I generally prefer using gift bags as they can be re-used over and over again. I always have a selection of them in the house.  The paper used is lightly covered by some kind of protective film. 

 I wondered if this kind of paper might work for resin jewelry making.  Paper has to be protected beforehand as contact with resin will make it translucent. So using gift bag paper might well save a step. Only one way to find out!  Let's experiment!

The patterns on gift bags are very varied which means designs can be as well.  I chose some from my stash which I thought had a contemporary style suitable for jewelry making. 

The tutorial is very easy.  First thing is to use paper punches to cut out different shapes. I have several including these from Little Windows - their rectangular and square ones are nicely rounded unlike others in my personal collection.

It helps to view and cut the paper from underneath the punch for any design which needs alignment. 

My preferred resin is from Little Windows' Brilliant Resin ( Readers get a 15% discount by using this code BG1516).  A safe resin, I also like it because it is very clear for both doming and casting. It is also a low bubble producer. Also see this post which is all about safety precautions with epoxy and uv resin.

The procedure is easy. Just follow the directions for making up the resin mix.  I colored some of the resin black using the resin colorant provided by Little Windows. I also have some silver mica powder - there are many brands available. I carefully covered the backs of the cut out paper without spilling over the edges. This will be a light doming. 

 I covered the whole project with a plastic upcycled food container and let the resin cure overnight.  Note : placing the doming tray on a clipboard makes it easy to safely move the project elsewhere if necessary.

I then flipped pieces over and added a layer of clear resin.


Note :The resin didn't affect the paper where the latter was protected. However, you can see some seepage at the back of the pieces which is where the paper was not protected.  This didn't affect my project because I chose to dome the back with colored resin. 

Another option is to make reversible patterns by gluing two cut outs back to back.



In the past, I have used either a manual drill such as a spring drill or a combination of a spring drill to make a pilot hole and then finishing quickly with my dremel. (Others also use a flex shaft dremel).

This time, I finally used the drill press for my Dremel. This particular drill press is budget friendly. It holds the drill steady so that I can just use the lever to lower down the business end to start the drilling. 

I made this video here to show how fast it is.  I first lowered the drill to check that I correctly aligned the 1.5 mm bit with the mark I made. I tried to secure the resin piece with some masking tape but it was still wobbly when the drill bit started to bite into the resin.  So I think I need a better method to secure pieces.  Note : I wear a N95 face mask when doing this to avoid inhaling the dust.  And I run the drill at lower speeds.



When I chose not to use holes, I used hypo cement to glue either the handmade bail or a repurposed brass finding to the resin. This glue seems best for resin in that it is very strong and durable and is less messy than E6000 due to its small applicator nozzle.

Here are the results.  This medallion is actually a composite of two resin pieces. The square one was only domed on one side. It was attached with some left over clear resin.  Hypo cement can also be used.

My favorite studs are from TierraCast.  I used two different styles for the two pairs of earrings below :



Another suggestion is to team up the resin pieces with other metal components such as these brass ones. Brass findings are a hot trend and there are so many styles to choose from these days.

I also used a zinc alloy frame for the silvery design.  Metal frame findings are also extremely popular in all kinds of jewelry designs today. 

Notice that I made these simple necklaces such that the clasps never ever move to the front. This is easy to do - just divide the chains and attach to the bails with jump rings.


Some time ago, Fran from Little Windows sent me their metal rings which can be used for coasters and ornaments. She has many great ideas as you can see from the video at the end.

The rings come with backer films. These as well as specialty resin tape are better than the heavy duty packing tape I have used before because they do not leave any residue.  Mind you, I just use some rubbing alcohol from the drugstore to remove any residue from packing tape.

However, for something so wide as these rings, only these Little Windows backer film that I had will work for the coaster I had in mind.

The inspiration came from the monogrammed design on the cover.  I really liked that very much and I thought the gold on black gift bag paper I was using would be a great alternative to the gold tone letter.

Once the protective sheet was peeled off, I pressed a ring down on the backing film. I then filled the coaster almost to the top with black resin mix - the same as I have been using for the jewelry pieces.


Once covered, and allowed to cure overnight, the backing film comes off easily. It can be reused for another project if you are careful to replace it back to its protective sheet. 

Any bits of resin on the ring - I had a little seepage on one edge as well as on the top - can be easily removed.  I used the plastic stirrer to help push off the cured resin bits.

I then used my 2.5 inch paper punch to get a round shape from the gift bag I was using.

I used a black maker pen to color the white edge of the cut out.

I just used a glue stick to attach the cut out to the cured resin.

This stops the paper from moving when I pour on the last layer of clear resin.

I used these tiny pointy swabs which I find more effective than toothpicks to remove any stubborn bubbles. I also pushed down on the paper cut out to make sure no bubbles remain trapped underneath since I used a relatively weak glue to attach it.

Once dried, the coaster looks rather fancy!

Fran also has an inspirational coaster and ornament tutorial.

I used  my iPhone 8+ for final product photography in natural light. I used  the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 Plus 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