Friday, March 23, 2018

DIY Resin Jewelled Mirror

When you think of EasyCast resin, you normally think of it as a casting resin. But in this jewelled mirror project, I'm going to show you how EasyCast can also be used as coating resin, making it a very versatile epoxy. The mirror will make the resin bubbles glow like jewels thanks to the reflective surface.

Will Resin Stick to a Mirror?

That's a really good question. When resin is applied to mirror or glass surfaces, there's a possibility that the resin could be peeled off once cured. But if the mirror is a decorative piece like this one and it's not likely to be handled, the resin should stay put. If you are concerned, you can scuff up the surface of the mirror so that it has some tooth for the resin to adhere to. Just take care to only scuff the areas you'll be applying resin to.
Resin jewelled mirror displayed with an assortment of Friendly Plastic mosaic pens


Here's a shopping list of what you'll need to make this project:

EasyCast epoxy resin
Castin'Craft Transparent Dyes: Red; Green and Blue; Amber
Setasilk Pearl Silver White Gutta
Ikea Lots 30cm square mirror 4 pack
Graduated plastic measuring cups
Wooden Stir sticks
Gas BBQ torch
Nitrile Gloves

Create the Bubble Outlines

Before you start, make sure your mirror surface is clean. Use methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol to clean off any finger marks, dust or streaks or dust.

Draw a group of circles of varying sizes in the top corner of the mirror with the Gutta. Make sure that each outline is perfectly closed and completely touching the mirror's surface all the way around so that the resin can't leak out. Repeat in the opposite corner. Leave the gutta to completely dry before continuing.
Draw circles with the Gutta in the corner of the mirror.

Once you start working with the resin, put on the gloves. Mix a small batch of EasyCast, following the instructions included in the resin kit carefully.
Mix a small batch of epoxy resin.

Divide the resin into four cups and colour each one a different colour with the transparent resin dyes.
Cups of resin coloured green, amber, blue and red

Carefully drip a different coloured resin into each circle.
Resin being dripped into gutta circles

Try not to have two circles of the same colour next to each other.
Filling the gutta circles with different coloured resins

Once all the circles are filled, pass the flame briefly across the resin to pop any bubbles. Make sure you keep the flame moving at all times.
Popping bubbles by passing a flame across the resin.

Leave the mirror to cure for 24 hours before moving it. Then place it in a stand or attach to the wall and admire it.

Like this project? Pin it for later!
Collage image of resin-jewelled mirror on stand with a collection of colourful pens

'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, March 16, 2018

Fabergé-Inspired Eggs for Easter

Decorative eggs made with epoxy resin clay and Swarovski resin crystals
Make a set of decorative eggs that not only represents their importance as symbols of new life for Easter but that can also be displayed throughout the year as a decor item in their own right. These jewelled eggs are inspired by the opulent Faberge eggs commissioned by the Russian Tsars. In place of the precious metal, enamel and jewels, these are made with EasySculpt epoxy resin clay and sparkly Swarovski crystals. This project also appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Crafts Ideas Magazine.

Shopping List:

EnviroTex EasySculpt Epoxy Resin Clay
Colourants: Castin'Craft Resin Pigments and alcohol inks
2" polystyrene eggs
Embellie Gellie or Krystal Katana
2 x Swarovski flatback rivoli 2006 in colour of your choice
Swarovski flatback crystals SS8 in colours of your choice
G-S Hypo Cement
Talcum powder
Tissues and Methylated Spirits (denatured alcohol) or baby wipes
Teflon craft sheet

Tools: clay blade, needle tool, timer,

How to Make Decorative Resin Clay Eggs

Tip: Before beginning to work with EasySculpt, put on a pair of close fitting gloves because resin clay is quite sticky when it's first mixed. It will be helpful to dust your gloves whenever the clay begins to stick to them.

Cover the Egg

Measure out and mix together equal parts of EasySculpt Clay following the manufacturer’s instructions. Set a timer for 25 minutes and leave the mixed clay to firm up because initially, it will be too sticky and stretchy to cover the egg.

Dust your gloves with powder and then flatten the clay into a circle. Place the center of the circle over the top of the egg. Work the clay down towards the bottom of the egg. Smooth out any folds that form and try to keep the clay an even thickness all the way around. Smooth out all the creases. There will probably be some pockets of air trapped under the clay. These can be pierced with the toothpick or needle tool. Smooth the clay with your finger until the hole disappears. Dust the Teflon sheet with a light sprinkling of powder. Balance the egg upright on the sheet and set the timer to 30 minutes. The clay will continue to firm up during this time.

The clay will still be quite soft and because it has some stretch in it, wrinkles will form in the bottom section of the egg. Use your gloved hand to smooth out the clay and set it aside. Set the timer for 10 minutes and then smooth again. Repeat again at 10 minute intervals until the egg is smooth. Roll the egg in your palms to give it a smooth all over finish.

