Ta-da! Smashed pennies in resin!
This is one of those crafts that's really easy in theory, but a little more tedious in practice.
First I spent a good half hour polishing pennies, since I wanted them nice and shiny in the resin. (There are lots of products you can use, but for the best shine I've found nothing beats Brasso [get the old formula in a metal can] and a nubby wash cloth, followed by a vigorous rub-down with a Magic Eraser for those really stubborn spots.)
I've yet to buy another brand of epoxy resin, so I used Easy Cast again for this batch. It seems that by mixing larger batches you're less likely to get the proportions wrong, so happily everything cured just fine this round:
link here) - although of course shipping tacks on another five bucks or so. (My bracelet ended up using only six pennies, though, so really you only need one mold.)
The pennies sink right to the bottom of the molds, of course, so in the future I might try layering the resin to get them to "float" more in the center. (Although that would make drilling a little trickier.)
After a day of curing I popped out the pennies, trimmed the sharp edges off with scissors, and then filed the edges a bit, too, since I knew they'd be rubbing up against my wrist.
Pretty, right? They remind me of little paper weights
Next came the tricky part: drilling.
You'll need a drill press for this, because keeping a perfect 90 degree angle is essential when drilling lengthwise through a narrow piece. (This is my Dremel drill press.) I'm using a small wood block here as a support, both to safeguard my fingers and because the resin has rounded edges, which makes it want to rock a bit.
You can see I'm pressing the resin piece against the wood block pretty hard; if you're not careful the drill will make the resin shift down into the gap in the platform, making your hole go off course. I found it helps to drill very slowly, and to kind of pump the handle on the drill press so that you drill in several small stages:
If you rush it you're pretty much guaranteed a slip and a wonky drill line, so take your time. Oh, and I just eye-balled the spacing, but you could also measure to make sure your holes are all consistent.
The finished pieces. See the small frosted drill lines?
Next is the easy part, although funnily enough it took me the longest: stringing the bracelet.
I reeeally didn't want to make a stretchy bracelet, but when I couldn't find a good two-cord clasp at any of my local craft stores I caved and bought some clear stretchy cord. Then it took me four or five tries to find the right spacer beads, since I've never made a bracelet like this before and honestly didn't know which kind would look right.
The first beads I picked were gorgeous (and matched my wedding band!), but since they weren't round they didn't lay right on my wrist:
This is something any jewelry maker would have known, I'm sure, but I guess I like learning things the hard way. ;)
Next I tried some chunky clear beads, but they were too big, making the bracelet either way too big with six resin pieces or too tight with only five:
So back to the craft store I went, and came back with three more options:
(They're actually lovely shades of copper, but the finish didn't seem right.)
...and finally, my very last choice turned out to be my favorite:
Now for some better lighting:
You can definitely see a slight yellow tinge to the resin here (taken in indirect sunlight, no color correction), but only because it's on a white paper. You can't see it on other colors, or if I'm wearing it:
The pennies are from the Magic Kingdom, and most are from Adventureland and Frontierland. (I need to replace the Goofy penny with a Jungle Cruise one, and then I'll have a more complete set.)
Again, that's the pennies reflecting through the resin. So don't worry too much if you want to use Easy Cast for this project; my guess is other brands will still look a bit yellowish with pennies in them.
And finally, here's my attempt at a pin-able pic for my fellow Pinterest users:
(I'm not going to tell you how long I spent looking at fonts for this, because I know someone out there is already judging me for picking this one. Is there a word for font anxiety? 'Cuz I haz it. I haz it BAD.)
I hope you liked my latest penny craft! And in case you missed them before, you can see some of my other smashed penny jewelry tutorials here and here.
Happy weekend, everyone!