Monday, February 27, 2017

How to Make Resin Rings with Metal Flakes

By on Monday, February 27, 2017 6 Comments

Resin rings are wonderful in that you can make in any color you want to match with your outfits. There is no metal so these will suit those who are metal allergic. Add metal flakes and they become trendy and oh so elegant!  So here is how to make them!


The first thing you will need is resin. I use Little Window's Brilliant Resin (15% reader discount code : BG1516) - an excellent jewelry grade formulation which means it is a low bubble producer, utterly colorless with a longer shelf life than many other brands.  Another good one to try is Ice Resin . Mix the resin parts up as instructed.  I like to use small scales to weigh the resin rather than try and squint and see the marks on the measuring cups!


The fun part is coloring the resin.  I like to start with opaque white  - I used Little Window's white colorant  and then a drop of oil paint to get a milky hue.  You can use transparent resin dyes like Castin Craft's blue transparent pigment or a drop of oil paint and leave out the white if you wish. Note : Acrylic paint will also work if you use just a little.

You can also combine colors to get others. Like blue and red for purple.


I used fake gold metal flakes (Speedball Mona Lisa Composition Gold Leaf) as real gold leaf is a tad too expensive! (See my past post which explains why it is so). It is easy enough to crumble up some and mix it into the resin.


While you can get Silver Leaf too, I did an experiment with aluminum foil. I crushed up a small piece, smoothed it out and cut it into little pieces.  It worked alright but remember that aluminum foil has a dull side so sometimes that showed in the rings.  If you don't like that look, then by all means, get the silver leaf.


I did not make my own silicone ring molds (at least not yet!)  Instead I purchased mine from Molds Corporation on Etsy (I have no association - just a happy customer).  You may have to hunt around for other mold makers for specific ring sizes and other styles. (See my past post - 7 Ways to Size a Ring)

As you can see below, most of those molds are for rings in the horizontal position. The tri-ring mold created rings which were on the vertical.  

Pour in the resin slowly and tap the mold sharply regularly to release any trap bubbles.  I haven't yet 
invested in a vacuum chamber and vacuum pump!


Don't worry if  you overfill a little. You can get rid of the excess at the sanding stage.  Don't forget to cover with something suitable and leave it undisturbed for 24 hours.


I also did another experiment with a pink crystal resin ring. After the pink ring cured, I added a little more clear resin as a "glue" to hold the Swarovski flat back crystals. Using some sort of "wax on a stick" embellishment positioner  and a toothpick helps get the crystals into place.


The reveal is always fun!


See what I mean about the edge where some overfilling happens?


So get out your Dremel and make quick work of the sanding you will have to do with the rough edges.  Remember to wear a dust mask!


I started with the coarsest grit and then moved on to increasing finer sandpaper.  Check my past post on how to use split mandrels to make your own custom sanding barrels.   You can do all this manually with wet and dry sandpaper. But that might make you go crazy!


Don't panic when you see the whitish areas the first coarse sanding reveals :


With the use of progressively finer sanding paper, all those whitish bits will disappear.  In this picture, I thought I was all done but I clearly missed a bit as you can see with the white line of the edge as denoted by the arrow in the picture below. So I had to repeat some of the sanding steps again.


The last step is buffing.  I use the buffing pad from my Dremel accessory kit.


Car wax makes for great final resin finishes! These bottles are enormous as you will need very little on the buffing pad. So factor in some real car waxing too. Check your local auto supply shop. There are all kinds of brands.

I happen to use Mothers California Gold Micro-Polishing Glaze  Step 2) which removes tiny scratches. Followed finally by Mothers California Gold Pure Brazilian Carnauba Liquid Wax (Step 3).  Carnauba wax is a natural wax made from a kind of palm tree which grows only in Brazil.

(There are several grades of purity. Carnauba wax is found in many products - car waxes, surfboard wax, polishes and so on.  Due to its hypoallergenic and emollient properties, it is also used in cosmetics, dental floss, in the pharmaceutical industry where small amounts are used to coat tablets, thus making it easier to swallow pills!)


So enough with the trivia!  How did I find my rings?  Well, the largest faceted one was not comfortable as it was too big for my hand.


But the smaller one was just right!  This was the ring to rule them all (apologies for the Lord of the Rings pun).  It was very comfortable to wear. I plan to make loads more in different colors. 


The flat top ring, especially with crystals, was my next favorite. So much more interesting than plain bands.





Disclosure
I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.

Photography
I used natural light, my iPhone 6S with the ProCamera app and the Modahaus TS400 tabletop studio and the rostrum stand (overhead) for final product photography. The tutorial pictures were taken with the same equipment but with artificial lights in my windowless basement studio. Check out my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar .

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6 comments:

  1. You obviously had fun making these Pearl! They look fab! I think they'll be winners (which of course means good sellers).

    Now - all we need is to have a pic of Waltz wearing one on his paw....that would kick it off nicely I think!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be a hoot if I can do it! He is a placid cat but rings?

      Delete
  2. The rings look great particularly the thin ones. The continuous sanding and polishing of resin bores and tires me so I hardly cast pieces but these make me want to give a try

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The trick is to use power tools to make the sanding and polishing very fast!

      Delete
  3. This is amazing. I love the thick ones in the last image. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

 

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