Beautiful Things You Can Put In Resin (And What to Avoid)
A little creativity goes a long way in epoxy resin art, and resin embedding has exploded in popularity with hobbyists, collectors and professional artists alike all across the world. You can find it in many applications, from home décor to jewellery and even incredible artwork. Just the thought of encasing a highly visual item into your epoxy art can open a door to limitless possibilities.
And yet, there are always the do's and don'ts we must all observe with the practice.
What can you embed in resin, and what should you avoid? What are the proper techniques you can practice to earn the finish of a pro? In this article, Just Resin explores all of these questions and more.
What Can I Put in Epoxy Resin?
Natural elements, like flowers and leaves
Sunflower petals, daisies, even a special stone are all prime examples of what you can embed in epoxy resin, with striking flowers and leaves among those most popular in resin embedding. All it takes is a careful and proper application technique to achieve that dreamy look.
First, you must dry any organic materials before starting the resin artwork as the moisture can impact the curing process. You can press the materials in between the pages of a book for a 2-dimensional style, use a silica gel to preserve the material and create a 3-dimensional look, or simply air dry for an ‘aged’ aesthetic.
Once dried, use a clear sealant or varnish to coat the items and keep them from reacting poorly during the curing process.
Charming pieces of wood
When casting wood in resin, sand the pieces first until they are smooth and without any splinters. Then, use acetone or degreaser to clean the timber.
Refrain from using metal-polishing creams as they can stain and leave white deposits on the wood. And remember to take proper safety precautions as you complete the above tasks, especially as you work with chemical cleaning supplies.
Like other things found in nature, insects need adequate preservation before you can embed them into the resin. Given their delicate nature, you may find it difficult working with insects, so be sure to adopt a gentle and careful approach as you begin working on the project. Failure to preserve the insects will only result in their decay inside the resin closure.
Precious keepsakes and figurines
Another much-loved idea in resin embedding is covering small items like souvenirs, figurines and toys. The tricky part here is the risk that, should the process prove unsuccessful, you might not get your prized possessions back in the same perfect condition, or even at all. While resin art is an excellent way to preserve these precious items and even transform them into works of art, the piece will also be permanent, so it might be best not to embed things you can't bear to part with.
Select Food Items
It's possible to embed specific food items in resin. Be sure to work with food options without expiration dates, such as confectionery items, dried fruit, and even some baking ingredients. Also, avoid using food items with holes and gaps as the potential trapped air might affect the curing process. If you really must use them, seal the food first to maintain their colour inside your resin artwork.
Paper can prove beautiful in resin embedding but might be challenging. Remember that the resin's initial liquid state might cause unsealed sheets to become damaged by water.
To help, apply PVA glue to plug the paper objects and prevent them from getting ruined (and ensure you have copies of all photographs or artworks).
Glitter is a popular choice for both those who are new to resin, and professionals in the field. Thanks to its versatile nature, artists can introduce glitter in layers, or mixed before the resin is poured, with you completely in control of the amount you would like to include in the resin art piece.
If you have a selection of smaller objects in mind, such as confetti, sand, and beads, you might find they prove immensely effective in items like resin coasters, jewellery, and picture frames. They can make a lasting impression while still being available at an incredibly low price. Just make sure to work slowly when it comes to items of this size, such as operating in layers to prevent air bubbles from becoming trapped in the pile, as well as keeping the tiny pieces from floating up or moving in the middle of your design.
Things You Shouldn't Embed in Resin
Now that we have explored all of the wonderful things you can add to your next resin art project, it is also important to review some of the materials you should avoid introducing to the process:
Unfortunately, any water-based liquid, or items containing an element of moisture, may adversely trigger a chemical reaction, increasing the solidification process and turning white. Inks however can be applied to resin with no issue despite their liquid state.
Fresh food or plants.
As mentioned before, these items contain moisture that can ruin the curing process. Fresh plants and food hold moisture, and any excess liquid could ruin the curing process.
Additionally, fresh food and plants might rot inside the piece and ruin a once beautiful design.
Items that you don't want to risk losing
Resin is permanent; you can't remove items once encased. It is important to recognise that even seasoned professionals make mistakes, so if you are still finding your feet with the foundations of resin art, it is always best to start with items you don’t mind losing. Otherwise, you could find something precious, completely unsalvageable.
Now that you have learned more about what you can experiment with in resin embedding, you are now set to experiment and create more eternal pieces. But what really matters most is that you enjoy the process while being safe.
Just Resin helps resin artists with their craft by providing helpful resources and quality supplies for your every need. Browse our selection available online today, or contact our friendly team with any questions you may have about the process.