Making Resin Jewelry

Where to Find Dried Flowers for Resin Jewelry

Besides being asked about where to find open bezels for resin jewelry, the second most-asked question I get is, “Where do you find dried flowers for resin jewelry?”

We’ll talk shopping in-person in the US and shopping online internationally. I’ll be using my favorite flower to use as a research example throughout the post (it’s central to the Higher Jewelry style: the miniature daisy! Also known as the star daisy or star flower).

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Before we get into it, I first want to address the most difficult wall many meet.

Flower Size

Most flowers, even when dried, are pretty huge in comparison to jewelry. They don’t fit, especially in more delicate pieces. So, what’s a maker to do?

Flowerfetti. Seriously. Just like paper confetti, dried flower confetti can be beautiful, colorful, mixed with other media (like gold or silver leaf), and will fit better within small jewelry pieces. It’s something I use, even though I often use very tiny flowers in the first place. There’s often little pieces leftover from other designs (super tiny pieces) and I don’t want them to go to waste.

In-person finds (in the US)

I live in the US, so I can only attest for where to find dried flowers in my country. Hobby Lobby and Michaels have dried flowers, and many Hobby Lobby’s have what I look for, the star daisy.

If you’re looking for something not available at these craft stores or if you live outside the US, there still might be something near you that will carry what you’re looking for.

Go to your local flower shops and even look at fresh flowers you can dry yourself. Even at my local grocery store I can sometimes find wax flowers and Queen Anne’s lace, small flowers with small petals that are great for jewelry. And, again, a typically sized flowers can be cut down into confetti.

Another option is to press a petal or leaf and cut it to fit within the bezel you’re hoping to use.

If you live near a park or forest, use that, too! Small, unique leaves are great finds for jewelry. In addition, a lot of wildflowers are small. So whether it’s on the side of the road or on a trail hike, be on the lookout for tiny treasures.

Online Finds

When I’m ready to order some mini-daisies in a variety of pre-colored options (I talk about why I do this below), I go online.

Mainly Etsy and Ebay. My suppliers change often because these shops come and go and stop selling and new shops open and start selling what I’m looking for.

First, I consider how quickly I need my dried flowers.

If I can wait, I head to Ebay and see if I can find some shipped out of China (a month’s wait, usually). There’s more options if I look outside the US.

If I need them like now I head to Etsy and filter out any shops outside the US. That way I can see what’s available within the US and what will arrive fairly quickly.

Below I searched “mini star daisy.” After searching 12 other options I finally found a result with this term (and like I’m about to talk about below, online things change all the time. Sometimes there’s more options. Sometimes there’s options under different search terms. Even when I find something I often need to do the research process again a few months later if I want more of it).

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Research!

If you’re struggling to find what you’re looking for, you need to do more research! Don’t give up, it may be out there.

Just like the miniature daisies I use can be called 3 different things (and those 3 different thing can be named many different ways) you need to try many different searches.

For example, when I’m looking at miniature daisies I’ll might use these search terms:

  • dried miniature flower/s

  • dried star daisy/ daisies

  • dried mini star flower/s

  • dried mini star daisy/ daisies

  • dried mini daisy/ daisies

  • miniature star flower/s

  • miniature daisy/ daisies

  • miniature star daisy/ daisies

  • mini star flower/s

  • mini star daisy/ daises

  • mini daisy/ daisies

I found out the many names just through research and reading. It definitely takes time (and many tabs) to research and compare your findings, but it’s worth it to get what you want.

So, if at first you don’t succeed—research! Branch out, change up the wording, Google it, and if after all this you still can’t find what you’re looking for, be open to getting something else that’s similar.

Some of the best ideas come about from being resourceful and having to improvise, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

Artificial Coloring or Natural Coloring?

I sometimes like to keep a flora’s natural coloring, but it’s honestly not as long-lasting. Resin lets UV rays pass through, so the flora will fade over time. To prevent the fade you can store it in a dark place when it’s not worn, but, bottom-line—it won’t last as long as artificial coloring.

For bright colors, I buy my dried flowers pre-colored. They color the flowers before they dry, achieving very vibrant shades.

You can also dye softer colors after the flower has dried with food coloring.

These colorants won’t fade and the jewelry will stay as it was first made for way longer.

Color Palettes

When making flowerfetti or mixing small flower petals together, how do we decide on the color palette? Well, Pinterest is a great place to look through loads of color palettes. You can also look to nature, paintings, photographs—just be on the lookout for color palettes that speak to you.

I mainly look to nature and Pinterest color palettes for inspiration, though sometimes I’ll see a bouquet at the store and draw inspiration from that. There’s color palettes and art all around us to be inspired by.

Test out your color palette ideas at a site like coolors.co or paletton.com where you can see the mix of colors before you add it to your jewelry.


The most important factors are to set some time aside to research and to look around, whether at the store or out in nature. Good luck in your searching!

How to Fix Tarnished Jewelry

So, this may confuse you but: you can and you can’t.

How you can: When the jewelry isn’t plated.

How you can’t: When the jewelry is plated.

This is pivotal when it comes to making jewelry, but with wearing and buying jewelry it’s also important to know, too.

I’m not going to say plated jewelry is evil and a waste of money and that there aren’t jewelers who don’t do it right (there are. Some jewelers will re-plate their work for free if it should ever rub off).

But, what’s happening? What does “plated” really mean and how can we get jewelry that lasts through washing our hands, dipping in the pool, and us wearing them everyday for years?

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So, people ask me how to fix an item that's tarnished. The thing is, not all metal is made the same.

To be made into jewelry, metals must be mixed with other metals to strength them.

These alloys, or mixtures of metals, tarnish. No matter what. Tarnishing only doesn't happen when metal is coated in enamel. And once that enamel is worn off, the same will happen.

Okay, so:

  1. There are metals that are the same metal alloy all the way through to their core (such as sterling silver, which is 92.5% silver and the rest is other metals to strengthen the alloy).

  2. There are other metals that are coated in other metals. At the core, they are a mixture of base metals that are coppery, brassy, or a dully gray. On the outside is a shiny gold or silver plating, for example.

For the 2nd, when the surface layer is tarnished--well, when we try to polish it up with a cloth, the tarnished layer comes off. Or it might've been rubbed off from being worn.

So, no. They can't be polished or brightened up. The only way to fix the item is to get the piece re-plated. For some pieces, this is a simple option.

For resin jewelry in particular, which I’m a maker and teacher of—re-plating involves heat and processes that can damage the resin beyond repair.

That means plated jewelry is often NOT the best option for resin jewelry in particular, because you likely can’t re-plate it and when tarnished the piece is just done.

Now, for the 1st, when a layer tarnishes and get's rubbed or polished off--underneath is layer after layer of bright, shiny new metal. This is the stuff heirlooms are made of.


When plating DOES last longer

A plated piece can still last a while. I have a pair of Kendra Scott earrings that are gold-plated and have not tarnished for a few years now. I don't wear it often and take care of it when I don't--but the plating is also covered in enamel.

