Adventures of a Jewelry-making Maven: Easy Colored Resin Jewelry

Aug 8, 2013

I can't be the only one out in Beadland who has been tempted by all those gorgeous resin jewelry-making projects out there, can I? One of the reasons I haven't done more with resin is because I just don't like those empty bezels staring back at me, and just filling the bezels with paper gets old after a while. After seeing a set of gorgeous resin projects using colored resin and jewelry-making components by Nunn Design, I set out to see if I could find an easy way to color resin using supplies that I already had around the house. I was pleased and surprised to find out just how easy it is to make colored resin for jewelry-making projects!

A couple of sources recommended using regular acrylic paint for coloring resin, and since I always have a couple packs of those inexpensive craft store acrylic paint pots around, I thought I would give it a try! I also happened to have a handful of bezels in fun shapes from Nunn Design -- they were originally intended for epoxy clay, but I liked the deep wells in the center, and the idea of filling them up with colored resin.

I mixed the resin as directed, then took one of the wood stir sticks and dipped it into a pot of acrylic paint. I added two or three scoops of paint to the resin and stirred gently until it was completely mixed. I noticed that before it blended with the resin, it left some interesting streaks -- something to go back and experiment with later, when I have more bezels or molds!

Because I wanted to add a little sparkle to the colored resin, I also added a touch of glitter from my stash of crafting and jewelry-making supplies. Some of you may remember that in one of my previous resin jewelry-making disasters, I added way too much glitter to the resin and wound up with some very strange-looking resin pendants.

Of course, none of my experiments in learning how to make resin jewelry would be complete without at least one mistake, and this time, I overfilled a couple of bezels in the bracelet I wanted to make. No worries, though, I used a stir stick to scoop out a bit of resin from that bezel so that it didn't spill over and make even more of a mess.

The results of this resin jewelry-making experiment were overwhelmingly positive: I made some beautiful colored resin jewelry! The next morning, I was thrilled to see how well the finished bracelet and pendants turned out, and now all that's left is for me to get some more chain and make a couple of beaded dangles to finish embellishing these particular jewelry-making projects. Success! I was also inspired to order a few sets of resin cabochon-making molds to continue my experiments with resin. Who knows? Maybe the next thing I add to my Etsy shop is a line of handmade resin cabochons full of dried flowers or resin steampunk cabochons with watch gears!

You know what I love best about these kinds of jewelry-making projects? They don't require a lot of expensive equipment or materials, just things that I usually already have around the house! If you want to learn some easy ways to add texture and visual interest to your jewelry-making projects made with resin and metal, I can highly recommend Susan Lenart Kazmer's 15+ Ways to Alter Metal Surfaces: Cold Enameling, Resin, Powders, Pastels, & More!

What impressed me the most about the techniques demonstrated by Susan in this hands-on video is that many of them can be done with materials that you probably already have handy -- nail polish, ammonia, salt, and artist's pastels. Who knew that creating outstanding jewelry could be so easy with some of these simple jewelry-making techniques? Get your copy of Susan Lenart Kazmer's 15+ Ways to Alter Metal Surfaces: Cold Enameling, Resin, Powders, Pastels, & More! and see how easy (and how much fun) it is to create unique, meaningful metal jewelry.

Have you done any great jewelry-making experiments with resin lately? Do you have any experiences or tips to share with us? I can't wait to get my resin cabochon and bangle bracelet molds so I can keep playing with this fun jewelry-making material! Leave a comment here on Beading Daily and let's talk about resin!

Bead Happy,


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quidproquouk wrote
on Aug 8, 2013 4:30 AM

Hi Jennifer,

Just a comment regarding polyester resins - Personally, I would not add acrylic  and watercolour as the water content is unlikely to allow the resin to cure completely, Additions such as flowers or insects which have not been thoroughly dried, in fact any organic item that has not been dried, will also retard the cure. These are wonderful additions if prepared correctly. Hope this helps someone.

Kind regards,


on Aug 8, 2013 8:59 AM

Hi Jennifer!

                    This post couldn't come at a better time. I just started playing with resin. The plan was to do a quicky blog post for the recycled electronic parts I recently started selling. But, OMG! Resin is so cool! I am dying to try more.

I was just thinking about adding color. I have oil paints...have you ever tried them?

Great tips from Leslie! My first batch I used fresh flowers...they ended up in the trash. I thought I had mixed it wrong....must have been the extra water content.

Thank you both!



ritzy2 wrote
on Aug 8, 2013 2:05 PM

I have used colored artist's chalks to color resin. Just scrape a little off and add to the resin.

Bandyboo wrote
on Aug 8, 2013 4:14 PM

Hi Jennifer,

I LOVE the teal & mustard rectangle bracelet!  It's been a long time since I got out my resin to play with, and you've given me the push I needed.  Thanks for the great idea!

pam :-)

nikatheninja wrote
on Dec 12, 2013 1:04 PM

Hi, Jennifer!

Thank you for the tutorial! I'm attempting to fill some filigree pendants with resin, and when I heard about people using acrylic paint to color the resin, I got excited because I have a huge collection of acrylic paint. I've heard that people can have mixed results depending on which resin they use. So I'm wondering which resin you used? And if you experienced any significant changes in the viscosity of the resin after adding the paint?

Thank you!