skip to Main Content

Rustic Resin Pendants

My apologies; I have been really busy with an exciting new media; Resin! It’s so exciting to be able to show you how you can cast and form your own absolutely unique resin jewelry. Natural ‘live edge’ elements are very ‘hot’ and this has so many possibilities… but don’t blame me if you also become a ‘resin addict’! Check out how to make your own super-unique jewelry:


My starting point was again nature. I took some inspiration from Britta Boeckmann‘s jewelry but wanted to be even more rustic. I am always wearing pendants, the type that make a statement. Nature supplies so many textures and designs if you open your mind to the possibilities. Go! outside! and check out what nature has to offer. There are so many amazing pieces of wood and branches and bark and leaves and… It just boggles the mind.

The Resin:


I am using a readily available resin called Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast. It is sold by many hobby and craft supplies and quite reasonably priced. It is not a polyester resin so I don’t find that it has any toxic fumes however it is still suggested to use under well ventilated conditions and avoid skin contact. (once cured, it is food safe though)


The Imbeds:

I collected a variety of wood branches. I love the great textures that bark and birch have as well as the lichen that grows on it. Anything can work within reason, that it is not too rotted or soggy. You will however need to let any wood dry thoroughly or use a very low setting to dry in an oven. Resin doesn’t like moisture!

Also, prior to embedding I like to ‘stabilize’ the wood as much as possible if it is old or soft. Stabilizing means making the wood more solid, as replacing some of the ‘air’ with a solid product. The professionals use a pressure chamber and force ‘cactus juice‘ into the wood. I use a paintable product; ‘Wood Petrifier’ that does a similar job and easier for the DIY’er. Give the pieces a good coating or 2 and let thoroughly dry. It sinks right in. The pieces can be used whole or cut as preferred, but keep the design simple. I had definite visions in my mind’s eye.

After prepping the wood I arranged how I wanted the pendants to look. I was anticipating cutting them after casting. I used a small shallow square silicone cake mold that was slightly greased with vaseline.


Mixing the resin:

The key to a good cast is having absolute exact measuring. This resin uses equal parts of A & B. I use tiny transparent cups that allow reading volume easily. Mix slowly but thoroughly until it is very clear and has no striations.  Do not get over excited stirring as you don’t want to mix in any air bubbles. Scrape the sides often to make sure all is completely incorporated. This resin is quite slow to set,(30-40 minutes working time) so it lets you play with the arrangement of the items.


Here’s an important trick: WOOD FLOATS! Yes, I found that out the hard way! Pour as thin layer and set your pieces onto it. Let this cure until it is set. This will keep the pieces from floating once they are covered with the rest of the resin. For colour I used a tiny bit of Pebeo Vitrail Ink to slightly tint the resin (turquoise). You can also have fun with leaving the swirls visible. (mix with toothpicks) I wanted the wood to be completely embedded and poured another layer to cover.


Once it is poured, a small lighter/torch or blowing with a straw will make the bubbles that are on the surface burst. Sweep quickly across the surface so as not to scorch the resin. Let it sit 24 hours or until hard. Once unmolded, I will decide the shapes I’m going to use. If your mold is the exact shape then you can skip next step.


They look wonderful and clear!



To cut the shapes I used my new Dremel Moto-Saw Scroll saw. It is a a great little/mighty tool. To protect the resin I covered it in masking tape. Slicing them length-wise across the branches gave me the long shapes I was after.


The wood has now been sliced through as well.


Once untaped, they look wonderful already, like little blocks of frozen ice!


Finishing the Pendants:

To even out the sides I used a rough 200grit sandpaper.


Working with resin has some downfalls; sanding! My intention was NOT to make any dust by dry sanding, as it is a nasty health hazard! Once the surfaces were pretty even, I mixed up a bit of resin and spread it carefully over the rough ends, and let it dome. Do not over-pour or it will drip down the sides. Just drip a bit and spread it out, it will self-level.


I wanted all the wood to be encapsulated in resin to allow wet sanding without the wood absorbing water.


You will see the great shine it also makes.


Coming along nicely…


Wet Sanding:

Once they are coated on all sides, the wet sanding can start. Once Alumilite is cured it is food safe, and the water keeps any dust from forming. I use a large cafeteria tray to catch any stray water and work through the grits of wet/dry sandpaper.

