Friday, August 17, 2018

Resin Space Invaders Coaster

The Perfect Handmade Gift for the Geek in Your Life

Remember that iconic 70s and 80s arcade game, Space Invaders? For those of us old enough to remember, this project is a fun throwback to your teenage years. This resin Space Invaders coaster would make a great gift for the geeky person on your gift list.

This project is a variation of the Tetris coaster tutorial at Resin Obsession
Space Invaders Resin coaster with green alien on black background

Supply list 
Work out the volume of your mould by filling it with rice and tipping it into a measuring cup.

Mix enough resin to two thirds fill the mould. Mix it well and then divide it between two cups. Colour one green and the other black. Pour the black resin into the bottom of the coaster mould and set it aside to cure.
Pouring black resin into the base of the square silicone coaster mould.

Spoon the green resin into the trivet in the shape of a Space Invader. You can find pixelated pictures for this online. Make sure the Space Invader will fit inside your coaster mould. Use the toothpick to push the resin into every corner of the pixels, pop the bubbles and set the resin aside to cure. 
Pouring bright green resin into the squares of the silicone trivet in the shape of a space invader

Place packing tape across the back of the Space Invader and peel the Space Invader out of the trivet. 
Applying packing tape across the back of the cured resin space invader and peeling it out from the trivet

Trim the tape close to the resin. The unattached pixels can be repositioned when you place the Space Invader into the mould. 
Trimming away the packing tape close to the space invader with scissors.

Mix enough resin to fill the mould. Pour a thin layer on the black and place the Space Invader on top. Top up the mould and then tease out any bubbles. Leave the resin to cure.

Gently peel away the silicone from the resin and pull the coaster out. 
Peeling the resin coaster out of the silicone mould.

And your new coaster is ready to use!

Pin this Project!
DIY Space invaders resin coaster inspiration sheet

If you enjoyed this project, you might also like this one:
Tetris Resin Coaster Tutorial

'Til next time

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Monday, August 6, 2018

How to Correctly Mix 5-minute Epoxy Adhesive

Pink and grey striped bubble ring on a table top

One of the easiest ways to turn your resin castings into jewellery is to attach them to jewellery blanks. You'll need to use a strong adhesive for a permanent bond. A lot of people recommend E-6000 but I've had only limited success with it, especially on bracelets and rings that get knocked around a lot when you wear them. I've found I get a much stronger and more secure bond with 5-minute epoxy adhesive. It comes in two parts, just like resin, because it IS resin and that's why it's such a strong adhesive. But to make sure that you get the best results with it, you need to mix it properly. 

Start by dispensing equal amounts of each part from the tubes or syringe onto a plastic surface. I use an ice cream lid because the cured adhesive can easily be removed and the lid reused.
Dispensing equal parts of the 5-minute epoxy adhesive onto a plastic lid

Take a paddle pop stick and begin mixing the two parts together. It's important that you scrape all the adhesive from the edges into the middle so it can be mixed in thoroughly.
Mixing the 5-minute epoxy with a paddle pop stick

Now keep mixing it with the paddle pop stick and you will notice it takes on a milky white appearance as you mix and the tendency is to think that it's going off and that you should use it at this stage. But not so... this is just part of the mixing process. Keep mixing! Mixing a small amount like this will take around 2 minutes.
5-minute epoxy adhesive has turned milky white during mixing

It will become clear again and that's when you know it's ready to use.
The epoxy adhesive has turned clear again after being mixed thoroughly

Now apply it to the surface of the jewellery blank. You don't need to apply it too thickly or to spread it all the way out to the edges as it may ooze out in the next step.
Applying epoxy adhesive to the ring pad blank with a paddle pop stick

Position the cabochon onto the adhesive.   
Placing the striped resin cabochon onto the adhesive on the ring blank

Then flip the piece over and make sure the jewellery blank is centred on the back of the cabochon. Hold it for a couple of minutes until the adhesive has grabbed. If you set it down too soon, the cabochon may slide off centre.
Centring the ring pad blank on the back of the resin cabochon.

I like to leave pieces for several hours before wearing them to give the adhesive a chance to cure. But refer to the directions on your adhesive which will tell you how long it takes until the bond reaches full strength.
Pink and Grey Striped bubble ring worn on the ring finger

Pin these tips for later!
Step-by-step project sheet for how to glue resin cabochons onto flat pad jewellery blanks

How to mix 5-minute epoxy adhesive project sheet

'Til next time....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Friday, July 20, 2018

How to Create Cells in a Resin Art Masterpiece

Black and White resin art cell painting with gold veins.

