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Ocean Inspired Resin Bangle Tutorial


Fran Valera of Little Windows sent me their new clever double-sided silicone molds set to try.  These make not just resin bangles but larger geometric ornaments and trinket dishes.

There are 4 sizes and shapes which come individually or as a set. Note : LW offers a 15% discount for all readers - just use this code : BG1516.

I positioned my fingers as if I was going to put on a bangle and then measured the widest part of my hand around the knuckles. Turns out I am a small - the circle mold which fits up to 8" (20.5 cm). The oval medium fits up to 8.5"(22 cm), the square medium fits up to 9" (23 cm) and the rectangle fits up to 10" (25.5 cm).



The double-sided molds are incredibly versatile. Just watch Fran show the different ways you can use them. Any one who is creative will have their minds blown when you see the inspirational ideas!  I know mine was!

I decided to use the small round and the medium oval and make just resin bangles for this tutorial.



The handy leaflet that comes with the products have a lot of useful information including how much resin you need for your projects. Also helpful is the strip which help you size flat things like tape, fabric, photos, ribbon etc.  Rather than cut the leaflet itself, I just photocopied it and got my extra strips that way.


I particularly love using Little Windows' Brilliant Resin. It is a superior product - I have used a number of other brands. It is non-toxic, a low bubble producer and a good jewelry grade doming resin.  Brilliant Resin is made in California, a state with some of the toughest environmental and safety regulations in the US.


As the bangles were ocean inspired, I used the strips to sure that the shells I was using will fit inside the molds. The other components like glass chips were fine. I then made up the resin according the instructions. Microwaving Part A for 6-7 seconds helps reduce bubble formation. 


Always pour some resin into the mold before you add any inclusions. This is to ensure that there is resin right at the bottom of the mold. I also slowly poured the resin into the mold while the latter was tilted. This helps reduce more bubbles from forming. I didn't fill the mold all the way to the top - about 60- 75%.  Once you add things to it, the level of the resin will rise - remember the Archimedes principle!


I used a toothpick to push down the inclusions and topped up with more resin to the top of the mold. I also uses a popsicle stick or a wooded skewer to sweep across the top of the whole mold to remove any excess resin. As Fran advised, I did check for late developing bubbles which rose to the top. Popped those with a toothpick. Bubbles at the top must be removed as they will ruin the edges of the finished pieces.

Do not use a torch to remove bubbles. You will risk bonding your project to the mold permanently.  I have found that deep set bubbles in doming resins are pretty hard to remove. The only real solution is to use a vacuum pump and chamber like this one.  Internal bubbles do suit the ocean theme I was going for! So I was chill.

I covered the mold and allowed the resin to cure overnight. Peeling the resin bangle out of the mold the next day was easy!


I just loved how it turned out.  Notice how the glass chips sank but some of the tiny round shells floated?  I missed pushing down one floating shell!


Even if you don't have something like that poking out, the top edges of the bangle benefit from a sanding to make them smooth. I used 400 grit wet-dry sand paper submerged in water to contain the dust - very important when you work with sea shells (see this cautionary news story).


A ditch forms in the top rim of the bangle. This is due to the surface tension effect of a doming resin. So following Fran's instructions in the video, I added more freshly made resin to fill the ditch. Don't overdo this. Otherwise any drips down the sides will have to be sanded and then the resin polished.  I recommend Flitz, an eco non-toxic polish if you find yourself having to do this.


For my second and third bangles,  I used heavy duty Scotch tape to see if I could distribute inclusions more evenly rather then let them sink or float. I cut two strips of tape with sticky side up. My guide strips were placed underneath.


I stuck down the inclusions I wanted including small pieces of sea glass (NB - resin removes their frosted look - so you know).


As my Scotch tape was wide, I had to trim it down to fit the mold. Those guides are handy!


I had an overlap of tape to complete the round. Shown below is my "dry fitting"of the prepared tape to make sure it fits into the small round mold.


I added a single drop of transparent blue resin dye to give a tint to some freshly prepared resin. Like the first bangle above, I poured and filled the mold to about half way up or so. I then positioned the prepared tape into the mold. A toothpick helped me ease it down to the bottom.


The other steps are the same. Top up with resin if necessary. Do a sweep of the top of the mold to remove excess resin. Cover and let cure over night. Sand top edges smooth. Then a final top- up to fill the ditch.

Cleaning the molds after use is easy - just bend them and peel off the bits of resin.


Here is the comparison of the round and oval bangles.  I added several drops of transparent blue resin dye to the medium oval just to see how it looks.

The top bangle below was made with resin containing just 1 drop of transparent resin dye.

I also made another small round resin bangle using larger pieces of green and light blue sea glass. I let these sink to the bottom before adding turquoise gemstone chips.  I found that you do need quite a bit of turquoise chips if you want to pack them in.

As the chips displace a fair amount of resin, it helps to fill the mold with just 50% resin to start with. I added the chips section by section. By the time I came around again, the first chips had settled down and I could add more. I repeated this process until the chips reached the top.


Personally, I was never a fan of bangles.  But this project made me a convert!  Love my new bangles!


Photography

I struggled with natural light photography for the final product images in this tutorial so I went with all artificial light photography. I used  my iPhone 8+ and the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. These lights are very bright and thus idea for resin projects.  The Foldio2 Plus is excellent . I use the Foldio3 because I need the room for tutorial photography.  Check out my How to Photograph Jewelry Webinar .sign up for the notification so I can let you know when my ebook is ready.

Before You Go:

Disclosure
This blog may contain affiliate links. 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.
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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4 comments:

  1. Oh Pearl, these are lovely! I'm so glad you're loving these new molds, something new to try while we're stay-cationing :)

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  2. oh boy, I see a new addiction ahead! :) all of the bangles are beautiful! now I'm curious what will float and what will settle, and how to use that information in designing... like sand, will it sink? could you build a "scene" with sand, shells, some kind of greenery, tiny little fish or sand dollars? how about flowers, it seems they'd float.... so many wheels turning!

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  3. Here’s another part if jewelry making that I haven’t delved into. I have been intrigued by it for a while now and I will try it someday soon. It sounds like you had a lot of fun doing it and you seemed to enjoy everything you did. You made beautiful bangles and converted, too! Win-win! Awesome job and great tutorial!

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