DIY Your Preservation
Are you interested in learning how to DIY your own resin preservation? I am available for consultation, lessons, and questions. It can be a time consuming process to learn if you're trying to do it on your own! I can offer support, insider tips and tricks that have taken me years to learn. Contact me for more info.
Below are affiliate links (I may make some money if you purchase by clicking through any of these) to tools of the trade and my recommendations for someone interested in the resin process.
STEP 1: Flower drying tools
silica gel - color indicating types are my favorite. The indicator beads will tell you when it's time to recharge them (dry them out in the oven). This way you can use them again and again.
a respirator or mask (don't breathe in that silica! It can harm your lungs)
a tool to cut your flowers off the stems (sharp scissors don't really work well- use trimmers)
an air-tight container or 2 to hold the flowers and silica.
STEP 2: Choosing the right resin
These 3 above are my favorites and seem to do well with having low VOCs and high clarity. There's different kinds and brands for different uses. You'll need to know what mold you're pouring into and what depth you plan to pour prior to choosing the right resin.
STEP 3: Mixing the resin
It's a good idea to throw that respirator back on and mix in a well ventilated area. Most resins I use are 2:1- which means two parts to one part. Accurate measuring and the right temperature and humidity are key here to achieving a good mix. If you're messy like me, isopropyl alcohol will be your best friend. I've also found that most alcohol based hand sanitizers do a pretty good job of quick clean up too. Disposable measuring cups and stirrers make for easy clean-up. Protect your skin and work environment with gloves and plastic table cloths.
STEP 4: Degassing the resin
All resins will have some air incorporated during the mixing process. Using a vaccuum chamber will help to degas the resin before you pour it. Heat guns and blowtorches help to pop bubbles after its poured. Be careful not to singe any of your flowers though! Some mold will recommend that you did not use a blowtorch. A Heat gun is a great all-purpose alternative. Use toothpicks to aid in popping any remaining bubbles, or the bubble that float up to the surface during the cure time
STEP 5: Pouring the resin
Choose a mold to pour your resin into- silicone molds with shiny tops and sides work great with an easy de-molding process. HDPE molds are studier and hold up well over time.
Pour your resin no greater than the pouring depth indicated in the instructions. You may have to pour in multiple layers for full coverage. Use toothpicks to aid in popping any remaining bubbles, or the bubble that float up to the surface during the cure time.
STEP 6: Finishing
A deburring tool will help you to pull all the sharp edges away after you de-mold your piece. Sanding carefully moving up grit sizes will leave you with a soft, smooth finish. Dremel tools can help dig out any unwanted elements. Finish by pouring a final top coat on any sides or top that need a little extra shine. Buff using a lint free towel and wax.