, so that it could dry for 24 hours.  Just be VERY careful not to spill it if you must move it.


The next day, I had a fabulous permanent pendant!  I just needed to add a chain. I cut apart a longer necklace and trimmed it down to 18″, and attached the two ends to my pendant.


What do you think – do you like it?


I can’t wait to try the same technique on a few different styles, not that I know how easy permanent resin is!