Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tutorial: Casting Resin

Want to preserve that butterfly you found in summer forever?! Or what about that bouquet of spring daisies? Well..there's casting resin for that.

Resin is pretty awesome. You can make jewelry, paperweights, or pretty much anything depending on the shape of the mold you have. It's basically making your own plastic.

I'm just going to warn you's a very stinky process so make sure you do this in a well ventilated area! You really don't wanna inhale these fumes..haha.

You will need:

- canister of clear casting resin
- plastic measuring cups
- popsicle sticks (for stirring and mixing)
- single use paintbrush
- casting resin catalyst
- casting dyes
- newspaper or drop cloth (it gets messy)
- objects you want to embed
- casting mold

First you want to lay out your newspaper or drop cloth in the area you will be working because the stuff gets really messy and you don't want to ruin your lovely surface with sticky stinky resin.

Next take your mold. Fill the mold with water and then pour the water into one of the measuring cups. This will tell you how much resin you will need to fill the mold.

Then measure the amount of resin and pour it into the measuring cup. If you want to do multiple layers in your mold, you can measure in sections.

If you want to color your resin, add a few drops of dye. Usually the packaging will tell you how much to add, but I usually add from 3 to 5 drops depending on how much resin I have and how intense I want the pigment to be. Then stir your resin until the color is well blended.

Now you want to add your catalyst. It is recommended to add about 10 drops of catalyst per ounce. But be careful because too much catalyst will cause it to heat too quickly and crack, and not enough catalyst will result in a sticky resin. Mix the catalyst well.

Then you can pour your resin mixture into the mold. Let the mixture sit until it reaches a gel-like consistency when tapping with a popsicle stick or gently tipping the mold. It must reach this consistency before placing objects on top of it or adding the next layer, otherwise the layers might mix or the objects will sink into the layer.

Once it reaches the gel consistency, you can add your objects you want to embed. I used some sea shells, which have ridges and uneven surfaces. I painted them with a little bit of resin before adding them to the mold to prevent air bubbles from forming underneath them. Then you can place them gently in your mold.

You can create multiple layers with multiple objects and colors. I like to play around a bit.

Finally, you create the last layer of resin the same way you made every other layer, and you pour it on top until the mold is filled. When the top layer is completely hardened, you can pop out your resin and your creation is complete!

I've made multiple paperweights and jewelry charms..these make really great gifts!

My most recent creation is beach themed..embedded with seashells and the last layer contains beach sand.

It has three layers, the first layer has blue resin and seashells, the second has blue resin and a beach umbrella and the last has sand and yellow resin.

The back of the paperweight, containing sand. You can also glue a piece of felt to the back of your paperweight.

The front beach scene!

Also..this is my 100th post! Yaaay for Hearts of Trees having 100 posts!

I remember when I started this thing in 2009 so I could share my thoughts, inspiration and art with the world and I'm excited to keep sharing!

Thanks everyone! <3


  1. I just found your blog thanks to my current obsession with Ellie Goulding covers on YouTube. Haha. But I love your blog: all the crafts and art look beautiful and really fun to do. Keep up the good work! =)

  2. Thanks so much!! Glad you like my blog..and Ellie of course! haha :)