The sequence: (wet/dry sandpapers may be found in the automotive area of the hardware stores)

  1. 200/220 grit – rough shaping
  2. 400 grit – medium smoothing
  3. 600 grit – medium-fine shaping
  4. 1000 grit – fine for removing scratches from shaping
  5. 2000 grit – super fine sanding
  6. Novus #2 Scratch remover (liquid polish)
  7. Carnauba Wax for shine


Shaped with 220 grit


Edges softened with 400 and 600 grit.


Further smoothing with 1000 and 2000 grit.


Polished with Novus #2


There may be other polishes that also work, but these are great. (and who knows if the car headlights will need some someday). Inspect your piece and backtrack if you find scratches. Use some muscle to be thorough with wet-sanding. Rinse in between grits (keep a bowl of slightly soapy water handy) When it looks good, use a car wax or the Novus #1 to shine the piece.


To be able to hang your pendant you will need some sort of way to hold the chain or cord. Bails are available that can be glued or attached with a hole. I decided that a drilled hole would be simple and strong.

My Dremel is mounted in a Workstation to allow drill press type work. It is a super handy addition to the already great tool.


It is so satisfying to see such a transparent shiny artifact that is hand created and can also be worn. See more here


Closeup inspection and you see the lichen frozen in time.



Be creative! And proudly wear your piece of unique jewelry! High five! Alright, alright, if you’d rather just buy one; check out my new Etsy store. It’s what happens when you just love ‘making’ and make too much…

I'm an artist & I make things... all kinds of things.

This Post Has 78 Comments

  1. Thank you for being so giving with your knowledge! I’ve been waiting for someone to share how to make these exquisitely made jewels! You’re greatly appreciated!

    1. I always make sure I actually try and perfect the techniques. Isn’t that what tutorials are for?! I hate just seeing the same rehashed.

  2. Barb, I have been playing with resin as a protective coating for polymer clay but haven’t tried casting anything. The only resin molds I’ve seen are for pendants, cabochons, etc. Where would I find larger ones that would hold found objects from nature?

    1. Hi, nice to here that you are having fun! The blue ones are just baking molds for square cakes or chocolate. They were at out craft store here in Canada called Michaels. You could prob also use silicone bread pans. I’ve even seen small ones at dollar stores. Hope it all works out

    1. Glad you stopped by! I have some ideas brewing in my mind, I’m hoping to get back to the resin pouring soon! So many possibilities, need more time….

      1. I am trying your method, but having problems removing bubbles. Tried a blow dryer at slow speed, wants to push the resin out, can’t use a heat gun, or small torch. Mold will not stand up to it. Any ideas.

        1. You can even use a straw that you blow into to pop bubbles. Apparently letting the resin pour into the mold in long thin stream gets bubbles out too.I used the straw method but be careful with the humidity from your breath… Hope that helps. The torch/lighter is a really quick pass over btw.

        2. I have used a straw and blown the bubbles, just be careful with the humidity that comes from our breath. The torch is a quick pass, not really heating anything up. The bubbles pop right away. Pouring into the mold in a long thin stream also eliminates bubbles. It may take a bit of practice. Don’t stir too crazily as it will add air.

    1. Yes, I understand that many times the instructions are not that thorough. Glad to help! ‘Would love to see the finished ones!!

  3. Thank you Barb for sharing your excitement in working with resin! I started to play with resin at one time but must have gotten sidetracked, which happens all too often, with another idea, medium, or project. And thanks for photographing the steps and sharing some tricks in making your awesome pendants. I am ready to try it again!

    1. I know all too well about getting side-tracked! I have so many different types of thing I do that all the work stations are taking over the house! I have a big collection of things that I am hoping to imbed as I keep getting more ideas…DIYing is really just a long journey! Check back, I’d love to see your projects

  4. I have been wanting to do this for some time but there were just too many elements I couldn’t figure out. Thank you for this in depth description. Question: Where did you get the molds? Everything I’ve seen starts with a large mold that you then cut down. The problem with sanding resin is it becomes rather cloudy. I’ve tried the sanding but it never turns out well. Plus, the best way to get shiny resin is to have shiny molds. So my obstacle has always been finding the correct mold and figuring out how to dry the wood.

