Epoxy resin has become a very popular craft over the past few years, and we can see why. Resin is an exciting and unique craft that you can use to produce useful and beautiful items. Resin has qualities similar to plastic and glass, making it ideal for a range of crafts. Yet, unlike plastic and glass, you can make resin items at home without complex machines or fire!

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If you love to make gifts for friends and family, resin is a useful craft to know. With resin, it's possible to make some truly beautiful and unique objects. Make everything from jewellery to cake stands and buttons to tabletops! The joy of resin is that each piece is so unique. With the addition of glitter, pigments and dried flowers the creative possibilities are endless!

Check out our favourite 39 Epoxy resin projects for you to try in this sister post.

We've also made a handy video for you to check out too!

There is an endless world of resin moulds to discover available to buy suitable for any budget. The beauty of the moulds is you can use them as many times as you like. Each time you use the mould you can create a new style by mixing colours and additions. If you want to step up your game, you can even make your own moulds using silicone rubber.

I love crafting with resin because it actually feels like magic. I’ve been using resin for about five years now and I am still excited about de-moulding every piece - it’s always a surprise. It is so satisfying to peel off a mould and finally see what it is inside. I must warn you, it is addictive!
Bonnie Cummings

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What is epoxy resin

DIY resin craft ideas

How to use resin for crafts: a step-by-step guide

Resin kit and tools

Resin for children

What is epoxy resin?

Epoxy resin is a two-part liquid that when mixed together causes a chemical reaction and cures to form a hard object. The resin is mixed with a hardener, and as they are combined they react and produce heat. The epoxy resin comes as a liquid which, when mixed with hardener, creates a solid material. The ratio of resin to hardener varies between brands but is often 1:1.

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Epoxy resin is a synthetic resin that is a liquid that can be poured and moulded into any shape. When the hardener is added the resin will cure as a solid. Mixing instructions will vary between brands so must you follow these. Some resin requires mixing by weight and others by volume.

Which resin to use? 

There are many types of epoxy resin and you need to choose one that is appropriate for your project. Here are some key things to consider when choosing an epoxy resin.

Resin viscosity - what is it and why do you need to know?

We use the term viscosity to describe how thin or thick the epoxy liquid is. This has a significant effect on the types of projects you can do with it. If your mould has lots of intricate detail then you will need a thin resin (low viscosity) to get into all the details.

Thinner resins (low viscosity) have a longer cure time than thick (low viscosity). This means there will be a longer wait time to de-mould your creations.

By using the incorrect type of viscosity, you could end up having a project that won’t cure. For example, if you used a low viscosity resin to cast a large, deep sphere you may not be able to get the resin out of the mould. If you used a high viscosity resin in an intricate mould, it might not fill all the details.

If you're still unsure, we'll guide you through working with resin for the first time in this article!

Is resin heat resistant?

For items that come into contact with heat like coasters, you'll need to use a heat resistant resin. Cure time for heat resistant resin can be longer (expect to wait several days before you can de-mould).

Resin cure time

Cure time means the length of time it takes for the resin mixture to harden. There are several factors at play; the brand of resin, the atmosphere in which you cure, and the viscosity. 

It will vary from project to project.

Depth and thickness of the resin

There are different types of resin suited to different pour depths. You can find the information stated in the instructions of your resin (usually in CM). It is important to use the correct resin otherwise your resin may not cure and will remain tacky or soft.

Transparency & yellowing resistance

Most resins have a tendency to yellow over time, especially if the resin is clear (no colour). To reduce yellowing, use a resin that states it is resistant to yellowing. You should also store your resin creations out of direct sunlight.

Odour, fumes & toxicity 

Although resins are odour free and non-toxic, proper safety measures should be adhered to. Ensure you read and practice the safety measures as set out in your specific resin. 

It is important to note that resin can be messy. It is vital to put a protective layer over your surface and yourself. Gloves are key, you do not want to get resin on your skin. Please be aware that certain people may have severe allergic reactions to resin.

Food safety

Most resins are not food safe and should are not suitable to eat or drink from. There are certain brands will are suitable, but ensure you find one that states it is.

Other types of resin

Although epoxy resin might sound like a wonder material, it is not suitable for all projects.

