Resin Bezel Earrings

drying in a Styrofoam wreath

drying in a Styrofoam wreath

I came across a Pin that involved bending wire into a shape, placing it inside an earring bezel, and covering with resin. So I went online and found a package of fifty 20mm silver leverback earring blanks for under $9. They came last week, so I got to work!

The 20mm earring blanks

The 20mm earring blanks

The first thing I tried was bending some cheap, colorful wire into spirals. I glued them into the blank and filled with resin. Aside from a few tiny bubbles, they came out very good!

resin earrings 19
resin earrings 4
resin earrings 5

resin earrings 14

These were so easy! And the colored wire is the cheap stuff from Walmart that I got in the dollar bin. So next I used this Dicro-ISH paper from Little Windows that I am in love with to fill a few bezels. Lovely, as usual with that DicroISH paper!

they were wet in this picture...I had rinsed them off.

they were wet in this picture…I had rinsed them off.

All you do with the paper is cut a circle to fit, crinkle it up, unfold it back into a circle, and insert in the blank. Actually, you should put a bit of resin in the blank first and then slide the paper circle into the resin. Otherwise sometimes you get an air bubble under the paper and it looks terrible.

resin earrings 6

I then had read a post about putting your scraps of the dichroic paper into a coffee grinder, so I used about four different colors of paper and it came out so pretty!

dicroISH paper scraps, run through a coffee grinder, then placed in a bezel with a silver wire swirl in it.

dicroISH paper scraps, run through a coffee grinder, then placed in a bezel with a silver wire swirl in it.

The last thing I tried was tinting some translucent clay with anywhere from one to five drops of alcohol ink to make a sea glass like stone. It was a rousing FAILURE because even the bit with just one drop of ink in it was far, oh so far from translucent. So I glued the finished stones into a bezel, put a wire swirl on top, and painted some resin on top.

resin earrings 18
resin earrings 17
resin earrings 16

I’m not done with these yet – painting on the resin is harder than filling a bezel.

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Polymer Leaf Pendants

leaf pendants 8

I came across a picture tutorial for making leaf impressions in polymer clay yesterday, so I went out in my yard to see if I could find some leaves with veins to give it a go. Being in Florida, I have some strange trees in my yard, not the lovely oaks and maples that I was used to growing up in New Jersey. But I found a few that would do the trick:

add detail to outline with a toothpick

add detail to outline with a toothpick

So I rolled out some green clay, laid the leaves on it and rolled with the brayer. After rolling you then have to use a tool (I used a toothpick) to go over the veins as they do not come out very deep. The major outline of the leaves was easy, but I used quite a bit of artistic liberty in making the inner details. Hard for me as I do NOT consider myself an artistic sort in any way, but they came out okay. I tried adding some pearl colored pearl-ex powder first, but did not like how light the contrast was.

adding pearl-ex powder to the leaf impression

adding pearl-ex powder to the leaf impression

I put copper pearl-ex powder on one before baking, and the other I left alone as I wanted to try adding some paint to it. I used some 6/0 copper seed beads for the holes. Then I baked.

black acrylic paint applied and sponged off

black acrylic paint applied and sponged off

copper pearl-ex powder on this one

copper pearl-ex powder on this one

After baking and coloring, before applying resin

After baking and coloring, before applying resin

So I finished them off by applying a coat of epoxy resin to them. The big square one is, well pretty big! But you can clearly see the leaf. The smaller round one came out kinda looking like a tree, so I will from here on think of it as a tree pendant.

finished, resined square leaf pendant

finished, resined square leaf pendant

finished, resined round tree pendant

finished, resined round tree pendant

a view just to show how shiny and glossy the resin makes it.

a view just to show how shiny and glossy the resin makes it.

I had a lot of fun making these, and I will be keeping my eye out for some smaller veiny leaves to make some pendants a bit smaller than these.

