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Epoxy resin crafts for beginners: how to use resin

We've created a complete guide to resin crafts so you can start making your own. We cover everything from what is epoxy resin to the materials you'll need, tips for where to begin and the best starter kits to try.

How to use resin for beginners

Epoxy resin has become an increasingly popular craft over the past few years, and it is no wonder why. Resin is an exciting and unique craft that enables you to produce useful and beautiful items that have qualities similar to plastic and glass. However, unlike plastic and glass crafts, 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 can be a really useful craft to know. With resin it’s possible to make some truly beautiful and unique objects, everything from jewellery to cake stands, and buttons to table tops! You can use a range of different pigments to colour resin in different ways (from light transparent, through to solid opaque) plus you can add items to the resin such as glitter or dried flowers, so it’s possible to make things that really match your taste and aesthetic. We’ve gathered our favourite 39 Epoxy resin projects for you to try in this sister post.

Part of the popularity of resin crafting comes from the variety of molds that are available to buy relatively cheaply. They can be reused so you can make many different items from the same mold, just by changing the pigments or additions you make to your resin. It is even possible to make your own mold from scratch using silicone rubber, meaning you can make something truly unique.

Personally, 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-molding every piece – it’s always a surprise. It is so satisfying to peel off a mold and finally see what it is inside. I must warn you, it is addictive!

What is epoxy resin?

Epoxy resin is a two-part liquid that when mixed together reacts, 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. 

Epoxy resin is great because it’s flexible in its liquid state meaning it can be poured and moulded into all sorts of shapes but when the hardener is added it becomes rock solid! This means it’s perfect for fixing leaks, repairing broken parts and sealing worktops. It also has another fab use that we love here at Gathered… it’s ideal for making bespoke crafts!

Whenever you use a resin, it is essential you follow the mixing instructions provided as some require you to measure by volume whereas some are by weight (resin and hardener don’t weigh the same).

How to choose the right resin

There are many types of epoxy resin and you need to choose one that is appropriate for the project you have in mind. Different types have properties that lend themselves more to some types of project than others. Here are some key things to consider when choosing an epoxy resin.

Viscosity – what is it and why do you need to know?

The term viscosity is used to describe how thin or thick the epoxy liquid is, and this has a significant effect on the types of project you can successfully complete with it. If you plan to use moulds with lots of intricate details then you will need a thin and runny resin (low viscosity) that will get into all the details.

Low viscosity resins have a longer cure time than high viscosity, so you need to wait longer before you can demould compared to medium or high viscosity resins. These can be used to cast large or thick layers of resin.

If you use the wrong type of viscosity, you could end up having a project that won’t fully cure, for example if you used a low viscosity resin to cast a large, deep sphere using a single pour, you may not be able to get the resin out of the mould. Or if you used a high viscosity resin in an intricate cabochon mold, it might not fill all the details, so it might look broken or poorly formed.

Don’t worry though, if you’re still not sure, we’ll guide you through working with resin for the first time in this article!

How will it handle heat?

If you are planning to make items that come into contact with heat, such as coasters, you’ll need to check your resin is heat resistant. Once fully cured, heat resistant resin won’t be affected by hot cups. Cure time for heat resistant resin can be longer than others (expect to wait several days before you can demold).

How long does it take to harden?

Cure time is the term used to describe how long it takes for the resin to harden fully after it has been combined with hardener. This can vary a lot depending on the brand, as well as the circumstances where you make your project (heat plays a huge part in the curing process).

Depth and thickness

The maximum depth you can do a single pour with will affect the types of projects that the resin you are using is suitable for. Some brands have different types of resin suited to different pour depths and these will be clearly stated in mm or cm. Pouring a resin to a depth thicker than that which is advised could mean your resin never fully cures and remains tacky or soft.

Odour, fumes & toxicity

Most resins have a tendency to yellow over time, especially if the resin is left clear (and no pigments are used). Look out for resins that have yellowing resistance if you are planning to make items that are clear or very transparent. You can also reduce yellowing by keeping your resin items out of direct sunlight.

