Although there are steps to learn, you will be shocked at how easy this technique is once you have the basics down. Learn how to mix Crystal Clay, apply Crystal Clay within the bezels, how to rubber stamp your designs and how to colorize Nunn Design 2-Part Resin.
Once you know how, I can only guess that you will be looking at rubber stamps completely differently! I am now continually on the hunt for rubber stamps that I can use for this technique. Some of them were already within my own stash!
Fast Tutorial Video:
Watch this Fast Video For a quick overview of the process and then read the full tutorial below!
Long Tutorial Video:
Watch the Long Video and see the complete process!
Nunn Design Bezels
Crystal Clay – White
StazOn Ink Pad
Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
Castin Craft Opaque Colorants
Other Supplies Needed:
Toothpicks or headpins
Glossy business cards or card stock
Plastic Bags, such as a Ziploc Bag
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 Crystal Clay could change the color of the clay. To avoid this, clean the bezel thoroughly prior placing the Crystal Clay within the finding. To clean, 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.
Mixing the Crystal Clay:
Step 2. Crystal Clay is a 2-part epoxy. Mixing equal parts of A & B activates the clay. Once the clay is activated you have 90-120 minutes before the clay hardens and you can no longer sculpt or embed objects. Prior to mixing the 2 parts, it is recommended by the manufacturer to wear gloves when handling. Once the clay is mixed it is activated and is neutral and gloves are no longer necessary.
The gloves that are included in the Crystal Clay Kits are not my favorite. They are way too big for my hands and I have a heck of time mixing and colorizing the clay while wearing them. If you are having the same challenge try a different brand. If you do not have a latex allergy, I recommend using a pair of industrial, powder-free, 5 mils, latex glove sized to fit your hand snugly.
I use my latex gloves over and over again to prevent waste. To get the most usage out of the gloves, place baby powder generously over your hands prior to putting the gloves on.
This will make it easier to get the gloves off once you are finished mixing the Crystal Clay.
Step 3. With the gloves on, open up the packages of Crystal Clay and pinch off two equal-sized balls of Part A and Part B. Blend together the 2 parts fully until the clay is no longer marbled and is uniform in color.
Tip: I guesstimate the amount of Crystal Clay that I will need to fill the bezels for the project I’m working on. I would recommend having plenty of bezels prepped just in case you have excess clay.
Tip: Make sure to wrap up your Crystal Clay to prevent it from drying out and hardening. Store Part A and Part B in separate zip-lock bags to avoid contamination while it is in storage.
Step 4. Once the clay is mixed, you can safely handle the clay without wearing gloves. Prior to removing the gloves, use a wet-wipe to clean them fully. Store the gloves for your next creative jewelry making project.
Use a wet-wipe to also clean your hands of any baby powder prior to handling the clay.
Step 5. Roll the thoroughly mixed Crystal Clay between your palms until it forms a smooth round ball.
Insert Mixed Crystal Clay into Bezel
Step 6. Press the ball of mixed Crystal Clay into your bezel using the tips of your fingers. For this particular technique, I wanted the Crystal Clay to be flush to and level with the sides of the bezel.
If you have too much clay, you can pinch off the excess and pat down until smooth again, or remove it from the bezel altogether and remove the excess.
If filling the corners with Crystal Clay is challenging, use a toothpick to press the clay up into the corners of the bezel. Pat the toothpick marked clay with your fingers until smooth.
Tip: Be sure to check the backside to make sure you are getting the Crystal Clay into all of the crevices and corners of the bezel.
Step 7. Use a wet-wipe to clean-up any excess Crystal Clay that might have been left on the jewelry finding. The Crystal Clay hardens like cement, so cleaning it up now and being tidy as you go makes the process easier and the results so much nicer.
Insert Crystal Clay into an Open Bezel:
Step 8. Clean and apply a piece of packing tape onto the backside of the Nunn Design Open Back Bezels.
Step 9. Roll a ball of Crystal Clay in the palm of your hand until it is smooth without any creases. Press the clay into the bezels, using a toothpick for the hard to insert corners.
Step 10. Wipe any excess clay from the bezel using a wet-wipe.
Apply the Rubber Stamp
Step 11. Ensure that your ink pad is nicely inked so that you have an even coverage on your rubber stamp. I like to test my impression by stamping onto a sheet of white paper prior to actually stamping on the Epoxy Clay-Crystal Clay.
Once you are all inked up, place your rubber stamp upright over your epoxy clay filled bezel. Press down gently into the clay, creating a stamped image.
Step 12. If you don’t like how your image looks stamped on the Epoxy Clay-Crystal Clay, you can use a wet-wipe to remove the ink. If you aren’t able to wipe away the ink, pinch off the stamped surface and add some additional clay to bring up your surface to be even with the side edge of your bezel and stamp again until you have it just the way you like it.
TIP: It is always a good idea to remove excess ink from your rubber stamp prior to storing them.
How to Mix Nunn Design 2-Part Resin
The Nunn Design Resin Kit contains:
A 4-ounce bottle of clear epoxy resin
A 4-ounce bottle of epoxy hardener
2 precision tips to screw onto the bottles
5 mixing cups
5 mixing sticks
Printed instructions on how to mix the resin
Step 13. Read the resin instructions for safety concerns regarding the Nunn Design Resin. Put on your latex gloves and I would recommend safety glasses. I wear readers so I think that my eyes are protected. Make sure you have a pile of wet-wipes on the ready!