On top of how often the piece is worn, the area it is worn on makes a difference, two. Rings can the most beatings, while earrings take less so.

For everyday wear, for rings, for the things you may not take off in the pool or when you wash your hands, for the things you'd like to pass on to your daughter, sell, etc., etc., etc.--

Go with something that's solid in the sense that the alloy, though not one metal, goes through to the core.

For example, .925 sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver with the remaining percentage being other metals to strength the silver and make it suitable for jewelry. On it’s own, it’s too soft and wouldn’t hold up as jewelry.

So it’s not technically “solid” silver, but it’s as solid as we’re going to get.

Similarly, “solid” brass or bronze, “solid” copper, high carat gold or gold-filled, or .925 sterling silver. That's the stuff that, when tarnished, are not totally ruined (and all metals tarnish, even the most high-quality. When exposed to oxygen, the oils of the human skin, and so on the metal oxidizes and )

“Is there an affordable in-between that isn’t brass or copper?”

Yes! Between plated and “solid” metals there’s something new:

Filled jewelry.

When it comes to silver, it’s affordable and I recommend .925 sterling silver.

But, when it comes to expensive gold, I highly recommend gold-filled jewelry.

It can come in many karats, commonly 14k and 18k. Think of it like this:

  • The higher the number, the more real gold content and the more yellow-gold color.

  • The lower the number, the less real gold and the more rose-gold the color.

However, a 14k gold-filled piece is not 14k gold all the way through. But, if it was, it’d be pricey.

With filled jewelry, it’s plated with 100 layers. So, while still plated, it will last longer than a typical plated piece that has one layer.

So, gold-filled will last 100x longer than gold-plated.

It may not make it to your great-great-great granddaughter, but it won’t be tarnished by next month, or next year, either.

So, if you try to polish something and it doesn't look better--it was probably plated and it's not going to come back.

This is part of the reason why I absolutely adore .925 sterling silver (also a good read on how to take care of and remove tarnish from sterling silver).

It's great for even sensitive skin, is way more affordable than gold, and is a shiny silver through to it's core. Layer after layer can tarnish and it can still be brought back to life.

Plated jewelry can still be fun and is still an option. But it will not last as long. When coated in enamel, it can last longer--but especially with open bezels it's difficult to find enamel coated plated jewelry.

In addition, re-plating would be damaging to resin jewelry.

Picking the right bezels, in the right metals, is important. We don’t want our creative efforts spent on pieces that will only last a few months. We want to create something lasting.

Not fast fashion.

Slow, thoughtful, intentional pieces of art we can hand down, sell, donate—we need to create things that can be re-used.

I'm teaching about this and SO MUCH more in my new course: the Resin Jewelry Guide.

It's jam-packed with info for only $15. Seriously. When finished, it'll only be $25 For secrets, tips, knowledge, and step-by-step plans from a teacher who's worked with resin for 3 years--

It's insanely affordable and valuable. Get your butt in now while it's 40% off.

I hope you go on to create/ wear/ share beautiful jewelry with or without a teacher.

But if you choose to have a teacher, I’ll be here to cheer you on and answer your questions.

The only course that teaches open bezel resin jewelry from the inside out

I know, if you’re hopped online in that last few years you’ll have realized there seems to be a course for everything.

Watercoloring and acting and playing tennis—but, to my knowledge, there wasn’t an online course for open bezel resin jewelry. For resin jewelry in general.

So, after throwing out unusable pieces and ruining my curtains, I kept going. Learning from trial and error. And eventually I worked out a system and a method. Having learned the ins and outs, it was easier, simpler, and less wasteful.

And it made sense to teach about it. Growing up, there’s 2 distinct things I remember loving to do consistently: writing stories in secret and pretending to teach classes in the mirror or the shower. Also in secret.

In fact, everything I’ve every learned I’ve always clamored to share with those around me. So, I share everything—every secret, every step—in the Resin Jewelry Making course.

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After years of working on this craft, I decided to make the online course for this thing.

And I’m straight up with everyone I tell about this e-course—I don’t believe anyone needs an online course for anything.

Obviously, I learned without guidance, structure, a teacher, etc.

And what about the millions of random tutorials that can be found online? What about YouTube?

If you’re a DIYer and want to scour the internet for hours, browsing through videos taking tidbits of what you actually need—or trying to figure out what exactly you’re searching for—OR leaving a question on a blog or YouTube channel that never gets answered—

You get my point.

I made my video course to make it simple to go from A to Z. With much less trial and error. With guidance, structure, a proven method, and a teacher who answers your questions—for people who don’t want to wait, who don’t have time to waste, who want step-by-step and ease.

It’s really nothing fancy—I don’t believe in bells and whistles. You just need the information as quickly and succinctly as possible.

All lessons are about 10 minutes or under. They’re edited down, narrated, and visual. You watch over my shoulder and I explain everything I do and why.

In this course I teach something very specific:

Resin jewelry using open back bezels and natural flora.

When I was learning, and even in recent times, I’ve noticed free tutorials didn’t skew towards really creating high-quality or gave in-depth advice (I tried to learn with free tutorials and still felt really lost).

And if I’m being honest—I didn’t like the style of a lot of free tutorials. I didn’t want glitter and random findings—I wanted to be intentional and really focus on simplicity and celebrating nature’s beauty.

The skills can be expanded upon, the basics are solid, and there’s tons of bonus lessons to diversify your knowledge and craft. And I add to it. There’s new bonus lessons being worked on even today—2 years after I first created this e-course.

This is the first course of it’s kind, and I’m pretty happy to share it. Yeah, I’m blatantly selling—because what’s a course without students? And as I’ve heard from students already inside the course—there’s people out there who want this course and have been looking for it.

If it’s not your bag, I hope the free resources I offer can still help you on your journey to making resin jewelry:

Click here to enroll in my free email course, Resin Jewelry Basics.

Click here to access the Open Bezel Directory.

Click here to visit the blog, where I write about making resin jewelry and other DIY jewelry projects.

Click here to read my most popular blog post: 8 Ways to Rid of Bubbles in Epoxy Resin.

But my jam-packed, in-depth video course is the most succinct and structured way to learn. Step by step instruction as you literally watch over my shoulder—and, every lesson is about 5 to 10 minutes long.

You could watch everything, even the bonus classes, within one day.

Click here or below to learn more and enroll in class (it’s often closed, but you can sign up to be notified when doors open):

With the skills you’ll learn, you’ll be ready to create your own style and designs, add to your jewelry box the most perfect pieces you can dream up, whip up special gifts for friends and family this holiday season, or—if it’s your thing—go on to create your own distinct look and sell your crafts.

I hope you go on to make beautiful things, with or without my course.

- Kayla

How Long Do Resin Rings Last

So you're wondering, “How long do resin rings last for?” and “How durable are resin rings?” (The second I’ll answer in the FAQ at the bottom of this post, and in this post I’ll go in-depth with the first question).

