I've been working with resin for many years and have learned a lot along the way.  I try and share all my tips but it is impossible to mention every single one each time I write up a tutorial. 

So here is a current list of my favorite tools, tips and tricks including some very new additions to my jewelry making "tool box".  

Accurate Measurements

One common cause of resin failing to cure, assuming it is not too ancient, is incorrect measurements.  It could be gross errors or small but significant mistakes.

The proportions of the two parts vary, depending on manufacturers. Some use a 1:1 ratio. Others, like Brilliant Resin from Little Windows use a 2: 1 ratio. (Note : Get 15% off from Little Windows with this code : BG1516. )

With a 1: 1 resin, you could accidentally use just one part and not the other. or mix up a 2: 1 ratio resin.  This happened to me once when I picked up Brilliant Resin Part B thinking it was Part A - you would think I would notice since this is a 2:1 ratio resin! 

A really good way to get the right amounts is to use a small weighing scale. Mine is pretty old compared to the newer ones like this one.  Whatever you use, just make sure it can measure g or 0.1 oz units. It must also have a tare function - a zeroing function after you place a container on it. The scale can also do double duty as a postal scale if you sell small items and package at home. 

No scale? No problem. Just mark the required volumes on the given measuring cups. The cup markings are harder to see once the resin goes in. 

Scientists like me use a consistent measuring technique for liquids. You may already have noticed a lens shape or a very wide half sphere at the top of liquids. This is called the meniscus which forms due to surface tension between the liquid and the container. The most common method - and the one I use - is to use the bottom of the meniscus to line up with the mark you want. Old habits die hard - I also use this technique in kitchen when measuring water etc.

In real life, what you will actually see is a thin extra layer on top of the resin part. Just use the bottom of this layer as the mark you want.  Would this really make a big difference in making up resin?  Probably not, but if you are having trouble with making up resin properly, then try it.

I also use 100 mL silicone measuring cups if the resin quantity I am working needs the extra space for mixing.  They can be cleaned - see this tutorial on how

The little plastic cups and the stirring wands are easy to clean too. I use a dry kitchen paper towel to remove as much leftover resin as possible. Then another clean with a rubbing alcohol soaked paper towel.  You can get rubbing alcohol from your local drugstore.

Touching Up

Little Windows sent me a new product they have to try- tiny pointy swabs!

These are really small compared to regular Q-tips. The difference is not just the size but small ones have firm and non-shedding tips.  I have used Q-Tips to clean up spills before but I do not insert them into the resin mix because bits of fluff could go inside.   

I also use the tiny pointy swab to get in between the curved areas when I am recoating with a thin layer of resin as a top coat. 

Otherwise, drips of resin could collect and harden underneath the piece.....which only means more work to get rid of the nobbly bits. 

Here are some of the suggested uses for the Tiny Swabs :

I recently tried the tiny swab with the removal of deep large bubbles in real flower resin cabochons. A much more successful way of shifting those bubbles than regular toothpicks - my usual tool! (Note : Placing molds on a clipboard is a good way of lifting molds safely if you have to move them somewhere else for curing. 

There are a few tiny, tiny bubbles but large ones have been banished!

Not all silicone molds are made to give shiny finishes. I have had great success with Little Windows' molds because they have been well polished inside.  However, I do use other silicone molds such as the Wilton ones for cake decoration.  There is a whole range of them - I am currently eyeing their sea life one

As you can see from my example, the right side of the resin leaf is matte but the back side is shiny. 

You can shine them up in different ways. Umpteen goes with polishing with several sandpaper grits requires time and patience - both of which I am short on! And uneven designs like this will be challenging. So the quickest way is to apply a very thin layer of clear resin over the cured piece.  

You can use the stirring wand which comes with the resin. But a silicon stirring stick with a curved end has two advantages. First, it spreads the resin easily over the hills and valleys of resin pieces like the leaf shape below. Secondly, it cleans up fast with rubbing alcohol. 

If you want finer control, you will have to use a small brush as Fran Valera of Little Windows did in her different tips on how to polish resin jewelry. But a brush used for resin will be difficult to clean. 

Want to add more color to your resin pieces?  I recommend you use extra fine Artistro marker pens such as this set which are designed for multi-surfaces including resin is which is kind of plastic. They also have metallic and a variety of color palettes.  

It goes without saying that any additions like metallic foil or color added to cured resin will definitely need a final coat of clear resin for sealing. 

Protecting and Cleaning Hands

What's with the glove (two pictures above)?  It gets messy when having to lift a resin piece for final coating. Otherwise, I usually work carefully without touching resin as much as possible.  Brilliant resin is safe to use but as there are always individuals who are sensitive to substances, gloves can be worn if desired. 

The best kind of gloves to use are non-sterile nitrile gloves (they come in different colors).  I just happen to have black and blue ones at home.

Nitrile gloves are widely used in medical settings as well as in laboratories and manufacturing industries. These synthetic latex gloves are more resistant to oil, acid and chemicals. They are also strong and puncture resistant. If you are allergic to natural rubber or the powder they use inside those, then nitrile gloves are for you. 

But if you don't have these gloves, you can clean your hands with baby wipes!  The tip comes from the polymer clay community and I was delighted to find it works for resin. I always have a packet handy to use while I work. I must remember not to pick up scented ones next time!


Using an electric drill can be dicey as the bit can skip over and scratch the resin piece if you are not careful.  I usually use a spiral or spring drill at least to start. If I have only 1-2 pieces to drill, I then do it manually.   It is lots quicker than the kind of drill where you have to do all the twisting yourself.


Silicon Mat for Surface Protection and Photography

I typically go through a lot of kitchen waxed paper to protect my work surfaces only to throw them away. Wax paper was also not ideal for tutorial photography. But I recently got a large silicone mat (27.6 x 19.7 inches) which has proven its worth.  Wish I got it years ago!

It is super easy to clean as resin bits just peels off. I've also done other messy crafts like painting my wood pieces on it. Either dampened kitchen paper towels or soaked with rubbing alcohol does the trick. 

I use the matte side of the mat to work on as it photographs well (see above photos with the gray background) with little or no editing. The shiny side would reflect my photo studio lights.  I've covered many different kinds of backgrounds in my jewelry photography class, so this is a new one to add when I next update it. 

Any tips of your own to share?


I used my iPhone 8+ and the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2Plus is excellent . I use the Foldio3 because I need the room for tutorial photography. My online class Easy Guide to Smartphone Jewelry Photography is now available. Read more about it here.  

Before You Go:

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. 
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM