Resin Paperweight

4 Materials
2 Weeks
My best friend lives in Idaho and I wanted to send her one of the orchids i like to grow but i wasn't sure how to do it. So i decided to put it into a resin paper weight. I've never worked with resin before and it proved to be quite a challenge.
I started growing orchids in my bedroom about 2 years ago. I've been quite successful with them but it always seemed like a shame when the flowers dried up and fell off. So i attempted to put them in a resin paperweight. My best friend lives in Idaho and Ive been telling her I want to send her some of my orchids but I had no idea how to do it.
This was the resin product i got at Hobby lobby. I got an extra big size cause I knew I was going to have to practice with it before I got good enough with it. This was a big costly at around $30
I got my resin molds on Amazon. They have a better selection and the prices were better than at any craft store. I paid around $9 for this one. There are different kinds of molds, some with highly polished insides so that your piece comes out shinier than mine did but i decided to start with these. I do recommend the special spray which is a mold release, which was around $10. Once the resin is dried its really hard to get out of the molds.
Follow the directions closely and wear rubber gloves. measure out equal amounts of the resin and the hardener, this was about as close as i could get.
Pour both vials into another cup and mix well. I mixed for about 5 minutes. Now it DID produce a lot of bubbles but I have since learned another trick that helps with those. Get a container of warm/hot tap water and place your mixing cup into that, just make sure you don't get any water into your mixing cup, and let set for 5-10 minutes. The bubbles will disappear. Just know the more your stir to get it blended sufficiently the more bubbles it will make. Have patience. I didn't and got a bit frustrated.
I do recommend drying your flowers a week before you plan to put them in the resin. I used the silica beads to dry the flower out. The silica I also got on Amazon. Believe it or not this is a dried flower. If you dont dry the flowers and put them in the resin you are going to get more bubbles which are harder to get out and it will steam up the resin when it is drying. If you get steam in the resin you won't be able to get it out. The silica is great cause you can reuse it over and over. It takes out the moisture but doesn't discolor the flower. The silica is like sand so be careful with it so it doesn't spill all over and don't let your pets get into it.
Put a little bit of the resin in the mold and let it set for about a 1/2 an hour so it starts to get hard. Then place your flower face down. This is the challenging part cause you will get lots of air pockets. I used a straw to blow out the bubbles and gently shifted the flower around with my finger to release the air pockets. Add the resin in stages.
Go slow and add resin to cover the flower to the top of the mold. I found that my flower would float in the resin so you have to press gently to get the resin to cover it. If you still see bubbles CAREFULLY set the mold in warm too hot tap water to release the bubbles. Be sure you don't get any water in the mold or the piece is ruined. Now you sit and wait for 24 hours.
The next day you can remove the resin from the mold. As you can see there are lots of bubbles cause I didn't know the bubble trick when I did this one. But it still looks pretty good. In order to get the resin out of the mold is a struggle. Letting warm water run on the bottom of the mold and a lot of twisting the mold like an ice cube tray will release it but its gonna be hard, even with mold release spray. It will NOT just pop out so don't worry.
This one I did with some of the porcupine quills that my sisters dog got stuck in his face. I added beads to give it dimension. Note there are lots of bubbles.
Since my pieces came out a bit cloudy I found this stuff that will polish the resin up really nice. I got this tube on amazon for around $2.
Use the polish sparingly but put a light coat on your piece and get a clean dry shammy cloth and start rubbing. The more you rub the shinier it will get. Also the pressure you put on will make it shinier so keep steady even pressure when you polish.
I decided to add white felt to the bottom to brighten it up. I glued the felt on with Elmers glue and trimmed the edges. The felt will also make it harder to see the bubbles if you can't get them out.
I think it came out pretty good. This is a project I'm keep working with to perfect my technique. I think something like this would make a great Christmas present. This was NOT an easy craft. It takes time to perfect and I viewed lots of videos on youtube to help me get it somewhat right. I now have a way to send my orchids to my friends. Pretty much anything can be set in resin and I think its a pretty cool medium to be working with. I'm going to try pressing the flowers the next time and see if that works better.
Suggested materials:
  • Resin kit   (Michaels or Hobby Lobby)
  • Resin mold   (Amazon)
  • Mold release spray   (Amazon)
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Frequently asked questions
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  1 question
  • Judy Judy on Dec 02, 2017
    Do you think you could a photo for this resin project ?

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  • Amy  Nahirny Amy Nahirny on Feb 16, 2018
    thank you so much for all the comments. the resin really frustrated me a lot. i think it will be a long time before i work with it again. now im trying to figure out other ways to preserve my orchids and what kind of projects i can use them for.

    • DesertRose DesertRose on Aug 22, 2018

      My best friend dried her many flowers and glued them to backing to frame and put a set of 3 on the wall of a hallway or bedroom or even bath room. They were beautiful!

  • Tracy Rogers Tracy Rogers on Sep 22, 2018

    Im glad to know about the bubbles! i just bought several bags of silica gel and several resin kits. i have about 12 Night Blooming Cereus opening RIGHT NOW that im going to dry in the silica and TRY to set in resin! Thry are really big and Hobby Lobby didnt have any molds even CLOSE to the size. Since i have a week to wait for them to dry i will look on Amazon. I bought some giant christmas balls at Hobby Lobby that im also going to cut in half down the seem to see if they work as a mold. I read on another site about spraying the flowers with polyeurythane spray paint before setting them in the resin because they hold up better. These flowers bloom at night and are dead by morning but they are so beautiful that i want to keep them! If i get this right, i will be making tons of paperweights because i have a greenhouse FULL of tropical flowers that i love! Im so glad you mentioned the bubbles and warm water! your orchid is beautiful. They are one of my favorites so im probably gonna try some of mine. I was doing last minute research while waiting for these blooms to open all the way. Im glad i stumbled upon this! Wish me luck!