Today I have an extra special post for you… a resin tutorial to make your very own “Santa’s Magic Button”. Santa’s Magic Button is a little thing I’ve seen around the internet for a few year’s now… it’s the idea that when Santa was delivering presents a button from his magic coat popped off.
Maybe the kiddos find it next to the chimney or maybe his magic button has made it’s way under the tree… either way it’s a fun little reminder that magic is real and Santa really does exist.
Of course, you can buy all different types of “Santa’s Magic Button” that say lots of different things… but I loved the idea of making my own so that it coordinates with the rest of my decor. Plus after the kiddos find the button there are a few things you can do… hang it on the tree, rest it on the mantle or (and this is my personal favorite) make a cute little button sign with your Cricut to display it.
I wanted my little magic button to have a cute sign to hang on and a few regular buttons to go with it… so I figured why not make my magic button and my regular buttons at the same time. Then they’re sure to coordinate!
So today we’re going to focus on the resin part of this project: making the buttons. Then if you want to make the matching sign you can follow my Cricut tutorial for Santa’s Magic Button Sign right here.
- Total Boat Maker’s Epoxy Resin
- Santa’s Magic Button Silicone Mold
- Assortment of Buttons Silicone Mold
- Respirator/Mask (resin graded filters)
- Wagner HT400 Heat Gun
- Freezer Paper
- Silicone Mat
- Baking Pan
- Heart Shaped Silicone Mixing Cup
- Small Mixing Cups
- Silicone Measuring Cup/Larger Mixing Cups
- Reusable Silicone Stir Sticks
- White Craft Paint
- Rose Gold Metallic Craft Paint
- Paint Brush
- Paper Towels
Just in case you’re not sure about the whole keeping Santa’s magic alive thing… that is completely up to you. Of course, you can always make this little button solely because it’s adorable and skip the “Santa is real thing” all together… but I’ll tell you when I was a little girl (around 8? 9?) Santa stopped being real for me.
They didn’t have all these magic buttons or Elf on a shelf’s back then. So instead my Dad put on his combat boots and left “footprints from Santa” leading from the fireplace to the tree… and once again magic was real for me. I don’t remember Santa not being real or why my parents thought I was losing that childlike wonder in the holiday.
But I do remember how amazing it was when I saw real evidence that Santa existed and he was in my very house (wearing boots that left prints exactly like Daddy’s army issued combat boots… that part did not connect for me). So if this little button helps even one child hold onto that wonder a little longer? I’m all in.
Just getting started with resin? Download my free resin supply list and make your first project today!
Step 1: Prep your Station
Ready to mix a little resin? Before we jump right into the project let’s make sure we’re all set. I mean there’s nothing like dripping resin on the front porch because you thought “it’s just a little project, I’ll be careful. There’s no reason to put down a drop cloth or cover my table with freezer paper”.
Instead let’s take a moment to gather all of our supplies, cover all the surfaces with freezer paper, and place all of our molds on silicone (in baking trays) so they can be easily transported into a safe space to cure overnight.
You need a really well ventilated space to work with resin and since I have 5 dogs and a cat inside (without a workspace and air ventilation system) that place (for me) is my front porch. More specifically right next to my front door (so that I can plug in my heat gun). That means a little extra prep work but it’s totally worth it to be able to turn out magical Christmas resin projects like these. Don’t let a lack of work space keep you from creating!
Once you have your space set up make sure you have all of your paints, glitters, gloves and respirator. You don’t want to be mid pour and have to go riffling through your glitter collection… make sure you have all your supplies before you start to mix your resin!
Then it’s time to grab your resin and get started. Resin needs to be room temperature (not too hot or too cold) so I like to leave it inside while I’m setting up so that it doesn’t change temperatures while I’m prepping my space. Resin that’s too hot will cure too quickly and resin that’s too cold will have lots of bubbles… so keep that in mind when gathering your supplies.
