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What Can I Embed in Resin? (And What To Avoid)

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Resin embedding has become quite the trend with people using the technique to create everything from homemade jewelry to incredible artworks.

Many people have shown off their crafts on social media platforms to encourage and inspire others, and it has indeed been effective.

If you’re interested in epoxy resin embedding, you might start with a bunch of wild ideas, but are they possible? 

What can you embed in resin? Popular items to embed in resin include items from nature, such as dried flowers, leaves, insects, and wood; dried fruits and candies; small keepsakes and toys; pieces of paper, such as maps or photos; confetti; and beads. Glitter is another common addition. 

While there is certainly no lack of ideas for resin craft projects, you might have to think carefully about the items that you intend to preserve this way.

Each item is slightly different and might need other techniques to maintain its beauty forever. However, there are some things that you should avoid.

Embedding Items from Nature

Flowers and Leaves

There’s a certain elegance to flowers or leaves preserved in a clear, glossy resin pendant.

Items like this are some of the more popular things to make when creating resin crafts.

However, embedding plants in resin can be messy and wasteful if not done correctly.

Dry any organic materials before attempting to embed them in resin.

Moisture can mess with the curing process, and live plants may  after a while.

After drying, you should seal the items with a clear sealant to keep them from interacting negatively during the curing process.

Insects

The same goes for insects; you should adequately preserve any insects you intend to use before starting the embedding process.

Preserved insects are usually quite delicate, so you will need to be very gentle when working with them.

If these are not well preserved, they could continue to decay inside the resin encasing.

Wood

If you want to make resin objects with wood, the wooden pieces should be sanded to ensure smooth and splinter-free surfaces.

Afterward, you need to degrease the wood with acetone or cellulose thinners.

Do not polish wooden items before embedding! Be mindful of taking the proper safety measures when working with chemical cleaners.

What Kind of Foods Can You Embed?

When using food for a project, you should remember that food rots after a while.

The best option for embedding foods in resin would be things that don’t have an expiration date. This includes candy, sprinkles, or dried fruits.

Other foods can have holes and gaps that might trap air, and fresh fruit has a lot of moisture, making it difficult for the resin to cure properly.

Remember to seal these items to prevent them from losing color in your design.

If you want to seal candies with wrappers, make sure to coat them in a layer of sealant so the wrappers don’t attract bubbles or dissolve in the liquid resin.

Embedding Keepsakes and Figurines

Some people like to embed small items like figurines, toys, or even souvenirs.

It would be best to remember that you might never get those items back when things go wrong.

Putting things in resin is an excellent way to preserve something, but it’s also permanent.

Ensure that these aren’t items you’re afraid to lose or things that are one of a kind.

Use the Proper Technique

Keep in mind that resin causes a chemical reaction, and this causes the mixture to warm up. Make sure the resin you use is mixed correctly.

You don’t want to accidentally overheat your resin and cause it to melt the object you’re trying to preserve.

You should consider filling hollow items beforehand to prevent large air bubbles.

If you’re looking to embed something made of fabric, you’ll have to carefully prep the item.

Since the material is absorbent and porous, you might risk trapping bubbles in your work.

You can avoid any air bubbles by slowly layering the resin and prepping the materials beforehand. However, this depends on the type of item as well.

For instance, covering a plush toy in the resin may have an undesirable outcome. Thicker fabric means more air inside.

Items like a fluffy teddy might be a good idea in theory, but in practice, it can end up looking like it was dunked in water before it was encased.

Plastic toys may need to be coated in a sealant to prevent air bubbles from sticking to the surface. 

Working With Paper or Papercrafts

Paper can be a tricky thing to work with. Since resin starts as a liquid, paper objects may get water damaged if not sealed.

When working with paper items, you should cover them with PVA glue or Mod Podge (find it on Amazon) to keep them from being ruined.

If it’s a picture you intend to embed, make sure you have copies of it or use a copy of it for your project. 

Embedding Tiny Items (Confetti, Beads, Etc.)

Smaller items might be the go-to when making items like coasters, frames, or even jewelry.

You can embed smaller objects—such as sprinkles, confetti, beads, or even sand. It makes the simplest design look interesting.

Not to mention, small items like these are easy to find and relatively inexpensive.

When working with a pile of small items, such as sand, the best thing is to work slowly.

Piles of small items can trap air bubbles, so working in layers can help you avoid this.

Layering the resin also makes it easier to keep the small things from floating up or being disturbed in the middle of your design.

Tiny sprinkles can inject a quick pop of color into any design and make a flat design look a bit quirky.

Rainbow sprinkles have a color coating that could dissolve and stain clear resin when combined.

Unless you want this to happen, make sure to use a sealing spray to cover the sprinkles before putting them into your art.

If you want to keep them suspended or in place, be sure to put them down on the resin while it’s still tacky before pouring the rest of the resin.

The nice thing about bits like beads and confetti is that they’re the perfect size to adjust while inside the resin.

You can use a toothpick to adjust their position inside liquid resin, but use this technique sparingly!

Can You Add Glitter to Resin?

Glitter is one of the most common things to add to resin for both beginners and experts.

It’s versatile and can be added in layers or mixed with resin before pouring.

You can add as much or as little as you like, depending on what look you want your art to have.

What Shouldn’t You Embed in Resin?

Many things can be embedded in resin, but there are a few things you should not put in resin. The list is pretty short, and most things have already been mentioned above.

However, we should go over it again, just in case. There’s not a whole lot of things worse than messing up an art project or potentially wasting supplies.

  1. Liquids or items containing moistureResin must be mixed accurately according to the instructions for it to cure into a hard finish. If there is any moisture, it might alter with the chemical reaction, causing the resin to not solidify correctly. Stick to dry (and dried) items.
  2. Fresh food or plants Fresh plants and food contain moisture, and any moisture could ruin the curing process. Additionally, fresh food and plants can rot inside the resin and ruin a once beautiful design.
  3. Items that you don’t want to risk losing  Resin is permanent; you won’t be able to remove items once encased. If you’re new to the craft, it would be best not to try embedding anything important—if things go wrong, you probably won’t be able to salvage the items.

Related Question:

Can You Add Glitter to Resin?

Glitter is one of the most common things to add to resin for both beginners and experts.
It’s versatile and can be added in layers or mixed with resin before pouring.
You can add as much or as little as you like, depending on what look you want your art to have.

Go Forth, and Create

Whether you are new or looking for inspiration for a new project, I hope that you found this helpful. Remember to have fun with the process.

On a final note, remember to be safe. As with any art form, don’t forget to take the correct precautions when working with any chemicals.

Sources:

https://www.resinobsession.com/resin-resin-resin/five-things-you-should-never-set-in-resin/

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