Transparency & yellowing resistance

Many resins are available that are odour free, and non toxic. However all resins will release some fumes as they cure. It’s really important to follow all the safety precautions that come with the specific resin you choose as it’s possible to have severe allergic reactions.

Food safety

Not all resin is food safe (many are not) – make sure you check that the one you have can be used if you plan to make items like serving boards or cake stands.

Other types of resin

Although epoxy resin might sound like a wonder material, it is not suitable for all projects. Depending on what you are trying to achieve, you might need to look into using a polyester or polyurethane resin. When these are fully cured they can achieve a truly glass-like finish, and are incredibly hard and durable. Objects made with these resins can be machine polished as they can withstand the heat generated by the polishing process. Epoxy resin on the other hand can only be polished by hand.

If you are looking for a faster resin to work with, UV resin could be a great option as it takes minutes to cure instead of hours or days with traditional epoxy resin. It is also quicker and less messy to work with because you don’t have to mix in a hardener – the UV light causes the resin to harden instead.

 UV resin cures quickly under ultraviolet light, which makes it perfect for making small projects like jewellery. You will need to get a UV torch or another UV light source such as a lamp designed for drying UV gel nail polish (these often have useful timers).

DIY resin craft ideas

Resin is perfect for making personalised items as you can tailor so much of it – from the colours and inclusions through to the shapes you can mold with it. It’s also a great craft to use alongside other crafts, for example you can cast your own pendants to use in jewellery making, or cast charms to use as knitting stitch markers or cast buttons to use in sewing projects.

We’ve rounded up 39 Epoxy resin projects to inspire you.

Epoxy resin crafts snowflakes
These Christmas snowflake decorations were made using clear epoxy resin, glitter and alcohol inks. Part of the beauty of making resin decorations is that you are free to make them whatever colour you dream of, so here I made pink and orange decorations!

Because you can add items to resin (things that are completely dry and free from moisture), it’s possible to make very impressive and beautiful projects. Some people cast entire flowers within resin to preserve them, or make magical marbled images using alcohol inks, or capture treasured photographs in keepsakes – when it comes to resin, the scope of project you can undertake is only really limited by your imagination and how well you follow the instructions!

The biggest issues we’ll show you how to tackle today to making items with resin are temperature, air bubbles and patience . We’ll cover them each below…

How to use epoxy resin safely

It is possible to use epoxy resin at home safely and successfully. You must follow some basic safety principles to protect yourself and your family and pets. 

The most important safety measure to take is to work in a well ventilated space, with plenty of airflow. I’d strongly recommend you also use PPE: as a minimum gloves and a mask. A ventilator mask will give you the best protection from any fumes that are produced when you mix your resin and it begins to cure. 

Different epoxy resin brands vary in how they smell, some are completely odourless, but just because you can’t smell anything, doesn’t mean that there are no vapours being released that you are inhaling. 

It is possible to have allergic reactions to epoxy resin, so please stop using it if you notice any sort of skin irritation or breathing problems.

How to use resin for crafts

Epoxy resin can be 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.

It’s also highly customisable. You can add colours to your resin (it is naturally transparent) with powdered pigments, alcohol inks, airbrush colours and liquid colour concentrates. Then you can add gold leaf, dried flowers, glitter or beads to your resin to give it that extra sparkle.

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

Epoxy Resin Kit

You will need

  • Resin and hardener
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing cups
  • Gloves
  • Stirring sticks
  • Mold(s)
  • Toothpicks
  • Protective cover for your table (cardboard is OK, but resin can soak through if you have a spill, the best cover is a silicone mat)
  • Heat gun or lighter
  • Well ventilated space 
  • I strongly 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 easiky online. Many shops will sell kits which will include the resin, hardener and protective equipment. Here’s a few of our favourite starter kits. We’ve included a full section on where to buy resin at the bottom of this article.