Resin art is a fun way to create a piece of contemporary art that you can proudly display in your home. And it's not difficult to get started with pouring resin. If you've been admiring all the incredible fluid art pieces on Pinterest and want to know how it's done, then this tutorial is for you. It shows you a simple technique for creating resin cells in your artwork. The black and white colour scheme makes the cells even more dramatic!

Black and white resin art panel featuring cells and veining.

I've put together a shopping list of all the supplies you'll need to make your own piece of resin art:

Shopping List:

EnviroTex Lite pour-on epoxy resin
Castin'Craft Pigments: Black; White
18" x 18" primed canvas art panel OR cradled painting panel (wood needs to be sealed with acrylic paint or gesso before using)
Dispersion media (aka silicone oil or treadmill oil - look for dimethicone)
Silver powder
Gold Powder
3M painter's tape
8oz graduated plastic measuring cups
Small plastic cups
Disposable acid brushes
Wooden stir sticks
Gloves and safety glasses/goggles
Butane Torch

Prepping your Work Space

Before you get underway, protect your work surface with a plastic painter's drop sheet. Resin is really sticky stuff and you don't want to get it on you. Wear goggles and gloves at all times and work in a well ventilated area.

Elevate the art panel on some cups and then level the canvas. Resin will always find the low point so if your canvas is not level, the resin will flow in that direction, which can spoil your artwork.

Before you begin, tape the back of the art panel or painting panel with painter's tape and burnish the edges. This will make it easier to remove any resin that overflows.

Mixing and Colouring the Resin

Measure out 125mls (4oz) of Part A and 125mls (4oz) of Part B of EnviroTex Lite in the same cup. Mix the resin thoroughly, following the mixing instructions included in the resin kit.
Pouring resin and hardener into a graduated plastic measuring cup.

Pour 30mls (1oz) of resin into each of two small cups. Colour one with silver and one with gold. Use enough powder to make them opaque.
Pouring some silver powder into mixed resin.

Colour the remaining resin with enough black pigment to make it opaque.
Pouring black resin pigment into a cup of mixed resin.

Pour the black resin across the art panel in large bands of colour. Keep some large open spaces for the white resin.
Pouring black resin onto the canvas

Mix another 250ml (8oz) batch of resin. Pour half into another cup and colour it with enough white pigment to make it opaque. Set the rest aside. (It can be coloured later with either black or white to fill any gaps as needed.)
Pouring white resin pigment into clear resin.

Creating Resin Cells

The magic ingredient for creating cells is demethicone. It behaves like a repellent and disperses the resin. Add 5 drops of the dispersion media into the white resin and stir through very lightly. The amount of stirring you do actually determines the size of the cells.
Dropping the silicone oil into the white resin

Pour the white resin in the open spaces on the canvas alongside the black. You will see cells developing where the two colours meet. If the cells don't begin to form, pick up the painting with your gloved hands and tilt the panel just enough so that the resin begins to move. This should open up the cells.
Pouring white resin onto the canvas so that the black and white resin can react.

Drizzle the thickened silver resin along some of the edges where the black and white meet. You don't need to add too much, just to add some highlights.
Drizzling silver resin onto the black and white resin.

Learning when to STOP!

Use the heat gun to move the resin out towards the edges of the canvas. As the white resin moves across the surface of the black, even more cells will open up. Pushing the resin around is fun to do but it's easy to get carried away and you need to STOP!!  If you overdo the heat gun, the colours will mix too much making the patterns overly busy. You really want to keep some solid bands of colour. If you still have gaps around the edges, pour more resin from the cups to fill them in.
Pushing the resin around the canvas with the air from a heat gun.

Drizzle some thickened gold resin wherever you would like gold highlights.
Drizzling gold resin alongside the black and white edges for highlights.

Use the heatgun to soften and spread out the gold a little. Keep the heatgun moving at all times and take care not to over heat or burn the resin.
Feathering the edges of the gold resin with the heat gun.

Brush the sides of the canvas with the resin that has fallen onto the dropsheet.

Now your canvas is finished... but the resin will keep moving until it reaches gel stage. Once you're happy with how the canvas looks, pass the butane torch across the canvas to pop any bubbles. You may need to do this again a couple of hours later. Leave the canvas to cure overnight.
Passing a flame across the surface of the resin canvas to pop any bubbles.

Clean off any residue from the dispersion media thoroughly with a soft, dry cloth. If any silicone oil remains on the surface of the resin, it will repel the resin top coat.

Mix approximately 375mls (12oz) of EnviroTex Lite (do this in two batches) and pour it across the art panel. Pop the bubbles and leave the resin to cure 24 hours.
Applying a top coat of clear resin to the canvas.

