Preserve Insects in Resin

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Introduction: Preserve Insects in Resin

About: I enjoy most forms of art. I am learning how to woodwork. I enjoy gardening and growing anything. I love fishing but don't get to very often. I am very interested in philosophy and I consider myself a modern d…

Do you have an insect you would like to display in a cool and interesting fashion? Then, you might be interested in preserving it in resin. Work in a well ventilated area. Make an attempt not to get any on your hands. It is very hard to clean off. I'm aware that another Instructable has been posted on this but my way is simpler and appeals to those that don't have a table saw.

Step 1: Materials

Casting resin, Specimen, Ice cube tray or other ideal mold, Catalyst, Mixing cup (DO NOT USE STYROFOAM), Stirring stick

Step 2: Measure

Measure the depth of the ice tray well. If you buy resin that comes with catalyst, the package will tell you how much catalyst to add.

Step 3: Fill

Fill your well halfway. Place your specimen. Wait a little bit. Be patient. If you don't wait, your specimen will surface. Do not allow it to drift or it will dry abnormally. While waiting for your specimen to stay in place, cover it with something. Polyester resin does not cure in the presence of air. Cover the rest of your subject after 5 minutes.

Step 4: Dry

Set it in a clean and dry area. It will harden eventually. Curing times will vary depending on how much resin is used. Cover tray with card board or anything to prevent air contact.

Step 5: Pop It Out

Carefully, remove your creation from the tray. Be careful not to break it. Wait for 10 hours just to be safe. This will allow for maximum curing.

Step 6: Display

Voila, you have a beautiful specimen encased in resin. Display it on your shelf and amaze your guests. I would advise you not to put it in your drink as it is a toxic chemical.

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    46 Discussions

    0
    alyxthegreat1
    alyxthegreat1

    7 years ago

    This is so cool, but an even cheaper and easier way to do it is by using Mod Podge. It sounds weird but it is true.

    0
    BLASTFEMI
    BLASTFEMI

    Reply 2 months ago

    I'd love to know how you do it! I have some mod podge and some silkworm moths.

    0
    Jlreed61
    Jlreed61

    Question 1 year ago on Step 6

    I know how to preserve the insects but my question is how do you place the insects in the first place? Dead? Spiders curl up when they die so that won’t work. Alive? Not gonna happen since they would more than likely thrash around and get everything messed up. Any advice out there?

    0
    Fluffy_Isopod
    Fluffy_Isopod

    Answer 10 months ago

    They’re called relaxing jars and they’re easy to make

    1
    Fluffy_Isopod
    Fluffy_Isopod

    Answer 10 months ago

    Finding dead insects makes the hunt more challenging and it’s more ethical. You can put the insect in an airtight container with wet cloths or lots of paper towels and keep it there until the insect is softer. You should check to make sure the insect isn’t left for too long or mold can grow. I would also careful of the fact that certain bugs decay if left for too long.

    0
    BradyC15
    BradyC15

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    I'm looking to preserve one of those chalky 'be mine' Valentine's day hearts, perhaps as a necklace. Is there any other steps or precautions that I should take to do that?

    0
    candjim
    candjim

    Answer 1 year ago

    Maybe paint it with modpodge first.

    0
    billwei
    billwei

    Question 1 year ago

    I have a yellow onion 6 inches in diameter, would your system work on the onion?

    2
    GeraldM63
    GeraldM63

    2 years ago on Step 4

    This sounds like nit-picking, but I am interested in embedding some insects and found this site very useful. But somehow, somebody in the field started using the word 'dry' instead of 'cure'. As far as I know it may have been some of the manufacturers of the products. If so that's a shame because they should know better. When a resin is mixed with a catalyst a chemical reaction is involved. Once that is complete you have a new compound. There is no drying involved at all. Drying implies the loss of water or some other volatile liquid. 'Curing' is the proper word for what's involved in plastic embedding.

    0
    MikeB599
    MikeB599

    3 years ago

    Could this be used to extract DNA at a later date? For ecample if you put a tooth in the resin , would DNA be preserved?

    0
    MatthewD230
    MatthewD230

    Reply 3 years ago

    It would probably last a bit longer in the resin as it wouldn't be subject to decay. Of course DNA has a half life of about 500 years, and no amount of resin can stop that.

    0
    autumninteso
    autumninteso

    4 years ago

    I work at a school could I do this with larger items like a dissected frog for demonstrative purposes? It should work the same correct? It would be significantly cheaper then purchasing them premade.

    0
    cmdrSLAGATHOR
    cmdrSLAGATHOR

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yeah, it should be possible. I've seen sites online that sell dissected toads and pigeons preserved in resin at least.

    0
    saige hill
    saige hill

    Reply 4 years ago

    hey i thoght of this too but you must remove all the air inside the frog too make sure it dossent rot inside the hard sculpture. hope this helps

    0
    PolkaM1
    PolkaM1

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi. I want to know what you mean by a catalyst?

    0
    Curtis S.A
    Curtis S.A

    Reply 3 years ago

    A catylyst is something im chemistry that speeds up a reaction, but is not used in it.

    An example is the catalytic converter on cars. They contain platinum, which speeds the decomposition of Carbon Monoxide into Carbon Dioxode.

    With acrylics, its something thst speeds the hardening process.

    0
    DIYWEAPONS
    DIYWEAPONS

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    A catalyst is somthing which makes something react with something else.

    0
    gmont1979
    gmont1979

    6 years ago

    i was wondering how that was done. im gonna try this on a dried up seahorse i found at work...thx

    0
    msdrpepper
    msdrpepper

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Okay but where do you find the casting resin? I was told years ago by a doctor that if I could put "bad bugs" into a resin or acrylic block where they can use it to demonstrate to a patient "this is what a black widow looks like" " this is what a brown recluse spider looks like" "this is what a yellowjacket" looks like that, he thought many doctors would snap 'em up!!