Introduction: How to Make a Resin Hair Clip

I haven't done a proper Instructable for a while. Here is my attempt to correct that...

Working with resin isn't new and there are loads of tutorials. That being said, one thing that I try to do, is make the complex a bit more simple. Honestly this is really easy...

To begin with you're going to need resin. What I use is a two part expoy resin called West System. There are loads of different types out there, but for me this has worked well. Whatever you get make sure it dries clear

Materials:

Epoxy Resin (or Casting Resin)

Paint Shaving ( Or you can cast, wires, cotton balls, paper towels, crayons, glitter or whatever.) As long as it is free of moisture

Barrette hardware (I bought mine on Etsy)

Tools:

Band Saw

Clamps

Sander

Heat Gun

Hot Glue Glue

Step 1: Casting the Resin

Mix up some resin, pour it into a mold and add your material you want to cast.

Honestly.

The mold here is a silicone container used for holding glue. Silicone molds are a great choice as the cured resin doesn't stick to them. After you've poured the resin you might find some air bubbles.

TIP:

Use you heat gun to evenly apply a light heat. This will draw the bubbles to the top and remove them from your casting. It works great, but go slow, as over heating the resin will cause the opposite effect and leave you with a bubbled over mess.

Step 2: Bending Your Casting

One of the really cool properties of wood is that you can bend it. You simply steam wood and it bends.

Why not cured resin? I'd never seen it done, but it sure seemed like it should work. And it did!

I used my heat gun to apply even heat over the cast paint shaving and after a good 5 minutes it was plyable and quite soft.

Ahead of time I had taken a small block up wood and cut a curve in it. Now. I simply sandwiched the cast paint shavings in that block and clamped it in place.

Wait for it to cool for a couple of hours.

Step 3: Shaping, Sanding & Finishing

Once the casting is cool, you're done.

At that point you really have a completed hair clip if your mold was the shape you liked. In my case the mold was a rectangle and I was hoping for more of an oval look.

So I took it to the band saw and shaped it. After that I took it to the belt sander and refinded that shape.

Because of that I had to sand it. If I hadn't needed to do the shaping and sanding, there would have been no reason to sand and polish, because the casting came out of the mold with a very high gloss.

For sanding, I wet sanded from 400 grit to about 12000 grit. I took about an hour, but brought the piece back to it's high gloss.

The last step was simply hot gluing on the hair clip and taking a few pictures. In this case hot glue is a great choice, and it bonds well to the resin.

I've included a video, which adds some details, but glosses over other bits.

Please feel free to ask questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

Comments

author
PeterA18 (author)2016-12-10

how did you fix the clip on it?

author
bruce5000 (author)2015-02-27

i like the idea of working with resin id like to ask do you know of a way to polish the resin for best clear shine ?

author
BigRed1973 (author)2015-02-15

I rally like this idea! Thanks for sharing......

author
kludge77 (author)BigRed19732015-02-15

Thank you!

author
jjdebenedictis (author)2015-02-15

Ooh, that is so cool! The trick about heating the epoxy to shape it is brilliant!

Um, I'm kind of dumb about these things. Are there are health concerns related to sanding/heating epoxy? i.e. What might be safe in a proper shop environment like you have might not be okay for me working indoors on my ratty kitchen table. :) I'm just wondering whether I should wait until summer so I can do this on my balcony instead (Note: I'm already aware epoxy should be cured in a well-ventilated area.)

author
kludge77 (author)jjdebenedictis2015-02-15

I'm sure it's good advice to work in a well ventilated area, but honestly I don't mind the smell of epoxy, and I didn't notice any odor in the heating process. I think if you smell something while heating it up, you're probably over doing it.

About This Instructable

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Bio: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary ... More »
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