UPDATE: I ended up stringing the big square pendant on some copper wire, I figured the pendant is so big maybe I can even it out by stringing it on a thin cord. I added some green miracle beads and brown mother of pearl squares to each side for some extra flavor.

leaf pendant necklace

still pretty darn big.  I haven't found the top that supports wearing this necklace yet......

still pretty darn big. I haven’t found the top that supports wearing this necklace yet……

Faux Dichroic Resin Pendants

dicroish 12

First off, let me start by apologizing for my terrible photos. I actually have two decent cameras, and yet I continue to take and post pictures using my cell phone. Out of pure laziness! It’s just so darn easy with dropbox….you take a picture and then WHAM! The picture is on every computer you own. I swear I am going to go get new batteries and a nice fresh memory card for my good camera this week.

Anyway, a few months back I had bought a surprise bag of costume jewelry from a local thrift shop. In there was this really cool dichroic glass pendant. In an attempt to replicate with resin, I searched the web for ideas and came across this colored film from a company called Little Windows. For a mere five bucks, you get 14 sheets of colored film, including two sheets of textured film. The method used is you crinkle up the film, cut to fit your mold, and insert into your resin.

cutting the film to fit the molds

cutting the film to fit the molds

a tinted resin background will make the dichroish paper "pop".  Different colors yield different results!

a tinted resin background will make the dichroish paper “pop”. Different colors yield different results!

The leftover pieces from where you cut can be chopped up into confetti for odd shaped molds.

The leftover pieces from where you cut can be chopped up into confetti for odd shaped molds.

The Little Windows website recommends using a colored base behind the film to make the film “pop”. You can either make your mold with clear resin and then after you pop them out of the molds apply a layer of colored resin to “dome” the piece, or, as I usually do, you can lay down the colored resin first, let it dry, and then add your clear and your film. The reason I do it this way is because I usually have some resin left over in my cup when I finish a project, so I tint it with color and use it to make my base layers in the molds.

The molds, all filled up.  The waiting begins......

The molds, all filled up. The waiting begins……

When I first started doing resin, I bought some fancy resin pigments, and liquid rit dye, as suggested on the internets. But I have come to find that good old acrylic paints work just as well, they come in hundreds of colors, and they cost like 68 cents a bottle at Walmart. I might add here that I really do think adding the colored layer AFTER you pop your molds out does come out looking alot better, as the molds were meant to be used with the bottom of the mold being the top of the pendant. But I have a weird phobia about wasting stuff, and I hate to waste anything including leftover resin from another project.

bezeled bracelet blank with blue tinted resin already dried.  Full sheets of paper, and one piece of crinkled paper.  Cut out circles to fit exactly in the bezels.

bezeled bracelet blank with blue tinted resin already dried. Full sheets of paper, and one piece of crinkled paper. Cut out circles to fit exactly in the bezels.

Obviously, if you are using a bezel or a braclet blank, you have no choice but to add the colored resin in first. When cutting the foil paper to fit, try and get it exact or even a slight bit smaller or else you will have a tiny edge of paper sticking up out of your resin at the end. I found this out the hard way.

laying out the paper circles before pouring the resin.

laying out the paper circles before pouring the resin.

This is a gold bezel I did, you can see in the top that I cut the paper too big!  A piece is sticking out, effectively driving me to insanity.  Sigh.

This is a gold bezel I did, you can see in the top that I cut the paper too big! A piece is sticking out, effectively driving me to insanity. Sigh.

Green crinkle resin ring.  The hardest part of doing rings is keeping them level while they dry.

Green crinkle resin ring. The hardest part of doing rings is keeping them level while they dry.

