Friday, November 20, 2020

What Can You Colour Epoxy Resin With

If there's one thing you can always count on, it's that as artists and crafters, we're always looking for ways to expand our options and push boundaries.

Take, for instance, resin. There are hundreds of colours out there made specifically to colour resin... 

...and yet, we still want more. We have an insatiable thirst for new... different... ALTERNATIVE.

And that's what we're going to explore... colours that weren't designed for resin but work anyway! 

Row of resin rings made with eyeshadows, artist's chalk, food colouring and nail polish alongside their corresponding items

Without even knowing it, you have household items - things hidden in the back of cupboards and drawers, or hiding in plain sight - that you can use to colour resin. This is a great way to save money and use up things you already have.

But first, a disclaimer: 

Things don't always go right when you work with colourants that weren't designed for resin. And when that happens, you end up wasting your precious time, throwing away your resin... and worse, wasting moolah!

If you use the wrong colourant...

... the colour can go stringy in the resin and not mix in

... it can speed up curing so much that the resin sets in the cup

... it can prevent the resin from curing properly and it can stay sticky, or soft and bendy

... the colour can fade away as if you hadn't added colour at all (some inks aren't lightfast!).

Some alternative colourants just don't play nice with resin. 

Now, if all that hasn't turned you off experimenting, then read on...

You don't need the sorts of challenges outlined above so I did some of the legwork for you.

I took two different, readily available resins and coloured them with various items I had lying around the house. 

I tested a selection of COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS in two resins and both gave the same results:

If you use a different resin, the golden rule is to TEST it in a small batch first, in case your results are different.

Colourful resin cabochons lined up in front of two boxes of epoxy resin

So let's take a look around the house to see how many of these common household items you have. 

From the pantry - Spices and Baking Supplies that Dye Resin

  • Saffron powder (gorgeous, glowing orange)
  • Paprika (earthy red-brown)
  • Finely ground chili powder (coarse powder is a bit granular and doesn't mix in)
  • Gel food colours - but not vegetable food dyes because those are water-based, and resin doesn't like moisture

From the Bathroom Cabinet - Beauty Products that Work in Resin

This is a great way to use up old make-up you no longer wear!
  • Eye shadow palettes - those gaudy pinks, blues and greens you wouldn't be seen dead in!  
  • Blush                        
  • Loose face powder
  • Regular nail polish - but not clear nail polish, even if it's filled with glitter! For some reason, clear nail polish always turns yellow. Check out the photo below (second cup from the right). It was coloured with the silver glitter nail polish right behind it.
Tip: Crush or scrape those little cakes of shimmering eye shadow into a fine powder.

A row of spice bottles, face powders and nail polishes with their corresponding cup of resin in front
Kitchen spices, powder foundation, eye shadows, and nail polish are fun things to colour resin with

From the Toy Box

  • Sidewalk chalk - crush or grind them into as fine a powder as you can because they are quite coarse.
EasyCast resin package alongside a row of spice bottles and beauty products in front of a domed piece of resin coloured with that colourant.

From Your Art & Craft Supplies

  • Artist's soft pastel chalks - scrape them with a sharp blade or knife to make a fine powder
  • Mica powders: Pearl Ex and Perfect Pearls for a shimmering, pearlescent effect
  • Alcohol Inks like Piñata and Adirondack. These will give you a transparent look.
  • Acrylic paints (use sparingly or the resin won't cure properly)
I bet you had no idea that you could use so many everyday items to colour resin!

Now let's see actual pieces of resin jewellery made from some of those colourants:


You can have a lot of fun with these common household items AND stretch your existing colour range at the same time - and that's great for your budget too. And the bonus... you get to use up old items that you had lying around unused in your cupboards! 

And if you're really budget-conscious, how about asking your family and friends to donate their old makeup and nail polish to you, too. Then you can have a lot of colouring fun on the cheap!

Pin this Idea!
Crazy Cool Resin Colouring Ideas Inspiration Sheet featuring resin rings coloured with household items

Happy Resining!

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