Make Sculpted Resin using a Silicone Mold
Create dimensional molds with 2-Part Silicone Molding Putty to make a sculpted resin focal.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to make silicone molds using found objects
- How to create silicone molds with perfect registration
- How to mix and colorize Nunn Design 2-Part Resin with Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments
This technique is ideal for the Nunn Design Open Bezel Deep Channels and the Open Frame Pendants in our product line. Because these bezel pieces are machined from brass and then plated, there are no irregular edges. Cast bezels do work, but the resin can seep out from underneath the rim of the bezel while it is in the mold. This causes additional clean up, but does look great!
Fast & Long Video Tutorials!
Watch this Fast Video For a quick overview of the technique!
Watch the full tutorial video where I walk you through the whole process.
Nunn Design Bezels
Easy Mold Silicone Putty
Nunn Design Resin Kit
Vintage button or dimensional object
Other Supplies Needed:
Olive oil or baby oil
Toothpicks or headpins
Glossy business cards or card stock
Plastic bag for work surface
Preparing Your Nunn Design Bezels:
Step 1. The Nunn Design Findings are oxidized to provide the aged look to the precious metal plating. The oxidization, when it comes into contact with the mixed Nunn Design Resin could change the color of the resin. To avoid this, clean the findings thoroughly prior to applying the resin. Get the tip of a Q-Tip wet with rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidization on all the surfaces of the bezel.
Making of the Molds:
Step 2. Select a Nunn Design brass stamping. vintage button, or found object. Objects with a lot of relief make the best molds. For this tutorial, I used several vintage buttons and a fossil.
Step 3. Pinch off two equal sized balls of Part A and B of the Easy Mold Silicone Putty. Getting the knack for mixing just the right amount of putty will take some practice. You might mix too much or too little putty the first time. Try your best to guess how much putty you will need to have approximately 1/8” putty around the outside edge of your bezel’s rim. You will also want the thickness of the silicone putty to be approximately 1/8”.
Step 4. Before mixing the two parts of silicone putty from Step 3, use a Q-Tip to smear around some olive or baby oil over the surface of the object you selected to make the mold with. Thread a toothpick through the shank of the button. This will allow you to easily pull the button out of the mold without disturbing the mold.
Step 5. The Easy Mold Silicone Putty has a 3-minute working time before it begins to harden and not take the impression. Knead both part A and part B together until the putty is blended completely and has a uniform color.
Step 6. Roll the fully mixed Easy Mold Silicone Putty into a round ball and flatten slightly. Make sure the putty is smooth and not wrinkled (the creases in the putty will show up in the mold). I like to use the lid of the Easy Mold Silicone Putty to create a nice flat smooth disk. Place the mixed silicone ball onto a small plastic bag and press the lid evenly down into the putty.
Tip: The button that I’m making a mold of is fairly thick, so I allowed the pressed silicone to be fairly thick.
Step 7. Remove the putty from the lid of the container and press the button into the silicone putty, but not so far into the putty that you hit the bottom. Quickly remove the button and press in your Open Back Bezel in a position that frames the impression of the button nicely. The loop of the bezel should be at the top of your framed impression, allowing you to have a perfect registration with each imprint. Allow the Easy Mold Silicone Putty mold to set for 24 hours. If you don’t, the silicone will still be off-gassing and could cause additional bubbles in your resin.
Step 8. Clean the button with a wet-wipe. If you have any Silicone Molding Putty within the various crevices of the button, remove with a toothpick.
Step 9. I tend to work in a small area (typically my kitchen table), so I like to work on a surface that projects can be easily moved around and not disturbed. Place some business cards or some heavy card stock onto your work surface, making it easy to move the pendants without getting any resin on your fingers. Be sure to double check that your bezel is level in the mold. Allow the Easy Mold Silicone Putty mold to set for 24 hours. If you don’t, the silicone will still be off-gassing and could cause additional bubbles in your resin.
Tip: I would recommend covering the card with glossy packing tape. This will prevent the resin from sticking to the paper.
Mixing Nunn Design Resin:
Step 10. Read the resin instructions for safety concerns regarding the Nunn Design Resin.
When I work with resin, I always:
- Have my room heated around 70-73°
- Place a large plastic bag over my work surface and tape it down
- Make sure I have ventilation in my workroom
- Wear gloves
- Wear glasses (readers because I can’t see anymore. Plus it protects my eyes!)
