Let me start by saying I’m no expert. However, I have picked up a few tips and tricks to making resin jewellery over time. Mainly through trial and error and finding out what works best for me. Below are just a few things I have learned.
Why Use UV Resin?
If you’re like me and you are quite an impatient person, UV resin is probably the best resin for you to use. Why? Because UV resin is a resin type that lives up to its name – it cures under a UV lamp in usually about 60 seconds. I personally prefer using UV resin compared to other resins, because of the quick easy way it cures. Another advantage is that there is no mixing of two parts involved, like epoxy resin.
Make sure you have everything you need before you start
I can’t tell you how many times I started a project, only to realise I was missing some of the stuff I needed. So, one thing I would definitely recommend is that you need to gather your supplies. The main supplies you will need are UV Resin, a UV torch/lamp, stirring sticks, stirring jugs, and any pigment powders, alcohol inks and embellishments like flowers or glitter.
Here, I am using UV resin, a UV torch, moulds, pigment powder, and some stirring sticks.
Use a lighter to get rid of air bubbles before curing
You will get some small air bubbles when you pour and mix any pigment powders, alcohol inks or glitters into your UV resin mix. That’s okay, there’s an easy way to get rid of them! Use a lighter and gently run it over your resin to pop them before curing. Be careful that you don’t keep the flame on your resin for too long. If you’re not confident with using a lighter, a toothpick can also be very useful, albeit a very slow method!
Don’t rush to cure
One of the benefits of UV resin is that it won’t cure until you have put it under your UV light. So, take your time! Make sure there are no air bubbles, and the colour is correct before you decide to harden the resin under the light.
I generally find keeping the UV light on the resin for a few minutes helps solidify the resin completely. Also, remember to cure the front and back of the piece you are curing. If the resin still feels slightly tacky to touch, put it back under the light until it doesn’t.
Make only small projects
You will need the UV light to reach through the resin. So it’s best to keep the jewellery you are making on the smaller side. I find curing in thin layers works best. When I started making resin jewellery, I’ve learnt the darker the colour of the pigment powder, the more time your resin needs to cure under the UV lamp. This is because the pigment powder stops the UV light from getting into the resin fully. There are a couple of easy ways to fix this: pour and cure your resin in smaller and thinner layers; and keep the resin under the UV light for longer. Add any powders, inks, or embellishments like glitter in slowly and a little at a time. You can always add more if you feel like your project needs it, but you can’t take it out once it’s in!
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Pour the resin slowly into your chosen mould or bezel. I usually drip my resin from the mixing stick. I find this is the best way to keep your crafting area (somewhat) tidy and to avoid too much space between the mixing cup and the mould. This helps to prevent more air bubbles getting into your resin.
Do a final coat of clear resin
To give your piece that extra shiny layer, I find using a very thin layer on clear resin on top helps. This will give your finished jewellery a more luxury look to it.
Your only limit is your imagination
There are so many possibilities of jewellery you can make with UV resin. Even I haven’t tried them all! Have fun with what you can create.