What You Will Learn:
Open Back Bezels with Colorized Resin and Organics:
This tutorial features the organic styled open back bezels from the Nunn Design Findings Line. Explore creating your own style with this technique involving colorized resin and dried flowers!
In this tutorial you will learn:
- Tips on drying and pressing flowers
- How to mix and colorize Nunn Design Resin
- How to prepare and use open back bezels
- How to prevent air bubbles
- Tips on what to do with spilled resin
Nunn Design Supplies:
- Nunn Design Open Back Organic Bezels
- Nunn Design 2-Part Resin Kit
- Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments
- Dried and Pressed Flowers
- Packing Tape
- Stir Sticks
- Mixing Cups
- Business Cards or glossy card stock
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Plastic Bags
- Needle Nose Pliers
Fast Tutorial Video:
Watch the Fast Video for a quick overview of this technique. For some of you, this will be enough to get you started!
Long Tutorial Video:
Watch the Long Video and see the complete process!
Open Back Bezels are organic styled bezels from the Nunn Design Findings Line. Bezels are cast in lead-free pewter and plated with copper, 24k gold and .999 fine silver.
To ensure that your dried and pressed flowers are ready for resin, please read a previous blog post that covers several great tutorials on How to Dry and Press Flowers to Embed into Resin. The preparation of drying and pressing of your flowers is a critical step for avoiding bubbles in your resin.
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.
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.
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.
Dip the tip of a Q-Tip into rubbing alcohol and clean away any of the blackened oxidization from the tags surface.
Cut a piece of packing tape and place it sticky side up on your work surface.
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.
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.
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 A 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.
For this tutorial, I colorized my resin with Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigments-White.
To create Pantone Colors, take a look at this earlier pdf, 2017 Summer Pantone Color Cheat Sheet, to learn how to mix various pigments to achieve a variety of colors.
Place another empty resin mixing cup onto your work area. Pour the clear, mixed resin from Step 9, into the cup, filling it to the 1 tsp mark. Add in Castin’ Crafts Opaque Pigment-White. Stir gently until the colorant is fully mixed together. Let resin sit for 5 minutes to let the bubbles rise to the surface and pop.
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.
Slowly drizzle your mixed colorized resin into the Open Back Bezel until the base of the bezel is filled – but not completely full – you will want to have the colorized resin under-fill the bezel.
Use a toothpick to agitate the resin and make sure there aren’t any air bubbles lurking below the surface. It is easy to have air bubbles be trapped in the base where the open back area is in contact with the packing tape. Make sure to run your toothpick along the inside edges to agitate any pending bubbles.
Babysit the curing resin for the first 1-2 hours. 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.
After the resin has cured 12 hours it is time to add in your organics prepared in steps 1-4. Follow Steps 9-10 for mixing another batch of clear Nunn Design Resin.
Once your resin is fully mixed, drizzle a small amount onto a plastic bag.
Use a toothpick or a pair of tweezers to place your dried and pressed flower into the resin, thoroughly coating the flower with resin on both sides. By doing this additional step, it helps eliminate some of the air bubbles that can get trapped in the many crevices of your flower.
Drizzle a small amount of resin over the top of the colorized resin prior to placing the dried and pressed flower onto the bezel. This will provide a bed of resin for the flower to rest onto. I have found that this also helps with eliminating the chances of air becoming trapped.
Use a toothpick to move the clear resin around on the surface of the colorized resin within the bezel. You are mostly interested in having clear resin be under the dried and pressed flower’s position in the bezel.
Place the resin drenched dried and pressed flower into the bezel. You can do this with a toothpick or pair of tweezers.
Once the flower is in the bezel, use a toothpick to move the flower around until they are positioned just as you would like them. Continue to poke and press the flower down into the resin, hopefully dislodging any potential air bubbles.
Once you have agitated your resin around the areas of the flower, drizzle more resin into the bezel until it is domed.
Use a toothpick to pull the resin out to the edges of the bezels.
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. Remove the packing tape.
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.
If you have any excess residue from the packing tape on the backside, 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.
You might also be interested in these blog posts:
- A Beginners Guide to Drying and Preparing Organics for Creating Resin Jewelry
- How to Use Resin and Organics in Open Back Bezels
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