Introduction: DIY Wood and Resin Phone Case
This is a phone case I made out of some wood pieces and resin that I casted together and cut for an IPhone XR.
Black Diamond Mica Powder - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R395P3H/ref=p... - These powder when mixed together created the sirling and glittering effect in the resin while also adding some depth to it as well
Silicone Soap Mold - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083ID7CE/ref=p... - This mold fits the dimensions of the phone near perfectly so that there is not very much waste material and can release the contents of the mold very easily once it has hardened
EasyCast Clear Casting epoxy pack with stir sticks and plastic measuring cups - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PFR4KMD/ref=p... - This pack is very helpful becuase it comes with cups and stick to easily pour and mix the resin, however you can find these items seperately
Sublimation Phone Case Blank - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q2RQFDD/ref=p... - These phone cases come with a metal insert which is perfect for tracing the shape of the back if the case onto the casted material, which makes cutting much easier. The case also has an adhesive on the back whic helps to keep the back on without the need of any additional glue
Step 1: Step 1: Preparing the Resin
The EasyCast resin I used has very clear instructions on how to mix the resin and hardener together, but in summary, I poured about 5 or so fluid ounces of resin and hardener into a plastic measuring cup at a 1:1 ratio. This ratio is important beacause it allows the mixture to harden properly when cast, however there is some leniency so dont worry if the mixture is not 100% exact. I then added poured a some of the resin and hardener mixture into three other cups which would have the various colored pigments I wanted in the resin. I chose white, green, and blue. Only a few sprinkles of the powder is necessary, but it is up to preference when it comes to this part; the more pigment you add the deeper the color and less transparent the mixture becomes when mixed.
Step 2: Step 2: Pouring the Resin
The next step is to pour the resin mixture into the mold and on the wooden pieces. I poured the clear, non-colored resin mixture onto the wood and tried to cover it all so when the colored resin is poured it isn't covering the wood. Make sure to leave some resin in the cup for after all the color is poured as well. After this, I poured the green mixture first in the empty space around the wood, so that it would act like the base color in the mold. Then I poured the white mixture to add a highlight in the overall mixture on top of the green. And then, I poured the blue to act as the main color, again around the wood, trying my best to not cover it very much. If there is any color that is poured on the resin, pouring the excess clear resin onto the wood will push the colors away, and this can be used to shape the way the colors look and swirl in the mixture. A toothpick or mixing stick can also be used to shape the color, however, be wary as over mixing can blend the colors to much. This part again is up to preference.
Step 3: Step 3: Casting and Setting the Resin
After the resin is poured, it will take up to 72 hours to harden completly according to the EasyCast instructions, however I found that the resin can be removed from the mold after around 12 hours where it could overnight on some to dry. I used wax paper to set the removed block on just in case. Before the semi-hardened block is removed, I noticed some air bubbles rising to the top which I wanted to remove. So every hour or so, I used a small food blow torch to dispell the bubbles while also lightly prodding the bubbles with a toothpick while being careful not to disturb the rest of the resin. While using the blowtorch, be sure to not place the flame directly onto the wood or resin or this will cause the materials to burn. A high heat hairdryer or heat gun could also be used, but with the hair dryer, you must be careful with the air that blows because if it is too high it can move the resin around in the mold.
Step 4: Step 4: Cutting and Shaping
To make the piece more manageable, I cut the block in half with a table saw, so that I would have two thinner sheets. Much sanding needed to be done in order to flatten the piece from the cuts and to smoothen the piece out. I used both a CNC machine and a belt sander, as well as some good ol' fashioned sandpaper to achieve this. Once the piece was fairly sanded down, I traced the outline of the case insert onto the block which would act like a guide when gutting the shape of the case backing. A scroll saw was used to cut the general outline out line, while being sure to cut a few milimeters outside the guide to compensate for any mistakes. This extra material would be sanded with the belt sander to fit the exact shape of the outline. A dremel was then used to cut around the camera part of the piece. This step requires much patience as I had to go very slow in order to ensure that the dremel didn't slip and dig into the piece. After I achieved the correct fit, I sanded the top edges of the piece to create bevel so that the edges were a bit smoother.
Step 5: Step 5: Sanding and Polishing
To polish the piece, I used some sanding dremel attachments to go back and forth over the piece to buff out any scratches, going higher in grit after a few minutes with each. I only had a few attachemens so I couldn't go very high with the grit, but it still turned out pretty well. I then used a polishing wheel attachment for the dremel and some clay polishing compound to smooth over the piece and create a clean finish. You could go higher and higher in grit to create a cleaner look for the piece, as well as use a better polishing compoud and clear coat to finish the piece and look a bit better; this is just what I had available at the time.
Step 6: Step 6: Assembly
The last step is to remove the paper seal that holds the adhesive on the phone case and place the finished piece into the case.