- Have a pile of wet wipes handy
This is a great blog post that covers 20 Habits for Successfully Using Nunn Design 2-Part Epoxy Resin. Even if you are a seasoned resin mixer, this might be worth a read.
Step 11. Place one cup (included in the Nunn Design Resin Kit) onto your table. For curing purposes, it is very important that the resin be an exact 1 to 1 ratio of Part A and Part B. I suggest getting your eyes level with the resin so you can see the lines on the measuring cup.
Pour Part A of your resin kit up to the 1 TBS mark on your measuring cup.
Pour Part B of your resin kit into the same cup until it is filled to the 2 TBS mark.
It is important to pour Part A first and then Part B. It is some chemical thing about part A being heavier or something.
Step 12. Set your timer for 2 minutes. Using the stir stick from your kit (a popsicle stick or coffee stir stick will work great too), slowly and carefully stir your resin scraping the sides as you stir. Stir for the full 2 minutes.
After 2 minutes, scrape both sides of your stir stick on the edge of your resin filled cup.
Pour Mixed Resin into the Silicone Mold:
Step 13. Using your stir stick, drizzle the clear resin into the bezel. Before the bezel is filled to the top, take a toothpick and gently move around the resin to see if there are any air bubbles trapped in your mold or along the edge of the bezel. If any air bubbles are within the resin, they will rise to the surface from the agitation. Move the bubbles to the edges to pop, or breathe on them. The hot air from your breath will make the air expand and the bubble will pop.
Step 14. Continue to drizzle the resin until it is nearly flush to the bezel’s edge and full.
Step 15. Resin may seep out from underneath the bezel’s sidewalls after pouring in the mixed resin. If (and when) this happens, don’t worry. You will be able to clean the overflow resin during the resin’s “soft-cure phase.” This phase happens around 6 hours into the resin’s curing time.
Step 16. If you see bubbles rising to the surface, using your hot breath, breathe on them. It isn’t a “blow” sort of breath – more of a “huff” sort of breath. The hot air will make the bubbles expand, rise to the surface and pop. As the resin starts to set up and become thicker, it will be more difficult for the air to rise to the surface. Make sure to check in on the curing resin and double check for air bubbles. If you do have some bubbles that won’t pop with your “huff,” use a toothpick to gently drag them over to the sides. This agitation process will help them to pop. When the resin is thick and taffy-like in texture it is time to let it be. If you attempt to pop bubbles at this time, you may end up with a gooey mess.
Step 17. After about 12 hours, the resin will be cured with the silicone mold. Slightly bend back the edges of the silicone mold to release the resin and bezel. If you had any resin seep out from underneath the bezel while curing in the mold, grab ahold of the resin along the outside rim with a pair of needle nose pliers. Bend back the resin from the bezel causing the resin to easily separate and peel off of the bezel.
Step 18. Let the resin cure for 12-14 hours. The resin will be hard to the touch but will continue to cure for the next 72 hours.
Ideas For Excess Resin!
If you are stressing because of the waste, here are a couple of tutorials that are ideal for the resin that is getting very thick and goopy.
- Colorized Resin Gems Tutorial
- Texturized Resin in Open Frame Hoops Tutorial + Video
- Making Molds with Organics to Create Sculpted Resin Tutorial + Video
- Nunn Design Resin Drop Pendants using Excess Resin and Gilding Flakes
Learn How With Videos!
Here are two videos we did with Fusionbeads.com on preparing Nunn Design 2-Part Resin, and colorizing it!
- How to Prepare and Mix Nunn Design Resin with Becky Nunn | Fusion Beads
- How to Colorize Nunn Design Resin with Pigments with Becky Nunn | Fusion Beads
Shop the Supplies!
With each of our Buy & Try Tutorials, all of the supplies you will need are available for purchase.
Shop Wholesale Bulk:
We use our Open Pendant Beaded Large and Open Pendant Hammered Large Circles in this tutorial.
How to Purchase Wholesale?
If you are interested in becoming one of the many designers who trust their jewelry to Nunn Design Findings, please join us by registering to become one of our wholesale customers!
Nunn Design primarily sells wholesale, but we do offer Retail Kits and Retail Buy & Try Programs for certain projects. For all other findings, please visit our Where to Buy Page for a listing of online stores that sell Nunn Design Findings retail.
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