Preparing objects for embedding in resin
I’ve had a few people recently ask me about what can or can’t be embedded in resin, and how they should go about preparing the items ready for use in resin, so I thought I’d share some information that should hopefully help in your experiments!
For best results, print the image on photo paper and leave 24 hours to thoroughly dry. You can often embed it like this straight away, but for extra caution, seal the image with PVA glue. This will stop the greasy blotch marks appearing that can spoil the work you’re doing.
Shrink first and leave to cool. Spray with a couple of coats of car lacquer to seal the image, leaving half an hour between each coat.
Bake in the oven first to set the colour and shape as the heat from the exothermic reaction when the resin is setting might affect the look you’re going for. You shouldn’t need to varnish, simply embed them once cool.
Flowers and leaves
These need to be dried out first as resin hates water! You can bury them in silica gel for a few days (depending on the specimen type) for best results, or with some small blooms you can put them in a dark, dry cupboard or drawer for a few days instead. You could also press the flowers first.
Spray butterflies and moths with hairspray from about a foot away to seal their dusty wings. For beetles, clean with acetone to remove the natural oils, then once dry dip in uncatalysed resin and leave overnight to drain.
Coins, stones and shells
Clean with detergent and leave to dry. To make the coins shiny again, use acetone with steel wool to remove the oxidation. Once dry, dip in uncatalysed resin and leave overnight to drain.