Resin Usage Guide
Step 1: Set up your area
Make a clean dedicated space for your crafting, remember resin is very messy! It's best to have a silicone mat or (a disposable sheet) to cover your work surface, reusable silicone cups, silicone or craft stick stirrers, paper towels and baby wipes, and a lined trash can within easy reach. It’s also a good idea to have hobby sheers or crafting clips, or even a small dermal, on hard for finishing your piece. If you're brand new and don't have any tools, we have a starter box with the basics to get you ready to start crafting!
Most important of all- get all of your protective gear on! It’s important to remember resin is a chemical reaction and should be handled carefully. Children should not craft with resin alone, and everyone near the resin needs the necessary protective gear to avoid chemical burns or causing a new allergic reaction. Make sure to have gloves, a face mask or respirator rated for fumes, clothes you don't mind being ruined or an apron, and tying or removing anything lose like hair or jewellery up out of your face and work area.
Step 2: Pick your molds and resin
Depending on the type of mold you want to use, there are different types of resin that are best. If you're doing a deep or thick mold for instance, its best to use a long cure resin like 3:1, which is made for deeper pouring. If you're using a medium sized or larger than 2 inches open face mold, 1:1 is best for a faster cure time without warping. If you're doing tiny bits or small pieces that are translucent, attaching parts, or top glazing finished pieces, you can use UV resin for an immediate finish in a few minutes. Look at your project as a whole and determine what resin is best for what you want to make. If you're using one of our boxes, it will come with the resin best used for that type of mold, but it’s always good to have a UV resin and UV lamp on hand for touch-ups and glazing.
Now is also the time to make sure your molds are completely clean - any little bits that are in the molds will be in your project! For little dust, you can use tape to touch up the mold, or a bit of soapy water. Make sure your molds are completely dry before working with them! Water will stop your resin from curing and ruin the project.
TIP: if you want to see how much resin you'll need to mix beforehand, fill your mold with water and pour into a measured cup, that's how much resin you'll need!
Step 3: Prepare your molds and resin
To avoid bubbles and make your resin easier to work with, put your bottles of resin in a hot water bath. Fill a Tupperware or pot with hot (not boiling!) water, and let your bottles sit in it for 5 minutes. This makes the resin more liquid and helps get rid of bubbles. Make sure you do this BEFORE mixing the resin parts together, or the resin will flash cure. You can do this with your UV resin as well, but remember you want your resin thicker for topcoats.
If you want to paint your molds with acrylic paints or coat with mica powder, do this now before you pour the resin. When your resin cures anything painted or added to the molds will transfer to your finished piece.
Step 4: Mix, color, and pour your resin
Measure your 2 part resins carefully according to the bottle instructions. Too much or little of each part could cause your resin not to cure properly. Make sure you're measuring according to volume or weight according to package instructions. We suggest reusable silicone cups to mix your resin, as they have volume lines on the side, and cuts back drastically on waste!
Add any pigments such as alcohol ink, mica powder, or glitters you want now. Keep in mind if you're using UV resin, the resin will only cure where the UV light can touch it, so don't make UV resin opaque or too heavily pigmented or you could have a dangerous liquid resin filled project!
Keep in mind the pot life of your resin and pour your resin into your mold. We suggest keeping a small bits mold on hand to pour any last drops of leftover resin into.
Make sure to clean up as you go! Wipe off your mixing tools with a wet wipe to use them again, clean up any pigment or glitter spills with a wet wipe, clear any stray resin drops with a paper towel, and throw away any used cleaning stuff into a nearby trash bag. Even the most experienced resin crafters can’t avoid messes, so stay safe and clean as you go!
Leave your filled molds in a dry flat place to cure, we suggest covering with a Tupperware or lid that won’t touch the project so dust and particles wont mess up your project surface.
Step 5: Demold and finish your piece
Once your project is fully cured according to the resin cure times, demold your piece and add any finishing touches. This usually involves cutting off any flashing around the edges of your piece, possibly sanding off any spill areas you don't want, and often top glazing the piece with UV resin for a clear shiny finish. How much or little finishing you do is completely up to you, some pieces may not need any finishing!
Step 6: Clean up
Once you’re done crafting, clean up all your tools and working space for next time. Using a wet wipe is best for cleaning spilled mica, glitter, and pigments, as well as wiping down silicone mats. Any leftover cured resin should peel right off your silicone tools and mat, and a bit of soapy water will take care of any leftover particles. Make sure your molds are dried before storing them in a place they won’t get dusty and throw away the trash bag with all the debris- remember resin are chemicals and need to be disposed of properly for safety!
Are you looking for help with a specific S&T project? Go to our Website Blog or Youtube channel! We have tutorials on all of our boxes and projects, as well as more tips and tricks!