Showing posts with label quick tip. Show all posts
Showing posts with label quick tip. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

An Easier Way to Make Exact Images for Bezels (for Resin and Other Jewelry Projects)

As I continue to work on remodeling my craft room, I still have orders I need to fill, in addition to getting my EBay and Etsy shops stocked up with items in anticipation for the Christmas rush.  I am in the process of making 200 new pendants, each of which requires an image.  In an effort to save time, I try to work smarter, not harder.  In order to do this, I use an assembly-line process when I make several of one type of item in order to make the best use of my time.  This includes cutting out the image to be used in the jewelry.  This part of the jewelry making process can be quite time-consuming and tedious, so I've developed a way to streamline this into a faster process.  Thankfully, this method is also more precise.

If you work with resin and/or make jewelry featuring images, you probably trace the bezel template onto the image, then cut around it.  Well - if you follow my process - you can put your pencil and bezel template away.  You won't need it.  This is the process I developed - and it works like a charm.


1) Take the image you want to use and cut it into a manageable size.  Place the image on top of the bezel you wish to use.  While keeping a light grip on the paper and bezel, hold both up to the light.  You will be able to see the bezel outline behind the image.  Move the bezel into the desired position behind the image.

2) This is what the back will look like:

3) With one hand, hold the bezel onto the desired position of the paper.  Using your other hand, press the paper around outer edge of the bezel.  (Think of this as tracing with your fingers.)  You want to make sure the bezel shape is embedded into the paper.   When you are done, it will look like this - a perfect outline:

4)  Using scissors, cut right on the embedded line, and you will have a perfect copy of your bezel.  (Hint: If you have several of these to make, do all of your embedding at one time, then all of your cutting at one time.  It really helps to make the process faster.)

5) Apply image to bezel or background as desired.  Here are some of the resin designs I made using this process.  They are in the curing stage....

Until next time, happy creating!  :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Solutions for Resin-Related Issues

They say invention is the mother of necessity, and I couldn't agree more.  I think as crafters, we tend to come up with unique ways of correcting project mistakes so we don't have to toss out our project only to have to start over again.  I've run across some of issues when working with resin that I'd like to share with you, and also, solutions to those issues.

PROBLEM:  The metal bezel has an attached pendant bail that causes the pendant to rest at a slant.  This results in uneven coverage of resin during the curing process.

SOLUTION:  After filling the bezel with resin, set the bezel on an elevated surface with the bail hanging off of the side of the surface.  My favorite elevated surface for this situation are wood flooring samples.  These are not very big - mine are about 6" by 8" in size - but they can accommodate lots of bezels in a small amount of space.  To make good use of my space, I also perch the bezels on top of domino game pieces and place those pieces on top of the flooring samples, as well.   The flooring samples can be acquired at no cost from various internet sites.  I requested my samples online many years ago, and I still use them on a regular basis.  Google "wood flooring samples free" to find companies who will provide you with free samples at your request.

PROBLEM:  Dust, dog hair, mosquitoes (and other things) end up on a project that has not fully cured.

SOLUTION:  I have encountered this on a couple of occasions.  Unfortunately, once the hair, dust or mosquito has settled onto curing resin, the problem usually cannot be corrected with causing additional damage to the piece.  I nip this problem in the bud before it ever has a chance to occur now.  Once all of the resin has been poured, I place a narrow storage box over the items, and I don't remove this until the projects have cured (about 72 hours.)   The one I use these days is a Sterilite storage box.  It fits perfectly over two of my wood flooring pieces (as described above).  Plus, because they are see-through, I can check on my work without having to disturb anything.

PROBLEM: Metal bezel was too small and/or leaked, causing overflow of resin onto back of project.

SOLUTION:  This occurred for me recently when I made some resin pendants.  I didn't discover the leak until the next day.  I let the resin cure for several days before I attempted correction of the problem.  Attempting to correct the problem before the resin cured would result in fingerprints and damage to the front of the design.

