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I decided that the Cars 3 Event would be a perfect chance for me to practice my resin skills. I gave resin a try for the first time when I was making gifts for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and although I was fairly happy with the results, I knew there was room for improvement. This time I tried a few new techniques on my Cars 3-inspired charms and I’m almost happy with the results! I swear by the next time, I’ll have resin mastered!
To make your own Cars 3-inspired charms you’ll need:
- Cabochon Mold
- Transparent Printer Film
- White Acrylic Ink
- Stir Sticks
- Glue On Bails
- Jewelry Glue
- Silicone Measuring Spoons (Optional)
- Clear Plastic Cups (Optional)
- Heat Tool (Optional)
Resin can be a tricky beast, and I’m trying my best to get fully accustomed to its finicky nature. In general, follow the directions on whatever resin you buy. I discovered a few tricks on this round of dealing with resin, though. Stirring slowly helped. Using a silicone measuring spoon to make sure I got the exact ratio helped. Taking my time and using my heat gun to pop bubbles helped. Using a spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol to clean up wet resin helped. Just remember, you can’t rush resin.
Using transparency film allowed me to avoid all of those water damage issues I had with my Awesome Mix charms. Print off your Cars 3 template on the film, making sure you print on the correct side, and then allow it to fully dry before you make your charms. I let mine sit for a full 24 hours before I placed it in resin. The edges of the transparency will disappear once it’s embedded in the resin, so you don’t have to be too careful when you cut out your cars.
Each charm requires a three part process. The first step is mixing up a batch of resin and filling up each cabochon well about two-thirds of the way. Mixing one tablespoon of resin with one tablespoon of hardener is the perfect amount for this. After giving that resin a day to harden, add a small amount of resin to each well. Place one of the cars, print side down, in each well and use your stir stick to push out any bubbles. Add a little more resin if needed to fully cover the top of the car. (A half tablespoon of resin and a half tablespoon of hardener is a good amount for this.) You might need to babysit this a bit to continue pushing out any bubbles and to make sure your cars don’t drift around in the wells. Allow the resin to fully harden.
If you have any charms that are stubborn about releasing from your mold, try sticking them in the freezer for a minute or so. Don’t leave them in there for long or they’ll crack when you try to remove them.
If you have any rough edges, use sandpaper to smooth them out before moving on to the next step.
Finishing off each cabochon with a white backing allows you to fully see the car inside. Mix a few drops white acrylic ink to a small batch of mixed resin. Slowly add the white resin, a small amount at a time, to the back of each cabochon. Use a stir stick to help you reach the edges. I did this on the back of a Perler bead tray, based on tutorials about doming I’ve seen online. Not sure if that is 100% necessary, but it did catch the resin that poured off the charm I messed up! The acrylic ink causes the resin to get sticky and hard to manage very quickly, so work in very small batches. I recommend no more than a teaspoon of resin and hardener at a time.
Once the white resin background has fully hardened, you’re ready to add bails. Use your favorite jewelry glue and add them to the back of each charm. You can brush or spray on a glossy top coat if you think it’s needed. Consider that an optional step.
Once the glue has dried, your charms are ready to wear!
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