Epoxy truly has an unlimited amount of potential, but some projects will leave you with scraps… but they don’t have to be thrown away. With a little work, even scraps can be repurposed into a beautiful project.
Total Project Time: 1 hour
When creating projects, I often find myself having a lot of scraps at the end and throwing them away just doesn’t feel right. I hate wasting things, especially something I can use for a project (I know I have the beginning thought process of a hoarder, hopefully I can keep it in check!). Since the left-over pieces were relatively flat, I decided that they would be perfect for making jewelry! And it’s a perfect way to display those lovely ocean-like patterns.
I decided that the main project I wanted to do was a set of earrings, I would recommend having a set of pliers on hand to help. The other supplies are:
- Epoxy scraps
- Jig saw (or some tool that can cut through epoxy)
- Sandpaper & Sanding Tool (I recommend having sandpaper with grit 320, 500, 800, 1000 and 1500 on hand)
- Orbital Buffer
- 2 Earring hooks
- 4 jump rings
Looking at the supplies needed for this project, I didn’t realize how many heavy-duty tools are needed to make something that can fit into the palm of my hand. Unfortunately, some of these tools are necessary (mainly the jig saw and the drill) because epoxy is quite hard and very resistant to breaking. I originally tried to shatter the epoxy to get some unique shapes from the wreckage, but the epoxy did not yield.
So, this is where I turned to my trusty jig saw! Cutting such small pieces with a heavy-duty tool definitely put me on edge so I did wear the proper protective gear. It’s always important to remember to be safe when working with electric tools. Once I had broken all of pieces to a good size, the fun of sanding began. Sanding epoxy is a process and it can be very time consuming. Starting with the 320-grit sandpaper, the entire project was sanded moving up to the light grits (320 to 500 to 800 to 1000 to 1500) to get rid of any scratches and to smooth out the surface.
I then used the drill to make holes in the pieces which would allow them to be made into jewelry. I admittedly went too far away from the edges of the piece. The epoxy would have held up even if I had moved in closer. The last step to prepare the epoxy is polishing it using the polish and the buffer. This just gives it a final layer of shine and a nice finish.
Using the jump rings, the epoxy pieces were strung together and hung from the earring hooks. The final pieces were super pretty even if a little asymmetrical, but I expected those results as getting two pieces to look alike seemed nearly impossible.
Stress and Strain
Never did I think that my chemical engineering background would come in handy when it comes to making crafts, but epoxy has proved me wrong. Epoxy has a high strain retention which means that it will stretch quite a bit before breaking. To the point where I would need a machine to break it as I would more than likely stretch the material and deform it in that way before breaking it with my hands.
- Using a jigsaw, or something similar, cut the epoxy into pieces
- Sand the pieces building up from 320 grit, to 500, to 800 to 1000 to 1500.
- Use drill to create desire holes
- Polish epoxy pieces
- String pieces together using jump rings and hang from earring hooks.