Painless, and hopefully profitable for the cosplay crowd out there. I have to cast a large quantity of half-dollar sized dome jewels for Nia, and the experience has been kinda fun, so I thought I'd share it with you all. ^^
Thanks to HCC Cosplay for inspiring/instructing me to make them, though I found my own method, which is what this tutorial illustrates.
Aaaand thanks to ~spiked-stock, who pointed me in the direction of that site AND is keeping me sane while I make my Nia costume. x3 And is the best sewing teacher ever--I crashed her room for five hours the other night to make my skirt.
Hope this is helpful! Post if you have any questions!
What wonderful tutorial I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about the resin. Does it have to be that specific set with the hardener or can I buy other kinds of resin? Art based things are hard to come by around my place XD
The process of casting "real" polyester resin is more difficult, must be completed outdoors, and involves different proportions of the resin + hardener than I mention in this tutorial! This was mostly meant to be the easiest-possible process to getting resin gems, and involves this resin "epoxy" (doesn't dry as rock-hard, potentially less pure, etc) instead of the real stuff. That's why I mention that specific brand as opposed to this being a generic tutorial on how to cast resin! (I hope that makes sense)
Hmm, this may work if you let each individual layer completely cure before pouring the next one? However, you're bounded by 'gravity', if that makes sense--you would pour a partial color into the gem mold, and it would fill the bottom. Then the next layer would fill it and they would go from the 'front' to the 'back' of the jewel. This might look neat for spherical gems, though you might get a 'muddy' color looking through the first color because it would have every color behind it (and form kind of a multi-color brown). But, it would allow you to have 'rings' of color coming out from the center! Layering the colors wouldn't work with any other shape, methinks.
I would imagine you can do that! Keep in mind that the resin produces an exothermic reaction, so the resin may stick to the silicone mold--just make sure you use lots of mold release or some other form of barrier, or in the worst case scenario destroy the mold to peel it off at the end. I would run a test first!
You can cut them once they get to the 'gummy' consistency (after about 7 or 8 hours!), I've done that~ You can't cut them while they're still liquid-based OR when they've totally cured, so just keep poking the back of them after they've solidified a bit!
Yep! I throw in some appropriately-colored acrylic paint to color the gems all the time. Don't use TOO much or it'll turn them opaque, or you can also pour the gems clear and paint the backs of them to give them the color you want.
As for other places to find molds, I would try Amazon!
My only tip would be to definitely back the jewels in something! i.e. aluminum foil, or just a piece of paper, first--because the jewels are clear, the pattern of your glue shows through. So I would VERY much recommend you spray foil or paper with spray adhesive, which coats it evenly, before sticking it to the back of your jewels. When I did Nia, I just hot glued in a squiggly/spiral pattern directly on the back of the jewel and stuck it to my belt, but then you could see the drawn 'glue' lines through the jewel, so putting a layer of paper or foil between them is optimal. I hope that helps!
Thank you!! I used a deep circular bowl mold, like in the pic here: www.whatishcc.com/tutorials/im… which I believe I ordered from TAP Plastics at the time but I'm not sure it exists anymore? I would google 'dome mold' or something similar! Good luck
You should be able to do that if you use a mold that can be destroyed/torn away (like a cheap soap mold--I did diamond-shaped jewels for Franziska von Karma in a similar manner), or by using a knife or very sharp scissors while the resin is still 'gummy'