I have never personally owned a completely resin-made ring. I've only worn my own rings, which are a mix of metal and resin.

But having worked with epoxy resin for years, I can still totally answer this commonly-asked question.

The short answer is: with proper care--probably a loooong time.

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The long answer is: it depends. There's 3 factors to consider. Let’s take a look at them:

Resin Quality

This is a difficult thing to tell when buying jewelry, but it is an important factor. Some resins are made more for doming and some are made more for molds (the manufacturer will say so in the description of the resin, but often a jewelry maker won't be mentioning this).

But, different brands of resin also have varying degrees of yellowing from UV rays.

Some brands yellow quickly and easily. Some resist yellowing, even when exposed to UV rays for long periods of time.

ArtResin is geared towards doming (though it can be used for molds) and lasts longer than other brands without yellowing. Click here to learn more about why I use ArtResin.

2. Metal Quality

(if used in the ring design)

There's costume jewelry and there's fine jewelry.

Costume jewelry:

Non-precious metals and plated jewelry.

Non-precious metals are copper, brass, stainless steel, etc.

Plated jewelry has a base metal, actually an amalgam of cheap metals, usually a dark grey or a brassy red. The plating is only one thin layer. Some plated jewelry can last quite long if coated in an enamel. Kendra Scott does this with their regular jewelry (they also have fine jewelry), and I have a pair of earrings years old that still looks good (got a pair on sale for $35, if you’re wondering).

It’s not a common experience with plated—but some jewelry know how to do it right.

But, once that enamel goes away and the plating wears off, there is no way to ring the piece back to it's original shine—unless you pay to get it re-plated. In other words, plated jewelry has a limited time it'll last.

Non-precious metals are not always low-quality. If you have no allergies to copper, solid copper jewelry is a great and affordable option that can be brightened up again and again. The same goes for brass, providing the jewelry is solid—not brass plated. And providing that you don't have allergies to bronze or brass.

Fine jewelry

Solid gold, sterling silver, platinum, gold-filled jewelry, etc.

Gold-filled jewelry is similar to plated—it won't last as long as solid gold—but it has 100 layers of gold plating, so it will later 100x longer. However, solid jewelry will always be the longest lasting option, because it will not run out of layers.

Tendency to tarnish DOES NOT indicate that quality of the metal. Sterling silver will naturally tarnish to black, as copper naturally tarnishes to green. If they are solid, not plated or filled, then that tarnish can be cleaned off, revealing a shiny, new layer underneath. And cleaning is simple (read more about polishing solid metal jewelry here).

Gold-filled is a popular option because solid gold is pretty darn expensive. So, gold-filled is the economic option is you want gold, and it's higher quality than gold-plated.

In Short: Plated metals will last as long as that one thin layer they have. Filled metal lasts 100x longer than plated. Solid gold/ sterling silver/ solid anything will last virtually forever, because when tarnish is cleaned off it will always be beautiful underneath.

3. Flora

Another important factor in how long a resin ring will last for:

Is the flora dyed or it's natural color? (It's not bad either way, but it can effect how long it lasts).

This effects how long the flowers or leaves embedded in the jewelry will look the same. Thought preserved in resin, the flora will still be exposed to UV light (the sun, for instance—and unless you're a vampire and don't go outside—you’ll expose your jewelry to it).

Flora kept with it's natural color will naturally fade over time with UV exposure. The color just won't be as vibrant as it once was. If the flora was dyed artificially, this isn't so much of a worry because UV exposure won't affect it.

But, while un-dyed flora might not last as long as dyed, sometime's a plant's natural color is it's most beautiful. So it’s not a question of quality—artificially vs. naturally is just a matter of preference and how long you’re hoping the piece will last.

Some resin rings do not have flora and have dyes and ink and metal flakes—or they might have a mix. Or some total other findings. If it's just dye, or any form of artificial color, OR a metal embedded inside—the color should last a long time if the findings aren’t affected by UV exposure.


So, to re-cap. How long do resin rings last?

A ring that is resin only? If it's high quality resin that resists yellowing in UV rays, then a long time.

A ring that is a mixed of metal and resin? Provided again that it's high quality resin, but ALSO that it's high-quality metal—then a long time.

If it's important to you to have long-lasting jewelry, make sure to take care of it. Read more on that here.

And if you want to know why sterling silver is the best metal option for jewelry, especially in terms of long-term use and affordability, read my post on it here.

In the end, how well you take care of it will affect the length of time it will stay in pristine condition ALONG WITH how well it was made. Solid metals can bear less care, besides polishing, but if your jewelry is plated it needs extra care to have it last half as long and then when worn off it’ll cost money to re-plate.

Resin rings that don't involve metal at all have different factors to be aware of, but again with proper care it should last pretty long, almost regardless of where or who you get it from (the biggest concern being resin that yellows quickly/ plated metals fade quickly as rings—just read reviews from previous customers to get an idea of this).

As I’ve said in other posts: These are good things to know, as jewelry buyers and jewelry makers. But, a beautiful piece doesn’t have to last forever. Especially if you’re paying less than $100 for it (but if it’s sterling silver, it’ll be both affordable and long-lasting ;).

If you enjoy it, it doesn’t matter what it’s made of or how long it will last. Just be aware it might not be a family heirloom if you pick something with lower-quality materials.

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Here's some other ring-related questions people have (and the answers):

"Are resin rings heavy?"

Resin is a very lightweight substance, so even huge resin rings are fairly lightweight in comparison to huge metal rings. My Skinny Statement resin rings are extremely lightweight because they're thinner than any other resin rings on the market (I'm teaching how to make these, if you're interested).

All other crafters of resin jewelry have bulky, cumbersome designs that are clunky and in the way. I wanted something sleek, minimal, but still bold. That's how these were born.

If you're ever unsure of how heavy a resin ring will be, just reach out to whomever you're considering ordering from. I'm always happy to answer questions, and I'm sure other handmade makers are just as willing to give you the best idea of what the jewelry will be like in person.

“How durable are resin rings?”

A similar question to length of time they last—but more about how much they can handle.

“Can they handle being dropped?” YES. They may look like glass, but they don’t break like glass.

“What if I sit on them by accident?” Regardless of it being a resin ring, the general thing to consider is that thick rings can withstand more than thinner rings, always.

But, thicker rings are also most cumbersome and less comfortable, so there’s a pay-off.

Epoxy resin is a soft material, relatively. But then, so is metal! Precious metals especially. Gold and silver by themselves are way too soft for jewelry.

And even when made stronger, they can be scratched and dented. They’re still delicate.

Jewelry isn't often indestructible. It leans more toward delicate than durable.

Rings can get bent out of shape, chains can break, gems can be cracked.

The biggest worries for resin are similar to metal rings. Don't let anything too sharp near them (water, however, will not cause damage to resin where it will to metal), and try not to sit or step on them.

