Resin Art Supplies For Beginners
Resin art is an intriguing form of art that produces gorgeous, highly glossy art in the form of jewelry, geodes, river tables, coasters, cutting boards and more. If you have ever considered getting into resin art, some of the questions you might have include:
- What do I need to start resin art?
- What kind of resin should I buy?
- What kind of resin art should I start with?
We are going to answer those questions for you and set you up for a successful resin journey. Let's start.
Resin Art Supplies for Beginners
Let's start with your list of what you will need to buy to make resin art.
Resin art supplies: we will talk more about each item through this article.
- Resin safety gear: a respirator for resin and nitrile gloves
- Epoxy resin
- Mixing cups
- Stir sticks
- Resin colorants
- Resin molds
- Heat gun
- Glitter and inclusions
Let's discuss each item more in depth.
1. Resin safety gear
When working with resin, the most important items you can purchase are the proper safety items for working with resin.
A respirator for resin
The most important tool for resin safety you can own is your respirator.
When working with resin, wearing the proper respirator mask is the only way to protect yourself from the fumes produced during the resin mixing process.
Even if you are working with a "non-toxic" resin, there are still vapors (odorless or not) that you want to keep out of your lungs. The respirator should be a full face mask, is should be adjustable around the face and head, and the filters on a proper respirator mask for resin must be able to filter organic gasses and organic vapors.
Organic vapors are typically liquids that evaporate quickly and become vapors such as paint solvent, varnish, and resin.
The respirator that works best for resin work is the full face respirator from Parcil Safety. You can also wear their half face respirator if having a full face mask is not preferable to you, that will still protect your lungs.
Parcil's respirators are easily adjustable and seal around the face. Most importantly their filters protect lungs from organic vapors which is what you need for resin fumes.
Proper safety gloves to wear when working with resin are nitrile or vinyl. Latex gloves are meant for medical practice and protect hands from viruses and bacteria, and are not made for chemical interactions.
Nitrile gloves are comfortable and they come in different sizes for your hands so they fit nicely.
If you are starting with resin, there are a few resin brands that are best for beginners.
ArtResin is a "non-toxic" resin, and many resin brands say they are non-toxic but once the resin and hardener is mixed they still create fumes that can be dangerous. It is best to always wear a respirator when working with any resin despite it being "non-toxic". However in saying that, ArtResin is on the lower end of resins that have strong odors.
ArtResin is a 1:1 mixing ratio by volume, so that makes it quite easy.
ArtResin comes in many different sizes and is great for many resin projects except for deep casts. So you can experiment with ArtResin and make resin jewelry, coasters, cutting boards, tumblers and more.
Alumilite Clear Cast Resin
This is a brand of resin that is also 1:1 mixing ratio, however, it has a stronger odor than ArtResin. It also comes in different sized packages so you can purchase one that is best for your needs.
Also like ArtResin, it is good for a variety of projects like resin jewelry, coasters, geode resin art and more.
3. Mixing Cups
Silicone mixing cups
When you are looking for mixing cups for resin, you can purchase silicone mixing cups if you want to be more environmentally conscious and reuse your cups. If you choose to use silicone cups, to clean them you will let your resin harden in them and then peel out once it is cured.
Plastic mixing cups
Plastic mixing cups are nice as you can squeeze them when you are pouring the resin out to almost make a lip so the resin goes where you want. These are a nice option but are a one time use.
Coated Cardboard mixing cups
We are talking about the dixie kind of mixing cups. You can purchase a pack of them and if you want to be really set up, you can also buy the cup holder that goes on the wall so the cups come out one at a time and there is always a clean one ready for you.
4. Stir sticks
The easiest option for having stir sticks is to purchase wooden sticks like popsicle sticks. They are easy to use and you can buy them in large packs.
5. Resin colorants
There are so many different things you can color resin with, but no matter which resin colorant you choose, always follow the rule of adding no more than 10% colorant to resin.
Mica powder is a very popular colorant for resin. Mica is made from rocks and minerals and typically has a pearlescent quality to it. It also dries quite opaque, so keep that in mind in case you want a see-through quality to your resin piece.
