Hi everyone! I decided to make some resin clocks, and I thought it would be good to make a step-by-step tutorial of how I do it including how to assemble to clockworks at the end. This was a super fun project!
Since these clocks take 3 days to make, I wanted to make four of them at once. It was a challenge to get the resin placed in the number cavities before my work time ended, but I loved how these turned out. I decided to pour each clock base with different techniques to compare the end results, and I recorded the entire process. You can see the video on our YouTube channel.
What is Resin?
Resin usually comes in parts, and each manufacturer has specific directions on how to mix and use their product. There are several types of resin available, with Epoxy being the most common and comfortable to use. The resin will start in a fluid form, and when mixed with the hardener provided, a chemical reaction starts to convert it from a liquid to a solid-state. During the conversion time, it is workable and can be poured into molds, colored, mixed with glitter, poured over painted art… the possibilities are nearly endless for its uses.
Resin is a multi-part fluid system that when combined creates a clear, high-gloss, and durable surface. Epoxy resin is the simplest resin for artists to use and an exciting medium because of its durability and versatility.
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My Supply List
- Resin Clock Molds
- TableTop Resin
- Mica Powder (50 colors): I used Datura, Black, Rose, Lavender, and Pink
- Black Pinata Alcohol ink
- Clock Molds
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Baby Wipes
- Dixie Cups
- Measuring Cups
- Pop cycle Sticks – Small
- Pop cycle Sticks – Jumbo
- Paper Towels
- Heat Gun
Resin is intriguing to artists because of the endless possibilities it provides and the incredible dimensional effects it creates. But working with resin is not for the faint of heart. There are a few safety precautions you need to learn prior to opening your first bottle.
Always wear Nitrile or Latex gloves to protect your hands from touching the resin. I like to use Nitrile gloves that are powder-free. The Nitrile helps me with my skin sensitivities, and I choose the powder-free option because I do not want the powder in my final result. Gloves help prevent resin from touching my skin are a must-have item for mixed media artists. Epoxy resin is toxic and you should wear disposable gloves when working with it.
Wash Skin Promptly
If your skin comes in contact with the resin, wash it off immediately. Resin is toxic and can lead to serious health conditions if not used safely. Using soap and water will clean your hands and adding an exfoliant (like a small bowl of poppy seeds) will add in cleaning off the sticky resin.
I highly recommend using these quality soaps before and after you work with resin or any other art medium. These soaps are 100% handcrafted with natural ingredients that are tough on dirt (and sticky resin!) but gentle on your skin and will not cause irritation. I have skin sensitivities and I use these soaps in my studio and my home. All three of these work well with getting rid of the sticky resin residue, and they last a long time! Learn more about Alo Goods!
Always work in a well-ventilated area. Resin gives off fumes that can create health concerns if not used properly. My studio is a small room, but I have an air conditioner running as well as the window propped open when I work with resin. Fans are helpful if the fan is not blowing directly on your project.
If in doubt, wear a mask! Protecting your health should be a priority and it is important to learn about the products you are using. All resin manufacturers have safety data sheets included with their products or on their websites. Refer to the product safety data sheet (SDS) of your resin. This will detail whether or not you should wear a respirator while working the product.
Resin Clocks – A Step by Step Tutorial
1. Decide on your color design. I like to use 3-4 colors when working with resin. I find when I work with more than that, I risk my design looking “muddy” when it has cured. Remember, the resin will continue to move and blend as it cures! For this project, I used 4 colors for my base and black for my numbers.
2. Mix your resin according to the directions from the manufacturer. Do not rush this step! One of the most common mistakes beginners make is not mixing their resin properly. Make sure you scrape the sides and the bottom of your cup as you mix. TIP: It might be helpful to set a timer or alarm to help you with how long you need to stir.
3. Fill your dixie cup with resin and add your color. Mix until well blended. If you need assistance with how to color resin, I have created a step-by-step tutorial on how to color and dye resin.
TIP if using pigment powder: Place the pigment powder color that you will be using for the numbers in a dixie cup and mix with a very small amount of resin until the powder has dissolved. Add the remaining resin and mix. If desired, add a drop or two of alcohol ink to help intensify the color.
4. Take the pipette and start adding the colored resin to the cavities in the clock. Work in small amounts and use a toothpick to help release the air bubbles. It is important to make sure that the resin stays inside of the cavities only. Use baby wipes to help clean the colored resin from the base of the clock.
5. Let the resin cure until it is a solid-state to prevent the colored resin from blending with the resin you will pour on the base. I let mine cure for 12 hours.
6. Clean any excess dried resin from the clock base. I use Isopropyl alcohol and baby wipes to clean.
7. Now it is time to pour the base of the clock. Mix your resin according to the manufacturer’s directions. Mix the colors you selected for your clock base with the clear resin.
8. Pour the colored resin into the clock base as desired. Use the heat gun as needed to help release the air bubbles. Use caution when applying heat! Do not let the heat stay in one place too long or you will risk overheating the resin. You want to use slow, fluid motion. As the resin heats, it will move more and the colors will blend more.
9. Now you will need to cover your molds and let cure according to the manufacturer’s directions. (I let mine cure for 24 hours.) To cover your molds, you can use an empty box, plastic storage bin, or food tents. Boxes and bins work very well, but I prefer the food tents because they are collapsible and easy to store.
10. Once cured, it’s time to remove the clock base from the mold!
11. Now it is time to assemble the clock parts! Make sure you read the instructions provided on your package. While most of these clockworks are very similar, it is always best to make sure you are assembling they way it was intended (i.e. having extra parts at the end is not always a good thing!)
- Make sure the silver bracket lines up with the channel on the black base.
- Place the clock face on the black base.
- Make sure the “12” lines up with the silver circle on the bracket.
- Add the washer.
- Now add the nut, tightening and securing the black base to the clock face. It helps to hold the black base while you secure the nut.
- Double-check that the number 12 lines up with the circle on the silver bracket.
- Find the “small hand” and secure it on the post. It should gently snap into place.
- Find the “large hand” and place it on top of the “small hand”. It will only go on the post one way. Keep turning until it locks in.
- Find the super small nut and secure the “large hand” onto the post.
- If the hands move while you secure the nut, hold onto the black turn dial. This will keep the hands still while you work.
- Turn the “large hand” until the time reaches the 12 o’clock hour.
- Once it is adjusted, snap on the second hand.
- Add a battery and there you go! Custom hand-made clocks!