Resin art might not be the first thing you think of when you’re looking for new crafts to try, but once you see what you can create with it, you won’t want to overlook it. Resin is a chemical compound that, when dry, hardens into a shiny, tough, and smooth plastic. By itself, it’s totally clear, but when mixed with paints or poured over other objects, it can create a stunning variety of art and crafts. 

Intrigued? Read on to learn more about this exciting art form and to see some beautiful examples of resin art.

What Is Resin?

Resin is a solid or thick, sticky substance that can be both natural (i.e., plant-based) or synthetic (person-made from a mixture of chemicals). Plants secrete resin if they’re injured: If you’ve ever seen a tree oozing a thick yellow-orange substance, then you’ve seen natural resin. 

When it comes to crafting, resin usually refers to synthetic resin, which can be either epoxy resin or casting resin. Synthetic resin is a chemical compound made of two parts: part A, the resin, and part B, a hardener. Both parts are liquids, and they solidify when mixed together—a hardening process that takes between 24 and 72 hours. Once dry, resin is non-toxic, hard, shiny, and waterproof, but when you’re working with it, it’s potentially hazardous, so you need to use some safety gear.

What Is Epoxy?

Epoxy resin, sometimes just called epoxy for short, is a synthetic resin made from a combination of liquid resin and a hardener. It’s usually used as a coating to give a tough, high-shine finish.

The Difference Between Casting Resin and Epoxy Resin

Another type of resin to know about is casting resin—a type of epoxy resin made from a slightly different combination of chemicals than others. While epoxy resin is usually used as a coating (think of a thick varnish), casting resin is often poured into molds to make items like coasters, trays, and jewelry. Casting resin takes longer to set than epoxy resin, but it’s more suitable for making these chunky items. 

Take a look at the pictures below to see the difference between projects that use casting resin and those that use epoxy resin.

Casting Resin

flower resin coasters
Coasters made from casting resin in silicone molds.

Epoxy Resin

purple epoxy resin geode
An epoxy resin geode.

What Is Resin Art?

Resin art is a form of arts and crafts that uses resin (epoxy or casting) as one of its main supplies. Resin can be mixed with paint or inks to create colorful patterns and designs, poured on top of paintings to create a thick and glossy protective coat, or poured into molds with items like dried flowers or shells. Resin art includes both abstract paintings and usable items, like jewelry or homewares.

Epoxy Resin Art

resin circle over desk
Epoxy resin combined with paint to create abstract art.

Epoxy art uses the resin somewhat like a thick, durable varnish. The epoxy could be mixed in with paint or alcohol ink or simply poured on top of a painting after it’s finished to create a shiny protective layer. 

Casting Resin Art

green abstract coaster
Coasters made with casting resin.

Casting resin uses a mold to contain the resin before it sets hard. 

How to Make Resin Art

silcone mold
Pouring resin into a mold.

Resin art requires some special supplies that you may not already have in your crafting cupboard, as well as safety gear as it’s a toxic chemical when liquid (though it’s non-toxic when set). Resin art isn’t difficult to make, but you do need some patience as each step should be followed with care.

You’ll use slightly different processes for different types of resin art, although the basic supplies and steps are similar. The following Skillshare classes walk you step-by-step through making different types of resin art:

Whichever types of resin art you want to try making, the materials you’ll need are:

  • Resin part A and part B
  • Safety gear: latex gloves, drop cloths, and apron (respirator and safety glasses are highly recommended)
  • Spatula and plastic mixing spoons
  • Measuring jug or cup (small ones are preferable for jewelry making)
  • Molds if you’re making casting resin art
  • Decorative items, like flowers, glitter, or shells (optional)

Resin Art Kits

You can purchase the above supplies individually, or you can buy resin art kits that include everything you need to make things like resin jewelry, resin geodes, or resin paintings. Check out Etsy, Amazon, or other crafting shops online or in person to find a project to get started on. Kits are ideal for beginners to epoxy art and casting resin art, but once you’re more experienced and stocked with the main supplies, you’ll likely want to expand beyond the restrictions of a kit.

What Kind of Resin Art Can You Make?

Getting your head around scientific words like epoxy and compound can distract from the fact that you can use resin to make beautiful, creative, and very individual works of art. Check out the following examples to see what’s possible with this medium. 

Resin Paintings

resin painting
A gorgeous resin painting by Skillshare student Judy Huck.
painting in resin
A painting on canvas, sealed with resin.

Dried Flowers in Resin

flowers in resin
Preserve pressed flowers in a coaster made from resin.
flower in resin
Preserve whole dried flowers inside the resin.
flower in resin
Cast resin into different shapes to preserve flowers.

Resin Coasters

purple resin coaster
Resin coasters created by Skillshare student Leah Prusiner.
coaster with rainbow in it
A whimsical coaster by The Musings of a Blerd.

Resin Magnets

magnets
Resin magnets can take many designs.
resin magnet
Source: instagram
Make personalized resin magnets like this one from @mominator.crafts as gifts.

Art That Resin-ates

gray swirly resin
Making resin art is an incredibly creative outlet.

Whether your style is abstract, quirky, or something in between, you can have a lot of fun with resin art. Think outside the box and create in any way you want! Just remember to follow those safety instructions on the packet and to wear your PPE to stay safe while experimenting. Have fun! 

Get Started With Resin Art Today

Beginners Guide to Resin: Intricate Pieces with Simple Techniques

Written By

Elen Turner

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