Decorate the Egg

Apply a small amount of GS-Hypo Cement to the middle of the egg and attach a flat back Rivoli. Adhere another Rivoli on the opposite side of the egg in a slightly lower position.
Epoxy clay egg with Heliotrope Swarovski flatback rivoli.

Mix a small amount of EasySculpt. Roll it into three different sized balls. 
Different sized balls of mixed epoxy resin clay

Flatten one piece into a circle and add 2 drops of your choice of colour to the clay. Mix it in well. This will make the clay sticky and soft so powder your gloves as needed whilst you work the colour in. Clean your gloves with rubbing alcohol and a tissue to remove any residue. 
Epoxy Resin Clay being coloured with purple alcohol ink

Colour the other two balls with the other colourants you’ve chosen. Set the timer for 10 minutes to allow the clay to firm up a little before continuing. 
Note: You will notice that some of the alcohol ink colours will fade as they cure.
Balls of epoxy resin clay coloured with alcohol inks

Dust the Teflon sheet lightly with powder. Pull a small amount from one ball of clay and roll it on the sheet to form a snake 3mm (1/8”) thick and approximately 11.5cm (4 ½”) long.
Thin log of epoxy resin clay

Begin coiling the clay around the rivoli and then create an “S” curve down the side of the egg, finishing in an open circle. 
Epoxy resin clay coiled in a "S" shape around a Swarovski crystal on a clay covered egg

Make additional coils in the other colours and place them alongside the first coil, following the same curve. Create another “S” curves around the other rivoli.
Two colours of epoxy resin clay coiled around a Swarovski crystal in an "S" shape

Form a piece of clay into a small log about ¼” wide. Cut it into pieces 6mm (¼”) long.
Epoxy resin clay log being cut into small blocks

Cut some of these pieces in halves, some into quarters and some into smaller pieces.
Epoxy resin clay cut into small chunks

Roll each one into a ball so that you have a variety of graduating sizes. Set these aside to firm up.
Coloured epoxy resin clay rolled into graduating sized balls

Roll out another ¼” wide log and cut it into 6mm (¼”) lengths. Roll each into a ball and then taper one end to form a teardrop shape. Press the tip of the needle tool into the middle of each teardrop.

Coloured epoxy resin clay being formed into teardrop shapes
Teardrop shaped pieces of purple epoxy resin clay with an indentation down the centre.

Position these at an angle around the outside curves of the coils with the points facing in. Use adhesive to secure them if they have begun to cure. On some coils, attach graduating sized balls along the curve with the adhesive.

Epoxy resin clay teardrops along a coloured resin clay swirl

Position crystals along the middle coil in some of the “S” curves. If the clay is no longer sticky, use G-S Hypo Cement to attach them.
Epoxy resin clay covered egg being decorated with Swarovski crystals

Now that you've finished your decorative Easter egg, make a few in different colour combinations. They look stunning displayed in ornate egg stands. Or place them in a bowl on your coffee table and admire them all year 'round.

Like this project? Pin it for later.
Faberge inspired eggs covered with epoxy resin clay and decorated with Swarovski crystals

'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

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Faux Egyptian Perfume Bottle Pendant

Is it an Egyptian Perfume bottle? 
Or a love potion?
Or maybe if you rub it, a Genie will appear and grant you 3 wishes! 
Faux Egyptian Perfume Bottle made with hollow glass bead and jewellery findings

No matter how you see it, this exotic bottle pendant is sure to bring you lots of admiring compliments.

To make one of your own, you'll need:
Mixed bead cap selection

Additional if using a European-style bead or other large-hole bead
  • 2mm - 3mm round spacer beads to fill the core

Tools: 2 pairs chain nose pliers; Round nose pliers; Flat nose pliers; Flush cutters;  Bead mat

Work Out Your Design

To design your bottle pendant, you'll need to sort through your bead cap mix and find combinations that work well together. Starting with the base, string on a 3mm bead cap or a round spacer bead. This will act as a stopper and make sure that the first bead cap doesn't fall off if it has a large hole.

Now, create the base and stem. 

Try different combinations of bead caps: some bell shaped, some flat, some cupped. Place multiple pieces together to create fancy shapes, or string some upside down to give them a different look.

Include the 6mm Swarovski crystal in the stem and add the feature bead so you get a really good idea of how it will look. Just keep trying them in different combinations until you like what you see. I eventually went with number 2 and added a filigree petal bead cap to the base to make it look more balanced.
Try out different combinations of bead caps

Now do the same thing with the top. String different combinations of bead caps to create a fancy-shaped top for your faux perfume bottle. Include the 4mm Swarovski crystal in the top as part of the lid. This time I went with the third combination.
Test out different combinations of bead caps

Once you're happy with the design, firm all the bead caps into position so they nestle inside each other and there's no play in them. Grip the head pin above the last bead/bead cap with chain nose pliers and bend it at a 90° angle.
Bend head pin above bead at a right angle

