Resin is the name to refer to a naturally-occurring organic compound that is sourced from plants. In nature, trees will secret it as a protective mechanism to protect themselves from pests. Resin usually consists of non crystalline, liquid substance that is flexible, making it an effective alternative to plastic and other forms of design. Resin is a liquid organic compound, that under certain circumstances, will harden. In the case of resins for art, jewelry and crafting, this happens when hardener is added (two-part systems) or it is exposed to UV light (UV resin). When the reaction starts, the resin molecules bind together to from long chains of molecules. The important part here is this is what causes the liquid to harden. The main use of resin is to be a glue - to transfer stress between the fibers, clasp them together and protect from outside factors. It is commonly used in Adhesives, paints and coatings. Decoration. Electronic components and replacements for metal parts. Gears, pipes and tubes. Intricate models and parts. Jewelry. Medical devices. Consumer goods. Boat, car and parts repairing and more.
“There are four types of resin commonly encountered in jewelry making: 1.POLYESTER. MAY ALSO BE REFERRED TO AS FIBERGLASS RESIN. Pot time: minutes Cure time: minutes to hours Cost: low to mid range (especially cheaper if you use a polyester resin marketed for a commercial industry such as boats and vessels) Safety: can be dangerous. very noxious smell. must wear a respirator and work with a hood or in a well ventilated area. Pros: Cures to a very hard finish which can be sanded and buffed to achieve a shiny, clear surface. If the surface becomes scratched, that same surface can be polished once again. Pieces made from polyester can be bonded with more polyester resin to create larger pieces. Cons: Not UV light resistant. Will eventually yellow with time. Because it does cure very hard, polyester resin projects may break if dropped on a hard surface.
2. EPOXY Pot time: minutes Cure time: hours to days Demanding time may be shorter. Cost: mid to upper range. Epoxies get more expensive the clearer you want your finished casting. Safety: safe. wear gloves, improve ventilation. respirator not needed Pros: Widely available. Best all purpose resin Cons: Cannot be buffed. Must be finished with an additional layer of resin or a resin sealer spray to get a glossy finish.
3. POLYURETHANES Pot time: minutes Cure time: minutes to hours Cost: mid to upper range. Polyurethanes also get more expensive with an increase in clarity and for water clear versions. Safety: may be dangerous. Some polyurethanes must be used with a respirator and ventilation hood. Pros: Some come with a very quick cure time (under 1 hour) Cons: Very moisture sensitive. May not cure well in humid climates. Some color additives do not also work well if they are not specifically designed for polyurethane resin (may attract moisture).
4. SILICONE Pot time: minutes Cure time: hours Cost: mid to upper range, especially for water clear silicone Safety: safe. wear gloves Pros: The perfect material for making molds for casting the other three resins above Cons: ‘Rubbery’ finish. Not suitable for jewelry”
If you are not experienced in using resin I would suggest to use either Regular (clear) epoxy resin or UV-cured resin. The UV resin is faster-curing than epoxy resin. For very small areas, some people use epoxy glues.
Here are some materials you will need to make resin jewelry: Epoxy, Clear or UV resin and UV light. Resin Jewelry Mold wax paper to cover the area where you are working on. latex gloves medicine cups blow dryer if you are using epoxy and lighter if you are using UV resin. To get rid of the bubbles wooden popsicle sticks shoebox or plastic bin (to cover molds as they harden) resin fillers: studs, jewelry, dried flowers, feathers, glitter, etc. jewelry items: ring pads, clasps, flat safety pins resin colors E-6000 quick hold adhesive (if making rings or pins) Optional: plastic measuring cup (if doing a large batch)
And this is a video explaining how to make a try using epoxy resin: https://youtu.be/a2QdEgm-RXE Remember to always work in a well ventilated area and if you have allergies from smells or odor wear a mask!