Resin jewelry has the same basic needs of metal, so when the two are mixed into jewelry (see below for examples) then there's just a couple extra things to keep in mind for resin.

Metal is exposed to flame, and with jewelry it happens quite often. Epoxy resin is exposed to flame during the hardening process, but it should never be exposed to flame or extreme heat when it's a finished piece. It can melt.

Alcohol, harsh chemicals, and perfumes can also damage the smooth, shiny surface of resin. It will probably still be wearable, but not as pretty as it once was.

The oils from our skin can wear down the surface of resin, too. Again, it may not totally ruin the piece, but to keep it in the best condition try to remove oils so they don't sit on the surface for long periods of time. This can be wiped off with a soft cloth.

Metal jewelry shouldn't be exposed to water, because it promotes tarnishing—but a mild dish soap and warm water does remove oils completely (if the cloth isn’t doing it) from to the surface of resin. Again, sterling silver is a great option because it can withstand tarnishing—and water exposure—and always be brought back to life (read this post to learn more about why I love sterling silver above all else).

In short—it’s as durable as it is thick. Same as non-resin rings. But at the end of the day, they’re all jewelry and should all be treated as delicately as possible. If you’re rough on your jewelry—hey, that’s fine. It just might not last in pristine condition for as long. Not a big deal as long you enjoyed it or even still enjoy it in it’s roughed-up state.

“How Do You Make Resin Rings?”

There’s different ways. The most popular being molds, closed-bezel rings, and open-frame rings (such as these Nunn-Design options). Resin ring molds can be found all over the internet—from Ebay to Etsy.

I teach how to make my skinny statement rings in an online video class (almost complete, one lesson remaining to be finished). No molds. No thick statement rings that push your fingers apart and are uncomfortable/ cumbersome. Click here to learn more about it.

Or, click here to learn more about the complete Resin Jewelry Making video course.

Why Sterling Silver is the Best Option

I’m writing about this for my resin jewelry making blog because no matter if you're buying metal jewelry or resin jewelry—when it comes to jewelry that incorporates metal in any way, I recommend .925 sterling silver above all else.

For jewelry wearers and jewelry makers alike—sterling silver is an amazing option for many reasons. Let’s dive in, shall we?

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for a handy chart to quickly compare sterling silver against other options).

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What is It?

.925 sterling silver, sometimes just called sterling silver, is 92.5% silver.

So, what is that other 7.5%? Why isn't it solid silver, wouldn’t that be better?

Technically, “solid” silver IS .925 sterling silver. If it was actually 100% silver, it wouldn't be strong enough to make into jewelry. It would be too soft.

So, 92.5% silver is the most “solid” we're gonna get.

The other 7.5% is an amalgam of other metals to strength the silver.

But then, why not just silver plated? Why not gold?

Okay, if you prefer gold, that's great. Go for it. But gold is an expensive option. Gold-filled is more affordable, but it doesn't last as long as sterling silver—which is even more affordable (gold-filled is 100 layers of plating while sterling silver is silver allllll the way down. Deep inside gold-filled is a base metal that isn't as gorgeous as the 100 gold layers on the outside).

Other options are great, too, like solid copper and solid brass. Even more affordable and also long-lasting, BUT they’re generally not as shiny or pretty as silver.

So, in terms of affordability and long-lasting-ness, sterling silver is your best friend. For rings especially, since they often receive the most wear-and-tear.

Here’s a run-down. .925 sterling silver is:

  • An affordable, precious metal

  • Long lasting, durable with even water exposure

  • Capable of staying shiny with regular wear, which means polishing can be avoided

  • Simple to re-shine at home

Tarnishing

Silver tarnishes to dark grey/brown or black if it’s extremely tarnished. But, that doesn't mean it's not good quality! When exposed to oxygen and the oils on our skin, it will naturally tarnish. That's just what it does.

Polishing every once in a while, or wearing daily, will fix that issue. Either way, as layers tarnish we need to remove them to reveal the fresh shiny layers beneath. More on that in a minute.

Now, if the silver was plated, once it tarnishes to black and is rubbed off the base metal underneath will be exposed. There will be no more silver layers beneath and the only fix is to get the jewelry re-plated.

But with .925 sterling silver, the tarnish can be easily removed to expose endless layers of more shiny silver underneath.

This is not to say that all plated jewelry is worthless. I have some plated jewelry I own that was coated in enamel and hasn’t tarnished in years. But, it’s just not the most reliable option—and often we don’t know if the plating is covered in a protective enamel or will wear down within a month—this is not often disclosed by jewelry manufacturer’s.

So, when it comes to a ring you're going to wear everyday (and maybe not feel like taking off every time your wash your hands) if it's sterling silver, it's going to hold through with you so long as you take care of it. It'll always come back to life.

Removing Tarnish

So you haven’t worn your piece for a while and you didn’t keep it in an air-tight baggie or box. And your piece lost it’s luster—what do you do?

The first line of defense against tarnish on .925 silver is a microfiber cloth. I recommend an untreated, microfiber jewelry cleaning cloth (untreated means no added polishing compounds).

Using the cloth, rub the silver and watch the shine return!

In extreme cases you may need to use a mild dish soap and warm water along with polishing, or even a bath in a vinegar/baking soda mix—but that’s for really bad tarnish. 99% of the time, a cloth will do the trick.

Here’s a look at a piece before and after:

Click the image to visit an article on how to remove extreme tarnish (not ideal for resin jewelry, by the way).

A cloth may not be able to get the inner sides of a chain, but it can polish up the outside.

Did you know that often tarnish is use on purpose to give depth to silver jewelry? The tarnish can emphasize designs and make the shinier parts stand out more.

General Care of Sterling Silver

What does taking care of sterling silver actually mean?

It means keeping it nice looking. When not wearing it, keep in in an air-tight baggie or box to prevent tarnish. When you wear it often, you probably won’t need to polish it because the tarnish will rub off gradually as you’re wearing it.

Also, you can wash your hands with your sterling silver rings on (though it’s not recommended . . . but I still totally do it) and get away with it. Your ring won’t really suffer because of it.

Beyond polishing it, caring for sterling silver also means keeping it away from sharp objects that can potentially scratch the silver (it’s strengthened with an amalgam of other metals, but still soft!).

Besides that, it’s pretty low-maintenance.

Click here to read my post on how to care for jewelry in general, with specifics in regards to resin jewelry.

How Can You Tell?

.925 sterling silver, or just .925, is often stamped onto work that is sterling silver. If you can’t find it, you can ask whoever made it if it was sterling silver. Trying to polish it is another option—but if it isn’t sterling silver it, polishing will just remove the plating and look dull.

Ultimately, when purchasing jewelry, jewelers will want you to know that you’re buying sterling silver and will mention it in the description or on the packaging.

Besides silver plated, there is silver-filled jewelry. Similar to gold-filled, silver-filled is 100 layers of silver plating.

Here’s a visual look at sterling silver vs. other options (click the zoom in on the chart).

