Here is a guest post from Resin Obsession! They have all the materials you need for your resin projects. The links throughout the tutorial are not affilate links, and I have not been paid to share this project with you.
We’ve all seen Pandora beads. Trendy and stylish, these unique beads can be customized on bracelets or necklaces for endless combinations. They are beautiful and fun to collect. But did you know you can create your own? There’s something very satisfying about creating your own beautiful jewelry, and even more so when you get compliments on it! Here, we will give you all the details you need to know about making your own Pandora-style beads with resin. This project is also appropriate for beginners. New to making beads? Head over to our tutorials to learn more about how to make your own beads and other must-knows for beginners!
Tools you will need for this project:
- Mixing cups
- Rubber gloves
- Stirring sticks or toothpicks
- Bead mold
- Clear resin epoxy and hardener
- Dye, glitter, or metallic powder
- Bead grommets
The majority of these supplies can be purchased online from arts and crafts suppliers and retailers or found at your local craft store.
Let’s get started!
Prepare Your Work Station
First, lay down some wax paper or plastic that will protect your work surface and allow for easy cleanup should a spill occur. The last thing you need is to be cleaning up a catastrophic resin spill on your dining room table!
Gather all of your supplies and place along the edges of your table within reach for easy access. Rubber gloves are important for protecting your hands from resin. You may also prefer to have a trashcan within close range for disposal when finished.
Mix the Resin
A superclear resin kit is an excellent choice for making beads. Though curing times vary amongst kits, most kits take 8 hours to cure though you can always wait the full 24 hours in non-peak curing conditions. When choosing a crystal clear resin, you may also decide to add colorants for a little extra color and flair!
You will need to measure and mix your hardener with your resin according to the kit directions. Be sure to scrape the sides of your cup as you are mixing, and carefully mix the two parts together to avoid bubbles.
Once you have finished mixing, pour the resin into the mold, and set aside, allowing the resin sit.
Making the Resin Beads
Depending on the type of resin you have mixed, there are several different ways you can go about achieving the desired color and shape of your Pandora-style beads:
- Clear Resin: Simply pour the clear resin into your bead mold. It can help to use a toothpick to guide the resin into the mold. Fill the mold completely for the best results.
- Color with Neon Pigment: Bright neon beads are great for kids who love the brilliant effect of neon colors (or for those of us that are kids at heart!) Mix your neon pigment into the resin until it is well combined. Pour into the mold, following the same instructions outlined above in the “Clear Resin” section.
- Metallic Powder: Mix your metallic powder into the resin and pour into the mold, following the same instructions outlined above in the “Clear Resin” section.
- Chunky Glitter: Make your resin sparkle by mixing in glitter! In this method, mix your glitter into the resin, making sure the flecks are thoroughly mixed and suspended before pouring into the mold as outlined above.
- Color with Transparent Pigment: Semi-transparent beads allow some light to pass through and look great when outside. Mix in the pigment and pour into the mold as outlined above.
- Colored Alcohol Inks: In this method, first pour the clear resin into the mold as outlined above. Then add one or more alcohol inks in layers or spots to achieve your desired effect.
Resin Bead TipsOnce you’ve poured your resin into the mold, don’t forget to top it off completely! You can do this by placing your toothpick into the mold and dripping the resin mixture down the side of the toothpick. Once filled completely, just sit back, and let the beads cure. Once cured, gently twist and pull the beads free from the mold.
If you end up with leftover resin, DO NOT dispose of it down your sinks or drains. The easiest option is to let it fully harden, and then dispose of it in the trash.
Attach GrommetsOnce your beads have fully hardened and have been removed from the molds, you may notice that you have a little bit of a mess and overpoured on some beads. This can easily be corrected by sanding the beads down with fine-grit sandpaper and a little water.
Once you have reached your desired smoothness, use a strong, clear adhesive to attach your chosen grommets to both sides of the beads. Try your best to use the right amount of adhesive so that is doesn’t overflow onto the bead surface. But don’t worry if this happens. A small amount of sanding with fine-grit sandpaper can help diminish the appearance of excess glue.
Get CreativeOnce dried, you can use your Pandora-style beads to make bracelets, earrings, or wear as a pendant on a necklace. The combination possibilities are endless! You can even make beads that glow in the dark for the next nighttime party you attend! Add metal flakes of mock gold, silver, copper, and bronze for shine. Dry brightly colored flower petals and incorporate them into your beads for a colorful springtime look!
Pandora-style beads make great gifts for any occasion, and making your own beads is a great project for beginners, so get your buddies involved and make it a fun group project!