52 Projects is an adventure in discovery. Every week, for 52 weeks, do something. Something you’ve never done before. Something you’ve always wanted to do. Something that scares you. Something that inspires you. Something that inspires others. Something that tickles your fancy. Something that caught your eye. Something that just popped into your head. It can be big. It can be small. It can be whatever you want it to be. Find out how doing something can lead you to discover things about yourself, your world, your God. Then, come here on Sundays and share it with others. I'll write about mine here, you write about yours on your blog, then use the tool in my post to link to your something. Please feel free to jump in and participate anytime throughout the year!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Week 15: working with two part epoxy resin

I've been wanting to work with two part epoxy resin for a few years now in hopes that it might be the answer for a particular and complicated jewelry project. But for this week, I decided to experiment with something simpler: a bottle cap. There is a local artist that decorates and embeds tiny objects in bottle caps, fills them with a two part epoxy resin and puts them on ball chains. They make the most whimsical necklaces!

So off I went this week to Michaels. I searched all the glues and found Easy Cast Clear Casting Epoxy which is a boxed "kit" containing one bottle of epoxy resin and one bottle of polyamine hardener. Truth be told, I'm still not 100% sure if this is the same two part epoxy that is used in these little art projects but I gave it a whirl and purchased it for $11.99 (ouch!!). I gathered all of the supplies: the easy cast, a few bottle caps, a drill for making holes in the bottle caps, a black choker cord (purchased for 1.99), a print out of an old family photo and some small findings.

My original idea was to cut out a picture of me as a little girl to fit inside the bottle cap. The directions on the epoxy stated that pictures had to be coated with 2 coats of craft glue before pouring the Easy Cast over it. Unfortunately, the craft glue lifted the ink off of my photo image so I had to scrap my original idea. I ended up going through my beads and filling the bottle cap with tiny seeded costume pearls. Breen was so helpful as usual. He drilled the holes in the bottle cap and mixed the two part epoxy resin. Mistake number one: we should have drilled the holes AFTER the epoxy solution set for at least 24 hours. As soon as Breen carefully poured it in to the bottle cap, it started leaking through the holes. We ended up grabbing some Saran wrap to put the cap on. Mistake number two: when I woke up this morning to check on the progress of the bottle cap pendant the Saran wrap was completely glued to the bottle cap. All in all, the jury is still out as to whether or not I'll give this two part epoxy resin more play. It is extremely messy and sticky, it's a little on the pricey side and the warning signs ALL OVER the bottles make me a little nervous about its unhealthy properties. Here is what I am hoping the pendant will look like after the epoxy fully sets:

But for now I have it attached to a big clip until it dries:

Here is something wonderful that happened though while we were working with the epoxy mix. I still wanted to go with the idea of making a pendant with my childhood picture in it. I remembered I had found an old mashed up Budweiser beer cap on one of my walks this week and I had the rest of the supplies in my jewelry supply storage. So Breen drilled a hole in the bottle cap and I decorated it with a gorgeous little crystal flower. I made a wire wrapped glass pendant and put it all together. On the back of my pendant, it reads: Honor the child. Be the woman. This is powerful for me and the old mashed up bottle cap reminds me of my love of rescuing old unwanted things and making them beautiful again.

So even though the two part epoxy resin may not have worked out the way I planned, there was something even better that resulted from the learning process!

What did you do this week?


  1. what a special piece....i prefer what you ended up with so much more...it's spectacular. it's funny how things sometimes work out better in the end. the bottle cap works so well for this too. you've made me wish i didn't throw out all my broken pieces over the years. I wonder if this sort of thing can be done with something other than epoxy, my girls love to make jewellry. i enjoy your creativity...i'm really struggling to do some 'special' things i've been wanting to do...but i am managing to get some little things together...especially with my kids, which is what i've aimed for initially.

  2. That looks wonderful Jane. I love the picture frame and how you came out with the idea. Is there something else besides this epoxy? I love to get dirty, but not with some chemicals :( But, they look so lovely.

  3. That is so pretty! I am constantly amazed by how you turn ordinary things into spectacular pieces :)

  4. The necklace you ended up creating is certainly lovely and meaningful. but man, I've always liked epoxy and wanted to make things with it and I really wanted to see what you were going to do. Then again, those warnings are off-putting to me too, esp. with a kid in the house now. I love the bars and tables people make with things embedded in them.

  5. I really enjoyed working together on this one. I love playing with chemicals and drilling the hole was all that I ever thought it could be.

  6. Wow! I love that sentiment..Honor the Child, be the Woman, so poigniant for me right now. I love the project!

  7. wow... what a fun project! i've had epoxy sitting around for awhile now (a little fear has kept it unopened)... makes me want to get busy! what a poignant piece!