Whether You’re Buying or Making . . .

Whether you’re buying finished jewelry or making your own jewelry, .925 sterling silver is a fantastic option for both you and customers.

At the end of the day, the most important question is does you or someone else want to wear the piece because they enjoy it? And then the next question is, what’s the best deal in terms of long-term use and affordability?

Even if an item won’t last long and is cheap or expensive—if you truly love it and will enjoy it while it lasts, there’s no one saying you can’t go for it anyway. And if you’re willing to pay more for gold, or sacrifice the beautiful silver shine for a different color—there’s other options to suit your wants.

Tell me in the comments, do you prefer silver or gold? Do you have any .925 sterling silver jewelry?


Are you a jewelry maker? Have you taken my free Resin Jewelry Basics course yet? Well, get in there, then!

You’ll learn the basics of what it takes to make resin jewelry. With access to a recorded class, a supply list, and other resources you’ll be on your way in no time. You in?

How to Make the Skinny Statement Resin Ring

Alternatively titled "How to Make Resin Rings that Aren't Bulky."

Bulky, cumbersome, inconvenient, clunky--maybe some people like their rings to have these adjectives.

Others don't. I don't.

But when it comes to resin statement rings, they ALL seem to be that way.

It took me a damn year, but I've developed a way to create thin, lightweight statement resin rings.

No molds. No fancy, expensive tools (except for a drill, but that's about $15 and you might already have it).

How to Make the Skinny Statement Resin Ring copy.jpg

What goes into making them?

  • A thin, bendable open frame or link
  • The contents to embed in the resin
  • A small drill (like Little Windows Spring Drill) with something to drill on
  • Chain (Yes! chain is comfortable and doesn't slip off like smooth metal)
  • Optional: a ring sizer. Can be found for a few bucks on Amazon or Ebay

These take a few days to a week to make, as all resin jewelry does because of drying time.

But, the best part in my opinion? These rings take ONE layer! It's a bit of a thick layer, but it works!

At any rate, it's thin enough to be comfortable without being cumbersome AND it's thick enough to wear as jewelry.

Clocking in at about 2 millimeters in thickness, these thin statement rings are unlike any other resin rings in existence.

Click here to pre-order The Skinny Statement resin ring class!*

Class will be available September 28th, 2018. It'll be a recorded video cut down to the essentials (in other words, as short and concise as possible). You'll have access to it for the life of my online school, being able to revisit whenever.

If you're not ready for this class (not for newbies!), enter your info below to enroll in my free course, Resin Jewelry Basics! Learn foundational knowledge and figure out how to get started making resin jewelry.*

*The Skinny Statement resin ring class is for those how are already familiar with resin jewelry. If you're totally new to resin jewelry you should take the free course first.

Where to Find Open Bezels for Resin Jewelry

This is the #1 question I'm asked:

Where do you get your open bezels from?!”

They're also known as open frame or open back, and they make for beautiful resin jewelry. 

But people's biggest problem in making open bezel resin jewelry is in just FINDING them. When I first started looking, there was even less options. These days, while more options are available, they can still be a bit tricky to search for (when you spend a lot of time looking, you realize there's tons of options!).

With the right tactics, finding open bezels can be simplified. After all my research, I've discovered tips and tricks to find what you're looking for.

Also from that research, I created the Open Bezel Directory. More on that in a minute, let's get started with a few tips that will change everything.

Where to Find Open Back Bezels for Resin Jewelry copy.jpg

First Things First

Open back bezels are not all made equal. As you can see in the picture above, some are made and sold with a way to connect the charm to earrings, necklaces, and so on. Or they're hoop earrings. BUT, others don't have that, so what do we do then?

We drill, folks. It sounds complicated, but it's not too bad--I promise. A small drill bit will work, and there's some special things that need to be done, which we'll cover another time.

The main thing is, what's a good drill to use? I use Little Windows spring drill and recommend it highly.

NOTE: I notice open links, which will have to be drilled to be turned into jewelry, tend to be cheaper. Over time, this will offsets the $15 you'll put into a spring drill. Worth it, definitely.

Okay, now let's get into it . . .

Search for different terms

Just searching “open bezel” doesn't cut it.

Think about it—an open bezel is just a frame without backing. When it comes to finding them, you need to get a little creative. Could a thin ring work as a small open bezel? Yup, it could. What about links, connectors?

Yes and yes.

Play with terms like, “open link,” “open frame,” “connector,” and “connector link.” Think about rings, hoops—anything similar to open bezels and see it in a new light.

However, be warned that getting creative can lead to mishaps. I once used open bezels use for getting stones, thinking the resin would hold it together (it wasn't sealed shut, since there was no gem inside them). Only one turned out, and while it made a cute necklace it was a waste of the rest. Not worth revisiting. A close frame/bezel/ link will give you an easier time.


Don't feel like bothering with search terms and browsing the web for hours? Scroll to the bottom of this post for an easier alternative.


Search on these sites/brands

Where do you search these terms? Google brings up a couple things, but it's helpful to go to specific website and use their searches.

I often use:

 

ArtBeads.com

I love getting links from Art Beads, because they have quite a few sizes and they have 14k gold-fill and sterling silver options. “Open links” is the thing to search.

Art Beads also sells Nunn Design, a company that's rolling out more and more open bezel options (even rings!). Searching “open bezel” can bring up some options, or you can just look through Nunn Design products on the website.

 

FireMountainGems.com

Another great option, Fire Mountain Gems has options if you take the time to look through various search terms. “Links” and “connectors” are my favorites to search.

 

Etsy.com

Search all possible terms using Etsy—you'll eventually find some great stuff. Open links and connectors are again great ones to look under. Etsy is a great place to be creative with what could work as an “open bezel.”

Etsy is also where I tend to find the cheapest options (while, also, the most expensive).

 

LimaBeads.com

I find a lot of unique open bezel shapes (birds sitting on a bench, gem-shaped, etc).

 

Search in the Open Bezel Directory

While the tips above should save you some time, I also created the Open Bezel Directory to make it even easier.

Wading through allll the options can be overwhelming and it can take a long time to find what you're looking for. With collective weeks of research I wanted to create something to save everyone else time.

It's free and has over 100 open bezel options (and it's growing) from all over the internet.

They're searchable, too. You can search for these things within the directory for metal type and shape, like star, gold, hexagon, etc. Or you can just look through to see what you like (it's visual, with pictures).

All the options have prices within the Directory and links to purchase--and I receive no affiliate income. I created the Directory to just share what I've found.

Want access to the Open Bezel Directory? Please come join and save yourself the headache. You get access right away.

Once you access the Open Bezel Directory, make sure to bookmark the page so you can find it again.

How to Become a Jewelry Designer Right Now

Not that it happens completely in an instant--just like everything else, there's no end. Just constant growth. Still, right now, TODAY, you can get started.

You can become a jewelry designer. No matter who you are. Whether your want to be a hobbyist or a professional.

