Colorized Resin with PearlEx Powders and Organics
This tutorial was inspired by the look of dendritic quartz and dendritic agates. What is so fun about this technique can also cause some resin creators a little anxiousness. There are no two pieces that will look just alike! If you are looking to exploring resin, then this technique is just up your alley.Get Supplies Read Instructions Be Inspired
In this tutorial you will be learning:
How to mix and colorize Nunn Design 2-Part Resin with Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments
How to use Nunn Design Transfer Sheets
How to embed Transfer Sheets into Resin
Preparing Your Nunn Design Bezels:
Step 1. The Nunn Design Findings are oxidized to provide the aged look to the precious metal plating. The oxidation, 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 oxidation on all the surfaces of the bezel.
How to Preserve and Prepare Organics:
Step 2. To ensure that your dried and pressed flowers are ready for resin, please read A Beginners Guide to Drying and Preparing Organics for Creating Resin Jewelry. The preparation of drying and pressing of your flowers is a critical step for avoiding bubbles in your resin.
Step 3. Some dried and pressed flowers will become totally translucent when exposed to the resin. If you want to reduce your risk of this happening, you may want to get in the habit of spraying Castin’ Crafts Resin Spray on all your flowers before embedding them into resin. The resin spray is very fast drying, easy to apply and will seal the dried and pressed flowers nicely.
Place dried and pressed flowers in a cardboard box with high sidewalls and head outside when it is time to spray. Spray the dried and pressed flowers on one side, then turn over and spray the other side.
If you don’t want to go this route of purchasing resin spray (sorry, it is expensive for us to ship this, so we don’t offer it on our site), you can have some extra dried and pressed flowers at the ready in case the flowers that you wanted to use become translucent and aren’t working for you. Because there are a gazillion options for flowers (well, maybe not that many) it is way too hard to know what will work for sure and what won’t. You will have to experiment.
TIP: This vendor has the resin spray and offers free shipping on Amazon.
Step 4. Lay the Nunn Design Bezels and the organics you would like to work with onto your work surface. Select flowers and organics that will work best with the various sizes of the bezels. Use a pair of flush cutters or scissors to cut away any organics to prevent any overhang off the side of the bezel.
Mixing Nunn Design Resin:
Step 5. 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 6. 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 7. 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.
Colorizing the Nunn Design Resin:
Step 8. For this tutorial, we are only using Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment – White to colorize the Nunn Design Resin. To create different Pantone Colors, take a look at our Pantone Color Resin Cheatsheet for color mixing formulas:
Step 9. 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 TBS (you may need more of the full TBS mixed, but you can easily colorize more). Save the remaining amount for Steps 14 and 17.
Step 10. Add a heavy squirt of the Castin’ Craft Opaque Pigment – White 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 – White.
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.
Step 11. 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.
Apply Colorized Resin to Bezel:
Step 12. Drizzle a small amount of colorized resin into the base of the cleaned bezel.
Using a toothpick, agitate the resin along the base of the bezel’s sidewalls. Agitating the resin will help dislodge any air bubbles lurking below the surface. Continue to drizzle the colorized white resin until the bezel is about ½ of the way full.
Step 13. Next, we are going to colorize some of the excess resin from steps 5 and 6 using some of the gold PearlEx Powder. Drizzle a small amount of your excess clear Nunn Design Resin onto a piece of plastic. Using a toothpick, scoop up a toothpick worth of PearlEx Powder – Gold and add it into the clear resin. Stir until the resin and PearlEx Powder are fully blended.
Step 14. Using the same toothpick, swirl the gold colorized resin into the white colorized resin that is in the base of the bezel. Where you place the gold colorized resin will be a design choice, but I like to swirl the color under where I imagined placing the organics.
Step 15. Using the excess clear resin, drizzle a small amount onto a plastic bag. Place the organics into the resin and coat on both sides.
Step 16. Place the organics into the colorized white resin using a couple toothpicks or a mixing stick (the thick ones from the resin kit). Gently move the organics into the desired position. Use your toothpicks to swirl the resin around around the organics.
Step 17. For this next step, I utilized some of my excess white resin from step 12. To created a milky white translucent resin, add some of the excess clear resin to the opaque white resin. Drizzle the translucent colorized white resin over all the surface.
Step 18. Drizzle clear resin over the organics. This will cause the white and gold colorized resin to sort of swirl away from the clear. Here is where your own individual creativity will come in. I have to tell you, there is no right way to do this. There is only the way that YOU do it. Each piece will come out differently.
Final Cure & Clean Up:
Step 19. Follow the resin bubble babysitting techniques discussed in previous steps. 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. Place a small plastic container over the bezels to prevent dust from getting into the resin as it cures.
Step 20. If you have resin that has over-poured or seeped under the bezel and onto the card, wait about 6 hours until the resin is at its “soft cure” phase. Remove the bezel from the card. The resin will still be soft. 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. Where you will have challenges in around the bezel loop. Take your time to remove the resin by using a pair of flush cutters or tweezers.
TIP: It may take longer than 6 hours depending on your room temperature. You will want the resin to be firm, but not super hard. Test it starting around 6 hours, but more than likely it will take closer to 8-12 hours.
Create a Matte Surface with Steel Wool:
Step 21. Once the resin is fully cured, use fine steel wool to gently rub the surface of the colorized resin, resulting in a matte resin.
Tip: When resin is curing and off-gassing, small “pock marks” may form in the resin’s surface. When you gently rub the colorized resin with steel wool, this will cause the “pock marks” to darken. If you don’t like this look, try using very fine grit of sandpaper instead of steel wool. I actually like these marks. It feels more organic.
Assemble into something fabulous!
Ideas For Excess Resin!
If you are stressing because of the waste, here are a couple of tutorials that are ideal for resin that is getting very thick and goopy.