  • Epoxy Resin Crystal Clear Kitmazon (Amazon, £18.99) This is a great resin kit for a beginner as it comes with everything you need but in a small quantity. You can buy industrial-sized resin on Amazon too (click here) but if you’re just seeing whether this is the craft for you then we’d recommend this kit. It promises to be yellow free (many cheap resins can give a yellow tint when set as opposed to the clear transparent look you’re after) and comes with step by step instructions.
  • Epoxy resin Geode Starter kit (Etsy £39.99) Etsy has a wide range of resin craft kits available including this coasters starter kit which comes with 225g UV Clear Resistant Art Resin (2:1 Ratio), 250g Resi-Heat Sealer, 2 Metallic Pigments, Epoxy Gold Glitter, Geode Coaster Silicone Molds, a pair of Nitrile Gloves and Detailing Spray. Etsy also sells a huge range of beautiful one of a kind moulds.
  • Gedeo Crystal Resin and Hardener (Hobbycraft, £15.95) Hobbycraft sells a few resin craft kits which include quality crystal resin two ready to mix parts (100 ml resin and 50 ml hardener), two measuring cups, two mixing sticks and a pair of protective gloves. You’ll just 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 un-do when it comes to resin, so it’s really important to plan everything you want to do and work through it. 

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. It is essential you thoroughly read them, even if you have used resin in the past as there might be specific instructions for each resin type which will help you to achieve the best results.

Step 2

Prepare your workspace. For epoxy resin to cure properly it needs to be warm, and be in a low humidity environment. Cold temperatures and moisture in the air will slow the curing process and could cause the resin to have unsightly flaws on its surface (known as amine blush). Set up your workspace so that it will have a warm, consistent temperature for the duration of its cure. If you don’t have somewhere like this, then you can use a plant propagation mat to keep them warm. These mats are designed to germinate seeds using gentle, constant warmth so make great resin curing tools! 

Your workspace needs to be clean and tidy, so dust and dirt do not get into your finished pieces. Your tabletop must also be protected as resin can ruin worksurfaces. You can use cardboard but be aware any spilled resin could soak through it and reach the table top. A silicone mat is the best and easiest way to protect your work surface, and spilled resin just peels off it once it cures.

Step 3

Warm your resin and moulds. Using warm resin and warm moulds will help to reduce the amount of bubbles within the resin and encourage it to cure without issues. Before mixing your resin and hardener, make sure they are warm. Storing your resin in a warm room will help with this. 

If your resin is cold, you can immerse the bottles in warm water but be very careful to thoroughly dry them before opening – if any water comes into contact with the resin it will not cure and you’ll be left with a tacky mess that could ruin your moulds.

Check your mold(s) are free from dust or dirt before you use them – any bits could spoil your finished pieces. Silicone molds are like magnets for bits, so check these thoroughly before using and keep them in a clean box between uses to keep the bits at bay.

Step 4

Measure your resin. Before opening your bottles of resin, put on your gloves! Even if your resin says it is non-toxic, it can still cause skin irritation for some people, plus, it’s very difficult to get off if you do get it on yourself.

Open and measure each part separately, replacing the cap on the bottle before moving on to the next bottle. Working methodically like this will help to prevent accidents like putting the wrong cap on the wrong bottle (which could mean you can’t open that bottle again), or pouring double the amount of the same bottle (meaning the project will never cure).

Measure the resin and hardener following the instructions supplied with them. Be very careful to check the amounts you have poured, it is very easy to add too much/little and ruin a resin project.

If you want to make lots of pieces in one session, it is best to mix several small amounts of resin rather than one big cupful. As soon as you have mixed your resin you have a short window of time to work with it before it starts to gel.

Resin crafts for beginners Measuring epoxy resin
Caption: Always measure your resin and hardener accurately! Don’t be tempted to just eyeball them – you’ll end up with resin that won’t cure properly!

