Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tutorial: How to Make a Resin Clay Ring

One of my favorite things about making beadwork rings is having total control over the entire design - there are no pre-made components apart from the beads themselves. But beadweaving isn’t the only method for making a totally one of a kind ring! Today my guest is Claire Humpherson of Beads Direct UK, who is sharing a fun tutorial for making a unique cocktail ring entirely from resin clay and bead accents. Claire says:

"When I first tried resin clay I have to admit I wasn’t quite sure about it. I really didn’t realize I was getting myself into a new jewellery making addiction until it was way too late, I was already hooked! Now I can’t stop making jewellery with resin clay.

Resin clay is a two-part epoxy clay that air dries to produce something as solid and hardwearing as polymer clay. My favourite part? That means you can set almost anything in the clay, because it doesn’t need to be able to withstand any heating or firing. And I just love setting crystals and all things Swarovski!"

Here’s how to use this fabulous clay to make a resin clay ring like the heart and butterfly pieces shown here. You will need:

Resin Clay Crystal Cocktail Rings

Clay and tools:

Black Resin Clay

Clay Roller

Clay Spacers

Clay Balm

Clay Cutter

Sanding Pads

Swarovski Elements:

Crystal Flat Back Mix

Amethyst Crystal Flat Backs

Crystal Volcano Flat Backs

To Create a Resin Clay Ring:

1. Take an equal amount from each pot of resin clay, a ball about the size of a grape from each should be about right. Mix these together until you get an even colour, this starts the reaction in the clay which will lead to it hardening. When you are happy that the colour is even, leave to sit for around 10-15 minutes.

Mixing Resin Clay

2. Whilst the clay sits, find the right size for your ring and roughly mark it on the ring mandrel. Resin clay does not shrink as it cures so you just need to find the size that will fit your finger.

3. Cover the mandrel in cling film (plastic wrap), wrapping around it tightly once or twice.

4. Go back to your clay. Add a little clay balm to your mat and roller. Place 2mm spacers either side of the clay and roll out until you get an even 2mm thickness of clay.

Rolling Out Resin Clay

5. Place a spacer on the clay and use it as a guide to cut a straight line down the length of the clay. Cut again parallel to the straight edge to create a band around 1cm wide.

Cutting Resin Clay

6. Pick up this band and wrap round the mandrel at the point you marked earlier. Bring any excess over so the ends overlap.

7. Cut through the overlapping clay at an angle. Remove any excess above and below, and you should be left with two ends that fit neatly together.

How to Cut a Ring Band from Resin Clay

8. Use a clay tool and a little water to gently press the ends together, joining the ring. Tidy up the edges with clay tools if necessary. Place the mandrel to one side, positioning it so the ring doesn’t touch anything. I placed the end in a small pot but you could also rest the mandrel diagonally on a block. Always keep the thick end of the mandrel at the bottom.

9. Roll the excess clay into a ball and roll out again to a 2mm thickness. Cut your chosen shape for the top of the ring from the clay using a clay cutter.

Cutting Shapes from Resin Clay

10. Use a sponge to brush a black pigment colour over both the clay shape and the ring base. This gives a shinier, more pearlescent look to the clay.

11. Use tweezers to push crystals into the shape you have cut for the top of your ring. Push down as far as you can without affecting the shape of your clay piece. The further you can push them in, the more likely they are to set into the clay without the need for glue or adhesive.

Embellishing Resin Clay with Flatback Crystals

12. Roll a small ball of clay about the size of a pea and squash on top of the ring base at the join you made earlier. Place your ring topper shape on top of this ball of clay and push down to make sure it adheres. Position as you wish, I shaped my butterfly so the wings point slightly upwards.

13. Leave the whole ring to cure for 24 hours until hard.

Curing Resin Clay Rings on the Mandrel

14. Once cured, gently brush off any loose pigment powder. Sand any rough edges using a sponge sanding pad, and then your ring is ready to wear!

Heart Shaped Resin Clay Crystal Ring Butterfly Resin Clay Crystal Ring

All supplies used in this project are available online at beadsdirect.co.uk. You can also find more fun jewelry making projects on the website, and tutorial videos on YouTube at Beads Direct TV.

Many thanks to Claire for providing this fun ring tutorial! Inspirational Beading has not received products or compensation for sharing this post.

Copyright 2012 Inspirational Beading and Claire Humpherson
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  1. Awesome, thank you for the tutorial! It's probably not as easy as it looks, but so many possibilities with this technique! I'm going to do some research pronto!

  2. Excellent tutorial! This should inspire us to try out resin clay. Will feature and link back in a future post so others can come visit!

  3. Thanks ladies, I'm glad to hear that you liked the project :) Claire

  4. The Cutest! I am definitely going to do this one with my nieces at Christmas. Thanks for the great tutorial,


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