  • Epoxy resin (as above) - can be polished by hand
  • Polyester or polyurethane resin - great for a glass-like finish and can be polished by machine.
  • UV resin - Take minutes to cure under a UV lamp and works well for smaller projects.

DIY resin craft ideas

Resin is perfect for making personalised items as you can tailor so much of it. You can incorporate resin into other crafts too, like jewellery making. When it comes to resin, the scope of the project you can undertake is only limited by your imagination!

For more inspiration on your next project browse these amazing Epoxy resin projects.

Resin does have its challenges and we'll show you how to tackle them below. Hello, temperature, air bubbles and patience! Keep on reading.

Epoxy resin crafts snowflakes
These Christmas snowflake decorations were made using clear epoxy resin, glitter and alcohol inks.

How to use epoxy resin safely

To ensure you are using resin in a safe way you must follow some basic safety principles.
  • Make sure your workspace is well ventilated
  • Ensure others are clear of your workspace (that includes pets)
  • Wear PPE / gloves
  • Wear a ventilator mask
Please note: Epoxy can vary in smell, some may be odourless. With all resin, there will be fumes being released that you may not be able to smell. 

If you notice any sort of skin irritation or breathing problems stop using resin immediately.

How to use resin for crafts: a step-by-step guide

Epoxy resin is used to make a wide range of crafts but most commonly it's used to make jewellery or accessories. Once you've bought your perfect mould it's up to you what you turn your pieces into. From bookmarks to earrings, keyrings to charms, epoxy resin is super versatile.

The following step-by-step guide will talk you through making your first resin project with a simple mould.

Epoxy Resin Kit

You will need

  • Resin and hardener
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing cups
  • Gloves
  • Stirring sticks
  • Mould(s)
  • Toothpicks
  • Protective cover for your table (A silicone mat works best)
  • Heat gun or lighter
  • Well ventilated space
  • We recommend using a respirator mask as well

Optional

  • Resin colourants
  • Glitter
  • Dried flowers
  • Beads
  • Gold flakes
  • Heat mat
  • Disposable pipettes
  • Baby wipes

Where to buy epoxy resin for crafts

You can buy the supplies for resin crafts online. Many shops will sell kits that include resin, hardener and protective equipment. Here are a few of our favourite starter kits. We've included a full section on where to buy resin at the bottom of this article. This is a great resin kit for a beginner as it comes with everything you need but in a small quantity. If you're a pro already you can buy industrial-sized resin on Amazon. This resin promises to be anti-yellowing and comes with helpful instructions. This kit includes everything you need as a beginner resin artist. You'll find some adorable moulds to get you started too! With a 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener, you'll find this kit easy to use. If you want a low cost, full kit this one is for you.  Hobbycraft sells a few resin craft kits which include quality crystal resin. This kit includes two ready-to-mix parts, two measuring cups, two mixing sticks and a pair of protective gloves. You'll need to find your moulds and you're ready to go!

Plan your project

Before you start, you should plan out what you are going to do. Unlike many crafts, there is no undo when it comes to resin. Once you have mixed your resin, you have a limited amount of time to work with it. So having a clear plan ahead of getting started will make the process more relaxed and a lot more enjoyable.

Step by step: epoxy resin craft for beginners

Step 1

Read the instructions. Each brand of epoxy resin will come with its own particular instructions and advice.

Step 2

strong>Prepare your workspace:

  • Ensure you have a low humidity environment
  • Find a workspace that will have a warm, consistent temperature
  • Have a clean and tidy workspace (to avoid dust in your projects)
  • Cover your working surface with a silicone mat

Pro tip: If you don’t have somewhere with a warm temperature, then you can use a plant propagation mat.

Pro tip:Cold temperatures and moisture may slow the curing process and cause the resin to have flaws.

Step 3

Warm your resin and moulds. Using warm resin and warm moulds will help to reduce the number of bubbles within the resin and allow it to cure.

Pro tip: If your resin is cold, immerse the bottles in warm water. Dry thoroughly before opening.

Step 4

Measure your resin. Before opening your bottles of resin, put on your gloves!