So as you can see from the following pictures, using different colored backgrounds yields different results. The papers themselves come in a variety of shades, so mixing up the paint and the papers makes tons of different results. You can even NOT use any colored background, those come out awesome, too!

the finished bracelet

the finished bracelet

closeup of the finished bracelet

closeup of the finished bracelet

blue based pendants that still need to be filed.....

blue based pendants that still need to be filed…..

assorted colored foils

assorted colored foils

light turquoise backgrounds

light turquoise backgrounds

Red background

Red background

With the leftover scraps of the dicroish paper, cut them into tiny pieces of confetti. I use them for oddly shaped molds instead of trying to cut out a perfect heart or hexagon.

confetti on blue background

confetti on blue background

confetti on black background

confetti on black background

You can also either make no background color at all, or don’t crinkle the paper, leave it flat. I wore this pendant with uncrinkled paper to work yesterday and had alot of compliments, people couldn’t figure out what the heck it was made of!

No background color, just pure clear resin.

No background color, just pure clear resin.

Uncrinkled piece of dicroish paper is super pretty, too!

Uncrinkled piece of dicroish paper is super pretty, too!

Mokume Gane polymer and resin pendants, inspired by a fellow blogger!

red and green mokume 4

Easter morning isn’t the same when your kids are grown and gone. Add to that the fact that my husband dispatches for a local taxi company on Sundays from our bedroom, and that equals being on my own in the living room on Easter morning! So I took my laptop and, being new to wordpress and this blog, I decided to go through my reader and check out what kind of stuff everyone else is doing this week!

slices of mokume gane clay

slices of mokume gane clay

The very first comment I ever received on this blog was from Kerry Best who, like me, is also just getting into polymer and resin. Inspired by this video from Beads, Baubles and Jewels on her blog, I got out my pasta machine for a little Easter morning craft time!

red and green mokume 2

red and green mokume 6

The colors are definately not what I envisioned (hello, Christmas!) but hey, you gotta work with what you have sometimes. I still have to drill holes in them, and I have half the clay sheets left over for some different shaped pieces another day. The leftover scraps from the cutouts were used to make some coordinating beads when I eventually string these babies!

The finished pendants, on black rubber necklaces.

The finished pendants, on black rubber necklaces.

More Resin over Polymer pieces

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Necklace and Earrings from blue and yellow swirl cane.  Coated in Resin.

Necklace and Earrings from blue and yellow swirl cane. Coated in Resin.

Here are a few more polymer clay cane slices that I attached to black clay. I usually run them through the pasta machine afterward to get an even top, as you can’t always slice each cane piece exactly the same thickness. I try to make the black sheet of clay a few notches down from the thickest, so that when I run it through (on the thickest) after adding the cane slices it doesn’t distort the cane pattern too much. I either cut random shapes out with a blade, like squares or triangles, or I use a cookie cutter. Right now I only have a set of flower shapes, but I hope to get other shapes soon. After baking, I had been setting them on deli paper to pour the resin on, but have been having problems lately with the resin dripping over the sides (even when I am trying to be SUPER careful) and then I have paper sticking to piece sometimes, which is a pain in the butt to get off without leaving a trace. So this time I set them on a wire rack, which worked better, but still not ideal. The ones that did drip and stick, they stuck to the metal wire and instead of having to try and pick paper off, I was forced to peel off the ENTIRE piece of resin, which did come off in one big piece.

green pixelated retro cane and an orange and blue cane (from FL Gator football season last year)

green pixelated retro cane and an orange and blue cane (from FL Gator football season last year)

Resin over polymer clay Earrings with dangles

Resin over polymer clay Earrings with dangles

I bought some colored foil paper from a company called “Little Windows”, they have these special foils that you put inside of resin and they are the closest thing I have found to making a piece of resin that looks like dichroic glass. Super Cool! Anyway, they sell a doming tray which is made exactly for drying resin pieces on, and it is only like 3 or 5 dollars, so I am going to order that. If you like dichroic looking pieces, I highly recommend checking out Fran’s Little Windows website. Everything is priced very reasonably.

pink, white and green circles from a failed flower attempt, and blue and yellow swirly cane.

pink, white and green circles from a failed flower attempt, and blue and yellow swirly cane.


Some leftover cane scraps from other projects mounted on black clay base

Some leftover cane scraps from other projects mounted on black clay base