Because of my other etsy store (RockinResin.Etsy.com), in a short period of time I have amassed a decent collection of resin cabochons and lately I have been in a Decoden kind of mood. So far I have done some glasses, memory sticks, cellphone cases and chargers, jars, and a few other cute things with flat surfaces. A few weeks ago on a Facebook group I posted some pictures of my cellphone cases and received quite a few private messages asking about the cases and how to do them, mostly a lot about adhesive.
I thought I would take this chance to do a semi-tutorial on Decoden phone cases focusing mainly on techniques and products used in the particular cases I made. All cases are standard Iphone 4g plastic cases that cover the back and sides of the phone and all cabochons, rhinestones, and pearls came from my etsy store (RockinResin.Etsy.com). Links to all other items used will be at the end of the post.
Beginning with case #1 (Betty Boop phone case):
I started by lightly sanding the case using some fine grit sandpaper which gives the items a bit more grip as the cases were very smooth and shiny.
Next, I planned placement and attached the major resin cabochons, i.e. the large Betty Boop, rose, gem, and lips using E6000 glue. Along with the E6000, I used a bit of hot glue from a hot glue gun to give it that initial bond to hold it in place while the E6000 adhesive dried which takes about 24 hours.
I then attached the smaller cabochons using just E6000, so they would have a bit of give in placement as I placed the half pearls.
Now it’s time for the more tedious work of placing the half pearls. I used 6 mm and 4 mm half pearls and also used a rhinestone pick up tool and rhinestone trays I also offer. I personally own a more expensive pick up tool by Silhouette which I love for larger pieces but I find that it has too much stickiness for placing delicate items. My glue of choice is Gemtac by Beacon Industries. When I first started, I tried many different gem glues and by far Gemtac worked the best when adhering to plastic, in my opinion. E6000 would probably work better but I am just too messy with it working with tiny things. The key to using Gemtac is to not push your gem flat to the surface of the case – squeezing all the glue from underneath. You will not get a good adhesion doing that. You just kind of lay it onto the glue and let the glue dry and evaporate from under the gem. Try not to get the glue too thick. Place your gems to your personal preference.
Allow your piece to dry thoroughly. I leave my cases for about a week to ensure that they are completely dry and everything is stuck properly.
Case #2 (Bear) and #3 (Bat Cameo):
These two cases feature a very different technique – siliconized latex caulk. You do not want to use 100% silicone caulk as it will not work as an adhesive and is hard to colorize. Here is the type I use – Kwik Seal Plus by DAP.
First gather a disposable cup, your silicone, and I tinted my silicone using mica powder by Pearl-Ex using flamingo pink. I used a Dixie cup and tongue depressors and filled half the cup with silicone and tinted to personal taste.
Once thoroughly mixed, gather a disposable cake decorating bag, a coupler, and the cake decorating tip of your choice. I used a #14 open star tip. Here is a good video showing you how to assemble and load your bag and the method I use. Once loaded, twist the end to keep the air from inside your bag and even flow of silicone out the tip.
It is your personal choice on how to apply your silicone to the surface of the cases. I have very bad carpal tunnel and find that I shake too much to be too detailed, so I use the dollop method to add the caulk on the bear case and used the caulk first like icing a cake and then dollops to finish the edges on the bat case.
You have about an hour or less to work with the caulk before it starts setting up. The caulk is an adhesive, so no other adhesive is needed. For larger pieces like the cameo setting, I added an extra dollop to the back for extra adhesion. This is an extremely durable method for Decoden.
Allow again a week to thoroughly cure. Thicker areas of caulk may appear completely cured, but the inner portion may still be curing and may deform if handled to early.
Lastly, I wanted to do a simple case.
I had received some faux rhinestone bling in a RAK from a friend. It was a bit too stiff to try to cover the entire case (sides and all), so I cut the rhinestone bling to fit just the back. It cuts easy with scissors but a bit difficult to cut for the camera hole. I used multiple passes with an X-ACTO blade to get a nice clean cut.
Next, I applied a generous amount of E6000 glue to the case surface, positioned the bling, and used some clamps to keep it in place and secure while it dried. You could also use a Teflon or silicone type work surface with a heavy book on top to keep it in place while it dries. I let it thoroughly dry before I continued work on it.
The edges were not pretty, so I used my left over silicone mix caulk to pipe ribbons of silicone on the edge and finished with some dollops.
Instead of using glue for the cabochons, I decided to use the remaining caulk to use as the glue for both the Hello Kitty words cabochon and the black glitter bow mostly because they were going to span across the already done edges and I thought it would look much nicer than glue.
Lastly, I used glue to glue on the HK head.
I am by no means an expert in Decoden but thought this might help others just starting out trying to figure out what products to use and where to begin.
Two posts in less than a week, can you believe it? Today I decided to do a book review on Exploring Resin Jewelry by Heidi Boyd. I recently received this book not to long ago through my Crafter’s Choice book club (if you don’t belong, I will place the info below – great way to get lots of book inexpensively). There are very few books out there that focus primarily on resin related jewelry, so I jumped at the chance when this book arrived as a choice. These are my opinions on the book and am reviewing it purely from the resin aspect.
