Transparent films are frequently used in resin crafts as a means of decoration and embellishment. While they are easily purchased online in a variety of designs, having the ability to create customized films is still desirable. This tutorial will walk you through the steps of creating your own personalized transparent film for your next resin craft project!
Step 1: What You Need
Step 2: Locating Your Image
For this particular method of creating transparent films, I've had mixed results using color and grey-scale images, so for best results I recommend using a high contrast black and white image. To locate the ideal image:
- Google "silhouette."
- Switch from the "All" tab to the "Images" tab at the top of your search results.
- Scroll through the resulting images, which should be predominately black and white.
- After you locate your desired image, select it to enlarge it on the screen. Right click and select "Copy image."
Step 3: Editing and Printing Your Image
Once you have found your image and copied it:
- Open Microsoft Word and paste the image into a document.
- Select the "Format" tab at the top of the screen.
- With your image selected, click on the "Crop" icon in the right corner of the menu bar.
- After clicking the icon, thick black lines will appear at the sides and corners of your image. Drag these bars so that they closely edge the silhouette. This step eliminates excess whiteness on your image and will make resizing it more accurate.
- Select the "Crop" icon again to finalize the cropping process and reveal the "true" size of the silhouette.
- To resize the image so that it will fit inside your mold, change the measurement in either the "Height" or "Width" fields to the right of the "Crop" function. Adjust until the image is the desired size.
- Note: The default setting of the Height/Width fields is a locked aspect ratio, so as you change one field the other will automatically adjust to keep the image proportionate.
- Print image using a laser printer.
- Note: It is important to use a laser printer that uses toner cartridges--not an inkjet printer--because it is the powder in the toner that sticks to the tape and makes this process possible. The liquid used in inkjet printers will not adhere to the tape.
Tip: After cropping your image, copy and paste it into your document multiple times and adjust each copy to a different size so that you have several options to compare to your mold and determine best fit once they have been printed out.
Step 4: Creating Your Tape Film
Now that your image is ready, it is time to assemble your film.
- Cut around your image with some scissors, making sure to leave some white space around the the silhouette.
- Remove a strip of transparent packing tape from the roll that is larger than your image, and place it so that the sticky side of the tape attaches to the front of the image. Smooth the tape, using a fingernail or the back of a spoon, to ensure that the tape has a strong connection with toner powder.
- Place the taped image in a bowl of water. Soak for five minutes.
- After five minutes, reach into the water and use your fingers to gently rub the paper away. The paper will peel off like dead skin while the printer toner silhouette remains attached to the tape.
- Remove the tape from water and set aside to dry with the sticky side facing up.
- After the tape with the silhouette dries, cut a second piece of tape and sandwich the silhouette between the two pieces of tape, sticky sides together.
- Tip: To avoid air bubbles between the layers of tape, work from the center of the image and tape pieces and then continue outwards, smoothing the pieces of tape together with the back of your fingernail or spoon as you go.
- Cut around the silhouette, leaving a thin edge of tape.
- Congrats! You now have a new tape transparent film to insert in your next resin project!
Step 5: Adding Film to Resin
Once you have created your film, you can add it to resin.
- Mix your resin according to product directions and pour into your mold.
- Add the film to the resin by inserting it at a 45-degree angle, which will help prevent creating and trapping bubbles underneath the film.
- Use a toothpick to push the film into the resin and position it.
- Let the resin cure.
- Tip: If you're using a two-part resin, keep your toothpick handy. As the resin cures, the film may try to float to the top of the resin, and you can use the toothpick to put it back in place. After an hour or two, the resin will thicken and the film will stop trying to float to the top.
- Remove cured resin from the mold and customize it to fit your next project.