It's almost time to hang your masterpiece. But wait.... there's still tape and resin drips on the back to remove. You can see how to do that in this short video:

Pin this project!
Resin Art with cells inspiration sheet.

Now that you've removed the tape, go ahead and hang your masterpiece. 

'Til next time....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to Disguise Bubbles in a Resin Bangle

What do you do when you've made a resin bangle and it hasn't turned out very well? Maybe it's filled with bubbles, or the colour isn't what you want, or there's some other blemish that you wish you could hide. Today I'm going to show you a trick I sometimes use to disguise imperfections. And it looks absolutely stunning!
Jewel toned resin bangle in shades of magenta, purple, red and gold viewed from three angles

I'm starting out with a bangle that is full of bubbles. Other than the bubbles, there's nothing wrong with the bangle.
Translucent yellow resin bangle filled with bubbles.

Here's a shopping list of what you'll need for this technique:

Piñata Alcohol inks (I prefer Piñatas because they are highly saturated, vibrant colours)
Piñata Claro Extender
Piñata Metallic Rich Gold
Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze
Plastic drinking straw
Disposable gloves (use nitrile gloves if you're allergic to latex)
Rubbing alcohol for clean up

How to Paint a Resin Bangle with Alcohol Ink

This is a messy process and I like to work on a non-stick craft sheet because it's so easy to wipe clean afterwards. Before you begin, put on your gloves. 

Apply a drop of one of your chosen colours onto the surface of the bangle. Whilst it's still liquid, blow through the straw to make the ink splatter and spread.
Bright pink alcohol ink being splattered onto a resin bangle by blowing through a drinking straw

Take a second colour and do the same thing. You can overlap colours if you like because dried alcohol ink is reactivated by wet alcohol ink, so the colours will blend. Cover the whole bangle in this way. If the alcohol ink gets on the inside of the bangle, blow the ink until it splatters and can't be spread any further.
Blowing through a straw to disperse a drop of blue alcohol ink in a splatter pattern on a resin bangle.

Now comes the magic!

Apply a couple of drops of metallic alcohol ink. It will run but that doesn't matter.
Adding drops of gold alcohol ink onto the dried colours and allowing it to run.

Now, immediately add a drop of Claro Extender to the metallic ink. It will keep the ink from drying too fast. It will also reactivate the colours underneath.
Adding a drop of Claro Extender to the gold alcohol ink.

Position the straw over the metallic ink and blow it around so that it disperses across the surface of the bangle. It will create a rich ripple or marble effect. You can also try blowing it around without using the Claro Extender for a more solid look.
Blowing the gold alcohol ink around the bangle so that it mixes with the coloured alcohol inks and creates a marbled effect.

Apply the metallic ink over other areas of the bangle. Disperse any excess on the inside of the bangle too. You can see how it's lightened some of the really dark areas of alcohol ink.
Resin bangle with gold alcohol ink marbled through the bright pink, blue and yellow alcohol inks.

Now you need to set aside to dry. Alcohol ink dries pretty quickly, but if you have really piled on the alcohol ink, leave it to dry for a few days before the next step.
Red, blue and purple alcohol inks blended together with gold marbling on a resin bangle base.

Sealing the Bangle to Protect It

This next step is optional but if you choose not to do it, then see the note at the bottom of the post.

Put the bangle on some newspapers or a plastic drop sheet and spray it with a couple of light coats of Krylon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze, allowing each one to dry before applying the next.
Spraying the alcohol ink painted bangle with clear acrylic spray.

Note: If you choose to skip the sealing step, then make sure that you keep all alcohol away from the bangle. There's alcohol in a lot of products that you might not even think of: cleaning products, perfume and hairspray, to name a few. If you don't want the alcohol ink to get reactivated and rub off onto your skin and clothes, then sealing the bangle is the way to go!

Love this project? Then Pin It!
Row of finished brightly coloured resin bangles coloured with alcohol inks and a bangle with alcohol inks being applied to the surface.

Row of brightly coloured alcohol ink bangles in shades of pink, red, purple, orange and green.

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Resin Rose Bubble Ring

UV Resin Rose bead set in a silver filigree ring base.

My hands get some pretty rough treatment in the studio and because they are always in front of the camera, I get a regular manicure to keep them looking good. You've probably noticed that my nails are always a different colour!
Pastel Pink UV resin rose bead with gold bead caviar centre, set in a silver filigree ring.

Whilst visiting my nail technician last week, I noticed she had some gorgeous 3D bubble roses on her nails and I realised immediately that this was something that we could do with UV jewellery resin. It's just a matter of building up layers of resin and painting each layer with colour. In the nail world, they paint the rose petals with gel nail polish but I've used alcohol inks which worked just fine.
Two UV Resin rose rings, one light pink and one dark pink, displayed on a white ring cone.