Open and measure each part as per the instructions. Replace the cap on the bottle before moving on to the next bottle.

Pro tip: Make sure you replace the correct lids on the bottles - if you mix them up the lid may get stuck. (This is due to the resin mixing and curing).

Pro tip: If you have lots of items to make, mix in several small batches. You will have roughly 45 minutes for each batch before it begins to cure.

Resin crafts for beginners Measuring epoxy resin
Caption: Always measure your resin and hardener accurately.

Step 5

Mix your resin. Mix your resin. When you are ready, pour both the resin and the hardener into a cup and then mix them together.

Pro tip: Use silicone cups as these are easily cleanable once the resin has cured.

Mix for around 3 minutes at a slow pace (times may vary, check your instructions).

Use a slow and steady motion to avoid working extra air into the mixture (this stops bubbles from forming). Make sure to scrape the sides of the cup and the bottom to ensure an even mix. If you miss parts of it, your resin might not cure and could have soft patches.

After you have mixed it for the time stated in the instructions, leave it to sit for two or three minutes to allow bubbles to rise and pop before you pour it into your mould.

How to mix epoxy resin

Step 6

This step is optional, but now is the time to colour your resin and/or add glitter.

If you want to add glitter you can add it now and mix it in.

How to use resin Adding glitter to epoxy resin

If you are making a clear piece with glitter, most of the glitter will sink to the bottom of the mould (diagram 1).

If you want your piece to look full of glitter, you’ll need to do at least two pours (more if your piece is thick) (diagram 2).

How to add glitter to resin
Diagram 1 (left), Diagram 2 (right)

If you want to use an opaque colour and glitter, you’ll need to do at least two pours. Figures 1 and 2 show the order of pouring the coloured resin followed by clear with glitter resin.

Note: the glitter will sink to sit on top of the coloured layer and will be behind the clear top.

Figures 3 and 4 show the order you can pour if you want the glitter to be flat on the front of the piece. There will be a clear gap between the glitter and the coloured resin.

If you are pouring in stages like this do not de-mould your piece between pourings.

How to add glitter to resin figure 2

If you want to add colour to your resin, now is the time. You can use resin pigments, alcohol inks or mica powders to add colour. Make sure they are thoroughly mixed to avoid the final item having streaks. Do not use anything that contains water as this will stop your resin from curing.

How to use resin Adding coloured pigment to resin
Adding some drops of liquid resin pigment

Mica powder must be mixed well, I find it takes a bit more mixing than liquid colourants do. If the mica isn’t mixed your pieces might show striping or patches of different colouration.

How to use resin Adding mica to epoxy resin
Caption: Adding mica powder: if you work with mica you must wear a mask

Step 7

Fill your moulds. The size and depth of your mould will dictate how your pour your resin.

Large moulds: Pour straight from the mixing cup
Small moulds: Use a stirring stick or small plastic spoon

Pro tip: If you overfill it, you can use a stirring stick to scrape across the top of the mould to remove the excess resin. (Or use a pipette).

Resin crafts for beginners Filling a large mold with epoxy resin
Resin crafts for beginners Filling a small mold with epoxy resin

Pro tip: If your mould has flat areas around it (such as a flat earring mould) you can peel off any excess after curing.

If you have any items you want to add to the mould, such as stickers, beads or dried flowers add them to the resin now. Tweezers that have a long pointed tip can make this easier to do. Go slowly and watch out for bubbles that might form when the item enters the resin.

Note: do not add porous items (e.g: paper or photos) to the resin without first sealing them.

Pro tip: Keep extra moulds on hand to use up any excess resin.

Step 8

Pop bubbles. Even if you have been super careful mixing your resin, it's may still have some bubbles in it. After you have filled your mould, wait two or three minutes for the resin to settle and for bubbles to form and rise.

Top tip: use a toothpick to pop and move the bubbles to the surface. Careful not to scratch the bottom of the mould though!

Top tip: If your mould has pointy corners there is likely to be a bubble stuck there! Check them out.

To pop surface bubbles: Use a heat gun or a lighter and run the flame across the surface for a few seconds.

How to use resin pop the bubbles

Add embellishments to your resin (optional step)

You can add items to your resin before it starts to gel. Dried flowers, stickers, beads as well as anything non-porous.