You can become a jewelry designer starting now.

Imagine having a vision of a piece of jewelry in your mind’s eye and knowing how to bring it to life. Of wearing it and getting compliments on it. Of the satisfaction of holding the final, perfected version in your hands.

Honestly, it doesn’t always go like that. Sometimes, I experiment and end up with something outside my vision—and it’s way better than what I had in mind.

If you’d like, you can absolutely go to school to become a jewelry designer. In this post though, I talk about how to become a jewelry designer the solo route.

Of course, I recommend taking classes, courses, and workshops on types of jewelry you love in order to learn the necessary skills for whatever subcategory you’re interested in.

Still, without teachers you can become a jewelry designer. There really aren’t pre-requisites.

And whether or not you ever want to sell your designs, designing jewelry gives us the ability to create unique pieces that fit who we are better than anything on the market. Not to mention how the creative outlet is fun, satisfying, and spiritually resonating (speaking from personal experience here).

I hope this post can help you unlock your creativity and create things that are unique to you. Don’t be fooled—there aren’t really any rules. There is authenticity and connecting with that is more important than anything.

Let's get started.

How to Become a Jewelry Designer Right Now copy.jpg

Why Design Jewelry?

As for the question of who can design jewelry—honestly? Anyone can. Whether a professional jeweler or a hobbyist—anyone can become a jewelry designer.

Of course, design principles and rules are good to understand and know, but they aren’t meant to be strictly adhered to. Jewelry design is an art-form, and therefore it’s a flexible practice that isn’t defined by anything in particular. Some styles are widely liked, and other styles are liked by a small subset of people.

But, the most important part of any art is self-expression and communication. It’s the story behind the work, and especially when done for your own sake—it can be powerful and transformational.

To realize and make manifest in reality a vision you formed in your mind’s eye. To bring into this work something that is quintessentially you.

That's the answer to WHY.

Because the humble satisfaction of taking a vision and making it real through a hand-crafted practice is one of the most meditative, powerful, and healing experiences humankind knows.

Even when everything is mass-produced in human-free factories people will still choose to work with their hands just for the sake of working with their hands. We will continue hand-crafted traditions forevermore after it’s become outdated because it’s such a human thing to do.

In working with our hands, we find a break from the chatter of our minds. A space to heal in. A focus that ignites our hearts and that can stimulate our minds to unravel the knots that have been working themselves into our brainwaves.

So . . . why design jewelry? Because it’s fun. Because it’s human. Because the jewelry that is the perfect expression of who you are can only be created by you.

Actionable Step 1: create a collage or Pinterest board with images of jewelry that you find beautiful, inspiring, or drawn to.

Understanding Basic Design Principles

As I said,  rules and principles can be broken. But, it’s important to understand them first—that way, when you are designing anything you are able to utilize the principles to help you achieve the end result you desire.

The rules and principles speak to how the story of a piece of artwork—whether a painting or piece of jewelry—is told through visuals. Whether the tones communicated are bold, aggressive, joyous, disheartened, serene, abrupt, etc—or a mix of many—the use of size, color, lines, for example, make a huge different in communicating the intending message and style.

Going a step further, it's also important to invest time or money--or both--into learning about the specific craft or crafts you would like to get into. Take a look at your collage once it's finished and see what types of jewelry appeal to you.

I specifically make botanical resin jewelry. Knowing how to metalwork isn't necessary since the focus of the craft is on embedding plants and other materials into epoxy resin (a clear substance), but it's doesn't hurt either.

Personally, I'm not interested in metalwork the same way I'm interested in resin jewelry, so I focus on building the skills that get me making what I'm envisioning.

Actionable Step 2:  Visit this link to learn about the basics of design principles.

Bonus task: learn about Color Theory (not necessary for most of jewelry design unless a lot of color is being used, which resin jewelry can tend to be colorful).

Recognize Your Style and Embrace It

Your own style that you find emerging through sketches and compilations of what you’re drawn to may not be generally accepted as beautiful.

Conversely, you might instead be experiencing that you prefer very popular styles that are considered “kitsch.”

Either way—it’s no big deal. What you like is what you like. It doesn’t really particularly matter what other people think about it. Let yourself express what you find beautiful through your creative endeavors and give a metaphorical finger to those who criticize without any substance behind their opinions.

Over time, your style may evolve. It may go in a direction you never expected. I always encourage to go in these directions, as I went from making bottle necklace jewelry to resin jewelry. I'm happy I grew into a style more suited to who I am today.

Today’s action: create a collage or Pinterest board of designs you don’t typically like and examine what you don’t like about them and what you do. Compare and contrast with your initial collage or Pinterest board seeing what’s similar and what’s not. This is just a simple exercise in expanding your understanding of your style—but always remain open to what you don’t initially like. Your style might change or take on parts of a style you don’t like to create something entirely new. You never know.

Cultivate a Sense of Adventure and Experimentalism

One of the most important factors in designing jewelry pieces that really come from your heart, mind, and soul is to cultivate a sense of adventure and experimentalism.

Basically, go out on a limb. Try new things out of curiosity and see where it leads. Sometimes you’ll find that through openness, and even through failure, designs will come out even better than you first imagined.

I want to depart this: don’t take the creative process too seriously. Let your creativity flow through you and into this world. Stress does not produce the best work. Being in a state of peace when creating allows you to fully use your subconscious and conscious minds to create quality artwork that is packed full of something distinctly you.

Your designs don't have to please everyone. They don't even have to please most people. Your mom could totally hate them (my mom won't say it, but I know there's things I've created that she did not like), doesn't matter.

A true jewelry designer has a message. A feeling. A story to tell. There is something in their heart that is demanding to come into reality.

There is something in you, right now, that is dying to be expressed. Don't hold it back. Don't lock it up in the back of your mind.

For whatever reason, you need to let it out. And you won't believe how amazing it feels.


Need to add jewelry-making skills to your repertoire? 

If resin jewelry happens to be in your "Jewelry Designs I Love" collage, my e-course can give you the skills to go on and create your own designs in your own style

I invite you to craft beautiful jewelry that you can leave behind on this earth. Jewelry that expresses who you are in a way no other jewelry on earth can, because it’s made with your own two hands in the comfort of your own home.

Join me in the Resin Jewelry Making e-course and watch over my shoulder through video lessons from any device, anywhere there’s signal or Wi-Fi (enrollment isn't always open, click to check if it!).

8 Tools You Need to Have for Successful Open Resin Jewelry

When it comes to making open back, or open bezel, resin jewelry there’s 8 tools that I’ve found help create success.

All crafts have tools that make things easier, and fortunately these are all pretty common tools. You might already have things like jewelry pliers and a utility lighter—and some items are even more common items.

And if you don’t have an item, it won’t be too hard to find at your local department store.

These are the tools I use to create open resin jewelry. I’m writing another blog post on the supplies I use and why I use them, but today let’s talk tools.

