How to encase something in resin - A comprehensive guide
When I was younger, I used to be fascinated by a paperweight my dad had in his office. It was a crystal clear half-sphere with a real scorpion embedded inside.
I didn’t know about epoxy resin back then, so I was baffled by the idea that you can have a once-upon-a-time living thing preserved for all eternity in a transparent casing.
Something so dangerous in real life was then sitting so beautifully on my dad’s desk.
Since then, I learned how to encase something in resin and I must admit, I’m obsessed with creating floating objects in resin.
There are never ending possibilities to what you can do with epoxy. You can create so many beautiful resin objects, and embed almost anything you can think of... it’s wonderful!
Today, we’re gonna learn how to encase things in resin, so that you can do it at home, and who knows, maybe one day, your daughter or son will be fascinated by an embedded object you’ve made with Roxy Epoxy.
What you’ll need to start
- Roxy Epoxy resin kit
- Resin casting molds
- Wood sticks for stirring
- Mixing cups
- Things to embed in resin
- Additionally, you might also need items like toothpicks, scissors and wax paper.
Things you should never encase in resin
As I said before, you can put almost anything in resin, making this process a never ending fountain of creativity. However, there are a few things that don’t mix well with resin:
You can embed flowers in resin and they make for amazing jewelry pieces, but the flowers must be dried and preserved first.
Fresh flowers will turn different colors once they are in resin. They might become clear or turn brown. Either way, not a pretty sight!
Think carefully before choosing the things to put in resin molds. If there’s any chance that you might need them later out from the resin cast, don’t embed them at all.
You risk destroying these objects if you try getting them out of the epoxy resin. We recommend using only objects that have no significant value. Don’t include heirlooms or important papers in the crafting process.
Food should never be encased in resin. Why?
Fresh foods might have a high water content and they will completely rot in resin.
Take fruits, for example. You might think that a real strawberry pendant would look amazing, but in reality it would be disgusting.
You would need to dehydrate the food before putting it in resin, but there’s no guarantee you can extract all the moisture out. Besides rotting the food, moisture will also screw up with the epoxy, not allowing it to fully cure.
Embedding a drop of water or a tear in resin sounds like the ultimate creative idea. Unfortunately, it’s also impossible.
Resin hates moisture and will simply not cure. That’s why it’s important to use color powders if you want to add colors to your project, instead of paint or food coloring.
Specimens that aren’t well preserved
Remember my story at the beginning of this article? That scorpion was able to be embedded in resin because he was preserved perfectly first.
Don’t try to encase insects in resin that weren’t preserved properly beforehand. They will deteriorate, just like flowers or fruits.
Setting things in resin- step by step process
It’s time to get down to business. You now know what you need and what you shouldn’t use for your project. Let’s embed, embed, embed!
1. Prepare your crafting area
Working with epoxy can be messy, so you should make sure to prepare the area first. You can check our advice on how to prepare the crafting area for epoxy work to make sure you’re all covered.
2. Arrange objects in the casting mold
Before you start to mix the resin, make sure you arrange the items you want to embed in the casting mold.
Take into consideration the depth of the mold when choosing what to put in it. If the object is bigger than the mold, it won’t get fully encased.
3. Mix the resin
Mix the 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener. Use the wooden stir sticks and, depending on how much quantity you're using, it can take between 3 and 7 minutes of continuous mixing.
If you want to add some color, use the Mica powders that came with your kit.
4. Pour the resin into the mold
Pour the resin slowly into the mold, making sure your objects get encapsulated by it.
Start pouring from the center, so you don’t get any drops on the sides of your mold.
If the object shifts its position during pouring, use a toothpick to gently place it back correctly.
Wait at least 24 hours before trying to demold your creation.
You’ll want to test and make sure the resin has cured and isn’t tacky to the touch.
If the resin is fully hardened, you can start demolding it by bending the resin mold backwards until the resin pops out. Do it gently from the sides of the mold.
If your object has any uneven edges, use a fine grit sandpaper or nail file to even them out.
What to embed?
Now that you know how to put things in resin, we can start thinking about what would look absolutely spectacular encased in epoxy.
I will tell you what my next project will be. I'm gonna try making a pendant with Sahara sand embedded in it.
At first, you can try your hand with dry flowers, candy, glitter, seashells, golden foil or beads. You can also embed newspaper clippings, photos, buttons, and any trinkets you have around the house.
If you’re still in need of inspiration, check out our ideas to beautify your home.
That’s about it, my dear fellow crafters. I hope you have fun and I wish for the creativity gods to bless you with amazing ideas and smooth epoxy projects.
I’ll go ask my dad if he still has that scorpion paperweight in the house. Maybe I can find it a new home on my bookshelf.
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