resin jewelry

Fall Equinox Instagram Auctions Info

Friday the 22nd is the Fall Equinox! To welcome the autumn season I'm hosting an Instagram auction starting at 4pm Pacific/ 6pm Central/ 7pm Eastern. Click here for a time converter if you don't live in any of these time-zones (or just type the conversion you're looking for into Google).

The auction will have 4 items up for bid: Two earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace.

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There's only one of each design in my inventory right now. So once it goes in the auction--it's gone.

"So how does an Instagram Auction work?"

Once items are posted, bidding is as simple as commenting (unfortunately, it's impossible to include those who don't have Instagram accounts).

You comment with your bid, bidding in increments of $1 (usd), and tag the person who you are outbidding so that they're aware of your bid.

When the auction ends on Sunday at the same time (4 pm Pacific/ 6 pm Central/ 7 pm Eastern) whoever bid last wins the item!

"How Does Payment Work?"

Once you win an item, I will contact you through Instagram Direct Messages to get your email address.

Then I'll send the invoice to be paid by the due date (24 hours) on the invoice otherwise the second place winner will get a chance to grab the item.

Payment will happen through PayPal by default, but if you'd prefer to go through a different checkout system where you can just enter your credit card, you can pay through Etsy alternatively.

"What About Shipping?"

NOTE: Items will not be shipped until Wednesday the 27th. The delay is due to a family event.

Add +$4 for shipping within the US and +$12 for shipping internationally. All items will come in a 100% recycled jewelry box tucked inside a padded envelope for safe keeping.

Within the US, items will arrive in 3-5 business days from the 27th. International shipping can take 1-4 weeks, depending on how far the package is going. 

If more than one item is won, shipping will only be charged once.


I received emails and comments that I should do another auction, and I'm super excited. It's always fun. This time it will last 48 hours instead of 24 hours since it felt like it was over too quickly last time. Also, this time I will be using more recent items instead of older inventory.

Happy Almost Fall!

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.

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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.


8 Ways to Get Rid of Bubbles in Epoxy Resin

So you’re super excited to get into making crafts with resin.

You mix the resin with the hardener, stir them together, and are left with a ton of bubbles. You hope they disappear by the time you finish your work.

But they don’t.

There’s nothing more frustrating than huge bubbles in your finished work, or so many micro-sized bubbles that it appears cloudy.

When it comes to epoxy resin, the type most often used to make resin jewelry, the one problem I see again and again, is bubbles in resin.

And with some brands, this can be unavoidable. Some brands are better than others—and some brands just need to be done in thin layers to achieve less bubbles.

There’s a lot of variables at play, but I have 8 tips to address it no matter what brand of epoxy resin you use (other kinds of resin that are not epoxy won't benefit from all the same tips).

howtogetridofbubblesinresin

Regardless, you’ll probably have some micro-sized bubbles in your finished product—and most likely, no one will notice but you.

But if you’re getting big bubbles, are just starting with resin, or are just doing some research to get started, these 8 tips will help.

#1 – Using a UTility lighter, quickly go over the surface of the resin.

(This is the fastest and most effective, so be sure to start with this tip. You might not even need the others!)

But, you have to be careful with a flame near resin.

Don’t keep the flame on the resin for too long. Make sure to do it quickly. That means 1-3 seconds of heat exposure at a time. I recommend doing it 1 to 3 times as needed, with several minutes wait time in-between to allow the resin to cool.

If you over-heat the resin using the flame too much, it may not completely harden for months (speaking from experience here!).

And it will keep a soft, malleable surface even when it's cured after 24 hours (and who wants to wait 3 months for that to go away? Especially when there’s no guarantee it will ever completely cure.) Epoxy resin is generally soft, but there is a notifiable-yet-subtle difference when it is over-heated. 

Usually, if you do over-use the flame, the cured product with have a grainy, almost sticky texture on the surface instead of a smooth, slick surface.

Now, if it is really sticky or tacky--and even sticks to your fingers--then the resin didn’t cure correctly and the problem may not have been the flame.

#2 – Warm your resin.

To warm the resin you can submerge it into a bowl full of warm, not hot, water. Or place it a couple feet from a heater on low for a couple minutes.

"But what about the hardener?" you ask? The general recommendation is NO, but I say . . . yeah, you totally can. I use ArtResin (click here to read about why I do), and I warm both bottles in front of a space heater.

 I’ve also noticed from experience, a warmer room results in less bubbles, too (which makes summer a great time to make resin jewelry). It probably helps the resin mixture to be more viscous, which makes the de-gassing process more effective.

