I love the look of these colorized resin bezels with brass stampings. They remind me of vintage German glass reverse intaglio cabochons.
With this tutorial, you can learn how to use open back bezels, colorize resin and how to embed brass stampings.
This is a cheatsheet that you may be interested in; Pantone Color Nunn Design Resin Formula Cheatsheet (PDF). In this cheatsheet I list formulas for mixing Nunn Design Resin with Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments to create colors from different years of trending Pantone colors. I used the Kale formula for this tutorial.
Toothpick or headpin
Business Cards or glossy card stock
Decide which Nunn Design Brass Stamping works best for you. If the stamping is too large, you could trim it with a pair of flush cutters.
Cut a piece of packing tape and place it on your work surface. Place an Open Pendant onto the tape. Using your fingertips, press the pendant down onto the packing tape and rub back and forth on your work surface to make sure it is burnished down.
Check to see that your packing tape is clear and there is no residue or mottling in the adhesive. If there is, it will show up in your finished resin piece when you remove the tape once the resin is cured. Try to use an area of the tape that does not have blotches or marks.
Trim away any excess packing tape from around your Open Pendant to avoid the curing resin piece from being potentially disturbed.
I like to place each bezel on its own individual piece of packing tape. It makes the pouring easier to manage and eliminates the chance of disturbing the bezel next to it.
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.
Read the resin instructions for safety concerns regarding the Nunn Design Resin.
When I work with resin, I always:
- Place a large plastic bag over my work surface and tape it down.
- I make sure I have ventilation in my workroom.
- I wear gloves.
- I wear glasses (readers because I can’t see anymore. Plus it protects my eyes!).
- I 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.
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 ½ fluid ounce mark on your measuring cup. Pour Part B of your resin kit into the same cup until it is filled to the 1 fluid ounce mark. It is important to pour Part A first and then Part B. It is some chemical thing about the part B being heavier or something.
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 a minimum of 2 minutes. If your resin is still cloudy continue to mix until clear. After mixing is complete and your resin is clear, scrape both sides of your stir stick on the edge of your resin filled cup.
To create Pantone Colors, take a look at our Pantone Color Nunn Design Resin Formula Cheatsheet (PDF), For this tutorial, I colorized my resin with Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments; yellow, blue, black and white.
The formula for Kale, Pantone 18-0107 TCX :
- 1 tsp Nunn Design Resin
- 4 toothpick tips Yellow
- 1 tiny toothpick tip Blue
- 2 toothpick tips Black
- 1 toothpick tip White
Here is a visual of what a “tiny toothpick tip” and a “toothpick tip” look like.
On a piece of plastic, such as a Ziplock bag, squeeze a little of the Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments. This will prevent you from contaminating your colorants with mixed Nunn Design Resin as you add the toothpicks of color to the resin.
Place another empty resin mixing cup onto your work area. Pour the clear resin from Step 6 into the cup, filling it to the 1 tsp mark. Add in the colorants from the formula in Step 8 to create the Kale color. Stir gently until the colorant is fully mixed together. Let resin sit for 5 minutes to allow the bubbles rise to the surface and pop.
Be sure that the colorant does not equal more than 10% of your resin as having more than 10% could cause issues with curing.
Slowly drizzle your mixed colorized resin into the Open Pendant until the base of the bezel is filled and the resin comes to the outside edge of the pendant.
Use a toothpick to agitate the resin and make sure there aren’t any air bubbles lurking below the surface.
If you have any resin where you don’t want it, use a Q-Tip to clean up the surface. If any of the resin spills over the sides, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to easily clean that up once the resin is slightly cured.
Set the bezel aside for 12 hours until the resin is slightly cured. 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 a 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, use a toothpick to gentle 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.
If you do have some overflow, let your resin filled bezel set for 12 hours. After 12 hours, the resin will be set, but still very flexible. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to pry away the resin from the pendant. The resin will easily peel away and is fairly easy to pick-off with your fingernails.
Remove the packing tape from the backside once fully cured. If you do it after 12 hours (like I did so I could remove the spillage from step 15) the resin will still be very flexible and can easily “bow” within the bezel. Just go slow and don’t press or pull too hard.
If you have any excess residue from the packing tape on the backside, use the tape to remove it like you would when you are removing lint or animal fur from your clothes. Keep touching the packing tape onto the sticky surface until it is no longer sticky. Still sticky, try Goo Be Gone! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results. I applied a couple drops on the backside and let it sit for over a minute. I then used a stir stick to scrape the tapes residue. It was fast and easy. Once clean, just use rubbing alcohol on a wet-wipe to wipe clean.
Here is an example of a small bit of resin that was on the bezel. I just used my thumbnail to gently pick at the resin.
Now you are ready to add your brass stampings to the cured colorized resin in the base of the bezel. Mix up another batch of Nunn Design Resin. Drizzle a small amount onto the colorized resin. Spread the resin over the surface with a toothpick.
Place your brass stamping into the resin. The brass stampings have a domed back, so you will want to make sure that you have resin within the backside cavities. Otherwise, air will get trapped and little bubble clusters will form around the edges of the stamping.
Use a pair of tweezers to move the brass stamping around; making sure no air is trapped in the resin underneath.
Continue to drizzle more resin until the bezel is filled. If you want a flat resin surface, fill the resin just to the edge of the bezel. If you would like a high dome, continue to drizzle resin until you have your desired height.
Drag the resin to the edge of the bezel with a toothpick. The resin is self-doming and wants to know where the edge is. By dragging the resin to the edge of the bezel, you will be able to create a more finished look.
If you have any resin where you don’t want it, use a wet-wipe to clean up the surface. Set aside to cure (up to 72 hours).
If you have excess colorized resin from this project, don’t let it go to waste. Pour the resin onto a plastic bag and let it cure. Once the resin is cured for 12 hours, you can cut the resin with scissors and create interesting patterns. See our tutorial on our blog to learn more. Create Colorized Resin Mosaics with Excess Resin Tutorials
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