Wednesday, March 20, 2019

DIY Marbled Resin Cross

The cross is a powerful symbol in Christian life and its importance in many Christian celebrations is significant. Whether you're celebrating Easter or a Baptism, this beautiful marbled resin cross is a DIY project you can make and personalise as a centre piece for your Easter celebrations or to give as a special memento to mark the occasion of a Baptism of a special child. 
Marbled blue resin cross with filigree and acrylic pearls for decoration

Here's are the materials you'll need to make one:

Castin'Craft Opaque Pigment - white;
Transparent blue resin dye
Castin'Craft Opaque Pigment - white;
FolkArt Acrylic Paints: Parisian Pink; Baby Pink; Color Shift Orchid Flash

Apply the painter's tape to the front of the cross.
Taping the back of the wooden cross with painter's tape.

Trim away the excess tape around the outside of the cross with scissors and the inside with a craft knife.
Using a craft knife to trim the tape to the shape of the wood.

It should look something like this.
The back of the cross taped and trimmed.

N.B. Before measuring out the resin, put on the gloves as the resin will get sticky.

Measure the resin and mix it according to the manufacturer's instructions. You'll need approximately 30mls (1oz) in total for the first side.
Mixing the epoxy resin with a wooden stir stick.

Divide half the resin between three shot glasses. Colour the original mixing cup with white pigment. Colour one shot glass with transparent dye, one drop at a time so it doesn't get too dark. Colour another with the powder and the last one with acrylic paint.

N.B. When colouring resin with acrylic paint, add only a drop at a time and stir it through. Keep adding drops until the resin is opaque. If you add too much acrylic paint, the resin may not cure properly.
Adding mica powder to the mixed resin.

Pour the white resin in a puddle in the middle of the cross. Spread it across the entire cross.
Pouring white resin onto the centre of the cross.

Drizzle the three blue resins across the cross at an angle.
Drizzling the blue resin diagonally across the cross.

Use the heat tool to feather the stripes a little.
Feathering the resin using a heat gun.

Cover the inner and outer walls of the cross with resin too for a more professional finish. The flat side of the stir stick will help with this. Leave the resin to cure overnight.
Using the stir stick to apply resin to the inner and outer walls of the cross.

Working in small sections at a time, use the heat tool to soften the resin drips on the taped side of the cross. Here's a quick video showing you how to do it.
Applying heat to the resin overpour on the back of the cross to help remove it.

Remove the tape.
Pulling the tape off the back of the cross

If you're going to hang your cross on the wall, then you've finished with the resin part. You can skip down to the decorating.

But if you'd like to use your cross as a centre piece where it will be viewed from both sides (or you just want to give it a more professional finish), then continue on.

To Make the Cross a Centre Piece

Tape the first side of the cross with painter's tape and trim away the overhang. This is really fiddly but take your time and do the best you can. The better you tape, the better your finished cross will be.
Taping the resined side of the cross so you can apply resin to the other side.

Mix 30mls (1oz) resin and divide it into 3 disposable shot glasses. Colour each one and apply the resin as you did on the other side of the cross. Make sure you apply resin to all the sides as well. Feather the resin with the heat tool.
Graphic showing the steps for applying resin to the other side of the cross

Use a BBQ torch or gas lighter to pop the bubbles and leave to cure overnight.
Using a BBQ torch to pop the bubbles in the resin

Remove the tape.

Decorating your Marbled Resin Cross

Play with the arrangement of the filigrees and acrylic pearls. Once you're happy with how your piece looks, mix the 5-minute epoxy and attach the pieces one by one.
Applying 5-minute epoxy adhesive to the back of the filigree

Create a cross with the two filigrees in the centre of the piece. Curve the top piece slightly so that it makes contact with the resin on either end.
Positioning a second filigree at right angles to the first one to create a cross.

Mix additional batches of adhesive to attach the half pearls as required. Leave the adhesive to dry before hanging.
Gluing the acrylic pearl halves to the marbled resin

Pin this Project!
Marbled Resin Baptismal Cross for boys or girls 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 1, 2019

Lucky Shamrock Bracelet

Lucky four leaf clover bracelet

When it comes to luck, the Irish have it all down "Pat", if you'll excuse the pun: Pots of gold, lucky pennies and the most famous of all, lucky shamrocks. So what would St Patrick's Day be without a four leaf clover! This Lucky Shamrock Bracelet is made using leaf beads strung together in a circle to create a clover shape.

Here's what you'll need:
4 emerald top-drilled leaf or petal beads
36 x 3mm light green fire polished Czech glass faceted beads
20 x 6mm faceted vitrail mirror beads
6” textured silver 6x8mm oval chain
10x13mm silver celtic square spacers
4 x 6mm silver jump rings
26 gauge silver wire
Beadalon Silver 0.015 19 strand Beading Wire
8 silver wire guardians
8 Size #2 silver crimp tubes
Silver ball and hitch clasp

Tools: Chain nose pliers, Round nose pliers, Flush cutters, Crimping pliers

Cut a 24” length of wire. String the leaf beads and move them to the centre of the wire, form them in a circle and then thread one of the wires through a bead to secure them in a circle. Position the shamrock so the two wires are at the top.

Take the wire on the right and cross it over the centre of the circle, wrap it around the back of the bottom bead, and back up across the front diagonally. Both wires will now be between the top and the left bead.

Repeat with the second wire, crossing over the centre of the circle, around the back of the right hand leaf and back up across the front diagonally. This wire is now at the bottom on the left hand side. Continue wrapping the wires around the beads making sure that each bead is wrapped with wire at least twice on the front and twice on the back (some will be wrapped 3 or 4 times). Finish with the wires pointing up.

Place one of the silver spacers over the both wires and position it on the front of the beads. Bend the wires around to the back and pull them firmly. Place the other spacer on the wires and bend the wires back towards the front.

Cut an 8” length of wire and feed it through the back of the shamrock, between the beads and the spacer. You may have to wiggle it to get it through. Pinch the two wires together near the beads and twist them until you have a tightly twisted wire. Repeat with the other end of the wire.

Create a wrapped loop at each end and trim away the excess twisted wire. You can see how to do that in this post.

Make a wrapped loop on the other side of the clover leaf as well.

Cut four 8” lengths of beading wire. On each wire, string a crimp and a wire guardian. Thread the beading wire back through the crimp and crimp in place. See this tutorial on how to crimp beading wire.

String eighteen 3mm beads on one and ten 6mm beads on another, string a crimp tube and a wire guardian on each and crimp in place to secure.  Repeat with the remaining beads.

Cut the chain in half, open a jump ring and hook on the chain, a strand of 3mm beads and a strand of 6mm beads. Attach it to the twisted loop of the shamrock and then close it. Repeat with the remaining strands on the other side of the shamrock.

Open another jump ring and attach the loose ends of the chain and bead strands. Before closing the jump ring, attach one end of the clasp. Repeat on the other side with the second half of the clasp.

Pin this Project!
Four leaf clover bracelet 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

Monday, February 25, 2019

How to Turn Resin Art Overflow in Marbled Orb Earrings

Inspiration sheet showing how to interlock marbled resin disks and a pair of finished orb earrings
Are you like me and unable to throw out the resin overflow from your resin art canvases? All that gorgeous marbled resin overflow creates such pretty patterns as it drips over the edge of your resin paintings onto your work space.  I just hate to waste resin so I collect it and save it for other projects. 
Red, blue, black and gold marbled over-flow from resin paintings.

One of the ways you can use it is to die cut it into circles that you can turn into orb beads.
Multi coloured resin orb beads and disks

If you want to collect your resin overflow too, then make sure you're working over a surface that the resin won't stick to. I use a painter's plastic drop sheet to catch the drips. If it's polypropylene or polyethylene, you'll be able to peel the resin right off once it's cured.

So here's the process I use to put that pretty marbled resin to use.

First, you'll need:
Poly Paper painter's drop sheet
Resin overflow. I use EnviroTex Lite epoxy resin for my paintings
Sizzix Big Shot die cutting machine
Sizzix Bigz Die, 1" circle
Heavy duty scissors - I recommend Tonic Studios scissors for easy cutting
Emery board

Important Note:

Once your resin overflow has cured, cut it into smaller sheets that will fit through the bed of the Sizzix Big Shot. The most important thing is to make sure that the pieces you choose are not too thick for the Big Shot to handle. The Big Shot will handle pieces as thick as chipboard so look for pieces no thicker than that. If you have to force your resin pieces through, then they are too thick and will most likely destroy your Big Shot. If your resin overflow is thicker than that, see the video at the bottom of the post for another way to cut it.

Cutting Resin Sheets with the Big Shot

Place a piece of resin onto the die. You have two choices: place the best marbled pattern onto a circle and have a lot of wastage, or be as economical as you can and position the resin on the die to get the largest number of circles.

A piece of marbled pink resin placed over the circles of a circle die.

Sandwich the die and resin between the two acrylic plates and place them on the bed of the Big Shot. I place the die facing up so I can see what's happening. It's also a good idea to centre the die in the middle of the plates so that they can easily feed into the machine. Wind the sandwich through slowly. If there is too much resistance, STOP! If there is only a little resistance, continue. You'll hear the plates cracking as they flex through the rollers which will make your heart skip for a moment. As long as they don't actually crack, it's OK.
Winding the cured resin through the Sizzix Big Shot on the circle die.

And this is what you'll end up with: some perfectly cut marbled resin circles.
Perfect circles are cut from the sheet of cured resin.

Cut a slit from the edge of a circle into the centre. Take your time doing this and "nibble" at it because sometimes, cured resin can be brittle and if you cut it all in one action, it can break.
Cutting a slit into the resin from the edge to the centre.

Trim the slit until it is wide enough to slot another circle sideways into it. It should be a fairly tight fit.
Marbled pink resin circle with a slit cut into it.

File away the rough edges with the emery board. I found that an emery board is the perfect thickness to sand both sides at once.
Using an emery board to smooth the cut edges of the marbled pink resin circle.

The edges of the slot should be really smooth. Take care not to overdo the sanding or you'll make the slot too wide.
The cured, marbled resin circle with a slit cut into it.

Cut a slot into a second circle and then slot the two pieces together.
Slotting the two circles together.

They should be snug enough that you have to use a little pressure as you slide the two pieces together and each side of the circle should sit at a right angle to the one on either side of it. If they're too tight, they won't sit properly so file away just a little bit more. If you've made your slots too wide, you'll need to add a dab of adhesive to help the circles sit correctly.
Pressing from the top and the bottom to align the edges of the two circles.

Make a additional orb beads to turn into jewellery. For earrings, you'll need two sets of circles.
Finished resin circle beads.

Some of these beads look like planets in the solar system.
Marbled resin circle beads in blue, black, pink and green.

What to do if your Resin Overflow Sheets are Too Thick

If your resin sheets are too thick to run through a die cutting machine, then watch this short video to learn how you can easily cut through thicker sheets.

Now, let's turn these orb beads into earrings!

Marbled Blue orb beads with crescent moon and star charms

You'll need:
4 x 1" marbled blue resin overflow disks with slots
12 x 5mm silver jump rings
2 x Silver ball end earring wires
2 x Silver filigree moon charms (this one is similar)
2 x Silver star beads
2 x Silver ball ended head pins
Drill with 1mm drill bit - I highly recommend the Her Embosser Tool for jewellery making because it's lightweight and portable.

Pliers: chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; flat nose pliers; side cutters

  1. Drill a hole on either side of the slit, 1mm in from each edge of both disks.
  2. Using the drill to drill a hole in the resin disk.

  3. Insert a jump ring in through each hole and close it.
  4. Closing a jump ring in the resin disk with pliers.

  5. Slot the two disks into each other.
  6. Insert the slits of the two resin circles into each other to form an interlocking orb bead.

  7. Hook another jump ring through the two closed jump rings.
  8. Hooking a jump ring through the two jump rings on the resin disks.

  9. Whilst it's still open, hook the moon charm onto the jump ring.
  10. Hooking a moon shaped charm onto the jump ring.

  11. String the star bead onto the head pin and turn a simple loop. Hook the loop through the bottom of the moon.
  12. Hooking the loop of the star bead through the filigree of the moon charm

  13. Connect the two top jump rings together with another jump ring and then hook it onto the earring wire. Make a second earring to match.
Closing the jump ring with pliers.

Pink and burgundy orb earrings with electroplated tear drop bead dangle.
To make the pink and burgundy earrings, you'll need the following:
4 x 1" marbled pink resin overflow disks with slots
12 x 5mm gold jump rings
Pliers: chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; flat nose pliers; side cutters
Follow steps 1-4 of the Earth, Moon and Star earrings above.
String a tear drop bead on a head pin and bend it at a 90° angle. Trim the head pin approximately 10mm (3/8") from the bead and then turn a simple loop. Connect the tear drop to the orbit bead with jump rings.
Graphic showing the steps for turning a simple loop on a head pin

Connect the top jump rings together with another jump ring and while it is still open, hook on a 2.5cm  (1") length of chain.
Hooking a length of chain onto the orb bead.

Slip the earring wire through the top link of the chain. Make a second earring to match.
Ear wire with chain attached

Marbled grey earrings with pink tassel and chain dangles
To make the tassel orb earrings, you'll need:
4 x 1" charcoal resin overflow disks with slots
2 x 10mm gunmetal filigree circle bead caps
1 x pink thread tassel
1 x silver chain tassel
12 x 5mm gunmetal jump rings
2 x gunmetal earring wires
Pliers: chain nose pliers; round nose pliers; flat nose pliers; side cutters; Crystal Katana
Follow steps 1-5 of the Earth, Moon and Star earrings, substituting the filigree bead cap for the crescent moon charm. Hook the thread tassel on the bottom of one orb and the chain tassel on the other.
Using pliers to attach the bead cap to the earring with a jump ring.

Open the loop of the earring wire and hook it through the filigree bead cap.
Using pliers to close the loop on the earring wire.

Mix the 5-minute epoxy and apply a small amount to the centre of the filigree. Place a flatback crystal on the adhesive.
Attaching the flat back crystal to the bead cap.

Pin this Project!
How to make earrings from resin art overflow 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