Dried beetles and insects in epoxy resin look very beautiful and impressive. It is not difficult to create such beauty. To do this, you need to prepare an epoxy resin, a dried insect and know the specifics of carrying out such work. Why you should familiarize yourself with our master class.
Necessary materials and tools
To pour insects into the epoxy resin, you need to prepare:
- Dried dead insects, it can be beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, spiders.
- Silicone mold. You can buy it in different sizes, so be guided by your taste, but when choosing the shape, keep in mind that the bug does not just fit in it, but there is also free space on all sides.
- Transparent filling rubber. On the Internet, you can find various analogues – epoxy resin, transparent acrylic, silicone rubber.
There are many commercial names of various compositions for pouring. The best for home use is still a transparent cold-cured epoxy resin, although different options are considered below.
In addition , you will need:
- Disposable plastic syringe.
- Wooden sticks – 1-2 pieces.
- Food grade plastic film.
- Baking tray.
- Soft and clean lint-free napkin.
- Thin drill bit and drill.
- Connecting rings made of metal.
- Pliers, preferably jewelry.
- A chain of the right length for a bracelet or necklace.
You can buy a beetle at a pet store or catch it yourself. If the second option was chosen, then the insect is first killed in a stain. A jar filled with cherry leaves and ether is suitable for this. The container must be tightly closed.
It is necessary to dry the insect for 2-3 weeks, and then degrease it with alcohol. To carry out the procedure, it is necessary to put the insect in the solution for 2-3 hours. To give the beetle strength and decorative appearance, it is necessary to metallize it in a special galvanic bath.
If such work is carried out for the first time, then it is worth choosing insects without hairy parts. Ugly air bubbles will begin to appear near the hairs after filling, which are difficult to get rid of.
Preparation of epoxy resin
Before pouring insects, you need a good epoxy resin. You can buy it in a specialized store. Products made from this material have a clean transparent structure, resembling high-quality glass in appearance.
Epoxy resin can be of two types:
- Cold curing. Hardens at room temperature per day, has increased strength, but does not resist high temperatures.
- Hot curing. It hardens when baked in the oven, is not exposed to chemical influences and temperature changes.
When choosing a material, you need to focus on your personal preferences. If you are still a beginner, then cold curing resin is best.
To work with resin, you need to prepare a hood, choose a respirator, glasses and gloves, since this material can potentially vaporize toxic substances.
Ordinary liquid transparent epoxy resin does not vaporize anything toxic, a respirator is needed when working with it so as not to inhale micro-splashes of resin when stirring and pouring. Toxic secretions have the compositions described below, for example, filling rubber.
Insect Filling process
The procedure for working with epoxy resin and insects for the manufacture of a decorative object will be as follows:
- You can use a filling rubber, working with it will be much easier and simpler. Before pouring, mix the material with the catalyst in a ratio of 2:1 (to begin with, you can stir ½ cup and 15 drops of catalyst). Stir everything thoroughly with a wooden stick. You can measure the required amount of material using a plastic syringe. You need to stir for 15 minutes until a homogeneous viscous mixture without air bubbles appears. If this could not be avoided, then leave the mixture for a while so that it settles, and then reheat. Bubbles will rise to the surface, so they can be carefully removed. All components should be mixed at room temperature.
- It is necessary to work with resin in a well-ventilated room, as it gives off a strong pungent smell. Now pour a small amount of the liquid mixture into each recess of the silicone mold. But the molds themselves should be 3 times deeper so that the insects completely disappear under the epoxy resin.
- Cover the silicone mold with plastic food foam and wait 10 minutes for the resin to turn into a gel.
- Add the prepared insect to the composition. Do this with tweezers, without pressing the beetle inside the gel and without breaking off parts from it. You need to lay the insect up with your paws and belly. It must be positioned exactly in the center of each recess.
- Mix the resin with the catalyst in the same amount as the first time. Smoothly pour a new portion of the composition of insects in molds. Do this very carefully so that no air bubbles form in the resin. Close the mold again with a film and wait 2-4 hours. When the finished products will no longer smell, which indicates their readiness. The resulting pendants are carefully removed from the molds. At first they may be slightly cloudy, but this is a normal phenomenon.
- When the resin has frozen, there may be irregularities on its surface. In this case, you will need to process the product with sandpaper, and if there is a nail polish cutter in the arsenal, then the work will go much faster. During this work there will be a lot of dust, so it is recommended to put on a respirator and wet the emery with water.
- Quickly wipe the product with a soft lint-free cloth, then its surface will begin to shine.
- Using a drill and a thin drill inserted into it, drill a hole at a slight slope in the pendant from above.
- Then you can proceed to the creation of jewelry. Open the connecting ring on the chain with pliers and insert it into the hole in the pendant. Hook the ring on the chain and close it. If it is supposed to make a pendant, it is convenient to hang it on a chain from above, and if the bracelet is on a separate specific link. Even an epoxy ring can be made from the resulting product, but you will have to prepare a blank with a flat surface. It will be necessary to glue the insect in resin on it. The epoxy resin must be of high quality so that it does not turn yellow after drying.
It is not difficult to work with epoxy, the main thing is to prepare it correctly. It is enough to mix the ingredients in the wrong proportion, and the composition will become too liquid and not solidifying, or thick and fast-setting. It is almost impossible to fix it, then you will have to spend a lot of time on rework. And it is necessary to get rid of air bubbles in time so as not to spoil the appearance of the finished product.
Work with epoxy compounds is additionally described in other articles, for example, on the manufacture of brooches, pendants, key chains. When tinting the resin with special dyes, you can achieve its color similar to amber, then the insect in the resin will look especially impressive. It is worth choosing a small one and pouring it in the form of a pendant.