You’ve probably seen images on Pinterest of paperweights made from resin, with a tufted dandelion beautifully stretched out inside?
If not, this is what a resin paperweight looks like:
There is a fantastic video online that shows how to make it as well:
So, and since I had a bit of epoxy resin leftover from my branch table of a few days ago, the girls and I decided to see if we could repeat the process and create our own resin paperweight / dandelion paperweight.
First we set up a bowl with rice in it. This is where we placed our resin molds to dry.
Next we indulged in a few quarter treats from the gumball machine so we could get those little plastic prize containers. Okay, the gumball machines are now a buck each, but it sounds so much more quaint and appealing when you think of destroying a quarter item versus a dollar one.
We set the clear plastic lids into our rice and then slowly filled them with the prepped epoxy resin.
The girls decided that dandelions were too “Been there, done that” so they chose their own flowers – for Madison it was a few tiny yellow flowers (I have no idea what they’re called) and Chloe opted for a small piece of lilac.
I have no imagination, so I stuck with the dandelion. (One less to pull out of the lawn later right?)
We slowly submersed our flowers in our resin.
I was surprised the dandelion tufts didn’t pull off or smush down when I put it in the epoxy resin – but they didn’t.
Turns out that the lilac and yellow flowers floated – not expected – but we were excited to see what happened…
We let the resin paperweight dry for 36 hours, per the package instructions, then Madison used a rubber mallet and smashed the plastic containers off.
This is what we were left with:
Turns out that the lilac didn’t like the resin at all and turned brown immediately. The flowers lost some of their colour, and in all three resin paperweight you’ll see mass amounts of tiny bubbles.
If you’ve used epoxy resin before you know that when you mix the compounds together (resin + hardener), tiny bubbles form and some will even float out while you’re mixing. If you are making a faux granite table top or covering a wood surface with a resin coating, you can either breathe on the wet epoxy or use a small blow torch to pop all of the bubbles for a perfectly clear surface.
Because our resin craft was inside a plastic container, breathing (the CO2) only popped some of the surface bubbles, but not any that were inside. We couldn’t use a lighter or blow torch or we’d melt the plastic shell holding the resin in place.
Such a bummer – these would have been so cute!
I wonder if the lilac has more bubbles because of it wilting inside the resin?
I think Madison’s held up the best, and even still it looks like flowers in a snow storm.
Another thing I noticed was that our epoxy resin was much more yellow than the stuff in the video above? Maybe I used the wrong stuff altogether?
Lessons learned the hard way; next time use fake flowers that won’t wilt, and check for a non-yellowing epoxy resin. Oh, and figure out how to get those pesky bubbles out.
They are still neat to look at and who knows, someday an archeologist might find these and start the next (botanical) Jurassic Park – our failure could make history!
Have a great one!