How to Encase an Image or Object in Resin (Artist Tutorial)

I'm currently making some resin tiles for a project. Does this sort of list interest anyone on here? Let's see, I guess 😎
  1. What is resin?
    I would love to work with natural plant resin, but this list is about 2-part epoxy resin - a thick polymer liquid that hardens and stays clear when poured into a mold. I like the brand Ice Resin because it is consistently high quality and non-toxic. Particularly important if not working in a studio or outdoor space.
  2. What you'll need:
    Two-part resin/ Non-metal disposable mixing containers/ a non-metal mixing tool/ a mold (I prefer silicone)/ your image or object. OPTIONAL: a protective mask/ a heat gun
  3. Wait, where do I find a mold?
    It depends on your project. You can find many options for small silicone or plastic molds - particularly jewelry charms- on Amazon or at art supply stores. For my piece, I ended up using silicone baking molds, because they were the size I wanted. You can also make your own molds: www.resinobsession.com
  4. STEP 1: Mix your first layer of resin
    Most 2-part resins are a 1-to-1 ratio, but of course check the instructions on your bottle. It's important to be very exact about the proportions. I measure first using water and then draw lines inside my mixing container - so I can pour resin Part A and Part B directly from the bottles. Mix thoroughly, scraping the sides. Let rest for 5 minutes in a warm spot, to allow bubbles to dissipate. In my experience, Ice Resin is workable for up to 30 minutes after mixing.
  5. STEP 2: Pour into mold
    Tap a few time to dissipate bubbles. It's not always recommended, but you can use a heat gun to remove any persistent bubbles (wear a mask). Leave to set for 8-12 hours, or per instructions on your particular resin.
  6. STEP 3: Insert image or object
    Carefully place image on top of hardened first layer. If layer is still a bit "tacky" that is ok, as it will keep image in place. If you are inserting an object, you may want to wait until pouring the second layer, and then insert the object using tweezers or small tongs. Do not touch the resin with your bare hands because oil from your fingers could damage the process. Similarly, any organic objects (like flowers) should be dried first.
  7. STEP 4: Mix and pour your second layer of resin
    Same as before, but leave to set for closer to 24 hours. If you are working in a dusty area like a garage or have pets, you may want to cover the mold with a light, breathable fabric while it dries.
  8. STEP 5: Remove from mold
    If using silicone, it is very easy to pop out your hardened piece. Sometimes molds are not exact, and you may want to use a diamond file to smooth edges. Only do this while wearing a mask, or holding your piece under water, as resin dust is not good for the lungs.
  9. Add-ons:
    You can add colors, metallics, and all sorts of stuff to the wet resin. I prefer to keep mine clear, but there are excellent tutorials online for these embellishments.