So here's what you'll need to make your own.
  • UV resin
  • Pinata Alcohol inks. I used Señorita Magenta and White (you need the white to give the pink some opacity and some depth). 
  • Claro Extender (for when the alcohol inks dry on the palette)
  • Gold Bead Caviar (aka microbeads)
  • Tool to build the bead on. I used a ball tool and had difficulties removing it as you'll see below, so I recommend you use the needle tool
  • UV Nail Lamp (at least 9 watt)
  • Paint brush
  • Paint palette
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • JoolTool or metal file to grind the bottom of the bead flat
To turn your bead into a ring, you'll need:
  • a filigree ring base
  • 5-minute epoxy adhesive
  • chain nose pliers

How to Make a UV Resin Rose Bead

Start by applying a bead of resin to the tip of the ball tool.
Applying one drop of UV resin to the point of the needle tool.

Place it under the UV lamp to cure. You'll need to rotate the tool constantly so the resin doesn't drip or cure lopsided. This will take several minutes depending on your nail lamp.
Placing the UV resin into the nail lamp to cure.

Apply another layer of resin over the cured resin and dip the ball into the bead caviar. This will become the stamens of the rose. Then place it under the nail lamp again, constantly rotating it until the resin has gelled and the beads are adhered.
Dipping the point of the needle tool into the jar of gold bead caviar to coat the resin.

Apply a coat of resin over the bead caviar and cure it under the nail lamp, rotating it until the resin gels.

Squeeze a drop of white and pink alcohol ink onto the palette and dip your brush into each colour. Paint three of four petals around the resin ball. You want them to cup the caviar a little.
Using the paint brush to paint the alcohol ink petals around the sides of the resin ball.
One layer of light pink petals painted around the base of the resin ball with the gold bead caviar in the centre.

Once the alcohol ink has dried, apply a coat of resin to the whole ball and cure as before. If you apply a thick layer then it will take more time to cure. If your layer is thin, then you'll need to apply a second coat.
Applying a layer of UV resin onto the alcohol ink and spreading it over the painted petals.
Curing the next layer of resin under the UV light.

Paint another layer of petals on the resin, lining them up in between the petals of the first layer but so that they sit slightly lower.
Using the paint brush to paint a second layer of darker pink petals in between the gaps in the first layer of petals.

Continue adding layers of resin and alcohol ink until your bead is the size that you want.
The final bead showing all the layers of petals, ready to be removed from the needle tool.

The bead should be easy to remove from the needle - just give it a twist and pull it off.
Twisting the bead to release it from the needle tool.

Now you need to flatten the bottom so that it will sit on the ring base. I used the JoolTool with a grinding disk because it removes the excess material so quickly and you can see what you're doing as the ninja disk rotates. I absolutely love this tool! But you could just as easily use a hand file to get the same result.
Using the JoolTool to grind the bottom of the bead flat.

Turn the Resin Rose Bead into a Ring

Use the pliers to open out the prongs on the ring base a little so that the bead sits snugly.
Use the chain nose pliers to open out the claws of the filigree ring base so the bead will fit.

Mix up the 5-minute epoxy and apply some to the base of the bead.
Applying the five minute epoxy to the base of the bead with a wooden stir stick

Press the bead into the ring base and hold it in position for a couple of minutes.
Pressing the bead firmly into the filigree ring base.

And now your Resin Rose Bubble ring is ready to wear!

Avoid this mistake!

For the first bead I made, it seemed like a good idea to form the UV resin around the tip of a ball tool but that made it very hard to remove. To get it off, I had to use the grinding attachment on my Her Embosser Tool to create a flat base around the base of the bead.

Then I had to switch to the drill to drill out the resin from around the spindle of the ball tool. I was lucky that the spindle came out of the ball tool so that I could drill almost vertically down to the ball tip without the wooden handle getting in the way.
 Using the drill to remove the resin alongside the shaft of the ball tool.

Then I had to grip the shaft with a pair of pliers whilst pulling and wiggling the bead until it came free.
Using the pliers to wiggle the shaft of the ball tool back and forth until the ball tip is released from the resin.

It took a fair bit of effort so I highly recommend building your bead on a needle tool!

Like this project? Pin it for Later!
DIY Resin Rose Ring inspiration sheet.

Inspiration sheet with photo of light pink and dark pink Resin Rose Bubble Rings on a ring stand

Tutorial sheet showing step by step photos of how to make the resin rose bubble ring.

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs