Wednesday, March 11, 2020

7 Ways to Eliminate Bubbles from Your Resin

Don't let bubbles be the undoing of your next resin project.
No matter whether you're just starting out with resin or whether you've been working with resin for a while, bubbles are something you will always have to deal with. They can be really frustrating but there are ways of minimising them, or even eliminating them from your projects.

Colourful box containing text: 7 ways to eliminate bubbles from resin

There are many different things that cause bubbles and there are just as many ways to minimise or get rid of them. Half the battle is working out WHY you got bubbles. Once you know why you're getting them, it's a whole lot easier to deal with them.

Try some of these tips and tricks to beat those pesky bubbles.

How to Deal with Bubbles in the Mixing Stage

1. Avoid Vigorous Mixing and Stir Slowly

Resin needs to be mixed thoroughly for it to cure. If you stir fast or whip the resin, you'll incorporate a lot of bubbles into it. Try stirring slowly. It will take longer but when you're working with epoxy, you have plenty of time so stir slowly and you'll end up having a lot less bubbles to deal with.
Mixing resin with a stir stick in a small plastic cup

Small plastic cup with clear mixed resin

2. Rest the Resin

Once you've mixed the resin, let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Set a timer so that you don't forget it.

Most of the bubbles you mixed into the resin will rise to the surface. They're much easier to deal with once they're sitting on the surface of the resin than when they're suspended in the resin. To see how to pop bubbles on the surface of resin, see "How to Deal with Bubbles AFTER Pouring"
Small cup of mixed resin with a timer set for 10 minutes

3. Warm the Resin to Avoid Micro Bubbles

If you've ever mixed resin and it looks cloudy instead of clear, hold the cup up to the light. Most likely, it's full of tiny, microscopic bubbles. These bubbles are so small that they can't rise through the resin to the surface and if there are thousands of them, they resin appears cloudy. This is the result of mixing cold resin.

If your bottles of resin feel cool/cold to the touch, try warming them in a container of warm water. Make sure the lids are on tightly so no moisture can get inside them. Leave the bottles for 10 minutes and then remove them from the water bath. The bottles should no longer feel cool. Now you can go ahead and mix the two parts together. Don't forget to refer to the instructions that came in your resin kit - they will tell you what the optimum temperature for working with your resin is.
Warning: Never mix hot resin. If the bottles feel hot, let them cool before mixing the two parts together.
Resin and hardener bottles sitting in a container of warm water

How to Deal with Bubbles AFTER Pouring

Mixing resin isn't the only place that you'll encounter bubbles. Even if you have no bubbles after mixing, there are still other ways that bubbles can be introduced into the resin, so having some tricks up your sleeve to deal with them is essential.

4. Drag Them Out of the Resin

When you put textured items into resin, quite often a bubble will get trapped against the surface of the object. You can avoid that happening by "painting" on a thin layer of resin with a stir stick before placing it in the mould. But if you still manage to get a bubble, use a toothpick to dislodge it and then drag it out to the edge of the mould where you can remove it from the resin.
Using a toothpick to dislodge the bubbles caught on the surface of the leaf.

Using a toothpick to drag bubbles to the edge of the mould.

5. Use a Straw

Once bubbles reach the surface, you can blow through a straw to pop them. The carbon dioxide in your breath will pop them.
Bubbles being removed from resin by blowing through a straw

6. Use a BBQ Lighter

This is one of my favourite tricks. You'll need a BBQ lighter or gas torch for this trick. Pass the flame BRIEFLY across the surface of the resin. Use a back and forth motion so that you keep the flame moving across the resin surface at all times and don't linger in one spot. 
Passing a flame from a BBQ torch across the surface of the resin

7. Use Rubbing Alcohol

If you're not comfortable using a flame on the surface of the resin, then this tip might be for you. Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spritz the surface of the resin. The alcohol breaks the surface tension causing the bubbles to pop. The alcohol will evaporate quickly without affecting the resin.

