This weekend I am going to share with all of you our Epoxy Jewelry making experiment. This was not my idea nor did I lead this project. Gwen (my 14 year old daughter) headed this up guiding both her little brother as well as myself through each step. (If it sucks… it is all her fault)
We started with clay to create the molds for our jewelry. Gwen decided on a tear drop shape, Ben a simple circle, and I chose a heart. Gwen didn’t approve of the “finishing” of my heart and smoothed out the inside of the mold telling me that I had to do a better job or it wont work.
We baked the clay for 30 minutes in the oven (basically following the instructions).
NEXT…. the most important part… we looked for what we wanted to put into the clear epoxy. I found an old tooth of mine. I thought that the tooth would be awesome but Gwen said that “Mom wouldn’t approve”. I guess in her mind since I had shaped the mold into a heart that it must be a gift for mom.
I gave into the adolescent peer pressure, put aside the tooth and decided to get some small flowers.
OH THE DECEPTION… Ben and Gwen didn’t limit themselves in the same way they limited me. Ben found a dead beetle in the garage and Gwen found some insect wings. hmmm…
We gathered our stuff and placed them out to be painted. You must paint the objects or the epoxy will leach out the colors. We used clear gloss paint and while I painted my stupid flowers I was incredibly jealous of Ben’s and Gwen’s cool things. (I blame Isabelle)
Before you place anything in the mold you must treat the mold with “Mold Release” or the epoxy well not come out. Gwen had made all of the necessary purchases and you can see above what we used to treat our molds.
Here is the epoxy Gwen had purchased. It has almost no smell and it cures relatively quickly. It comes in two parts that you mix together. You must be very precise in your measurements and it is measured by volume not weight. Notice how carefully Gwen is pouring out the two liquids.
Gwen had an earlier attempt and it never went hard. She said that she just “guessed” when mixing the 50/50 ratio. I told her projects like this require precision in measurements and that it is very important to carefully follow the directions. (This was not very genuine since I would have done the same thing… I just wanted to sound like the wise father.) You can see that we marked clear plastic cups with black lines so that the amounts would be exact.
We poured the epoxy into the molds and then placed in our “decorative” items. umm…I am not sure that Ben’s dead bug is very decorative.
We also placed in a small copper wire so later we could connect chains. The epoxy takes several days to become hard. We impatiently waited and I admit that I was ready to cheat and take it out early but Gwen took to heart my “follow instructions” and wouldn’t let me.
I pulled it from the mold and the side that was touching the mold was “milky”…. hmm this isn’t at all what we wanted.
We used some very fine sanding paper and even Isabelle’s nail buffer to try to smooth out the surface. (Don’t tell Isabelle) This was great for smoothing things out but it didn’t make the epoxy clear.
After googling… (sounds so weird)…
We learned that all we had to do was to brush on a thin layer and it would smooth out and become transparent. We mixed up another small batch and brushed it on. This process worked very well to our surprise!
Here are the finished items! (Wished I could say mine was the best)
Even with the clear paint my purple flower petals turned white. Nothing went my way on this project… first letting them talk me out of the tooth and then loosing the purple color.
Worst of all…
I am extremely jealous of Gwen’s bug wings. In any case look how nice these turned out with just a little added top coat.
Ben’s is a little bit “bubbly”. We played with the beetle too much when it went into the epoxy. Ben told me that he is giving this to Hanna, his oldest sister for her birthday. I smiled and said I bet she will love it…(wonder if she will ever wear it)
Here is Gwen’s necklace. I honestly love hers and find the wings really intriguing. I hate it when my kids show me up in these kinds of things… and when I can’t even lie about whose is better.
I gave Isabelle her heart and well being French she didn’t know that she was suppose to at least pretend to like it. (She told me that she didn’t like the shape or the flowers… wonder if she would have liked the tooth?) Gwen told me that I should do another one for mom but with her mold…
Ya Gwen…rub it in.