Exploring Resin Jewelry is published by North Light Books with a retail price of $24.99 (available through Amazon for $16.32, link below). It features 128 pages with approximately 20 of them being the standard introduction, materials, random resin is dangerous safety warnings and disclaimers, and some jewelry and finishing techniques. For a beginner, this information I can imagine would be very helpful but if you are past the beginner stage, this will be a section you will likely flip right past.
The book is a project based book featuring 25 projects from making scrabble pendants to the pretty transparent piece you see on the cover. Coming to you as someone in an advanced resin category as I have been working with it since 2000, I have mixed feelings on the projects. Especially when you don’t get to take a test run of a book in a bookstore, you never really know what you are going to get. There is a strong focus in the projects on the jewelry aspect. I would say 50% of each project tutorial is on average putting the jewelry together. A quick run down of the projects includes:
Sprinkles in a bezel.
Circuit board in a bezel.
Map in a bezel.
Scrapbook paper and a scrapbook embellishment in a bezel.
Faux typewriter keys using a bezel.
More paper in a bezel earrings.
More images in a bezel bracelet.
Polymer clay bezel using UV resin.
Steampunk pendant using copper pipe.
Resin as a sealant for an element in a pendant.
Doming resin on an image.
Resin to seal an image.
Shell embedded resin pendant.
Resin bangle with credit card embedded pieces.
The transparent pendant seen on the front cover.
Another image embedded in a mold.
Faux sea glass.
Resin in a flower mold.
Making a mold putty mold and using it.
Faux cloisonne earrings.
Fabric in resin.
More embedded items in resin mold.
Image transfer on polymer clay and UV resin pendant.
Stamped image on resin clay.
I will start with the good things. Her projects use some unconventional materials which was nice to see. There is also a project for making faux cloisonne which I really liked. The pictures are nice and clear and close up. For someone just starting out, it shows a lot of beginner resin techniques in the tutorials.
On the downside of the book (again coming purely on the resin aspects of the book), Ms. Boyd has quite a few jewelry making related books but from what I can tell doing a quick search of her blog has never posted anything about resin. The reason I even looked was because many of her resin pieces in the photographs in the book show issues and being the perfectionist I am, I had to check. Maybe I am being picky here but I expect someone being published about resin to be an expert in that subject matter. I also found that some steps to the finished piece were skipped, mostly in the glazing aspect. There is one piece in particular that I know when the original came out of the mold it was a bit hazy and in the finished photograph it is just as sparkly as can be but no where in the project is she glazing the item. I know this from experience also as the mold used produces more of a satin finish on pieces. You would expect that all steps to the finished piece would be shown in each tutorial. I also found that so many of the projects feature images or items in bezels. I would expect a book with exploring in the title would include more advanced techniques than just bezels even though it says simple techniques.
All that being said, it is not a bad book by any means. If your out of ideas, this might give you some inspiration to get you going again. If your searching for a book on marrying your resin to jewelry, this would probably be a very helpful book. If your a newbie resin user, this would be a helpful book to you. If your looking for an advanced resin technique book, I would recommend Youtube, forums, and a quick search of Google to find your answers.
Get 6 craft books books for the price of 2. I always get my 4 books for $1 each. At the same time, they give you a chance to buy your first required purchase at a discount. Do this, choosing your least expensive choice as the 5th purchase book. Your first 5 books you can normally get for less than the retail price of 1. Then you just have to purchase one more approx. $15 book to fulfill your membership.
Hello, its been quite some time since I posted a blog post. A lot of changes for me since my last post. A lot of them not really worth mentioning but the most major one is that I left my job, so I am currently a full-time starving artist (LOL). I left by choice and am trying it out at least for the holidays. So, in an effort to get myself back into blogging more regularly, I am going to start off with something simple – a jewelry update. If you watch my videos, you might have seen a quick glimpse of these almost a year ago. It really is much more fun to create than the sell. I am slowly beginning to catch up on my jewelry… all the mundane chores of sanding, glazing, adding screw eyes, adding wire-wrapped bails, etc.
Anyway, I have been hoarding these pieces for quite some time partly because I have not seen anyone else do something like this and was not sure if I wanted to share them with the world and partly because I love their saturated glittery and opalescent colors so much and the sharp contrast with the black acrylic and thought I might just keep them for myself but a girl can only wear so much jewelry. I have added about 5 so far and am adding a few more every day. All my jewelry is listed on etsy as its much easier to keep track of there which you can find by clicking here.
I am thinking about selling kits and instructions on how to make these. If anyone is interested, please leave a comment below.
It has been quite some time since I updated my blog. Do you ever get in one of those creative funks? Hopefully it won’t last long. Probably a nice order of new product would fix it which I haven’t done lately, might be time for some shopping. I have been working on finishing of pieces and making jewelry. I have also been practicing and working on some polymer clay sculpted pieces. Most of my molds have been designed by me and build from materials I had manufactured but I wanted to take it a step further and actually sculpt them. I have a whole tray of them I have been working on and show a few in the video below. Not perfect but I think they will make nice resin jewelry pieces.