How to use resin Adding dried flowers to epoxy resin
Toothpicks are endlessly useful for resin craft!

Step 9

Cure. Leave your resin in a safe place to cure.

As we've mentioned above there is a variety of factors that affect the curing process. As an average resin will take 12 hrs to 3 days to cure.

  • Room temperature
  • Size of mould (viscosity)
  • Resin brand
  • Type of resin

When curing leave your makes in a well-ventilated room away from children and pets. To avoid dust getting onto your project cover with a bowl.

Be patient! It can be very tempting to de-mould your items early, but try to be patient as you can ruin them if they have not cured.

Resin crafts for beginners Curing epoxy resin

As resin cures, it can ‘shrink’ and the middle part of the resin can dip down. When this happens the top of the resin piece can feel quite sharp around the edges (figure 1). You can rectify this by doing a tiny pour on the top, and filling the dip with clear resin (figure 2).

Leave resin to harden

Step 10

Remove it from the mould. When you are sure that the resin has cured you can de-mould your item! This is the exciting part. Pull the mould away from the resin piece to remove it. If you are using a silicone mould, be careful not to tear it.

If your resin has not cured, you can distort your piece by demolding it too soon.

Remove the mold

Step 11

Sand and finish. You may notice that the edges of your piece are rough. Remove this using some wet and dry sandpaper in a fine grade. Be careful not to scratch the shiny surface of the resin. You can also use resin polish to give your piece an extra shine.

When sanding resin you should always wear a mask to avoid inhaling any particles.

If your mould didn’t give your piece the shiny finish you wanted, you can add a thin layer of resin to the top of it. Due to the properties of resin, it will ‘dome’ when it is applied (figure 1 below).

How to use resin create a domed finish
Figure 1

Doming resin. You will need to judge the right amount of resin to cover the surface area of the piece. Too much will spill over the sides and flow off, and too little and will not spread fully over the piece. Go slow and be patient, and gently use a stirring stick to help add extra resin and spread it.

Cleaning up resin

Once you are finished use up any remaining resin if you can. Baby wipes can be used to mop up any small resin drips. Always clear up spills and drips as you go, so that you don’t end up getting things stuck to them. Do not pour resin down the drain.

To dispose of resin wipe onto a kitchen towel and throw in the general waste.

Resin kit and tools

The best type of epoxy resin will depend on the type of project you want to make with it. There are some great and affordable resins available that are suitable for beginners. Ideal for small casting projects - a great way for getting a feel for the craft.

1. Gedeo Crystal Resin

Gedeo has a small starter kit (150ml) that is an affordable way to try resin without spending a lot of money. The ratio of resin to hardener is double rather than 1:1, so you just need to measure the amounts as instructed in the kit.

2. Craft Resin

Craft Resin is versatile and affordable that is easy to work with and produces great results. It is low viscosity so perfect for small projects like jewellery. The mixing ratio is a simple 1:1 resin to hardener too. The beginners kit includes 500ml resin, 500ml hardener, gloves, measuring cups and stirring sticks.

3. Decor Rom Epoxy Resin

This resin is available in smaller quantities so it's perfect if you want to make a smaller investment. It does work out more expensive if you decide you want to make more items. The kit comes with gloves, stirring sticks and measuring cups.

4. Resipro Art Resin

Art Resin is a popular brand of epoxy resin that is suited to art projects like pictures because of its shiny finish. It is often used to seal artwork or to cast items.

Vuba Resin

Vuba produce several different epoxy resins for home use. These are designed for various types of projects and pour depths. Vista Ocean, for example, is for pours between 30 and 60mm. This resin is a great choice for ambitious resin projects.

Shop Vuba's range at www.vubaresinproducts.com

There are, of course, hundreds of other epoxy resins available. As with most things, you get what you pay for. Cheaper resins can be prone to yellowing faster or producing more fumes or odours. Be sure to buy resin from reputable manufacturers and resellers.

What else do I need for resin craft?

