One of my favorite things about summer–besides, of course, the enchanting woods and the lake and watching Parent Trap for the sixteenth time (never gets old)–is the fact that we craft a lot. Like slow, hours-long crafting sessions with no hurry to clean things up or move on to the next thing. I have a box of acquired craft supplies that I leave at my dad’s cabin every year, but I also plan out a few specific projects and ship some things early as well as bring a bag of supplies. This year, I put together an epic DIY jewelry bag and brought everything we’d need to make some really good stuff. I knew I wanted to experiment with resin jewelry this year too. My dad has a picnic table outside, so I set up all the supplies and basically yell an all-call for anyone who wants to come make things with us. This year’s jewelry making session was so much fun, and we got so many cute pieces we’ll actually wear from it.
As far as inspiration, any time I see jewelry I love online (Anthro, Free People, Etsy shops), I screenshot it to save for ideas.
What we brought:
Clay beads and pendants & wood beads
The best jewerly supplies I’ve found are from a little Esty shop called Oxbow Supply. I bought curved brass tube rings, terra cotta tubes (currently not in stock) and these beautiful blue clay fan pendants (also not in stock but but found them here).
Cording for stringing necklaces and bracelets
We use leather, hemp and silk (lots of different colors), all available in the jewelry aisles at any craft store. You can also get leather cording on Amazon here. Just check the diameter of your stringing material to make sure it fits in your beads. You can use any ‘ol string if you’re not picky.
Adjustable ring blanks (these ones are good quality, thick, silver plated)
Beading wire (we used silver; available at any craft store or Amazon)
This silicon one (2-pack) was our favorite (slips out easy and has holes built in for pendants). This one is great for rings or you can slide wire into it before it sets to make pendants and earrings.
I strung the terra cotta beads and blue fan pendant with leather and tied on earring hooks with wire to make these beauties–so easy and fast to make:
Lainey designed and made these all on her own with the hemp cording, terra cotta beads an curved brass tube rings, all from Oxbow Supply:
But things got really fun when we pulled out the resin kit!
When I was researching how to make these, I got a little intimidated because it looked complicated and had all these instructions for not getting bubbles and how to set the resin properly. We just winged it on one try, and it was so easy–nothing to it, and none of our pieces got bubbles or had any trouble. Basically, you can set anything in clear resin–wildflowers, special pebbles, even cake sprinkles (those were my favorite pieces).
Here’s how we did it:
First choose all the items you’ll be casting and practice placing them in the molds to see how you want them. The kit comes with two bottles–the resin and the hardener. We only used about an 1/8 of our bottles to make all these pieces. In a plastic container (you’ll throw it out after use because it will get trashed), mix equal parts resin and hardener and stir well (we used a baby spoon we threw out after as well).
Before we placed our items, we dropped a few drops of the resin mixture in the mold to coat the bottom (what will eventually be the front) just a bit. Place your item in the mold and then pour enough resin mixture to finish filling the mold.
For the cake sprinkles, you can use a toothpick to make sure they’re mixed in the resin and evenly dispersed.
Once your molds are filled, you’ll need to let them set overnight. The resin mixture is really thick and syrupy, like melted hard candy and as it sets, it gets harder and harder, losing its stickiness toward the end.
After 5-6 hours, I pushed in ring blanks into the resin for the pendants I wanted turned into rings.
After ten or so hours, I placed all of the molds in the freezer for about 5 minutes to help the charms pop out easily (they did).
(for pendants that don’t have holes already in them, you can push some wire into the top before they’re fully set)
They turned out sooooo cute!
For this one, we poured clear resin into the mold and then added a few drops of different colored nail polish and swirled it with a toothpick.
This one is my favorite.
And these cupcake sprinkle earrings.
Lainey loves her glitter ring.
Dash made a yellow flower ring he was in love with, but he lost it already before I had a chance to take a picture (my money’s on inside the chicken coop).
Verdict is: we’d totally do this again, and now I’m a little obsessed with finding more cool stuff to turn into jewelry. In the meantime, I’ll be running the Arts & Crafts Lodge all week up here at Camp Bliss.