Over the past week as well as this week, we have been featuring the top 7 posts from the Nunn Design Blog. All of the social media platforms are tallied to help us identify which of our posts featured are the top 7 in popularity.
Coming in first place, as in the big #1 Top Content Recap position, is a post we featured on June 30th, 2016. I covered in detail how to preserve the organics and how to use them in Open Back Bezels.
If you haven’t yet explored using Open Back Bezels and Nunn Design 2-Part Resin, you are in for a creative treat! The look is beautiful and the process to do this technique is fairly easy.
Nunn Design Supplies:
- Nunn Design Open Bezels
- Or Nunn Design Open Frames
- Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
- Dried Flowers or Organics
- Packing Tape
Prepare Your Organics:
1. 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.
2. Some dried and pressed flowers will become totally translucent when exposed to 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 your 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 free shipping on Amazon.
3. Lay out the various Nunn Design Open Back 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.
TIP: Work with organics that are pressed flat. If the height of the organics is too high, the resin won’t be able to “dome” over the top of the organics and the organics will protrude out the top.
Prepare Your Nunn Design Bezels:
4. The Nunn Design Bezels are oxidized to provide the antique look to the precious metal plating. The oxidization, when it comes into contact with the resin, could change the color of the resin. To avoid this, clean the bezels thoroughly prior to application of the resin. Get the tip of a Q-Tip wet with rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidization on all sides of the bezels.
5. Cut a piece of packing tape and place it sticky side up on your work surface.
6. Place an Open Back Bezel onto the tape (backside down). Using your fingertips, press the bezel down onto the packing tape and rub back and forth on your work surface to make sure it is burnished down.
Tip: 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.
7. Trim away any excess packing tape from around your Open Back Bezel to avoid the curing resin piece from being potentially disturbed.
TIP: 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.
8. 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.
Mixing Nunn Design Resin:
9. 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.
10. 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 the part A being heavier or something.
11. 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.
Embed Your Organics:
12. All right, there are two ways to do this; the fast way and the slow way.
The Fast Way:
Place your organics into your open bezel or frame. Make sure the organics are fully pressed against the tape. This will prevent the organics from rising to the surface and “floating.” Slowly drizzle your mixed resin over the organics, filling the bezel until partially full, but not domed. Use a toothpick to agitate the resin and make sure there aren’t any air bubbles lurking below the surface. Once you are confident, continue to pour your resin until the bezel is filled and highly domed and set aside to cure. This doesn’t work 100% of the time. I have had my organics rise to the surface and poke out of the resin.
The Slow Way:
The slow way requires you to do two pours of your resin, but the results are 100% spot on. Place your organics into the bezel and fully press against the tape. Slowly drizzle your mixed resin over the organics filling the bezel partially full, but not filled. Use a toothpick to agitate the resin and make sure there aren’t any air bubbles. Let your resin cure. Mix up another batch of 2-part resin and drizzle the resin into your bezel. Before your bezel is completely full and domed, use a toothpick to slightly agitate the resin and to make sure there aren’t any bubbles lurking! If any bubbles do come to the surface, use your breath to apply some hot air to the resin. This will cause the air bubbles to expand and pop.
13. 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.
Curing & Clean Up:
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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 14) 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.
17. 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.
If the residue isn’t coming up, try Goo Be Gone! Follow the manufacture’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. To remove all that sticky mess, pour some rubbing alcohol onto a wet-wipe and wipe it away.
Watch a Video!
Not all of these are about embedding organics, but all of them involve using open bezels and frames. You can tweak the tutorial by adding colorants and brass stampings to get totally different looks from almost the same technique.
- How to Embed Organics into Resin with Becky Nunn Design
- How to Incorporate Organic Matter into 2-Part Resin
- How to Fill Open Frame Pendants with Colorized Resin and Metal Stampings
- Open Frame Pendants Mini Tutorial
Shop Supplies RETAIL:
Check out our Retail Buy & Try Organics, Colorizing Resin in Open Bezels Program to explore this technique of preserving organics in resin.
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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