Step 5

Mix your resin. When you are ready, pour both the resin and the hardener into a cup and then mix them together. I use reusable silicone measuring cups to measure each, before mixing in a separate cup. You can also get inexpensive medicine measuring cups, and use plastic drinks cups for mixing.

When mixing your resin, follow the instructions that were supplied with it. It is normal to need to mix it for about three minutes, but follow the specific timings your resin states. Not mixing for long enough could ruin your project – so set a timer and follow it.

How to mix epoxy resin

Use a slow and steady motion to avoid working extra air into the mixture (this can help to avoid too many bubbles 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 properly 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 into your mold.

Depending on your brand of resin, the time you have to complete your pour(s) will vary. The resin will start to thicken and become more viscous and gel-like as it starts to cure, and if it goes too far, you won’t be able to fill your molds. It is always best to mix several small quantities of resin rather than one large amount at a time. It makes it a lot easier to manage.

Step 5

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. Bear in mind that it will sink to the bottom of the mold as the resin begins to cure and will not be evenly distributed. If you want the glitter to sit in the ‘middle’ of the resin piece you will need to do multiple pours and cures in layers (a clear layer followed by a glitter layer or vice versa).

How to use resin Adding glitter to epoxy resin

If you are making a clear piece with glitter, be aware that most of the glitter will sink to the bottom of the mold, and just a few pieces will stay in the ‘middle’ of the piece or on the top of the pour (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) to achieve the look (diagram 2).

How to add glitter to resin

If you want to use an opaque colour as well as glitter, you’ll need to do at least two pours (glitter won’t show up in opaque resin very well). Figures 1 and 2 show the order of pouring the coloured resin followed by clear with glitter resin (perfect if your mold is dull and not shiny as the clear top will be shiny). Note that 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 your mold is shiny and you want the glitter to be flat on the front of the piece, as there will be a clear gap between the glitter and the coloured resin.

How to add glitter to resin figure 2

If you are pouring in stages like this do not demold your piece between pourings – when I have done this I have spoilt the finish of the edges of the piece.

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 in thoroughly, I find it takes a bit more mixing than liquid colourants do. If the mica isn’t fully mixed in, your pieces might show striping or patches of different colouration, which sometimes looks attractive, but often doesn’t.

How to use resin Adding mica to epoxy resin
Caption: Adding mica powder: if you work with mica you must wear a mask as the particles are so fine they become airborne

Step 6

Fill your molds. Depending on the size and depth of your mould, you might pour your resin straight from your mixing cup, or if it’s small, you can use your stirring stick or a small plastic spoon to add your resin more carefully. Pouring takes practice as it’s very easy to overfill a mould. If you do overfill it, you can use a stirring stick to scrape across the top of the mold to remove the excess resin. Scrape away any resin that pools around the edges of the resin within the mould so that it is easier to finish the piece once it has cured (it will reduce the amount of sanding you might need to do).

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

If you are using a silicone mold with flat areas around it (such as a flat earring mold), excess blobs of resin will just peel off it once it has cured.

If you have overfilled a mold but can’t scrape off the excess, you can use a disposable pipette to extract some resin.

If you have a low viscosity resin but want to use a deeper mould, then you can try filling it in layers you gradually build up (and allow the resin to cure in between). You’ll need to follow the depth guide that comes with your particular resin.

If you have any items you want to add to the mold, 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: you can’t add porous items (e.g: paper or photos) to resin without first sealing them, otherwise they soak up the resin and spoil.

It is useful to have some little moulds to hand in case you have some surplus resin to use up. I have some earring stud moulds I use for this to catch little tail ends of leftover resin. If you end up with extra resin, and have no other molds to use, do not pour it down the sink or place it in the bin. It needs to cure safely before it can be disposed of. When resin cures it heats up, some resins can become very hot, so it must be handled with caution.

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.

