Hammered Metal & Resin Jewelry
There’s something intriguing about looking into a clear crystal; whether it is a diamond or a piece of resin jewelry imbedded with treasures. Resin isn’t as scary to work with as you may think. I’ve simplified the process from the Rustic Resin Pendants and included some shiny silver metals so it couldn’t be easier. Check out this step by step DIY to make your own hammered metal and resin jewelry.
I have a passion for casting resin jewelry but I will admit that I also love my silver! This unique method allowed me to combine both my loves. You could however use your metal of choice since it will not tarnish once imbedded in the resin.
Tools and materials needed:
- metal wire (aluminum or other, thick or thin depending on your choice of finished pieces)
- variety of tools to cut and bend; wire cutter pliers, needle-nose pliers, round nose pliers, flat pliers
- Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast Resin (plus container to mix in, stirring utensil)
- Optional Colour: Pebeo Vitrail or Titanium Dioxide
- Alumilite Amazing Mold Putty
- Wet Sandpaper (200, 400, 600, 1000, 2000, Grits)
- Novus Plastic polish system
- Carnauba Wax (optional for shine)
- various finishing findings, jump rings, bails etc
The Metal Shapes:
When I was planning for these I was doodling a variety of squiggles. Since wire is a continuous line you need to keep that in mind as well as the fact that once you hammer it becomes a wider shape. You can use symbolic shapes, or stylized letters, or just random designs. It is really quite fun since it does not need to be perfect.
I own my own anvil, so that is where I hammered it. They are not that expensive and it comes in handy for the many crafts I do. If you don’t have one you can use the concrete floor but it will pick up the texture. A scrap piece of iron or hard metal will also work. (sometimes you need to think outside the box or look in the garage ) I wanted a very hand-forged look and evidence of the dents and irregularities. Tap tap tap, with the edge of the hammer, or a round nose ball ping hammer. Aluminum is a very soft metal and works great for this.
The more you hammer a section the wider it will be, so it gives some extra interest.
Flowers and hearts and curly-q’s, whatever is your liking.
Keep in mind the fact that they will expand in size and that the resin will also make it bigger. If you want to make sure they are as shiny as possible you can also polish them with some household metal polish.
The Resin Shapes:
When I first fell in love with resin; casting the Rustic Resin Pendants I did a lot of work shaping the pieces. I can’t say that I love that much dust. Therefore, to make this even simpler I used some of those pendant shapes to make my own silicone molds. (you could also buy your own molds) This allowed them to be quite unique. You could even use some found simple object shapes as masters for casting molds.
This Amazing Mold Putty is truly amazing! It seems like there is not much in the container but it does make a lot. I made all these with about half of the kit.
Take out equal size pieces of each part and knead together until it is one consistent colour. Work fairly quickly and sculpt it around the master piece. Keep even thickness, up the sides and a flat level bottom. It sets quite quickly once it is no longer moldable.
Preplan the placements. To add a bit more sparkle and another rustic metal element you can add some silver leaf flakes.
I had become frustrated trying to find some flakes sooooo, I put the large silver leaf sheets into the coffee grinder… It worked great! Just do not sneeze, as these are so light they will blow away. Secure them in a container.
Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast Resin is a fairly slow setting resin that does not have strong fumes. It is available at most craft stores as well. (if you’d like to find more info you can check here)
Slowly mix equal parts of ‘A’ &’B’ until no striations are visible. You don’t want to mix too strongly or bubbles will form. If you would like to slightly tint the resin Pebeo Vitrail works well or if you would like some wispy white waves a bit of titanium dioxide is great. (I use it in soap as well)
Pour the resin slowly from a long tall stream to eliminate bubbles. Also a quick pass with a lighter or mini torch will burst the bubbles.
Place your awesome shapes and the flakes. Fuss with them by a toothpick.
All set to set…
No, it did not turn into wood… Those are my other ones, but these will be finished in the same process. Once they come out of the molds they will still need to be sanded and polished, but they are already shaped.
I HATE the dust and don’t have a proper vacuum system so I sand wet, in a tray with a bowl of water nearby to rinse and repeat. Only use the rough (200, 400, 600 grit) on the corners and ‘pour edge’ that you want to round out. The rest will only need the finer (1000, 2000 grit) sanding and polishing. Work carefully and slowly so as not to expose the embed. Watch a movie or listen to music as you do… End with polishing and wax.
Icy blue like water; and silver leaf flakes work nicely together.
Set the bails or finding by drilling tiny holes. There are many options for findings including wire wrapping.
The white swirl in this one is a tiny bit of titanium dioxide (powder that white paint is made of) mixed into some resin and swirled in. Since the resin sets slow, wait until it has more viscosity until you add it.
Slightly less flattened but also beautiful. Here’s your excuse to go get ‘hammered’!
If you love these resin pieces I have a few in my Etsy shop as well. Happy Making!
Amazing! Love the finished result. Will definitely have to try that.
Thank you! I always think of more ideas while I’m working on them. If only there were more days in the week!
I am in love with your designs. I won’t be as good but would love to try. What size wire did you use on the resin jewelry?
I don’t have the package anymore. I did try 2 different ones, thinking that thicker wire would be better, but by the time I hammered it somewhat flat it was so wide that the pendant was super large. Then I went to a smaller size. When you look at the wire in hand, think it will flatten to twice as wide or more… Hope that helps
I want to set a piece of flat art in resin and need to make my own molds, so your article was very helpful. Thank you! The only question I have is, how would I avoid air bubbles from being trapped underneath the flat art piece? Any ideas on how to get a good result?
As far as I have read, most will put the (sealed) art on the bottom (glued down) and then pour resin over it. If you want some resin on the back you could add some afterward. Then you would be able to see if there are bubbles above it. Also quick torching will get rid of bubbles. This site has lots of info…
To pop air bubbles I use a small butane torch held about 4-6 inches away, moving it quickly.
Yes, I use a mini-torch to get rid of bubbles. Or even blowing through a straw…
This is amazing, I love this idea ….so many possibilities for creative options.
Are you in Canada? If so could you, please, point me to where I could order the material?
I would love to try this.
Thanks Barb keep up the great work.
You can get the resin and the wire at Michael’s See also these. Good luck!
I know this is an oldish thread, but here’s hoping you’ll get this!
I wondered whether you freestyle the mould making or did you have a shape you used for a template?
You can see in the post that I made the molds from the pendants I had made with wood inserts. You could cut afterward similar to the way the Rustic ones were made as long as you don’t cut the metal parts. There also may be commercial ones available. Lots of options!
I was told if you heat your wire well copper wire first you will be able to hammer it flat much easier.
Oh, thanks! And the heating and dousing in water is called annealing. After some hammering it can harden and then be annealed again. I found that for this I didn’t really have an issue getting the shapes I wanted. The annealing will tarnish and darken the copper though.