With round nose pliers, create a loop large enough to string your chain through. Finish with the tail of the head pin on the side so that you have a complete loop.
Form a loop in the head pin above the crystal

Hold the loop with one pair of pliers and grip the tail with the other pair. Wrap the tail neatly around the neck as many times as you can. This will keep the components firmly in position so that there is no wiggle room.
Wrap the neck of the loop with the tail of the head pin

Trim away the excess tail close to the neck.
Trim the excess from the head pin

Make the Chain

Decide how long you'd like the pendant to be and take away the clasp length from this measurement. I cut my chain to 50cm (19.75") and with the clasp and jump rings added, it measures 52cm (20.5") long.
Cut the snake chain to length

Place one end of the chain into the chain end. You can glue it into position if you wish, but this is optional. Suitable adhesives would be GS-Hypo Cement or super glue. Grip the loop and the very tip of the chain with the chain nose pliers. With flat nose pliers in your other hand, press one flap of the chain end over the chain. Do the same to the other side. Give it a gentle tug to make sure it's secure. If not, press the flaps down more firmly and then tug again.
Attach the chain end to the cut end of the snake chain

String the other end of the chain through the loop of the pendant. Attach a chain end to this end of the chain in the same way.

Connect the ends of the chain to the clasp with jump rings.
Connect the chain to the clasp with a jump ring

Now that you've completed your Faux Egyptian Perfume Bottle Pendant, wear it! And enjoy all the compliments you get.

Like this project? Pin it for later!
Faux Egyptian Perfume bottle pendant inspiration 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, March 2, 2018

Kintsugi Inspired Plate Repair

Wabi-sabi – the art of finding and embracing the beauty in imperfection.
Kintsugi – the traditional Japanese technique of repairing broken pottery.

Repair a marble cake stand with this Kintsugi-inspired technique.

In our materialistic society, it's easy to throw away broken objects and replace them with something shiny and new. But Kintsugi allows us not only to restore usefulness to a broken object but also to find the beauty in that object’s life story, reminding us that nothing is permanent, perfect or complete. And with that in mind, I’m going to repair a broken marble cake stand and give it a new life and beauty of its own.

Traditionally, resin lacquer and gold powder are used to repair broken pottery, but in this modern take on the traditional method, I'll be using epoxy resin clay instead because it’s strong adhesive properties will hold up well on heavy marble.

Here's what you'll need to do a repair like this:
Watch the video or scroll down to see the step by step process.

How to do a Kintsugi-inspired Repair

Before you begin, lay out all the pieces to see how they fit together (and whether or not there are any pieces missing).

Tip:EasySculpt is quite sticky when you first mix it so make sure you put on your gloves before you begin. Give them a dusting with talcum powder whenever the clay begins to stick to them but take care not to over-powder them or it will be absorbed into the clay and dry it out.

Measure out equal quantities of Parts A and B. You won’t need very much.
Measure out equal quantities of Parts A and B of EasySculpt.

Mix the two parts together thoroughly, blending them until they uniform in colour.
Mix the EasySculpt until it is thoroughly blended.

Break off a small piece and flatten and lengthen it until it's the same length as the two pieces you want to join together. Press the clay onto one piece and spread it out to thinly and evenly across the break.
Apply the mixed EasySculpt clay to one edge of the broken plate

Align the two pieces and press them together firmly until the excess clay squeezes out.
Push the two broken pieces together until the excess EasySculpt squeezes out.

Scrape away the excess clay on the front as well as the back.
Scrape away any excess EasySculpt that has squeezed out of the plate join.

Run a pointed clay tool through the clay to create a channel which you will fill later. Leave the clay to dry overnight.
Create a channel in the join by running a pointed sculpting tool through the clay.

Next day, mix up another small batch of EasySculpt and press it into the channel to fill the gap. Smooth out the clay and wipe away the excess.
Fill the gap in the seam with more clay and smooth it out.

Whilst the clay is still moist, brush the Pearl Ex onto the clay. Leave it to cure until it has hardened.
Brush the Gold powder onto the clay.

Use the blade to scrape away any excess clay outside the seam. Take care not to scrape away any of the gold from the actual join.
Scrape away any clay overfill with a sharp blade.

Take a cotton bud dipped in methylated spirits and do a final clean up of the edges. Keep rotating the cotton bud so that you are always working with a clean part of the swab. 
Clean up the edges with a cotton bud that has been dipped in methylated spirits.

Leave the completed repair to cure fully before using it.

No doubt this marble cake stand has past tales to tell of fancy afternoon teas and the delicious morsels it once held........ but here's looking to the future and all the sweet and savoury delicacies still to come.

Oh, and one thing to keep in mind: whilst this is a really sturdy repair, food should not come into direct contact with epoxy clay. I’ll be using a doiley between the marble and the food, which will also help prevent grease and oil from absorbing into the marble.

Like this idea? Pin it for later!

Collage of repaired platters using a Kintsugi-inspired technique.

'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