Now that you have a host of different ways of dealing with bubbles, go forth and create bubble-free resin projects.

Pin These Tips!
How to deal with bubbles in resin tip 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

Thursday, March 5, 2020

DIY Pearl and Filigree Leather Earrings

When Joanna Gaines first sported her simple leather leaf earrings, you could never have imagined how popular DIY leather earrings would become. 
Ultramarine blue leather teardrop earrings with cut out for filigree and imitation pearl detailing.

There are a ton of tutorials out there using a Cricut and other die-cutting machines to cut leather earring shapes but you don't need to invest in a cutting machine to make them. 

There's a MUCH CHEAPER way! 

Head into your local Michaels store and pick up a pack of Realeather earring shapes and then get creative! If you don't have access to a Michaels store, look for 32x50mm veg tan teardrop shapes.

Leather earring shapes are like blank canvases that are just screaming to be customised. In this tutorial, we're going to cut out a peep hole, re-colour the leather to the most gorgeous shade of Ultramarine and then add some details with imitation pearls and a filigree. So let's get started!

Here's a list of what you'll need:
2 x Veg Tan Leather Teardrops (32x50mm)
Realeather Dye Pens (Basic Set)
2 x Silver filigree connectors 57x16mm
White imitation pearl flatbacks (I used 5mm and 8mm)
2 x 12x7mm centre-drilled white imitation pearl teardrops
2 x silver ball end earring wires
6 x 6mm silver jump rings
2 x silver head pins
Crystal Katana or other tool for placing pearls
G-S Hypo Cement
scrap paper

Tools: Flat nose pliers, flush cutters, round nose pliers, scissors, craft knife

Make a Template

Trace the teardrop on a scrap of paper and cut it out. Centre the filigree on the template and trace around it. Remove the filigree and sketch a pointed oval using the inside edges of the filigree shape as a guide. Fold the template in half and cut out the oval.
Tracing the filigree onto a paper teardrop template and cutting out the centre.

Prepare the Leather 

Position the template over the leather teardrops and trace the pointed oval on the front.
Tracing the template onto the veg tan leather teardrop shape

Carefully cut out the oval with a craft knife or scalpel.
Cutting out the peep hole in the leather shape using a scalpel.
The veg tan leather teardrop shape with the cutout sitting next to it

Colour the Veg Tan Leather

Use the blue marker to colour the front, back and sides of the teardrop (you want the back of your earrings to look good too!). Try not to overlap the colour or it will leave dark lines.
Using a blue dye pen to colour the front of the leather teardrop shape

Space the pearls around the bottom of the teardrops and then glue them into place.
Gluing the faux pearls into place around the bottom section of the teardrop

Assemble the Earrings

Open a jump ring, insert it through the top of the filigree and then hook it through the hole of the teardrop so that the filigree sits at the back.
Inserting a jump ring through the top of the filigree and the top of the leather teardrop.

String the pearl drop on the head pin and bend it at a 90° angle.
Bending a head pin at a 90° angle above a pearl teardrop using flat nose pliers

Trim the tail to 10mm (3/8") with the flush cutters....
Trimming the head pin using flush cutters

.... and turn a simple loop.
A pearl teardrop strung on a head pin with a simple loop on the jaws of round nose pliers.

Hook a jump ring through the bottom of the filigree and hook on the loop of the
pearl teardrop.
Hooking a pearl teardrop onto the bottom of the filigree with a jump ring.

To finish the earring, insert another jump ring through the one at the top of the earring and then insert the earring wire through it. Complete the second earring to match.
Inserting the earring wire through the jump ring at the top of the earring.

The finished earrings are a standout and they'll look amazing teamed with a bright, summer outfit. You'll find them lightweight and comfortable to wear too. All in all, they're the perfect accessory for your summer wardrobe, so enjoy wearing them all season long!

Pin the Project!
DIY leather earrings 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