But I'm just too darn excited to wait any longer.
And, look! I even made a fancy-schmancy Pinterest-friendly graphic for it!
I've wanted to try this for ages, and I have to say, it's pretty exciting when a harebrained craft idea actually works. As you can (hopefully) see, the cross-stitched heart really does appear to be floating in mid-air inside the resin. There's no fabric at all here, and no visible means of support for the embroidery floss.
So how did I do it?
The secret is actually quite simple, albeit not the simplest thing to do:
I stitched my patterns on clear plastic sheets. (A page protector, to be exact.)
A few tips:
- Pick the simplest, smallest pattern you can find
- Use a sharp needle to pierce the plastic
- Because the back threads will be visible, use tiny knots to start and end your thread
- Keep the back tidy! No stretching across other stitches.
- Use two strands of floss when stitching. (I used three for the Space Invader, which made the stitches too tight & not as clearly defined.)
You're probably wondering how I knew where the holes should go while stitching on the plastic sheet. That's the sticking point, I'm afraid; you just have to wing it. I think I did alright on the heart, but for the Space Invader I got a little off on the right side; you can see his arm is a lot lower.
My next hurdle was making sure the plastic sheet remained invisible inside the resin. I tried two different methods:
For the heart I cut the plastic in the shape of the mold I'd be using, and for the Invader I trimmed it as close to the threads as I dared.
In the end both worked, really, but if you look reeeeally closely at the finished Invader necklace you can just see the edges of the plastic, so I'd say cutting it in the shape of your resin mold is the way to go.
Next I popped both pieces into molds filled with EasyCast resin:
(I'll show you that finished gun & gear pendant there on the bottom soon.)
After a day of curing the pendants popped out beautifully, but since they were clear I decided they needed some kind of backer to help reflect the light. I dug through my small cache of scrapbook paper and found these two options:
I liked the blue woven paper because it looks like fabric, but the combo with the orange looked a little sickly green. Plus the flowered paper was brighter.
Oh, and as you can see this was done before I realized you can't embed sparkly little crystals in resin, because SCIENCE. [Insert refraction explanation here] So my heart now has a shiny circle on it. We'll, uh, call it a sequin.
Speaking of shiny, I used a scrap of leftover mirror paper from my shadowbox display for the Space Invader, which looks pretty nifty:
I love how the bright orange floss reflects in the curved edges of the resin:
To attach the paper backings I used another tiny bit of resin, which was...well, a learning experience. I made a huge mess with the heart - resin spilling over the edges everywhere - and then with the Invader I used a much smaller amount and let the resin soak through the paper from behind, instead of creating a resin & paper sandwich. That worked much better. But honestly, I bet you could just Modpodge those paper backings on. (And remember to seal your paper first with clear glue, or else it will be saturated by the resin and turn a bit darker, like mine. Heh.)
Resin is super easy to drill, so a Dremel really isn't necessary (you could use a hand drill) - but using my press kept my angles straight:
I'd never done this before, so next I had to figure out how to hang the two pendants. They're really thick, so O-rings won't fit, and bails are a stretch. After a little research online, I grabbed some straight eye pins, and did this:
Next I found a nice thick chain, and 'twas done!
I did a little better on the Space Invader, if you don't count the fact that my holes don't line up perfectly:
Again, this would be better if I'd used two strands of floss instead of three, so it would be more obvious that the Invader is stitched. But overall, I think it's still kind of cute:
And that's my big resin experiment! I hope this inspires lots of other cross stitch-and-resin projects out there, since to my knowledge no one has ever tried stitching on clear plastic this way before. I plan to do a few more myself, too, since these have their flaws. (Wouldn't it be cool to have a rainbow Invader, with each line of stitching a different color? Or a pretty monogram? Let me know what other ideas you guys have, since I'm still brainstorming!) As always, if you DO try, please send me pictures!
UPDATE: See, this is why I love you readers: I've now learned of a wondrous thing called "waste canvas" that might solve my grid-placement issue! (I've been cross-stitching since I was 14 - how did I not know about this stuff??) Thanks, guys! I will definitely be giving it a try!