Once the resin cured, I trimmed off the excess (cured) overflow from the sides and bottom of the bezel with old, sharp scissors.  Using a coarse grit sandpaper, I sanded off the back of the metal bezel until all of the resin was gone.  I was surprised at how quickly the resin was removed.  Within minutes, my pendant looked like nothing had ever happened to it.

PROBLEM:  While gluing embellishments on a cured resin bezel, glue dripped onto the resin, destroying the shiny finish.

SOLUTION:  Wipe off as much of the glue as possible.  Brush a thin layer of fresh resin over the top of the item and let it cure for several days.   When a thin layer of resin won't correct the problem, it may be necessary to pour a thicker layer of resin over the project.  I recently had something like this occur when I was gluing rhinestones to the outer edge of a pendant.  I normally use an industrial strength glue (E-6000) to attach embellishments to many of my jewelry designs.  The glue had seeped out onto the resin, so I had to pour a new layer of resin over the top of the pendant.

This was a problem, as well,  because the pendant was already filled with resin.  The rhinestones I had already attached stood at a height slightly higher then the resin; the rhinestones have gaps in between them, which would result in any newly poured resin seeping out the sides.

To alleviate this from happening, I took clear packing tape and adhered it around the entire outside of the bezel. I pressed the packing tape firmly to the sides with my fingers, ensuring that the tape held onto the outer edges of the bezel.  Once this is completed, you'll have something that resembles a tortilla bowl for a taco salad.  The tops of the tape will be curvy and quite tall.   Pour a new thin layer of resin into the bezel.  Because the tape is securely attached to the outer edges of the bezel, there should be no leakage of resin.  The tape will keep the resin in its place.  Allow the resin to cure for several days and remove the tape.  Your pendant should look as good as new.

PROBLEM:  Resin got on my bare hands and I can't wash it off.

SOLUTION:  I hate when this happens.  Yes, I admit I don't always use gloves when making resin projects.  I need to have the ability to "feel" what I am doing and the gloves tend to get in the way.  Thankfully, there is a product on the market that is wonderful for removing resin from hands.  It's called  Fast Orange Hand Cleaner by Permatex.  My husband - who is a crafty guy himself - uses this frequently to remove paint, etc. from his hands.  I "borrowed" it one day after I couldn't remove resin residue from my hands - and it worked like a charm.  Just rub it over your hands, rinse, wash hands again with soap and the residue is gone!  I also use this product after working with polymer clay.  It's great for getting stubborn colors - like red and pink - out of my hands.

Well, there you have it.  I hope the tips above will help if you have experience similar resin-related issues.  As always, happy creating!  :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Quick Tip - Getting Resin Out of Molds When It Sticks

When using larger molds such as the ones for belt buckles and paperweights, the resin will often stick and can be difficult to remove from the mold. As these molds are not flexible, you can't pop the resin piece out like you can with the smaller jewelry molds. I had this happen once when making a belt buckle and I almost threw the whole thing away out of frustration. I contacted the resin manufacturer and they gave me a very helpful tip that really works.

Turn the mold upside down so the resin part faces the table. Take a heat gun and move it all over the back and sides of the mold. Pick up the mold and slam it against the surface of the table a couple of times. The resin piece will inch it's way out of the mold. The heat from the heating tool constricts the resin which allows it to slide out of the mold. It really works!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quick Tip - Polishing Sanded Edges of Resin

One frustration often shared with me by people who make resin jewelry is that once they sand off the rough edges of their pieces, they are left with dull, matte edges.

I have a quick tip I'd like to share with you that I use on all of my resin pieces after I sand them. I submerge the resin piece in water to remove the dust caused by sanding, and then I dry this off with a soft lint-free towel. I place a dot of Diamond Glaze on my index finger and lightly apply it to the sanded edges. Once the Diamond Glaze has dried, you can't tell any difference on where the resin ends and where the Glaze begins.

I would not, however, recommend using Diamond Glaze over the entire resin piece, as it is not as indestructable as resin is. It easily picks up scratches, so the overall beauty of your resin piece may not withstand years of wear and tear. Take it from me - stick with glazing just the edges and you'll come out alright in the long run.
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