There’s alternatives to what’s on my list, but I use these for a reason. After lots of mishaps and learning through trial-and-error, I've narrowed down my essential tool list to these 8 items.

(In a rush? You can get a short, 1-page PDF printable of all 8 must-have tools here.)

1. Jewelry pliers

These are a staple for any jewelry crafter, helpful for cutting wire and chain, opening jump rings and links, and getting into tiny spaces. 3-in-1 usually has the regular jewelry pliers on top, capable of created loops and holding objects on the needle nose, plus wire cutters.

I use a 3-in-1 pair as well as a pair with a curved nose. Using two pliers at once is the most effective way to open and close jump rings and easily line them up after they're closed. And a curved nose can get into places and hold onto objects differently than the standard jewelry pliers.

2. A drill

Open bezel jewelry isn't impossible to find, but you can really open up your options if you can also use open links and connectors.

To attach them to bracelets, earrings, and necklaces you can drill a hole. Technically, you can use whatever kind of drill you would like.

I personally use a Spring Drill from Little Windows made specifically for resin. I use a brand of resin that's a little soft, which is great because it means it's flexible but also has it's downsides.

Plus, I'm also impatient and like to put together my jewelry as soon as I can, so sometimes I don't let the resin harden long enough to withstand the pressure of a drill. So, to ensure that I'm using as little pressure as possible so that the resin isn't strained (which creates cloudiness and white streaks) I just twist the drill and apply a light amount of pressure with my hand.

Yeah, I don't actually use he spring. But, it's a great option for a faster drill. My resin jewelry is thin because I don't like chunky jewelry, which also means this process of doing it by hand isn't painstakingly long. If a resin charm is super thick, a spring drill or electric drill would make the process a lot easier.

Definitely always have practice pieces you don't care about, especially if you haven't used a drill much in your life and aren't confident you can do it well.

Size-wise, I recommend using 1 to 1.5 millimeter drill bits. At this size, they can get delicate. Particularly 1 millimeter bits can break pretty easy, especially if it's drilling through a thick resin charm.

Of course, if you don't use open link or connectors and your open bezel charms already have jump rings soldered on to the charms--no holes needed!

3. Utility lighter

This one has so many names, BBQ lighter, candle flame lighter, etc. Even if you don’t have one at home—they come in handy for so much more than making resin crafts.

But, when it comes to resin it’s one of the most important tools. Alternatively, you could use a straw and blow on the surface of resin--but I have this weird, irrational fear of accidentally sucking in (plus, not matter how mild the resin smells, I like to wear a respirator for safety and smell reasons).

The heat of a flame pops bubbles in curing resin that are near the surface (curing is the state when the resin and the hardener are mixed together and begin the hardening process).

Heat in general is helpful for resin crafts—summer being the best climate to work in. The heat causes the resin to mix better, the resin to de-gas more quickly (resulting in less bubbles), and doesn’t slow the curing process like cold does (which is a good or bad thing depending on the situation).

As a jewelry maker and seller, I don’t always have the choice of only working when it’s warm—sometimes I have to create resin jewelry in the middle of winter. A heater helps, and using my utility lighter creates an even more noticeable affect on the bubbles in the resin because in the cold, there's more bubbles.

4. Short, wooden craft sticks

Short wooden craft sticks are perfect for mixing resin and hardener inside a plastic measuring cup, or medicine cup. Why short? With resin jewelry, a pretty small amount of resin is used. So the measuring cups the resin and hardener is mixed in are pretty tiny themselves.

A large wooden craft stick might tip out and fling curing resin everywhere (not a good situation to be in).

The short ones are the perfect size. They also work as the tool to add resin to your crafts and to spread the resin around. Make sure to use clean ones. 

5. Toothpicks

A really common household item I’ve found essential for making resin jewelry. It lets you get into small corners, it can pop bubbles, or it can even be used to twirl bubbles out of resin.

Have you wanted to make open back resin jewelry but don't have the time to wade through endless YouTube videos and Pinterest articles? Do you not have time to learn through trial-and-error?

For really tiny charms, I use toothpicks to pick up resin from the measuring up and drop the resin, literally drop by drop, onto the charm. An overflow is fixable, but it is a pain in the butt that we would all do best to avoid.

6. Cotton swabs

Cotton swabs are super helpful, when used carefully, to pick up little resin spills and messes. I mainly use them to stop resin from going over the side of a bezel.

Even if the resin dome on a charm isn't overflowing, if even a drop of resin falls on the edge of the charm, the resin will begin flowing down off the top, following the new pathway that was made for it.

To stop the resin from flowing downward on it's new pathway, I quickly grab a cotton swab and swipe along the sides.Even if the cotton swab doesn't grab all of the resin on the side of the bezel, once it cures it can easily be scraped off the sides.

But, be careful using cotton swabs, because the cotton fibers can get in the resin. Especially when you’re using tape for your open bezel charms, the cotton fibers can get pulled off by the sticky surface and get in the resin.

There last two coming up aren't must-haves, but they can make your life easier.

7. Small, sharp scissors

Specifically, I use cuticle scissors. Now, this tool isn't necessary but I find it really, really handy.

If an open charm was pressed flush against the tape and it has flowed out the bottom, or if during the hardening process the resin has flowed off from the top layer of the charm, I use cuticle scissors.

Once the messed up piece hardens, I use the sharp tip and curved edges to gently goad the overflow off of the charm. A nail or scrapper comes in handy, too.

8. Tweezers

Another non-essential, I keep tweezers handy because the make it easier to pick up small pieces of flowers, leaves, or small findings I want to embed in the resin.

I sometimes get resin on the tweezers, but you can wipe off the resin before it hardens (after it hardens, you can still get the resin off, but it isn't as easy).


There you have it! 8 tools to succeed at making open resin jewelry. To keep this list handy, you can get a printable PDF version of the list below.


To review, the eight must-have tools I use to make resin jewelry are: jewelry pliers, a drill, utility lighter, short & wooden craft sticks, toothpicks, cotton swabs, small scissors, and tweezers.

The last two are not necessary--but they are super helpful and easy to buy if you don't already have them.

Keep in mind that it's recommended to dedicate these tools to resin-jewelry. But, let's be honest, when I need to light a candle I use the same utility lighter I use for resin jewelry making.

However, this rule should be STRICT when it comes to food. Even though many epoxy resins are food-safe when cured, or hardened, when working with epoxy resin before it is cured it's recommended to not cross-contaminate with food.

So be sure not to use your tools for food just to be safe.

How to Care for Resin Jewelry

All kinds of jewelry need some kind of upkeep, but resin jewelry needs its own special care. In comparison to metals strengthened for use in jewelry, resin is a relatively soft substance easy to scratch and sensitive to chemicals. To make your resin jewelry long-lasting and to keep it in top condition for as long as possible, I have some tips and tricks for you.

Now, these aren’t rules so much as tips and do-them-as-often -as-you-can recommendations. I’m definitely not perfect and forget to take care of my jewelry properly—but, if we could all follow these rules all the time our jewelry would last a loooooong time (especially if the jewelry is high quality in the first place).