Having the right tools and set-up will help you to achieve the best results when working with resin. As well as moulds (more on these below), the following items will help you get started:

Gloves

It's really important to protect your hands from getting resin on them, as uncured resin can cause skin irritation, and in some cases it can be severe. If you don’t get resin on the gloves, they can be re-used too.

Respirator mask

A respirator mask will protect you from inhaling vapour from the resin curing. It will also protect from particles if you use mica powders or if you sand your resin. Look for respirators that filter organic vapours as well as particles.

The information sheet that comes with your resin will tell you if you need to wear a respirator.

Silicone mixing cups

We recommend using silicone mixing cups as they can be used many times.

Silicone mat

A silicone mat will protect your tabletop! No matter how careful you are, you will at some point spill some resin or drop some blobs of it. All you need to do is wait for the resin to cure and peel off the resin blob!

This great starter set includes silicone mixing cups, a silicone mat and other essential resin crafting items.

Stirring sticks

The humble wooden lollipop stick makes a great stirring stick when mixing resin. They are very inexpensive to buy, and come in handy for other craft uses too.

Toothpicks

Toothpicks are an essential part of your resin toolkit! They are perfect for getting bubbles out of corners in moulds.

Heat or hot air gun

Having a hot air gun will help you pop bubbles in your resin - the heat brings the bubbles to the surface. They cost around £15. You can also use a long reach lighter (be careful not to scorch your moulds) - these cost around £3 to £4.

Heat mat

To ensure a consistent temperature use a heat mat. This will help your resin cure, and help to reduce bubbles. These vary in cost, but are a great investment if you want to do a lot of resin craft and don’t want to have your heating on 24/7!

Colouring epoxy resin

Epoxy Resin Colourants
There are many types of resin colourant available

Adding colour and embellishments to resin is where you can get creative. Experimenting with different types of pigment, ink or glitter is so satisfying, as each piece comes out as a surprise.

Resin crafts for beginners coloured epoxy resin snowflakes
Snowflakes from left to right: Pink coloured with liquid pigment and mica powder, pink and yellow (clear) coloured with drops of alcohol ink, blue coloured with liquid pigment, pink and yellow (opaque) coloured with mica power, gold coloured with mica powder

There are a variety of different ways you can colour resin, each has its pros and cons. We'll talk you through these below:

  • Liquid pigments
  • Alcohol inks
  • Mica powder

Liquid pigments for resin

These pigments come in liquid form, in a huge variety of colours. They are available in small bottles with droppers and you only need a few drops to achieve a bright but translucent colour. These are great for making resin pieces where you want the light to still shine through them, but be colourful too.

If you want to make more opaque resin pieces, add white and your chosen colour and mix them together. This results in pastel colours.

Resin crafts for beginners coloure epoxy resin
When you have added the drops of the colour to your resin, make sure to thoroughly mix it in. If you don’t, your final resin piece can have streaks of colour in it or might look patchy.

If you want to make opaque resin pieces (where no light goes through them) you will need to buy opaque pigments. Resin8 make a fantastic range of opaque resin pigments which are extremely concentrated. These pigments come in jars and you need to use a stirring stick to mix a very small amount with resin. You can see the range of opaque colours they produce on their website.

DIY resin crafts resin flower earrings
The white and purple flower earrings on the left were coloured with Resin8 opaque pigment, whereas the glittery pink and orange flowers on the right were coloured with standard liquid resin pigments.

Alcohol Inks for resin

Alcohol inks have some interesting differences from liquid pigments. By dropping the ink into poured resin you will see unpredictable colours and patterns, like marbling.

How to use resin alcohol ink epoxy resin flower
This marbled flower was made using clear resin, with pink, red and orange alcohol ink dropped into it in alternating goes with sinking white

Mica powder

Mica is a type of silicate that has special properties that make it possible to be very fine. It is used in the cosmetic industry to colour products, such as eyeshadow and soap, but, it can also be used to colour resin.

Mica for epoxy resin
Mica powder is available in lots of different colours and can be used to create pearly, and metallic-type finishes in resin

Please note: you should wear a protective mask when using mica as the particles should not be inhaled.

Mix mica well to ensure there are no lumps of powder stuck in it. Keep baby wipes on hand to catch any powder spills.