Step 14. To mix the resin you’ll want to have an exact one-to-one ratio. The one-to-one ratio has to be one tablespoon of Part A first and one tablespoon of Part B. This is a volume thing, not a weight thing. You have to mix the full mixing cup of resin to have the resin properly activate. I thought this was an excuse to get me to use more resin, but trust me, it isn’t! It is important to pour Part A first into the cup and then Part B. It is a chemical thing about part A being heavier or something.
Place one of the mixing cups included in the Nunn Design Resin Kit onto your table. I suggest getting your eyes level with the resin so you can see the lines on the measuring cup. Remove the lid to Part A of your resin kit and slowly pour the resin into the mixing cup up to the 1 Tablespoon mark. I suggest that you go slow until you gain more confidence. When you start to get near the 1 Tablespoon line, tilt the Part A bottle down, slowing the flow of the resin. Slowly drizzle the resin into the cup until you have hit the 1 Tablespoon mark EXACTLY! To end the flow of the resin, twist the bottle. Use a wet-wipe to fully clean up resin from the edge of the bottle. Make sure to put the Part A lid back onto the resin bottle.
I fold over my wet-wipe to make sure I don’t contaminate Part B when I clean up the edge of that resin after I pour it. I am also making sure that I don’t get any of the resin onto my hands.
Following all the same steps used for Part A, pour Part B into the mixing cup until it is EXACTLY at the 2 Tablespoon mark. Clean up the edge of the resin bottle and securely twist the Part B cap back onto the resin.
Step 15. Set your timer for 2 minutes. Using the stir stick from your Nunn Design Resin Kit, slowly and carefully stir your resin scraping the bottom of the cup and the sidewalls as you stir. Go slowly because it is easy for the cup to overflow. I hold the cup at the base and use my fingers to help rotate the cup around. Stop from time to time and scrape the resin from the sides of the stir stick and continue to stir for the full 2 minutes. If your resin is still cloudy after your timer has gone off, 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.
Another habit that I have developed is being aware of where I rest my stir sticks. To avoid getting resin all over my work surface, I like to rest the resin stir sticks in one of the mixing cups or onto a small Ziploc. I can easily peel the resin off of the Ziploc and reuse it. I can also reuse my stir stick once the resin has fully cured. I do know people who wipe out and reuse their mixing cups, but I haven’t done that so I cannot recommend it.
How to Colorize Nunn Design 2-Part Resin with Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments
Step 16. For this tutorial, I used Nunn Design Resin and Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments in Blue, Red and white to create Pantone 15-3817.
- 1 tiny toothpick tip Blue
- 1 toothpick tip Red
- 1 toothpick tip White
To create more 2017-2020 Pantone Colors, download the Pantone Color Formula Cheat sheet!
Step 17. To colorize the resin, place another empty resin mixing cup onto your work area. Pour the clear, mixed resin into the cup, filling it to the 1 TSP (you may need more of the full TBSP mixed, but you can easily colorize more).
Step 18: The Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigments are very potent. Let’s define what a “tiny toothpick tip” and a “toothpick tip” amount of colorant should look like. This is not an exact science. If you don’t get the exact amount, your color will still come out fairly close.
A “tiny toothpick tip” should look like this.
A “toothpick tip” should look like this.
“Large toothpick” should look like this.
Step 19. Add a toothpick tip of Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment – red or blue colorant into the clear mixed Nunn Design Resin and mix fully until blended. If you want the color to be even more opaque, add more of the Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment.
TIP: Be sure that the colorant does not equal more than 10% of your resin as having more than 10% could cause issues with curing.
Apply Colorized Resin to Bezel
Step 20. 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.
TIP: I would recommend covering the card with glossy packing tape. This will prevent the resin from sticking to the paper.
Step 21. Drizzle a small amount of colorized resin onto the cured Crystal Clay. Agitating the resin will help dislodge any air bubbles lurking below the surface. Continue to drizzle the colorized resin until the resin is domed in the bezel.
How to Babysit Your Curing Resin
Step 22. 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 becomes 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 23. If you have resin that has over-poured, wait about 6-12 hours until the resin is at its “soft cure” phase. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to bend back the resin from the bezel. The resin will easily separate and peel off of the bezel.
Step 24. 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.
How to Clean Up Resin Overflows
Step 25. If you have resin that has over-poured or seeped under the bezel and onto the card, wait about 6-12 hours until the resin is at its “soft cure” phase. Remove the bezel from the card. The resin will still be non-tacky but still flexible. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to bend back the resin from the bezel. The resin will easily separate and peel off of the bezel.
TIP: It may take longer than 12-18 hours depending on your room temperature. You will want the resin to be firm, but not super hard.
How to Remove and Clean the Tape Off of the Cured Crystal Clay
Step 26. To finish your Open Frame, remove the packing tape from the backside once fully cured. If you have any excess residue from the packing tape on the backside of the resin, 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.
Step 27. If the residue isn’t coming up, try Goo Gone! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. I applied a couple of drops on the backside and let it sit for over a minute. I then used a stir stick to scrape the tape residue.
To remove all that sticky mess, pour some rubbing alcohol onto a wet-wipe and wipe it away.
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For this tutorial, you will only need the following items from the 2020 Spring Semester class supplies:
- Nunn Design Bezels
- Crystal Clay – White
- Rubber Stamps
- StazOn Ink Pad
- Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
- Castin Craft Opaque Colorants
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