Thursday, December 1, 2022

Resin Project - How to Make an Easy and Elegant Christmas Ornament

I LOVE Christmas and all the feel-good festivities that bring my family and friends together at this magical time of the year. 

When Christmas starts appearing in the shops in October, I'm excited to check out the season's colour trends and admire all the beautiful ornaments that are this year's must-have decorations.

It feels like you have months to get your holiday decorating organised in October. 

And then suddenly, it's December... Christmas is just around the corner, and the shops are starting to sell out of all the beautiful decorations you had your eye on.

Never fear... if you've got resin and a mould, you can make your own gorgeous holiday ornaments that will make your tree beautiful, and they will have even more significance because YOU MADE THEM.

Elegant white resin Christmas bauble with gold stripes, embellished with red flatback crystals. The ornament is hung from the branch of a Christmas tree with a gold ribbon amongst draped strings of gold beads.

These 3 elegant ornament designs were all made using just a single mould. So you're probably thinking it will take days to make them. But not so... I poured and demoulded all three of these in less than one hour!

Three ivory Christmas baubles decorated with gold and red crystals hanging from a pine branch smattered with red cherries

Yep. Each one cured in just 20 minutes!! 

"How do you get the resin to cure that FAST?" I hear you ask.

The SECRET is to use a quick-curing resin

Quick-curing resin is the perfect choice when...
  • you're impatient and can't stand waiting 24 hours for the resin to cure
  • you need to make a project in a hurry
  • you like instant gratification (you can demould your project just 20 minutes after pouring!)
  • you don't have to colour the resin because this resin cures white
  • you can re-use the mould again in 20 minutes.
This is a SUPER SIMPLE colouring technique. The colouring is done BEFORE you pour the resin into the mould. And this is the most time-consuming part of the project. You literally "brush" the powder straight onto the silicone. When you remove the resin from the mould, the powder has transferred straight onto the resin!

I'm not gonna lie; brushing the colour onto the detail of the mould can be fiddly, especially cleaning up the stray bits of powder. But the more attention you pay to that, the better your end result will be. So, let's get on with it.

Here's what you'll need:
Quick Curing Polyurethane (aka urethane) resin - try any of these white-curing resins:
- Barnes Easy Cast
- Aldax Craft Cast
Smooth Cast 300

- Silicone bauble mould* (see note below)
- soft paintbrush
- wooden stir sticks
- toothpick
- silicone-tipped tool for picking up the crystals

*I used a Krafty Lady mould which has been discontinued. In case you're able to hunt down a second-hand mould, it's AM206.

What Type of Moulds Work Best for the Brush-on Powder Technique?

The easiest ones to work with have open elements so you can easily brush the powder onto the detail. Moulds with deep, narrow detail are best coloured with acrylic paint AFTER the resin has cured.

Consider these points when you're looking for suitable moulds

  • Look for moulds with raised sections
  • Choose ones with flat or open areas (to brush the powder on)
  • For moulds with fine, deep details, you'll need to brush the powder on the raised areas because it's too difficult to get your brush into narrow recessed areas

Here are some moulds that I've used this technique on: 
Christmas ornaments
Christmas bauble moulds
Christmas bauble moulds
Christmas ornaments/keychains

A red bell ornament with a white reindeer cutout, a gold bell ornament with red flower detailing, a gold heart ornament with a white cutout studded with red crystals, a white bell ornament with a gold Christmas Tree cutout embellished with a string of red crystals.

Colours used: Deep Red mica powder, Gold powder, Lt Siam flatback crystals, Clear flatback crystals

Tip: These make great gift toppers!

Dry Brushing the Powder onto the Silicone

The beauty of this project is that the powder sticks to the silicone and then when the mould is filled with resin, the powder lifts off the silicone and permanently sticks to the resin. This means that you don't have to paint the resin with acrylic paints that can scratch or rub off in time.

I've already mentioned that these 3 baubles were all made in the same mould... I just picked out different details of the mould to highlight with gold powder: there are the dots and two different striped sections that can be accentuated. 

In this tutorial, I'm colouring the dotted section, which was the fiddliest of them all by a long way... not the painting, but picking up the stray powder off the silicone for a neat finish.

Start by dipping your brush into the powder and brush it onto the detail of the mould. 

Tip: Don't load the brush with too much powder. The less powder you have on your brush, the less stray powder you'll have to clean up. 
Hand holding paintbrush, brushing gold powder onto the detail of a silicone bauble mould

How to Get CLEAN Edges on Your Design

Once you've highlighted the detail, clean up the powder from any areas you don't want it. Adhesive tape is excellent for cleaning up silicone moulds. Use a small length of tape with the tip of a toothpick. 

Take your time doing this, or you'll accidentally remove the powder from the detail. You can always add more to fill in the gaps but then you'll have to clean up the edges again.
Hand holding a toothpick, pressing adhesive tape onto a silicone bauble mould to remove stray gold powder

Measure out the resin and hardener. All the resins I've suggested are 1:1 ratio resins. That means you need equal quantities of each part. This mould takes 20mls (2/3oz), so 10mls of each.
Gloved hand measuring resin into a medicine cup

Mix the resin and hardener together until you can't see any streaks. It will start to heat up (cure) in around 30 seconds, so work quickly.
Gloved hand stirring the resin with a wooden stir stick

Pour the resin into the mould.
Gloved hand pouring resin into a silicone bauble mould

And then sit back and watch it turn from amber to white right in front of your eyes!
Resin curing in the silicone bauble mould, turning from transparent to white

It's ready to be demoulded in about 20 minutes. Each brand of resin takes a slightly different amount of time to cure.
Hand holding a silicone bauble mould and releasing the gold-painted white resin

Run the leafing pen along the edge of the resin. 
Hand holding a gold Krylon leafing pen and painting the edge of a white resin Christmas ornament

To add the crystals to my ornaments, I had to grind the knobs flat, using the drill and a grinding bit. (I forgot to photograph the spotted bauble so here's one of the two striped baubles.)
Mini power tool grinding down the knobs of the pattern detail to flatten them

Mix up the 5-minute epoxy and attach the crystals.
Silicone-tipped tool placing Siam flatback crystals onto textured gold dots on a white resin Christmas bauble

Some resin moulds don't have a hole, like mine, so I used a 1.5mm drill bit to create the hanging hole. If your silicone mould already has a hole, you won't have to do this. 

You can drill the hole from front to back (like mine), side to side, or straight down from the top of the ornament. If you use the last option, you will need to glue an eye screw into the resin for your hanging point. Use a strong adhesive like 5-minute epoxy to make sure it's secure. 

Finally, thread the ribbon through the hole and tie a knot. Now they're ready for hanging on your tree.

Here's a closer look at each one. Gorgeous, aren't they?!! 
Ivory Christmas bauble with gold dots featuring red crystals

Ivory Christmas bauble with gold bands and red crystal embellishments hanging from a pine branch

Ivory resin Christmas bauble with gold bands and red crystals

Love this easy DIY Holiday Ornament tutorial? Then pin it!

Pin This Project Tutorial!

Image 1 is a gloved hand pouring yellow resin into a bauble silicone mould and image 2 is a white Christmas bauble embellished with gold paint and red crystals.

Happy Resining!

Myléne's signature
Subscribe to my email list and learn how to resin like an expert.

Would you like to comment?

Thanks for stopping by today. Your comment is really appreciated.