In addition, I have finally released some new molds. Some of these have been in the works for months but just didn’t get to it. Watch out for a a lot more because I have a drawer of ideas and pieces still to go. Right now the new pieces are two different types of thought bubbles, teddy bear head, teddy bear fully body, and a panda head. Take a look at the video below to check them out and you can also see some of the pieces I have been finishing.
Right after I started making molds, I had a few questions asking me whether UTEE (or ultra thick embossing enamel) would work in the molds. I had plenty of UTEE but no way to melt it and pour as I did not own a melting pot used with UTEE. I was going to purchase one but right about that time, Ranger discontinued it to come out with a new style which was eventually released. I purchased it last month and finally arrived a few days ago.
I am glad to report, that UTEE does indeed work in my plastic molds that I have available for sale. The pieces you are seeing were made with clear embossing enamel and antique copper Pearl Ex mica powder using my rose cabochon and hard candy mold. The rose mold was made with my thickest plastic and the candy mold was made with a slightly thinner plastic and both worked out perfect.
UTEE with molds is a perfect way to create quick embellishments for jewelry, scrapbook projects, or any altered art. One of the best things about it, unlike resin, is if you don’t like your pour, pop it back into the melting pot, remelt it, and pour again. I created a video that I am embedding below but as you will see in the video, I did not mix the powder as thoroughly as needed and also the camera impeded my pouring a bit. Off camera, I threw the pieces back in and remade them. This time, the powders mixed all the way and I filled the cavities fully creating the pieces you see. They harden quickly and are really light weight.
A tip or two -
When you start pouring, don’t stop. The UTEE hardens quite quickly and will cause crease lines in your piece which I show below. Its better to over pour a bit and trim than to stop and get an ugly crease line.
Do not use any colorants that will react with heat. You will see in my video that I tried some white ink which reacted with heat and caused it to cook. Avoid these as it leave a residue.
After your finished or if you need to change colors, let your pan cool and any UTEE left in the pan will harden and you can remove it to keep for another time.
Below you can see the video to see the process. Super easy!
Well the long awaited Day of the Day Sugar Skull and the 35 mm Camera with Bezel Resin Molds have been finally added to the store. In addition to those, there are two Decoden style cabochon molds of a pretty little rose and a kawaii style hard candy. My favorite has to be the camera bezel. There is just so much you can do with bezels and I really like how it will look as a pendant with jump rings on each corner. I look forward to seeing what y’all do with the molds.
Below is the video showing the molds and info in living color plus a preview of molds to come…
Well it’s been a long time coming but I finally reached 1,000 subscribers on Youtube about 2-3 weeks ago.. And it’s only taken 2 years 2 months, LOL.. Like most YTers, mine was a steady 1-2 subscribers at a time, so its taken a while. I always think it is interesting to hear other’s Youtube stories and why they started making videos, so I thought I would write out mine.
When I decided to take a break from making beads in late 2009, I struggled. It was a really uncreative time for me. I have always needed that outlet to keep me sane. In the 90′s after college, it was interior decorating projects. In the early 2000′s, it was resin and jewelry. In 2004, I found lampwork beads. I was searching for a new project. Something that could keep my mind and hands occupied. I don’t remember exactly what brought me to Youtube but when I was there, I found one haul video, then another, then another. OMG, all the cute crafty products. And somewhere along the way, I ran into Kristina Werner’s (StarofMay on Youtube) Make a Card videos. Cardmaking had never occurred to me. I always thought of scrapbooking thinking of the really basic products from the early 90s. Boy had they come a long way. After watching lots and lots of videos, I ordered my supplies and the rest was history.
I listed my first video on January 31, 2010 – a haul video. The rest is history – all there in video. Up until about 10 months or so ago, there were very few resin artists on Youtube. When it started getting popular and there was an audience, I added those videos to my paper related videos..
Things I want to improve regarding YT in the future:
Of course be more regular with video making and blogging – sharing more of my projects with you.
I would like to be more, for lack of a better term, “lighter” in my videos and more open. I am definitely too serious of a person.
Do a regular series videos and tutorials.
Lastly, increase the quality, i.e. lighting, etc, of my videos.
Anyway, if your interested in entering my giveaway – please check out my video here.
I haven’t quite had time for much other than molds and playing catchup. Now that I am out of classes for four months, I am trying to catch up with months worth of etsy listings. I don’t know about y’all but I don’t feel like I can really make new resin pieces until I finish with the ones I have already made. I have a good sized bin full of really nice pieces just waiting for me. The making of the components is always the fun part – putting them together and listing them not as fun but slowly I am trying to list a couple along with my new set of molds I released late last night.
If anyone has any suggestions of what you might like to see, I would welcome the suggestions.
New molds for resin, polymer clay, plaster, and other casted materials are now available in my store. Just click the shop tab above. All my molds are made right here in my studio one-by-one with the same easy release plastic that the major brands use. I have started off with 8 designs including some Kawaii style bows great for Decoden and hair jewelry, reversible Cameo frame setting and a beveled frame molds, and some sea life. I have many more designs in the works and a lot of other ideas.
I will be offering custom molds to customers also and will be posting an information page on that within a week or two.