Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I've been waiting to share this tutorial for a while now, because I was hoping to have a perfect end product for the big reveal.
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:
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.
(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!
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