    1. The molds were just from Michaels (canadian version of Hobby Lobby ) They did not unmold shiny either. The easiest way to get a shine is to coat it with resin. Otherwise you need to sand and progress to polishing compounds. You can dry the wood in a low degree oven too. I did a few test pieces at the beginning… Even the molds I made with amazing mold putty did not give a shiny finish. I am not a fan of tons of sanding or dust, so I used wet sanding and coating with resin.

      Hope that helps! Let me know how it goes…

      1. Hello!

        I was wondering to know if Pregnant Woman can work with resine or if it is toxic to the baby?

  5. Hi Barb,

    Like everyone else thanks so much for putting this up! I usually work with metal but just love what can be done with resin and since relocating to the States from New Zealand the range of resin and all kind of “goddies” has just expanded 100 fold. I did try once but guess my resin wasn’t the best, so the only question I have for you is when you do the final polish do you do that by hand like the sanding (good ole elbow grease) or do you use your dremel? … Thanks so much!! Nikki

    1. Thanks for visiting! I use my hands. The dremel I had at the time was too fast. If it spins too quickly then the resin heats up. I am sure the professionals who make them by the dozen have a polishing wheel. I also did not like how the compound would fly off the polishing head. Ideally one would need a dedicated space with good dust catching etc. So for ease of keeping mess down, I used my hands! Put on a video and it will be less boring. It may take a few before you get the hang of the stages of sanding. Every media has a learning curve… Good luck

  6. Barb, are you sure we aren’t twins separated at birth.
    I love everything you do! Resin, soap, concrete, hypertufa are all things I have done or aspire to doing, and.. I like your style. Now if you tell me you are also interested in bees & plants I might fall off my chair.
    I’m looking forward to your next creative endeavour.

    1. Hi Barb! I know for sure that I don’t have a sister, but that’s quite amazing! If I lived on a different property I would definitely have bees! I had recently been thinking if there was some kind of project that would help their plight. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I can’t do everything… and have every tool and work area going… I wear myself out! Do stick around as I have some completely new projects in the works. I bet you like the terrariums and the dyeing too!

  7. Hi Barb, was wondering if you would provide information on how use the oven to dry your wood? Temperature and time? Also, how do you perfect the final shapes of these? To make them symmetric? Thanks so much!

    1. I’ll try to help: I’d say it is just to provide a bit of warmth so the lowest setting, 150ºF. I am not sure how much time as your wood could be very wet or just a bit damp. You can probably tell a bit by feel or get one of those fancy moisture meters that you prong into the wood.

      As for the perfecting of shapes, I would just use my eye and keep turning and looking. I am not always after perfect symmetry since I find that a bit dull. There is really no rules as to what would look great. Go with your ‘gut’ as to whether you like the shape or get inspiration from the internet. I like them to have personality…

      Good luck

      1. Thanks so much Barb! I am so excited you gave me direction with this! I’ve been wanting help for so long! You are a gem…

  8. Barb thank you so much for the clear, concise, beautifully photographed tutorial. I had stared at the pictures on Pinterest, completely flummoxed trying to imagine how it was done. You not only gave instruction, you informed me on products I didn’t even know were available–I’m getting a Dremel Workstation thanks to you! Sanding is difficult for me due to Arthritis, but I’m determined to start designing and then job that sanding task out. Again, thank you. I’m so excited!

    1. I am glad to help. I think some people like to keep it a secret so that others can’t do it… I was experiencing the same mystery when I started. If could I would have every tool AND a huge workshop with dust vacuums! However that won’t happen so I try to improvise! Using electric sanding tools is great but I caution you about the dust; it is very bad/unhealthy to inhale hence I liked the wet sanding. When I used the electric tools I did so outdoors to minimize the dust.

      It’s great to be creative but health comes first. Share how they turn out!

    1. Awe, that’s a nice compliment. Thanks. When I started this site my intentions were NOT to just rehash others’ DIY, but to have unique projects.

      I have no shortage of ideas, however the time to make, photograph, write etc is sometimes a challenge!

  9. Oh Barb – these are GORGEOUS – I have been collecting branches with lichen and have been so ready to try this – thanks for sharing your info and product choices – cannot wait to do this!

