Today, anyone can make beautiful crafts and decorations at home. But the material used in the creation will help to make them unique. Such a miracle material turned out to be epoxy resin.
Jewelry, figurines and other figures made of epoxy resin become real masterpieces even in the most inept hands. We will tell you what you will need to work with epoxy, step-by-step instructions and safety.
Information about the polymer
To start working with epoxy resin, you will need to know some of the properties of this substance. When buying, you should pay attention to the purpose, namely, for which work the selected resin is suitable. Epoxy is used for construction and for creativity. This moment is very important. Resin for creativity is less aggressive in its effect on bare skin.
Sometimes, out of ignorance or inattention, they do not buy epoxy resin, but epoxy glue. Let’s figure out what is the difference between these substances.
The glue is more viscous in its composition. It does not always retain transparency after solidification, it becomes yellowish. Another big disadvantage of epoxy glue is the high price compared to resin for creativity.
Epoxy resin for crafts is not just a substance; it consists of resin and a hardener. Mixing these components allows you to get a working composition for making polymer masterpieces with your own hands.
You can buy components for the preparation of the working composition almost everywhere. In the store of creative devices, epoxy resin is always on sale. You can also purchase any desired volume, from a bottle to a bucket. It is not necessary to buy epoxy in large volumes, the polymer has an expiration date.
What can be made
Experienced craftsmen know that the possibilities of epoxy composition are almost limitless. You can create both jewelry and more voluminous products. The completed items will be unique, it can be:
- earrings and pendants;
- keychain for keys;
- plates and coasters;
- mounted shelves;
- seats for chairs;
- countertops of different sizes;
- kitchen aprons;
- any objects where there is a flat surface.
Even from epoxy resin, the methods of casting figurines are known and popular. These can be small figures like fridge magnets and large sculptures. But this requires a large filling mold.
Before working with epoxy resin, it is necessary to study some features of the process. First of all, you should take care of security. To do this, you will need to prepare:
- rubber or latex gloves to protect the skin of the hands;
- a piece of plastic, plexiglass or cellophane to prevent it from getting on the work surface;
- a respirator to protect the respiratory organs from fumes and dust;
- safety glasses to protect the eyes from particles during the grinding of the product;
- tight apron, preferably rubberized;
- clothes that don’t mind getting dirty.
These measures will protect the master and the workplace from the aggressive effects of the polymer. When processing large objects, for example, statues, a trained sculptor will be protected to the maximum.
It is necessary to work only in a ventilated room, it is advisable to use forced ventilation.
To make a high-quality epoxy figurine, you will need to purchase a certain list of items:
- polymer composition of resin and hardener;
- wooden stirring sticks, preferably round in shape;
- plastic cups or other mixing containers;
- molds for filling, homemade or factory-made;
- dye for coloring the composition;
- decorative elements for creating a composition, if planned;
- filling for the pattern — stones, cavities in the treated surface, luminescent powder;
- sandpaper of different grain sizes;
- grinding machine;
- accessories, if mounting is required.
The list may change depending on the type of shape being created. You can make any shapes at the request of the master, for example, from silicone.
Stages of work
The creative process of casting an epoxy resin product is the same as when working with jewelry, and when creating figurines and figurines. After preparation, you can get to work.
Mixing of the composition
First of all, we prepare the working staff. To do this, you need to dial the required amount of polymer into the container, and then add the hardener.
Follow the instructions on the package and strictly observe the proportions to obtain a high-quality working mixture.
The resulting mixture is gently stirred in a circular motion using a wooden stick, spatula. If air bubbles have formed during mixing, but they are not needed, then they should be removed. You can do this:
- with a toothpick or needle, pierce the vial and pull it out of the composition;
- heat the top layer of epoxy with a lighter;
- heat the composition in a water bath at a temperature not exceeding 50°C/122°F.
Next, color, sequins or other loose decor is added. Now the mixture is ready for further processing.
Filling the form
Prepare the mold for filling, namely to check the integrity of the mold. If it is factory-made, there should be no specks, dust, hairs in it.
The working composition is poured into the mold. When creating a certain composition, the fill is carried out by a maximum of half. After that, the decor (dried flowers, stones, other elements) is placed in the mixture and everything is sent to harden in a ventilated warm room for 24-36 hours. If necessary, the final filling is carried out to the desired level and again the workpiece is left to solidify.
At the final filling, the working composition is prepared anew in compliance with the same proportions.
The design of flat crafts (countertops, plates, coasters, etc.) with heavy decorative elements is carried out in one fill. The stones will not float to the surface, and the intended pattern will not be broken.
To create a vertical craft, for example, a kitchen apron, the filling is also performed in a horizontal position. The product returns to the required vertical after the epoxy resin has completely solidified.
The frozen figure is removed from the mold. At this point, the epoxy product is cloudy and rough. If it is necessary to adjust the shape of the craft, it is ground with a mini grinding machine or sandpaper of different grain sizes. The more delicate the grinding is required, the smaller the skin should be.
After grinding, the finished craft is polished. To do this, use a cotton pad with soap solution, linseed oil or polishing paste. During the polishing process, the product acquires full transparency and shine. At the end of processing, the fittings are attached, if this was planned.
All the moments and nuances of making polymer figurines are easy to view on the Internet, for which it is enough to open any master class on the website for creativity.
The creation of unique crafts made of epoxy resin is becoming more and more relevant among lovers of creativity and needlework. The availability of materials and the simplicity of the manufacturing process are attracting more and more attention. Anyone can create a statuette or decoration made of epoxy resin.