Step 7

Pop bubbles. Even if you have been super careful mixing your resin, it’s probably going to still have some bubbles you’ll want to get rid of. After you have filled your mould, wait two or three minutes for the resin to settle and for bubbles to form and rise. Most bubbles will gradually rise to the surface, however some might stick around the edge of the mould. You can gently encourage them to move using a toothpick, but be careful not to scratch your mould with the tip because this will show on all the pieces you cast with it. 

If your mold has a point to it, like a pyramid mold, you will almost always get an air bubble in the point, and the more you use molds, the more you will get to know where bubbles might be that need shifting!

How to use resin pop the bubbles

You can use a heat gun or a lighter across the top of the resin which will pop the bubbles that are stuck just under the surface. Only run the heat or flame across the surface for a few seconds, and keep it moving. Holding it for too long could scorch your mould and the resin. Be particularly careful if you are using silicone molds, these are designed to withstand high temperatures but not direct flames.

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 can be added. As you add items, bubbles are likely to appear so you may need to nudge these out with a toothpick, or use a heat gun/lighter again.

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

Step 8

Leave to cure. Leave your resin in a safe place to cure where it will not be disturbed (in a room where pets and children cannot enter). Depending on the resin brand, and the room temperature, your resin could take anywhere from about 12 hours through to three days to cure and be ready to be demoulded. As the resin cures it produces heat and releases some vapours which should not be breathed in. The space you cure resin in should be well ventilated, as the vapour can cause irritation which can be severe for some people. If you use resin regularly, or have poor ventilation then you must wear a respirator mask to prevent severe over sensitisation to the resin vapour.

It can be very tempting to demould your items early, but try to be patient as you can ruin them if they have not fully cured.

Resin crafts for beginners Curing epoxy resin
Leave your resin items in a warm, ventilated place, away from moisture so they will properly

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. You can rectify this by doing a tiny pour on the top, and filling the dip with clear resin.

Leave resin to harden
After curing, you might find your resin has shrunk, and has dipped in the middle. (2) You can correct this by doing a small, clear pour on top of the resin, and letting it cure again, before you demold the piece.

Step 9

Remove it from the mold. When you are satisfied that the resin has fully cured and hardened you can demould your item! This is the really exciting part. Carefully pull the mould away from the resin piece and gently remove it. If you are using a silicone mould, be careful not to tear it. 

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

Remove the mold

Step 10

Sand and finish. You may notice that the edges of your piece are slightly rough. This can be easily removed 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 mold didn’t give your piece the shiny finish you wanted, you can add a thin layer of resin to the top of it.

How to use resin create a domed finish
Adding a thin layer of resin to the top of a dull item will make it shiny. Due to the properties of resin, it will ‘dome’ when it is applied.

Doming resin is quite a knack, because you need to judge the right amount of resin to adequately cover the surface area of the piece: too much and it will spill over the sides and flow off, and too little and it will not spread fully over the piece. Go slowly and be patient, and gently use a stirring stick to help add extra resin and spread it.

Best epoxy resin for art and crafts

The best type of epoxy resin will depend on the types of project you want to make with it. If you are just starting out, then there are some great and affordable resins available that are suitable for small casting projects – perfect for getting a feel for the craft.

Gedeo Crystal Resin

Gedeo have 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.

Buy it now (Amazon, £13.90)

Craft Resin

Craft Resin is a versatile and affordable epoxy resin that is easy to work with and produces great results. It is low viscosity so it is perfect for using to make small projects like jewellery and intricate cabochons etc. The mixing ratio is a simple 1:1 resin to hardener too.A 1 litre beginners kit is available on Amazon which comes with 500ml resin, 500ml hardener, gloves, measuring cups, and a stirring stick.

Buy it now (Amazon, £134)

Decor Rom Epoxy Resin

Decor Rom epoxy resin is available in smaller quantities than Craft Resin, so it’s perfect if you want to make a smaller investment to get started, although it works out more expensive if you decide you want to make more items.  A 600ml kit is available on Amazon for £22.99, although this is sometimes on offer (at the time of writing there was a £1 saving available). The kit comes with gloves, stirring sticks and measuring cups. 