Of course, regular jewelry care for metal jewelry applies to resin jewelry because it's often on a metal chain or in a metal bezel. Things like removing your jewelry when:

  • Showering
  • Swimming
  • Putting on perfume or lotion

Avoiding these things helps prevent and slow down metal tarnish, which happens to all metals over time. So, water doesn't have a negative effect on resin, but it does encourage tarnish on metal.

But, beyond regular care there are some special requirements and emphasis on different things (storing in a dark place is IMPORTANT for resin jewelry!).

So to start, let's talk things to avoid.

How to Care For Resin Jewelry - things to avoid.jpg

Extreme Heat

Epoxy resin is a type of plastic, which means its melting point is lower than the melting point of metal. While epoxy resin can be flamed when its first mixed together and is still in the curing/ hardening stage, once it has cured a flame can ruin the piece.

And while leaving your resin jewelry out in the sun isn’t the end of the world—and the minor heat won’t ruin the piece—UV rays are damaging to the natural color of flowers and leaves and some epoxy resins yellow with UV light. Some epoxy resins are specifically designed to not yellow with exposure to UV light, like the brand I use.

Sharp Objects

Anything with a sharp edge can scratch the surface of resin. This could be possibly fixed with a simply extra coat applied to the top, but it’s easier to just avoid sharp objects in the first place.

Abrasive cloths, sandpaper, and the like also fall into this category. Even small scratches, if there's enough, can create a cloudy look.

Submerging in Liquids

This one is not just resin jewelry-specific.

Wearing any jewelry in the shower, pool, etc, will cause tarnishing to happen more quickly than usual. Basically, don't submerge in liquids, even if it is just water.

This may seem confusing when you read later in this post that sterling silver can be “cleaned” by submerging it in a concoction of boiling water, baking soda, vinegar, yadda yadda—I know. The thing is, this method is for removing tarnish that has already happened. And the “extreme heat” is good to avoid but boiling water is actually fine with epoxy resin in my experience.

Plated and even gold or silver filled jewelry have a limited number of layers before the base metal underneath is revealed--and once it is there is no way to brighten it unless it is re-plated by a professional jewelry (resin doesn't hold well in the process of this).

Harsh Chemicals

I know, there's chemicals everywhere. Even natural ones. But when I say harsh, I mean if particularly aggressive.

Chemicals such as acetone are known to eat plastic (and resin is a type of plastic). Alcohol, while useful at cleaning the metal parts of jewelry, can potentially damage the surface of epoxy resin, too. Perfume, which is often alcohol-based, is also a substance to avoid.

Oils

Oils seem pretty harmless right? Well, oils can ruin the surface of resin. It's not very noticeable and is fixable with an additional coat of resin, but when it comes to making your resin jewelry last as long as possible it's better not to leave oil on your jewelry.

It usually happens when it’s been sitting there a while. You might be thinking, “Oh, that’s fine, I’m not cooking while wearing my jewelry. I’m good.”

But the main culprit is actually the oils from human skin—especially for resin earrings which are often surrounded by hair and pick up oils from that as well. Necklaces, especially long ones that lay over your shirt all the time, are less effected.

So, a great way to take care of this is with mild dish soap. Dish soap is made to cut through grease. With some warm water it can remove oils. I do this before storing it (which I cover in more depth later on in this blog post). To remove a light amount of oil, use a soft non-abrasive cloth.

Speaking of cloths, you may be wondering , how do you clean (aka remove tarnish from) and store resin jewelry?

Also, I have a printable, short version of this guide you can keep handy to remember how to care for your resin jewelry. You can grab it by clicking the button below.

Cleaning

When it comes to jewelry, earrings need to be cleaned the most often, but otherwise people don’t often wash their jewelry to clean it. Rather, upkeep for jewelry involves removing tarnish that happens to all metals over time.

Water & oxygen exposure will tarnish all metals. If you are using sterling silver or solid gold, the tarnish can be removed to brighten the jewelry back up forever. Because underneath each layer of tarnish is just more of the same stuff, sterling silver or solid gold are the longest lasting options.

There's also platinum and some metals similar to platinum, but they're not as well known as gold and silver.

Plated jewelry, no matter what it is plated with, will tarnish just the same. But when brightened back up it will just continue to reveal the base metal beneath (which is usually a dull, dark gray). After attempting to remove tarnish, plating metals will look the same or worse.

In general, jewelry can be cleaned with:

  • Mild dish soap
  • warm water
  • a soft abrasive cloth can be used to remove some tarnish from (only) the metal (because, remember, something abrasive could scratch the surface of the resin)
  • --also, if you're removing tarnish from chain, a jewelry-dedicate toothbrush can be handy

But, this method of cleaning is not the best for removing tarnished metal.

Removing Tarnish

To remove tarnish from a sterling silver piece (sterling means 92.5% pure sterling with some other metals mixed in it to strengthen it enough to be worn) try this method:

It's all over the internet, so I have no idea where this originated, but I read about it at this website.

It takes:

  • a glass bowl lined with aluminum foil
  • or an aluminum baking dish
  • or a pot and a piece of aluminum foil

The aluminum will draw the tarnish to it by the end of this process. Next you need:

  • boiling water
  • salt
  • baking soda
  • white vinegar
  • a cloth to polish

I found that this technique for removing tarnish from sterling silver works great with resin jewelry I’ve made with Art Resin epoxy resin. I was nervous about the boiling water and let it cool slightly (just so it stopped bubbling) before I poured it. Still worked great.

Some versions don't call for salt or vinegar, but I used all the ingredients when I tested this. Maybe one day I'll skip it and see how well it works without it. There's many more ways (this article has 13 ways to remove tarnish), but this one is easy and I can verify that, despite the boiling water, it works great with resin jewelry.

It's quick, simple, and only requires household items—hard to argue it’s not worth it.

Plus, when it comes to small pieces and areas that are difficult to polish by hand (like chain), this method is a time-saver.

Storage

When not wearing your jewelry, prevent tarnish by keeping your jewelry in a closed container like a small baggie or a jewelry box (or both!). Air tight is preferable. Store this container in a dark, cool, dry area.

This helps to preserve the longevity of any flora embedded in the resin and the resin itself, since in darkness it isn't exposed unnecessarily to UV rays.

Like I said earlier, I’m not perfect about taking care of my jewelry. But make do, and go as far as you can.

I store my jewelry in a dresser drawer in a jewelry organizer. Pieces that I really want to keep nice go in little zip-lock baggies.

Not sure how you’ll remember all this? I have a free, 1 sheet printable with all this info briefly jam-packed to keep handy near your jewelry box.

So, care for your jewelry to make it last as long as possible to continue enjoying it. You don't have to keep it in a locked box and never wear it--and by wearing it, it will bear some wear and tear--but remember what to avoid, properly clean it, and you'll be good.