Saturday, August 28, 2021

Botanical Resin Ornament Tutorial

Hey there, are you guys ready for a new crafting tutorial?  Of course you are!
So I'm not sure about you, but I've been noticing a lot of resin and dried flower related crafts on social media lately.  If you're interested in delving into this fun medium, go for it!  There are lots of great how-to videos out there and I encourage you to find and watch as many as you can before getting started as they will not only supply you with ideas, but they'll also help you learn to be successful at getting the best results.
In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create tiny botanical resin ornaments using flowers, seeds and seed pods that can be collected from your own garden or nature park.  I think these would make lovely gifts for the upcoming holidays and they're fun and fairly easy to make.

Many of the supplies I used for this project were purchased from  They specialize in flower presses but also carry resin, bezels, silicon molds and other items such as UV lights, tweezers, etc.
If you do decide to order through them, you can get 10% off your entire order by entering the code GINGERMELON at the checkout where it asks for a 'Gift card or discount code'.
Here's a list of things you'll need:
UV LED resin (hard)
UV Light
Small ceramic tile or piece of thick cardboard
Wide packing tape
Open back bezels
BBQ lighter
Pair of tweezers
Toothpicks (flat and pointed)
Cotton buds (q-tips)
Rubbing Alcohol
Beads, beading cording or embroidery thread
  A collection of small flowers (single layer of petals works best), seedpods, seeds, leaves, etc.
Prepare these for drying in advance by carefully placing individual flowers, leaves, etc. between two sheets of parchment paper or paper towel. Place the sheets between the pages of a heavy book (put more heavy books on top of this) and let them dry out for a few days.
Please read through the instructions and watch the videos before beginning

How to:
Once your flowers are dry and you're ready to begin, create a ‘mockup’ of the design for each pendant by arranging the botanical elements inside of the frames.  Once you’re happy, take a photo to use as a reference for later. 

Place a piece of tape (sticky side facing up) onto the tile/cardboard, taping edges down to prevent it from sliding around (photo A.)  
Remove residue on inner and outer edges of bezels using a cotton bud soaked in rubbing alcohol (photo B.)
Position bezels onto the sticky surface of the tape ensuring that the inner edges of the frames are set within the sticky area of the tape (photo C.)
Squeeze a bit of resin into the centre of each bezel.  Use a flat toothpick to spread the resin out evenly towards the edges (like icing a cake), it should be touching all sides of the inner frame.

Carefully lift out the larger bubbles with the tip of a toothpick.  Any bubbles that are not removed will be noticeable once the resin has set so take your time and get as many as you can out. 
With the BBQ lighter, carefully (and quickly) touch the tip of the flame onto the surface of the resin to pop any remaining tiny bubbles.
Refer to the photo you took earlier of your 'mock-up' design and transfer the flowers onto the surface of the resin with a pair of tweezers.  Use a toothpick to help position each piece in place or to reposition them if they slide around.
Once you're happy with the design, place the UV light over top and switch on.  It'll take about 1 - 2 minutes for the resin to harden.
Pour another layer of resin on top of the hardened layer then use a flat toothpick to spread it across the surface and out towards the inner edges of the bezel frame. 
Lift out any larger bubbles with the toothpick before using the lighter to burn off the smaller ones. 
Cure under the UV light for a couple of minutes.
Carefully lift each bezel up and off of the tape.  Flip them over so that the back of the pendant is facing up and place the hardened front side of the resin down onto a non-sticky area of the tile/cardboard (photo A.)

The resin at the back of the pendant will still be slightly mushy so another layer of resin will need to be applied to seal it. (photo B.)
Repeat the steps of smoothing the resin out towards the edges with a flat toothpick, removing any bubbles with a toothpick and the flame (photo C.) and then curing it under the UV light for a few minutes until set (photo D.)
The pendants should be fully hardened and ready for the hanging loops.
To complete, cut bead cord/embroidery floss to about 11 inches in length. 
Thread it through the loop of the pendant so that each end is even.
Insert both ends of cord/floss into a bead (add as many as you'd like) and slide it down to the to of the pendant loop.  Make a knot right above the bead/s.  Tie another knot close the ends of the cord/floss to create a hanging loop.

 I just wanted to share some common mistakes I made while attempting this endeavour.  
The main one was (and still is) air bubbles.  They can get lodged under flowers, hide in corners and you may have a hard time noticing them at first.  Take your time looking at the pendant from all angles to find them and carefully lift them up and out with a flat toothpick.  I found it helpful to wipe the toothpick onto a piece of paper towel before dipping it back in to lift out more bubbles.

Pouring too much resin into the bezel - it can leak out and create a hard shell around the edges of the frame after it has cured.  This can be remedied by filing the area down with some fine sandpaper.
Not pouring enough resin into the bezel - if the resin is not completely touching the edges, the edges will look uneven and bumpy. 

Flowers sliding out of position.  Check surface of resin again before placing under the UV light to make sure everything is where is should be before turning on the light.
Overlapping.  Same as above.
If you decide to add colour to the resin, try experimenting with different types of paint.  Resin paints are available, but I found that ordinary acrylic and water colour paints created some interesting effects. 
Here are some of my bloopers:
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!