Curly Quills

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Little Windows Resin How-to and Review – Part 1

on August 26, 2012

Here’s another how-to manual for all of you – this time, it’s for Little Windows Resin.

I just have to start by saying how much I LOVE this stuff! I have always wanted to try putting some of my quilled items in resin, but a combination of living in Michigan and not having an indoor (warm) space to do normal (toxic fumy kind) of resin, I was on the lookout for something that just *might* work.

After some googling, I found Little Windows! It claimed to be low odor and non toxic, and I looked at some other blog reviews, so I thought “hey, I’ll try it out just to see what happens!”

These websites could not have been more true! It really is low odor, I would call it no odor, because it really doesn’t smell AT ALL! After using it the first time, I got on the website to send a comment of how much I loved it. I totally didn’t expect to get a response from Fran, the actual creator of the product! She absolutely loved my use of the resin, she asked me to take some photos and send them to her to include on her newsletter! I was flattered! Honestly, I really can’t say enough about this product, so here goes the tutorial!

Little Windows Resin How-to

I started first by covering my workspace with wax paper. I usually would do this in my studio, but since there’s no air conditioning there, and it’s 90* outside, the dining room table it is! Here are all of the supplies:

LW WM 1

Shown here is the 12 ounce resin set, which comes with a large bottle of Resin, a medium bottle of Hardener, 3 large mixing cups (blue), a dozen small mixing cups (clear), and 6 mixing wands. I have also purchased the small mold set, as shown above. This set contains 4 molds, circle (8 charms), oval (6 charms), square (8 charms) and rectangle (6 charms). I would say these molds are approximately 1/4″ deep. They come in a box with a clear lid that you can use when casting your molds to keep them from getting dust on them. Other items you will need is a pair of tweezers (optional), a hand drill (or a way to pierce a hole through the charm), embellishments, some paper towels or napkins, and a timer (I used my phone).

LW WM 2

First, figure out how much resin you will need. Resin is mixed in a 2:1 ratio of Resin to hardener. One batch of 10ml resin and 5ml will fill one of the molds. As I am planning to fill all 4 molds, I’m going to triple the recipe (30 ml resin and 15 ml hardener). It is a good idea to look at the markings on the side of the cup before you begin to pour, as the numbers tend to disappear once you start pouring. *Update: I ended up having to make a small batch for the 4th mold, so if doing all 4 molds, quadruple your recipe to 40ml resin and 20 ml hardener – this will fill up to the top of the blue mixing cup.

LW WM 3

Cup filled with resin

Fill the cup up to the proper line with the resin first. The resin is thick, and slightly cloudy when you pour. When you are finished pouring, wipe the excess liquid off of the resin container with paper towel and put the lid back on.

LW WM 4

IMPORTAINT STEP!

Add the hardener next, making sure to go to the proper measuring line. The hardener is much thinner than the resin, and is clear. When you add it to the resin, it will stay to the top; see in the picture that the bottom is frosted, and the top is clear. When you are finished pouring, wipe the excess liquid off the hardener bottle with the paper towel and put the lid back on. *NOTE: the hardener likes to be kept cool, or it can turn yellow. I am planning to keep mine in the fridge, so when your done using it, be sure to keep it in a cool, dark place.

LW WM 4-5

See how the liquid in the bottom is frosted (resin), but the liquid at the top is clear(hardner)?

Next, use one of the stirring wands to stir the resin and hardener together for 2 1/2 minutes. When speaking with Fran, she said that when making a larger batch, I may want to stir it for 3 minutes, just to make sure that it all got mixed together, so that’s what I did. You want to be sure that you stir very gently, as this process will inevitably create bubbles – the harder you stir, the more bubbles you will create. When you start stirring, the resin and hardener will being to swirl together; you want to make sure there are no more swirls when the timer is up, so be sure to gently scrape the sides and bottoms of the cup to make sure everything is mixed together well.

 LW WM 5

LW WM 6

Resin and hardner swirling together.

Once your timer goes off, wipe any access resin off your wand onto the side of the cup, and let the resin rest for 5 minutes. Since I made a larger batch, Fran suggested to let it rest for 6 minutes, so that’s what I did. As I was not in my studio, and my dog is roaming around, I decided to cover up my cup while it was resting just to help ensure that no dust got into the cup. You don’t have to cover it, but you can if you want to.

LW WM 7

Now that the resin is mixed, you can pour it into the mold. Start with one mold, and fill each cavity about halfway. Work with only one mold at a time (to make sure you have enough to complete that mold so you don’t have to make more while it’s setting). When you pick up the cup, try to squeeze the end you will be pouring from, to make more of a point to pour the resin into the mold – this is easier with the smaller cups, but it does help some.

LW WM 8

LW WM 9

Begin by sliding your embellishments into the mold from the side – this helps to keep too many bubbles from forming while your putting them in. These molds are developed so if you were inserting a picture here, you can slide it in right-side up. I wanted my charms to have the rounded edges of the bottom of the mold, so I put my embellishments in upside-down. More ways to add embellishments can be found on the Little windows Blog.

LW WM 10

When all of your embellishments are added, you can pour resin on top as much as you need. If you add too much to one cavity, try to add a little less to the next one (more on why will be in the next step). In the picture above, I added way too much to the one on the right, second from the front (it’s doming above the edge), so the row in the front has a little less resin in it.

LW WM 12

If you pour too much resin in one cavity, use the wand to scoop it up and put it in another cavity. You may have noticed in the previous photo that some of my roses were sticking up out of the resin. Since I am using the bottom, as the top (and my roses are in upside-down), this is technically the back, and sometimes they may be slightly taller than cavity, so it is OK by me if they stick out a little bit.

LW WM 13

Removing bubbles

When you are finished filling your mold, put it under the doming lid and move on to filling up the next using the same process. Now on to my light bulbs.

LW WM 14

Final pieces under doming tray.

Same process, but these ones always give me a substantial amount of bubbles before they sit – I have a feeling it’s because it is quilling and it does have “holes” in it when you put it in the resin. That’s OK, we’ll get them out! Once all of your molds are set, cover them with the lid (and box bottom if needed) and set the timer for 10 minutes. This allows any bubbles that may have formed to rise to the surface.

LW WM 16

When 10 minutes is up, start with the first mold you poured and look at it to see if there are any bubbles that need to be removed. Using your mixing wand, scoop the bubble out with the tip – sometimes the bubbles will pop, and sometimes you will pull them out. Wipe the access resin off your wand onto a paper towel and continue on, being sure to turn the mold around each direction to make sure you got out all the bubbles. The above picture isn’t from my first mold, but it had a better set of bubbles to photograph! If you end up moving stuff around and create more bubbles that are in the bottom, go ahead and cover it, and let it set for another 10 minutes to let them raise to the top again(again, something I love about this product is that you have a lot of time to work with it). Generally speaking, you have about 30 minutes to work with the product, so if you have to let it sit for bubbles more than once, that is fine, just don’t keep coming to it too much.

LW WM 17

Scoop out the bubbles!

Once you are satisfied with your embellishment placement, and all the bubbles are out, cover all of your molds and let them sit for 12 hours. Put a sign up like I did if you have to. Now go about your day, or go to bed if you set them at night.

LW WM 18

That’s it for now. Since I’m writing this while i’m still in the midst of my 12 hours, the Part 2 of this post will be how to remove the charms from the mold, drilling a hole in them, and sanding the edges. I hope you have liked this tutorial so far – be looking for the next steps in the next couple of days.

**Update**

Part two is now here: Little Windows Resin How-to and Review: Part 2

Happy Crafting!

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