There’s a problem that happens when you’ve been into crafting as long as I have. Anytime you hear about a new thing that you can craft or diy, you just have to try it! That’s how I ended up on Amazon at 11 pm ordering a whole bunch of things to play with resin. Today I’m going to be sharing how to make resin keychains for beginners today, using the easiest method and design!
I’ll be sharing a few more resin tutorials over the next couple months as I come up with new techniques and designs. Check out my cool safety pin bracelet craft, too!
How to Make Resin Keychains for Beginners
READ THIS FIRST – SAFETY STATEMENT!
Before we get into the supplies you need, I have to point out some SAFETY POINTS. Epoxy resin is not a kid friendly material. This is a project for older teens and for adults to make for younger kids. I use a zero VOC (volatile organic compound) resin, and I highly recommend using a resin that is low odor and zero VOC. Always wear gloves and eye protection when working with resin. When you’re making your keychains and when they’re curing, they need to be in a well ventilated space. A screened in porch or a garage with the door open is ideal. If you plan on working with resin regularly and can access one, I recommend a respirator for an extra layer of safety. I made my pieces in my office right next to an open window (photos need good lighting), and then transferred them to my garage to cure overnight.
Now that we have all the safety points covered, let’s move on to the fun stuff!
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- Two part casting epoxy resin. I like Art N Glow because it’s safer to use and easy to work with.
- Two small disposable cups and one medium disposable cup (or use silicone cups)
- Popsicle stick
- Paper towels
- Pin, lighter, or heat gun for bubble removal
- Trash bag or silicone mat to protect work surface
- Tape to clean mold
- Old nail file or fine sandpaper
- Silicone letter mold (sold with the following supplies in a bundle here!)
- Glitter, holo flakes, sprinkles, or other cute resin fillers
- Jewelry pliers
- Keychain rings
- Eye screws (or glue-on bails and E-6000 if you prefer)
- (Amazon sells sets of keychain rings plus eye screws here!)
Whew! I know that’s a lot of supplies, but you can make a whole bunch of keychains with these. P.S: these make amazing birthday or teacher gifts too!
Start by protecting your work space! I laid down a small trash bag, but you can use a silicone mat or even parchment paper. Get your supplies all laid out so they’re in easy reach. Use a piece of tape to clean the molds you want to use of any dust or if your house is like mine, floating cat hair. Now, read the directions on your resin!! Some resins have different instructions, so the instructions on your particular brand of resin are the ones to follow. The mixing directions I’m sharing now are for my particular brand, and most 50/50 epoxy casting resins. Pour your resin and hardener into the two small cups in equal amounts. Get down to eye level if your cups don’t have measurement marks to make sure they’re level.
Now pour both of these cups into the big cup, and mix slowly with your popsicle stick for 3-4 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom well as you mix, until all the white streaks are gone and the resin is completely clear. You will have bubbles! Let the resin cup sit for 5 minutes and most of the bubbles will disappear. Keep in mind most resins have a “working time” before they start to set up and you can’t really work with them anymore. This resin has a working time of 45 minutes, so pay attention to the work time for your brand. Now, you can either mix the glitters straight into the resin, or drop them into your mold. I chose to drop both holographic flakes and round sprinkles into the molds
You can add a lot or a little, it’s up to you! I went for a lighter amount since this was my first try. Then I poured in the resin!
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I used the popsicle stick to help get the resin in the mold, and filled them right up to the top. I ended up with way more resin than I needed, so I filled up a bunch of other molds. Always mix resin in small batches for little things like these. Now, let them molds sit for another 5 minutes to let any bubbles rise to the surface. If you don’t like using lighters or don’t have a heat gun, you can use a toothpick or straight pin to pop any bubbles in your resin.
I don’t have a heat gun, but I tend to use my bbq lighter for a lot of crafts. A quick wave over the surface of the resin works very well at popping the bubbles. I then very carefully moved my molds onto the lid of a cooler, covered them with a shoe box lid to keep off dust, and let them cure in my garage for 24 hours. Remember, resin needs warmth to cure, so this isn’t a middle of winter kind of project. A hot garage at the end of summer? Perfect!
So after 24 hours, you’ll need your mold, jewelry pliers, keychain rings, eye screws, and an old nail file or fine sandpaper.
To de mold your keychains, gently bend the edges of the mold away from the resin, and then pull the letter out. It should come out easily, and be hard and clear. The back of your piece will have some rough edges, so use your nail file to smooth those down. Remember safety and wear a mask or respirator so you don’t breathe in the resin dust!
The resin will look frosted where you file, so only file the rough bits that you need to. Now we’re going to attach the eye screw. Take your pliers and holding the eye screw firmly, screw your letter onto the eye screw. Be careful and go slowly so it doesn’t break.
Note: I had a problem with some of the cheap amazon eye screws breaking. If you don’t want to risk it, you can either pre-drill a hole if you have a teensy tiny drill bit OR use glue-on pendant bails and e-6000 glue. I think for future projects I’ll be using glue-on bails.
Use your pliers to open up the ring by bending it sideways.
Slip your key ring on, and close the ring with your pliers. You’re done! Now go ahead and add keychains to the rest of your letters!
Aren’t they cute? I made these for my two daughters, and now my sons want some as well! They requested blue and white, so it looks like I have some more keychains to make. I love how the holographic flakes in here catch the sun, and how you can see all the completely through the clear resin.
We added these onto some fluffy pom keychains they had on their purses already, and the girls love them so much! I hope you had fun learning how to make resin keychains with me today!