Glow powder and resin go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. It’s extremely easy to make your resin castings glow in the dark and the end result has to be seen to be believed. This quick guide will give you step by step instructions on how to create your own glow in the dark resin jewelry, figurines, furniture, etc.
You will need the following supplies for this project:
- Art 'N Glow Resin
- Glow In The Dark Powder
- Plastic measuring cups
- Paper mixing cups
- Wooden craft sticks or toothpicks for mixing
- A mold of your choice
- Assorted waterproof sandpaper
- Something waterproof to protect your table from spills (plastic sheeting, trash bag or wax paper)
You can find molds at your local craft store, online, or you can choose from our selection of silicone molds. Whatever you decide to use for your mold should be flexible (plastic or silicone typically).
Start by figuring out how much resin you need to fill the mold. Some molds will tell you the volume of resin to use while others will not. If you need to figure out the volume of the mold yourself, try filling it with water and then pouring that water into an appropriately sized measuring cup. Take note of the total volume as indicated by the measuring cup and write it down. Now that you know how much casting mixture is required, you can divide that amount in half and know how much of each part of casting resin will be required. When using Art 'N Glow resin, you will need to measure a 1:1 ratio of hardener to resin by volume.
If you are using mold release spray, you should now spray your mold and let it dry for the recommended amount of time.
At this point you should decide if you want your casting to be a single glow color or if you’d like to use two or more colors for an even cooler effect. We recommend using at least two colors as it will not only add that extra pop to your final piece, but it has the added benefit of completely eliminating the risk of soft spots in your casting due to the extra mixing step that is required.
For this guide, we’ll assume that you are using two colors but you can easily use more or less by adding an extra cup or skipping the second mixing step that we’re about to cover.
To get started, lay out all of your supplies so that you aren’t running around looking for them later on. This is important as casting with resin is time sensitive and you’ll need to work quickly to get the resin into the mold before it starts “gelling”. Lay out the two plastic measuring cups, a mixing cup, wooden mixing sticks, and two or more additional mixing cups if you are using more than one color.
Start by pouring the appropriate amount of each part of the resin into the included plastic measuring cups.
From here, pour the two parts into your first paper mixing cup and mix them per the instructions on the box. Once thoroughly combined, pour the resin mixture into two different mixing cups in the proportions of each color that you want in your final piece. For example, our resin glow bangles are half one color and half another so we split the resin mixture evenly between the two mixing cups. If you wanted ¾ of your casting to be orange for example, then you’d pour ¼ of the mixture into one cup and the rest in the other.
Now you are going to want to weigh the resin in each cup and determine how many grams of resin there are. Alternatively, you can use the volume of resin to figure out the correct amount of glow powder to add. The standard ratio to use is 1 part glow powder to 4 parts resin. More or less won’t hurt anything, but this ratio will get you a fantastic glow without wasting additional powder.
Use this handy formula to get the proportions just right:
5 x (volume or weight of resin) / 20 = volume or weight of powder to use
For example, if you have 10 grams of resin, the equation would look like this:
5x10g/20= 2.5g of glow powder
If you are using volume instead of weight, nothing changes except for the unit (from weight to volume). So if you have 20 milliliters of resin, your equation becomes:
5x20ml/20 = 5ml of glow powder
If the resin you are using has a really short working time, make sure you figure out how much glow powder you need before you start mixing. Our resin is perfect for projects like this one due to it's 1 to 1 mix ratio and 40 minute working time.
Now it’s time to mix the glow powder with the resin mixture. Slowly stir one color of powder into the resin mixture in each of the two mixing cups. Stir slowly and thoroughly to avoid creating bubbles and to make sure that the mixture is completely homogeneous. Don’t worry if you put too much or too little powder into the resin as these are just guidelines. You would have to add A LOT more glow powder before you caused any problems with the resin’s ability to cure.
Once the two colors are mixed, it’s time to pour them into your mold. Your resin may start to thicken up a bit which is fine and actually a good thing as it will suspend the glow pigment and prevent it from sinking to the bottom of the mold.
Once you’ve filled the mold nearly to the top, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then come back to it with a tooth pick or other sharp pointy object. There will likely be some bubbles that have risen to the surface which you will want to pop before they harden. You can also use a heat gun to remove any bubbles by using a sweeping motion 6-8 inches above your resin.
Now cover your creation to avoid unwanted debris getting into it while it’s curing and come back to it after it has completely hardened. Our resin will harden in 24 hours and will be completely cured within 72 hours.
You’ll probably need to do some sanding to get a nice smooth surface on the part of your casting that was exposed to the air. The best way to do this is to get a baking sheet, place some waterproof sand paper in it, and put a thin layer of water on top of the sandpaper. Rub the side of the casting that you want smooth and flat in a figure 8 pattern on the sand paper, turning the piece a quarter turn in your hand every few cycles. The water prevents dust from flying up and the figure 8 pattern ensures that the piece is sanded uniformly!
We started with 80 grit sandpaper and worked my way through 150, 220, 320, and finally 400 grit sandpapers.
To remove sharp edges, get one of the finer grits of sand paper wet and round the edge by hand. Make sure to apply even pressure and sand each part equally to avoid creating any raised or lowered areas.
After sanding my project was done, we couldn’t be happier with the results!
There you have it! A glow in the dark casting that will glow all night after a quick charge with one of our charging lights. The sun also does a great job of charging all of our glow pigments.
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