Embed objects in clear polyester or epoxy resin to create customized jewelry and items for your home. Polyester resin works best to embed objects deeper than 1/8 of an inch at one pass. Epoxy resins are not as toxic as polyester resins, and they are self-leveling. Epoxy resins work best with shallow applications and are more expensive than polyester. You can embed deep objects using layers of epoxy resin; let the layers dry between coats.
Things You'll Need
- Open-back jewelry frame with bail
- Miniature photo or other object to embed
- Acrylic spray
- Packing tape
- Protective respiratory mask
- Epoxy resin
- Squirt bottle
- All-purpose cleaner
- Cleaning and drying cloths
- Flexible mold
- Polyester resin
- Plastic mixing container
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Spray the front of a miniature photo that fits inside an open-back jewelry frame with spray acrylic. The acrylic protects the ink in the photo from bleeding when touched by the resin. If you are embedding a flower or a paper cutout, spray both sides of the embed with acrylic. Let the acrylic dry completely.
Cover the back side of an open-back jewelry frame with packing tape. The sticky side of the tape should be facing the inside of the frame.
Wear a respiratory safety mask. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and mix a small amount of epoxy resin in a squirt bottle.
Cover the sticky side of the tape inside the jewelry frame with a thin layer of resin. Place the photo, ink side up, on top of the resin layer. Cover the photo with more resin, up to the top inside rim of the frame.
Wait 24 hours and then remove the tape.
Clean and dry the surface of any object that you plan to embed in clear resin. If the object is made of paper or botanicals, prepare the surface using acrylic spray. Place a flexible mold and the object(s) for embedding on a work station. Resin sets up quickly, so you must be prepared and have the embeds handy.
Wear a protective respiratory mask and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to mix enough polyester resin to embed the object. Polyester resin hardens when a few drops of catalyst is added; it is not a 50/50 blend like epoxy resin.
Fill a flexible mold with mixed polyester resin up to the desired placement of the embed(s).
Place the object(s) for embedding on top of the resin layer. Cover the embed(s) with resin. Tilt the mold until the resin is level. Continue to pour resin to the top of the mold, working the mold as you go to level the resin. Follow the manufacturer’s dry-time guidelines.
Peel the flexible mold from the hardened resin.