Acrylic paint is a great way to add color to resin as well, and like mica, it is very opaque in its finish.
Alcohol ink adds beautiful color to resin and what is quite unique about alcohol ink, is that he resin is typically still quite see-through when it dries. So if you are going for a colored resin look where you want to see a design underneath the resin, or you want to showcase an inclusion in colored resin like a dried flower, alcohol ink is your best bet. Just make sure you are going for base colors in alcohol ink and not the metallics or the pearlescent finishes if you want that see-through quality.
Makeup (Pressed Powder)
Crushed, pressed powder makeup will act the same way a mica does, although it won't be as highly pigmented. So if you are looking for some soft color that might come off as pearlescent, you can always try dry, crushed, pressed powder makeup. Just make sure you fully crush it so there are no lumps or clumps.
6. Resin molds
There are many different resin molds you can buy, and it is great to have some different ones on hand for any resin project, as you can always put your leftover resin into one! It is great if you don't have to waste your excess resin.
Here are some resin molds for different projects.
Resin jewelry molds
There are some great resin jewelry molds out there. If you are looking for a flat resin jewelry mold that you can make resin necklaces in, then check these ones out. You can pour your resin into these molds and they already have a pre-made hole to string your chain through.
If resin bracelets sound more interesting, here are some resin bracelet molds. You can put your dried flowers right into the molds and pour your resin into it to make beautiful bracelets.
Resin geode molds
Do resin geodes looks so amazing and fun to try? What is so great about resin geodes, is that there really is no wrong way to make a geode. Pick out your colors, your glitter, and your gemstones and go ahead and pour. Once you are finished, you can draw your geode lines using a proper paint pen for resin. These can hang on your wall or you can stand them up with a photo frame. Resin geodes are super popular.
Resin coaster molds
Resin coaster molds come in basically two shapes. You can purchase circular resin coaster molds, or you can get a pack of 4 coaster molds for resin that together make a circle. Resin coasters are really fun to make as you can bring your aesthetic right into the coaster design. Want to bring elements of green into your living room? Try some different shades of green with gold accents in your resin coasters.
Resin pendant molds
Resin pendants are really nice to make. Those are the long, crystal-looking pendants that you wear around your neck. You can make them mimic a crystal if you want, for example, by using a soft pink mica mixed with a pearl mica to mimic the look of rose quartz. Or, you might want a see-through pendant that is tinted a color, so you would use an alcohol ink to color your resin and put it in the mold.
7. A heat gun
A heat gun it important to have when you are making resin art. It is the tool that will take all of the bubbles out of your resin. Use your heat gun after you pour your resin into the mold or onto your surface. This is the last step you will do before setting your resin to cure.
Make sure you choose the best heat gun for resin. Some heat guns can get too hot and burn your resin. You want one that will give you an even heat; hot enough to bring bubbles to the surface and out, but not too hot that it scorches your work.
8. Glitter and inclusions
Glitter and inclusions for resin are fun ways to enhance your resin jewelry and art. You can choose iridescent glitter, large and chunky glitter, fine and micro glitter and any color of glitter. It is important to try to remember that no more than 10% rule though. Start with a bit of glitter and add more as you go. Adding too much can also alter the consistency of your resin.
Inclusions can really be anything. Whatever you want to put in your resin is typically fair game, so long as it is completely dry and will not spoil or decompose. So if you want to dry flowers for resin, or leaves or butterfly wings, they have to be totally dry.
The best way to dry flowers for resin is by using the Microfleur. it will dry whatever flower or leaf you want to include in your resin in minutes in the microwave, and it is a very hand tool to have as a resin artist.
Well, we hope that you found this article really useful in starting your journey in resin art!
HERE ARE SOME MORE HELPFUL ARTICLES
USE RESIN SAFELY
No matter what type of resin you decide to use, always use PPE. Do take time to carefully go over safety data sheets before making anything with resin. And it's very important to follow the instructions on the resin.
Here is the best respirator mask for epoxy resin: this PD-100 Full Face Organic Vapor Respirator by Parcil Safety, who is based in the USA, checks off all of the boxes for resin safety.