Resin crafts for beginners mica epoxy resin
This flower was made by mixing three batches of resin with yellow, pink and blue mica powders, and then carefully pouring them into the mould so they gently mixed in the middle. The mica gives a pearly finish to the resin.

Adding embellishments to epoxy resin

You can add almost anything to epoxy resin as long as it is free from any moisture. If you’re not sure if something will work, it is best to test a small amount with a small resin pour.

Glitter and foil flakes

You can achieve so many different effects with glitter. Depending on how much you add, the type of glitter you use, and what pigments you use alongside it.

Resin crafts for beginners glitter for resin
Glitter comes in a massive variety of shapes, sizes and colours. Everything from chunky hexagons, through to leopard spots, skulls and mermaids!

Mylar is a type of glitter that comes in shard-like flakes. It creates an opal-like finish that catches the light. The white and pale blue mylar flakes make your resin look icy (great for Christmas!).

Foil flakes are another very popular way of embellishing resin pieces. These come in four main colour options: gold, silver, rose gold and copper. Foil flakes tend to look more sophisticated and expensive than glitter.

Stickers

You can use stickers to add fun embellishments to your resin pieces. These work well for keyrings and kawaii style jewellery. Only plastic stickers can be added to resin. Paper stickers absorb the resin and discolour straight away.

To add stickers to resin:

  • Peel off the sticker and avoid touching the sticky side with your fingers
  • Use a pair of tweezers to place your sticker into the resin
  • Move it with a toothpick into place
  • Check for air bubbles
  • Check within a few minutes to make the sticker hasn't moved.
Stickers for epoxy resin

Letter beads

Plastic letter beads are a great way to personalise your resin creations. Use them to add names or favourite quotes or lyrics to pieces. Letter beads come in a variety of colours and shapes and are low cost.

Check the orientation of the letters on both sides of the bead before you start putting them into the resin. You might need to spell your words upside down and back to front when you place the letters in!

Resin crafts for beginners beads for epoxy resin

Dried flowers

Dried flowers are ideal for resin as long as they have been completely dried out. You can dry flowers yourself to make some very special keepsakes from special events. You could preserve flowers from a wedding bouquet or flowers you love from your garden.

You can also buy packs of dried flowers in different colourways. The blue flowers in the photo came as part of a set of dried flowers in different colourways.

The flowers are small enough to fit into pendent and earring moulds, perfect for earrings. Cut down leaves and some small flowers for smaller jobs.

How to use resin dried flowers for epoxy resin

Paint pens

The sky's the limit when it comes to using paint pens to create designs within your resin pieces! We used Posca Paint Pens to draw on an opaque layer of green cured resin. After they dried we poured a clear layer of resin on the top to seal in the design.

How to use resin with paint pens
You can draw fun patterns and intricate designs within your resin pieces!

The best moulds for epoxy resin

Resin moulds are commonly made from either silicone, polypropylene or polyethene. There are so many great moulds out there, we've made a list of our favourites for you! Head to our guide to best resin moulds to get shopping.

Resin crafting for children

Resin isn’t recommended for children to use, for obvious reasons. There are some alternatives that enable children to make similar resin-like items. Jelli Rez produce a range of kits for children over seven to make fun and glittery resin-like crafts.

  • Jelli Rez create glittery gel creations suitable for children.
  • KreativeKraft creates lovely jewellery with a gel-like substance but is safe to use for kids.
  • Gemex Starter Set also produce kits that enable children to make resin-like projects. The starter kit includes the ‘magic shell’ that cures the gel and hardens it.

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We hope you've enjoyed our complete beginner's guide to how to use resin for beginners. For more craft kits browse our rug making kits for beginners and punch needle kits round ups.

Authors

Bonny CummingsDigital Product Manager

Bonny Cummings is a digital product manager and new mum to baby Ripley. She’s worked with a diverse range of brands including BikeRadar, eBay, Expedia, TUI, Best Western, Volkswagen, Samaritans and the Institution of Civil Engineers. She is a passionate multi crafter who loves trying new ways of making things. She is very interested in surface pattern design and creates her own designs for fabric and wrapping paper. These are inspired by her collection of vintage textiles and Scandinavian embroidery.

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