Introduction: How to Use Resin With LED Lights: DIY Glowing Crystal for Wearables
This tutorial will teach you how to use resin with LEDs for wearable tech projects. I’m going to make glowing crystals, but you can use this technique for any project you’d like.
Resin is a material that starts as a liquid and cures to be solid. It is often used with crafting, sometimes with the addition of colors and sparkles.
First of all, you’ll need to gather your materials. I found a resin kit on Amazon, this kit came with several molds (including the one I’ll use today) and was about 20 dollars.
You also need a UV light to cure the resin, these are the same that are used in nail parlors, so if you search for “UV nail light” you’ll find what you’re looking for. The one I use was about 16 dollars.
Step 1: Step 1: Fill the Resin Mold
I was drawn to the crystals because I love using crystals in designs. I’ve done several projects with crystals in the past, including a design for an opera singer (learn more in my video here), but I’ve usually used readymade gems or real quartz and glued the lights into them. This hasn’t been very durable and I’ve had problems with the gems coming off. With the resin we’re able to solve that problem, plus have the ability to customize our design.
I’m trying out two styles of crystal from the resin kit: the long pendant-style crystal and one of the smaller crystal shapes.
I’ll start with the pendant necklace. Fill up the mold with resin nearly to the top. Ensure that it is full enough that the LED will stick, but not so full that it will overflow.
Step 2: Step 2: Place the LEDs
Next, put the LED directly into the resin. Once the LED is in place, deposit a bit more resin on top. This will ensure the LED is completely encased and very secure.
Step 3: Step 3: Cure the Resin
Next, it’s time to cure. Put the UV lamp directly over the resin.I was lucky that mine was just tall enough for the mold I was using. The curing time will depend on the size of the mold for this design it took about one minute to be completely firm.
Step 4: Step 4: Remove From Mold
Once you’re certain that it’s fully cured, carefully remove the mold, and you’re done!
I was really happy with how this turned out and how the light diffused throughout the crystal point. With the LED costume kit listed in the materials section there are several settings including “pulse” and rotating colors. The effect in the crystals was very unique (in my opinion).
I repeated the same process with the smaller crystal. This turned out relatively well, although I personally was more excited by the longer crystal because of how it diffused the light.