Introduction: Epoxy Resin for Beginners: Using Silicon Molds
I remember when I started working with resin, I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Well, I'm here to fix it. Here's a quick tutorial on how to work with silicon molds.
What you'll need:
- Molds (You can see I have a pink cylinder mold, orange heart (chocolate) mold, and other smaller ones)
- Resin (I'm using epoxy resin, and it should come in 2 parts)
- Syringe (or something to measure with
- Popsicle stick
- Plastic disposable cup
- Disposable gloves
- Something to put in your resin (I'm using glitter, but you can also use dyes, charms and flowers)
- Magnet (optional)
- Glue gun (optional)
Step 1: Getting Ready
Wash your silicon molds out using water, and leave the water in the washing basin. (For cleaning up) Silicon is a material that can gather a lot of dust and other particles, so you'll need to wash it before you use it.
Leave the molds on a napkin/tissue paper to dry.
Meanwhile, place newspaper on your working table, which should be in a ventilated place.
Step 2: Mix Your Resin
Wear your gloves, and using different syringes, measure out the amount that you need, and make sure it's EXACT. Mix your resin in the cup with the popsicle stick. Remember to read the instructions on the label CAREFULLY, because different brands have different mixing instructions. Also, you can't look at it and think: close enough, whatever... It has to be exact, or else it's going to be either too watery, or, it won't set.
*cough* Totally didn't make this mistake *cough*
If you're using dyes to colour your resin, drip it in according to what it says in the instructions. If you're thinking of using food colouring, don't. It's like oil in water. My favorite dye to use is India ink, but if you don't have it, acrylic or poster paints are okay, as long as you mix it long enough.
I'm going to be using glitter today, because it's Christmas. I don't care if it's not a valid excuse.
If you're going to use glitter like me, you have to mix in A LOT. All the glitter sinks to the bottom and the top will be completely clear.
Step 3: Placing in Mould
Using your popsicle stick, scrape your resin into the molds.
Keep in mind that the meniscus level exists. Translation: Liquids dip in. You will find that both surface tension and meniscus level can be very annoying. The resin will set with either the meniscus level, or with a domed surface. I think that was horrible grammar. I'm sorry...
After it's half set (for me, it's after about 4 hours), you can place your charm on the thickened resin. Making another layer is optional, though.
After it sets, you can place another layer of resin on it, until you're satisfied with the thickness.
Step 4: Cleaning Up
Carefully move your very watery and easy to spill resin to a dry and safe place where your dog won't be able to reach. Or cat. You do not want your pets to eat it or touch it or do anything to it, or else you'll have to be prepared to cut plastic out of your pet's fur. Or, in worst case scenario, take them to the vet.
Then, throw everything into the wash basin and be prepared to scream in frustration as you find that the resin sticks to everything. I also don't recommend washing out the cup that you mixed the resin in, because it doesn't come off, and ends up looking like you've killed someone, if, in my case, you used something red.
For the syringes, I end up giving up and soaking it overnight in soapy water.
Step 5: Pop Your Product Out
Pop it out carefully without using anything sharp, because it might scratch your mold.
Just sort of bend it in the middle of the back.
Step 6: Optional Part: Stick a Magnet!
Using a hot glue gun, I stuck some magnets onto the back of some of my products.
Step 7: Stick It on a Fridge
You can also use these lovely magnets or paper weights as stocking stuffers.
Another option is to stick them on a popsicle stick or a paperclip to use as bookmarks, or maybe on ring or earring blanks.