How to Use Casting Resins
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How to Use Casting Resin

Available for a wide variety of projects, casting resin comes in a variety of types that serve different purposes, and mixing and working with these resins requires different ingredients and methods. Crafts, jewelry, pottery, and a large variety of other items come from resin molds. For example, you might consider making a gift for a friend using an image created from casting resin, while ornaments make another great gift option, especially around the holidays. You can make these types of crafts with a mold made from casting resin by following just a few easy steps.

Supplies You Need When Working With Casting Resin

Before starting on your project, you should consider the supplies you need first. To begin, you should gather resin, measuring devices, a disposable mixing bowl, disposable tools, a mold, cooking spray, drinking straws, and items for embedding. You also want to secure a stable work environment that you do not mind getting messy, while also making sure that you set up shop in a well-ventilated area since resin fumes tend to be highly toxic.

Various Types of Casting Resins

Casting resins come in an array of types used for a variety of projects, so you need to make sure to choose the appropriate resin for your craft to ensure that you get the results you want. Unsaturated polyester resins comes in liquid plastic form and hardens when a few drops of the catalyst ingredient mixes with it due to a chemical reaction, though only experienced crafters and those working in industrial settings should work with polyester casting resin, as it is extremely toxic. You should also always work in a well-ventilated area when using this material.

Epoxy resins make crafting and hobby projects a breeze due to their low toxicity, meaning that this type of resin does not require the use of protective equipment. In fact, you can use epoxy resins in well-ventilated craft rooms or hobby shops as opposed to needing to go outside like with polyester resin.

There are two parts to epoxy resin: resin and hardener. To use this type of resin, you must mix the two ingredients in a precise ratio, and the manufacturer typically specifies this ratio. Measuring the ingredients incorrectly, even by a hair, can prevent the epoxy resin from curing. Crafters often enjoy epoxy resin because of its self-leveling capabilities, which means that projects take on a glass-like appearance without much of a hassle.

Although not a form of resin, pigments and dyes can complement your materials and help to bring your crafts to life. Dyes often come in either liquid, powder, or paste form, and you should always choose a dye or pigment that compliments your brand of resin.

Different Types of Molds for Working With Casting Resin

The mold that you choose depends largely on the type of project in production, as the mold is what holds your resin cast and creates its shape. When you want a 3D shape, you can opt for a dimensional mold, which creates things like pendants, bangles, and coasters. Alternatively, latex and plastic molds offer flexibility that allows you to easily push your resin cast out when ready.

As you work with molds, utilize a mold release agent such as cooking spray to help resin casts easily pop out of dimensional and home molds. To do so, simply spray the mold with the cooking spray before filling it, though you don’t need to spray latex or plastic molds due to their flexible characteristics.

How to Mix Casting Resin

Depending on the type of resin you purchase, the material typically comes with instructions, so make sure to follow them carefully to avoid any accidents or mishaps. Per the instructions, measure and mix the two parts (epoxy and resin) together, and then slowly pour the mixture into a mold. Use baking spoons to mix and measure your ingredients for accurate measurements, making sure to wipe your measuring tools clean after each use. You should note that the resin and hardener do need their own measuring tools.

Casting resin creates beautiful handcrafted projects when used properly, and armed with some background knowledge, the only limit to what you can do with it is your own creativity.

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