  10. Hi Barb!

    I was wondering if you could help me with what types of wood to use to get the effect that you do. I recently just discovered working with resin and wood and I’m super excited to do It! Some of the works I have seen and just amazing! Also, how do you get the effect of waves, or what looks like smoke I guess.

    Thanks for any input!

    1. Ah, there is just so much that is possible with resin! I think there is not any kind of wood that you can’t use. If you use pieces that have a lot of holes in them it is more likely that they will trap some bubbles, and if the are too ‘punky’ then the finished piece may fall apart. If you check out the ‘pen-turners’ you will see that they use vacuum/pressure to make the resin penetrate and also use cactus juice to stabilize wood.

      Yes, I bet you are now confused, but start with easier projects. I like the simplicity of a nice branch with a bit of lichen on it. or a slice of burly wood. BTW, Wood floats so pour 2x or weigh it down.

      The smoky waves are made with pigments that are swirled once the resin is getting thicker. Titanium Dioxide makes the whitish swirls. I have it for soap making, super white powder.

      Hope that helps.

  11. Oh my goodness; these pendants are wonderful! I have the resin supplies but am hesitant as my first try was full of bubbles and looked terrible. I am doing postage stamps and hopefully flower petals….. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks! Yes, bubbles can be a problem. The ones that form on the surface can be bursted with a quick pass of a mini torch over the surface. Some have suggested just blowing with a straw as well. Mix carefully not to add more bubbles. If the wood has a lot of small voids there is more chance of bubbles getting stuck as well. Sometimes it takes a bit of playing with a toothpick to get rid of the bubbles, as my resin had a fair amount of work time. The pros invest in pressure and vacuum chambers. Good luck!

  12. Hello Barb!
    I wanted to congratulate you on your creations. Everything is stunning. In particulare I fell in love on your wood and resin Creations. I would like to try to do them!

    Regards from Lucca, Italy


  13. I have been working with resin for several years and like so many have wanted to make these pendants with the wood and the color. I tried all kinds of things and finally got frustrated. So thank you for posting the instructions. Art should speak to you and these do for me. My problem was how to keep the color off the wood. I also was told to use the glow in the dark powder. It didn’t work for me. Also thank you for listing the products and why you do certain things. I found out the hard way resin warps when it gets hot. Did tables with a thin coat of resin and on a enclosed porch that reach 95 degrees they warped. Again thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us.

    1. I am happy that you enjoy working with resin! I am not sure why you were having problems with the colour on the wood. I use a tiny bit of colour in the resin and it just gives a slight colour. It does not actually effect the wood. As with so many art forms and crafts, it is always a learning experience. I tend to get obsessed and fixated until I get it to work! Darn determination…

  14. Hi Barb,
    Can’t tell you how much I appreciate your VERY detailed instructions for this beautiful resin pendant. Your photos are amazing, too. Thank you so much for posting this and I look so forward to looking at your other DIY tutorials!!!

  15. I’m going to try my hand at making a resing ring with flowers. Should I dry the flowers first or can I add them straight to the resin?

    1. I have not used flowers as I had read they can be troublesome due o drying or reacting to the resin and turning brown. I like to make my verso of unique projects and flowers seemed somewhat typical. Resin obsession site does have a lot of info as do facebook groups… Good Luck

  16. Hi Barb,
    Your resin looks great. You make it look so easy 😉
    I was wondering what blades you use for the dremel saw. I have one and had tried cutting my resin with it but it is very slow and I was worried I was going to start melting the resin. Does your cut fairly fast? I had my saw motor at 4.
    Thanks for any info you can share.
    I am using Aluminite resin and i am also trying out the Art Resin (no voc)

    1. As far as I remember I used a blade meant for wood. I used a high speed and it moved fairly quickly through the material so as to not melt it. It may involve a bit of ‘trial and error’ as your embeds may be denser than mine. Hope that helps…

  17. How absolutely gorgeous these are! I love the wood, I love the colouring of the resin, absolutely fantastic thank you so much for sharing your technique! I want to come play at your house! LOL! xoxox

    1. Thanks! I’d always entertain some one coming to help clean up… after the fun! I never tire of looking into transparent jewels to see what’s hiding in there…

  18. Oh, also, friends of mine picked up a table that I’ve seen done before, pennies embedded in resin, but *theirs* was mother of peral pieces embedded in resin. GORGEOUS. Iirc, the pieces were uniform disc sizes, but the mother of pearl gave an opalescence & the resin gave a gloss. I asked for it in their will, if they pass on before me. I think that natural look will appeal to you too.

    1. I’m hoping to make a live edge stream table. My sense of time seems to allude me though, as I don’t get as much done as I’d hope in a day. Stay posted

  19. Hello and Thank You for your detailed tutorial. I have moderate experience with resin but typically use images and small trinkets to create small dioramas. The problem that I’ve been seeking an answer to is: how to encapsulate lichen into my pieces without the color draining from the lichen. Each time Ive incorporated lichen into a piece, the color leaches out and the plant matter turns from green to yellow as the resin cures.
    Have you run Into this problem at all? Or is there something I should be coating the lichen with prior to setting in resin?
    Thank you in advance if you are willing to offer any tips!

    1. The lichen that was on my branches stayed the same colour. Perhaps there is some chemical reaction happening with your brand of resin. I’m pretty sure that Art Resin does not react with lichen colour, but I have yet to try it. It’s on my radar of things to try… You could try a coat of a clear acrylic matt medium

  20. I sand to 320 grit, then go to my buffer, with a spiral sewn wheel charged with swirl mark (e.g., McGuire’s) remover for polishing auto paint.

  21. Hi, thank you for a wonderful tutorial. Can I ask where I might be able to get the blue square Mold? Thank you so much


    1. I bought it at the Michaels Craft stores here in Canada. But I am sure you could find something on amazon that is similar. You could also make your own like I did for these. Some just make a temporary mold with cardboard or similar since it gets shaped later anyways. Happy making. PS, do research the amount of yellowing that your resin has. I have noticed some in my pieces.

  22. Wow wonderful and nice Instruction. I need to know some tips from you . that is when try to put some wood in resin its floating and bubbles coming, how to reduce this issue and how to make bubble free pendant

    1. Have you read the post? The application of heat with a mini torch or even bowing with a straw will burst bubbles. If it floats you can pour a small amount and let it set in it to anchor it and then add the rest later on. You also need to make sure that the wood is really really dry, as you read in my post I did put it in the oven to dry out. Some wood may be too deteriorated. Good luck

  23. Hi Barb. Absolutely love you pendants! I hope I didn’t overlook it in your tutorial but what size drill bit did you use for the chain hole?

  24. Wow! This is great resin art. I really love it. Please how can I contact the supplier if I want to get some of all the items

  25. Hi Barb,

    I have a question about the wood petrifier that you use. I clicked the link and it took me to a product for the job but it is labelled as “milky white”. Is there a clear version because I don’t want to mask the color of the wood… and I don’t want to deal with pressure pots just yet? I’m in Ontario Canada so I’d prefer to buy locally or through

    Thank you.

  26. I must say, I am very impressed by this post. I like how the little twigs look magnified by the resin. I love the shape of your pendant and everything else about this. I know the process is a little slow to do, but it is very much worth the wait. Thank you for showing us your wonderful creation!

  27. Barb,

    Just found your blog and LOVE everything you do. I am interested in trying some of the cement projects you wrote about. Have a question about your resin pieces – have they yellowed over time. Looking forward to read more about you and your adventures in creating.


    1. I have not worked on the resin in a while. Some have yellowed a bit, sadly. When I was researching I read that they all do to a degree. I do have some ideas to go back to some resin pieces when I have time. Do you have any experience with it??? So many kinds nowadays!

  28. First off your jewelry is absolutely gorgeous!!! Secondly, thank you so very much for posting a diy tutorial!!! So many on Etsy makes you pay for information or flat out won’t say how it is done! When I buy off Etsy it is from someone like you, who isn’t afraid to share their knowledge!!!

    1. It has been a long hard journey making this site. And almost weekly I wonder about carrying on. But they say it takes time… As I get older I do think I may have to sell some eBooks to sustain my ability to do this permanently, as now I do also hold another job. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top
Click to Hide Advanced Floating Content

Support my Blog!

In order for me to deliver valuable content for free, it takes both time and money. Any donations will be used directly to bring you new and useful content!

Donation Form

Personal Info

Donation Total: $5.00