De-gassing is simply when the air bubbles rise to the top and begin to pop on their own.

#3 – Mix the resin and hardener slowly.

Okay, so you're keeping things pretty warm, what next?

Next up, you gotta take your time mixing the resin and hardener together. Don’t rush. Take the full 3 to 5 minutes to carefully and slowly mix them together.

Stirring too fast can cause a lot of air bubbles to occur, and they can be hard to get out. And if the bottles and room are cold, then the amount of bubbles will be a LOT.

#4 – Wait for 5 minutes after you’ve completed mixing the resin and hardener together.

3-5 minutes, depending on the resin. This allows the resin to begin de-gassing (popping on it’s own).

Do remember that this does cut into the pot time (the working time you have before the resin hardens too much to work with). The length of the pot time depends on the brand of resin you're using, so be sure to read up on it.

#5 – Once you come back to it, try to slowly stir upwards and bring some of the larger air bubbles to the surface, if there are any, to make it easier for them to pop.

Blowing on the surface as you do this can help, too, which brings us to the next tip. 


If you want to learn even more about making resin jewelry, I have a free basics course. Learn important foundational knowledge and get your questions answered. You in?


 

#6 – Blow on the surface of the resin, and you can use a straw to target specific bubbles.

Especially in thin layers, this is effective. Epoxy resin is best used in thin layers in almost all cases.

 But blowing on the surface is not always necessary (none of these tips are necessary, but using a few or all of them will aid you in getting less bubbles).

Since I prefer to wear a mask and don't want to take it on and off, I don't use this method and rely more on the next tip.

#7 - If you’re using bezels, bubbles can sometimes get stuck in corners.

Blowing on the surface and using the flame don’t typically come in handy popping corner bubbles.

You need to physically move them toward the center of the bezel or mold.

Using a toothpick, you can try to pop the bubble or coax it away from the edge, and then you can blow on the surface or use your hand torch and the bubbles will be able to pop.

Toothpicks are your friend. I often use toothpicks to swirl noticeable bubbles out of the resin (swirling the bubble onto the toothpick and quickly wiping it off on a paper towel).

#8 Work in thin layers.

Epoxy resin especially (the kind often used for resin jewelry) works best in thin layers, and develops less bubbles. Thicker layers are more difficult to work with, and the bubbles are harder to get out.

Again, you don't have to use all these tips (some things I make require thicker layers, so sometimes I ignore that tip).

 

If you're asking, "What about vacuum/compression chambers?"

Well, I don't have an answer. I've never used one for a several reasons:

  • It's not really a necessary expense (typically $200, which isn't accessible for a lot of my students. I use methods that almost anyone can replicate at home without a bunch of expensive supplies)

  • The pressurized chamber can pose some safety issues

  • They're geared more toward casting resin

  • And because, at the end of the day . . .

a minor amount of micro-sized bubbles is normal and won’t take away from your piece. Likely, it won’t be noticeable to anyone but you.

And, like I said above—there are a lot of variables at play. The problem could be humidity. Room temperature. The brand of resin.

Getting into resin jewelry can be overwhelming, especially when you’re already busy and don’t have time to scour the internet forums for answers.

It takes time to go through all the trial and error, let alone come to the point where you can make something people will find beautiful.

I’m self-taught. I won’t lie to you and say it’s not possible—it is. There’s information is out there, but I mostly learned from two cold, harsh teachers: failure and experience.

But I don’t have another job—this is my job. Not everyone has the time I did to go through a year of failures and lucky successes and more failures, searching the web for hours coming up empty handed, and piecing everything together during their free time (if you have any free time--and if you do, you probably want to spend it in other ways).

If you don’t have time for that, but you Want to create beautiful resin jewelry--well, that's why I'm here.

I created my Resin Jewelry Making video course just for you. To save you time --you can watch all the lessons in a day--and money (when you don't know what you're doing you might end up dumping a batch. It happened to me in the beginning, and it was money in the trash).

If you're totally new to epoxy resin crafts, below you can join my free email course, Resin Jewelry Basics.

Each of the five lessons take about 5 minutes. You'll learn:

  • Common mistakes and how to avoid them

  • What supplies I recommend

  • How to set up your crafting area

  • Printable PDFs from my in-depth course

  • PLUS during the course you'll get access to a recorded webinar Getting Started with Resin Jewelry

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Enroll for free right here:

But if you're ready to learn all the refined methods from a teacher with years of experience (hint: it's me!) and you need structure and video instruction--then hop on over and become a student of the in-depth video e-course right now.