Buy it now (Amazon, £19.99)

Resipro Art Resin

Art Resin is a popular brand of epoxy resin that is well suited to art projects, such as resin pictures and has a super shiny finish. It is often used to cover artwork to seal it as well as being used to cast items. A 1kg kit is available on Amazon for £45.

Buy it now (Amazon, £45)

Vuba Resin

Vuba produce several different epoxy resins for home use. These are designed to be used for different types of project, and how deep the pour will be, for example Vista Ocean is designed for pours between 30 and 60mm. These make great choices for more ambitious resin projects once you graduate from being a beginner.

Find out more about Vuba’s range at www.vubaresinproducts.com

There are of course, hundreds of other epoxy resins available. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and very cheap resins can be prone to yellowing faster or producing more fumes or odors so please be careful, and 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 really help you to achieve the best results when working with resin. As well as molds (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. Buy a pack of 50 pairs of vinyl gloves (Ebay, £7.99)

Respirator mask

A respirator mask will protect you from inhaling vapour from the resin curing and 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, however, even if it is not essential, it is recommended to wear one to protect yourself from overexposure to the fumes which could lead to developing sensitivity to them and even an allergy.

Silicone mixing cups

You can buy disposable plastic cups to mix your resin in, however if you clean them well you can reuse silicone cups again and again. 

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. If you have protected your work surface with a silicone mat though, all you need to do is wait for the resin to cure and peel off the resin blob!

Buy it now (Amazon for £10.99)this starter set includes silicone mixing cups and a silicone mat along with reusable stirring sticks, some finger cots (individual finger gloves) and some pipettes on 

Another great starter set includes silicone mixing cups, and silicone mat along with a host of other essential resin crafting items. Buy it now (Amazon, £11.99)

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.
Buy it now (Ebay, £1.99)– pack of 50 sticks.

Toothpicks

Toothpicks are an essential part of your resin toolkit! They are perfect for getting bubbles out of corners in molds. Buy it now (eBay, £1.97) for 200 toothpicks.

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 (just be careful not to scorch your molds) –  these cost around £3 to £4.

Heat mat

A heat mat designed for raising seedlings or keeping reptiles warm, makes an excellent consistent heat source that will help your resin cure properly, 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!  Buy it now (Amazon, £19.99)

Colouring epoxy resin

Epoxy Resin Colourants
There are many types of resin colourant available

Adding colour and embellishments to resin is my favourite thing about this craft. Experimenting with different types of pigment, ink or glitter is immensely 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 come in small bottles with droppers, and you usually 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, then you can experiment with adding white and your chosen colour and mixing them together. I have had some success doing this, however it makes the colours go more pastel-like so it won’t always be the right option.

Resin crafts for beginners coloure epoxy resin
I’ve used the same mould here to experiment with different liquid pigment colours and glitter combinations to make bunny brooches. The gold and pink is my favourite!
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.

There are lots of great sets of liquid resin pigment available. We like this DecorRom starter set with 15 colours: Buy it now (Amazon, £12.99)

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 and produce beautiful results. These pigments come in jars and you need to use a stirring stick or similar to take a very small amount with to mix into your resin. You can see the range of opaque colours they produce on their website www.resin8.co.uk

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

Alcohol Inks for resin

Alcohol inks are another great way to colour resin pieces, and they have some interesting differences to liquid pigments. Alcohol inks can be dropped onto already poured resin, and combined with ‘sinking white’ ink, they can produce unpredictable colours and patterns, a bit 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

Jacquard’s Pinata inks are perfect if you want to try creating some inky marbled fun with your resin. Buy them now Amazon (£29.69)

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, however 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

Whenever you use mica powder you must use a particle mask: the mica particles are incredibly small and fill the air as soon as you touch it, and should not be inhaled. 

When you add mica to resin, you need to mix it thoroughly to ensure it’s not streaky and doesn’t have any clumps of powder stuck in it. Having some baby wipes handy will also help you to catch any powder spills, and prevent you accidentally contaminating other projects with stray mica colours.

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 which you can just about make out in the photo.

Adding embellishments to epoxy resin

You can add almost anything to epoxy resin as long as it is dry and 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 so that you do not waste too much resin if it doesn’t work well.

Glitter and foil flakes

Adding glitter to resin is one of my favourite things to do! You can achieve so many different effects 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
Through working with resin I have discovered that 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 create an opal-like finish that really catches the light. The white and pale blue mylar flakes can make your resin look icy, which is great for Christmas decorations.

Foil flakes are another very popular way of embellishing resin pieces. These typically 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 really well for keyrings and kawaii style jewellery. Only plastic stickers can be added to resin. Paper stickers absorb the resin and discolour straight away.

When you add stickers to resin, peel off the sticker and avoid touching the sticky side with your fingers (in case you leave fingerprint marks, or any bits of fluff or lint that could show in your final piece), use a pair of tweezers with a long nose to place your sticker into the resin, and carefully move it with a toothpick into place, paying special attention for any air bubbles that might have become trapped underneath the sticker. Keep an eye on your piece for a few minutes as the stickers have a tendency to move around in the liquid resin.

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 you can buy bags of them on eBay quite cheaply. 

Check the orientation of the letters on both sides of the bead before you start putting them into resin: beads like the one in the photo are the opposite way up on each side. This means 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 can be added to epoxy resin as long as they have been completely dried out and all moisture has been removed. You can dry flowers yourself to make some very special keepsakes from special events (you could preserve flowers from a wedding bouquet) or just flowers you love from your garden.

You can also buy packs of dried flowers in different colour ways. The blue flowers in the photo came as part of a set of dried flowers in different colour ways. These are a useful size to make jewellery from as the flowers are small enough to fit into pendent and earring moulds. Leaves and some small flowers can be cut with scissors to make into smaller parts to further embellish resin.

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! In the example pieces above, I have used Posca Paint Pens to draw on an opaque layer of green resin, which had fully cured before I drew on them. I left the drawings to dry for several hours to be completely sure they were free from any moisture before pouring 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 molds for epoxy resin

There are two main types of mold used with epoxy resin: silicone molds and flexible plastic molds made from polypropylene or polyethylene

There are a lot of fantastic resin kits available, which provide an easy way of trying the craft and getting a feel for if you like it. Many kits contain a selection of molds, which makes them an affordable way of making a variety of objects and learning a lot of different techniques along the way.

  • Alphabet Keyring Molds (Amazon, £14.99) This kit has everything you need (except the resin) to begin making personalised alphabet keyrings. It comes with a mould for each letter of the alphabet alongside numbers 0-9. It also contains a drill, alongside a selection of glitter and sequins and the findings needed to make your resin letters into keyrings.
  • Jewellery mold kit (Amazon, £15.98) This kit contains 15 different molds suitable for making jewellery. These include a selection of pendant molds that have holes incorporated into the mold itself (a great time saver as you don’t need to drill a hole or screw an eye pin in to use them). There are also molds to make small jewel-like items that you can use to embellish other crafts, or place within other resin projects. A single bangle mold is also included, and a host of useful jewellery findings.
  • Leaf shaped coaster mold kit (Amazon, £12.99) This fantastic set of molds features five different leaf shapes that would make a beautiful set of coasters.
  • Hair grip mold and clip kit (Etsy, £6.42) This kit contains both the molds and the clips to create your own bespoke hair clips, all you need to add is the resin and some jewellery glue to fix the clips onto the resin designs.

Resin crafting for children

Resin isn’t recommended for children to use, for obvious reasons, however there are some alternatives that enable children to have a go at making very similar resin-like items. Jelli Rez produce a range of kits that enable children over seven years of age to make fun and glittery resin-like crafts.


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We hope you’ve enjoyed our complete beginners 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.