You’ll also want to keep that in mind when picking a day to work on your resin creations… a super cold or rainy day won’t let your pieces cure as quickly while a scorching hot day will cook the pieces faster. You want nice weather for a resin work day!
Now that we have everything in one space let’s jump in (before it gets too cold… after all it is almost Christmas at the moment!)
Step 2: Mix your Resin
Start by pouring your resin in equal parts (a and b) into your mixing cup. I like to pour my projects in large groups to minimize the amount of times I have to turn my front porch into a resin workshop so I actually made about 300ml but this particular postage stamp mold used about 30ml of resin… so that’s 15ml of part a and 15ml of part b.
Don’t forget that as soon as you open that resin bottle you need to have on all of your personal protection equipment: gloves, respirator and even eye protection if you have it.
Now make sure to stir slowly for 3-5 minutes until the resin is thoroughly mixed. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the cup often to make sure alllll of the resin is incorporated into the mixture but try not to lift your stir stick out of the resin. You want to minimize the amount of bubbles in the mixture and the easiest way to make bubbles is to a) mix really quickly or b) lift your stir stick out of the cup over and over.
Once everything is thoroughly mixed go ahead and add your colorant… in this case that’s our metallic rose gold craft paint. I ended up making a few of these but in this tutorial I used about 10 drops paint because that rose gold can be very transparent. The general rule of thumb is that you don’t want to add more than 10% of paint to your resin so that it will still cure properly. But keep in mind that the less paint you add the more transparent your resin will be so if you want a really solid looking resin piece you’ll need to add drops of paint until the mixture appears more solid.
Bonus Tip: If you’ve never mixed resin before it’s not nearly as intimidating as you’d think! I’ll walk you through all the steps here in my How to Mix Resin for Beginners Tutorial.
Step 3: Pour Resin into your Silicone Mold
Ready for the fun part? Go ahead and double check that your mold is clean of all dust and dirt and then it’s time finally to pour your resin!
I always always always try to pour from high up in a thin stream. The thinner the stream of bubbles the less bubbles make it into the mold… and minimizing bubbles is always the name of the game but it’s especially important when your mold has lots of little ridges and corners where bubbles can settle and get stuck.
Make sure to cover the entire bottom of the mold slowly and carefully (this is the front of your actual resin piece so you want the bubbles on the surface to be as minimal as possible). I find the best way to achieve this is to slowly pour a thin stream of resin onto each letter and into each corner. Then use your heat gun to pop as many bubbles on the surface before filling the rest of the mold.
The larger button is pretty easy to fill but make sure to go slow with the little buttons. They fill up much faster than you think they will! Just go slow and steady and you’ll be fine… you also want to over fill them just a smidge so that when the resin cures (and shrinks) the resin will be flat across the top.
Of course, even when I’m careful I tend to overfill these little buttons so under-filling them isn’t really a problem… but it could be.
When it comes to small molds like these tiny buttons bubbles can hide in the corners (or between the prongs of the buttons). The heat gun will grab all the surface bubbles but you’ll need a toothpick (or the end of a twist tie) to urge the tiny bottom bubbles to the surface so that you can pop them with the heat gun!
Once you’ve popped all the bubbles set your entire cooking tray in a cool (temperature controlled) location to harden. Honestly? I like to set mine in my guest bathroom so that they’re inside, no one messes with them and I don’t have to smell the cooling resin. It definitely still smells like resin as it hardens (and no one wants to wear a respirator for 24 hours) so you’ll want it to be somewhere out of the way (with a door).
Another tip? Cover the tray so that no dust or dirt (or dog hair) can settle in the resin as it cools. Then leave the entire piece for about 24 hours. Once the resin has cured we’ll move on to de-molding!
Step 4: De-mold your Resin Piece!
Once it’s been about 24 hours we can go ahead and de-mold these little buttons. These are some of my favorite pieces to de-mold since the tiny button holes in the middle of each button are so fun to de-mold. I always think they’ll get stuck but they just pop right out! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Start from the outside and carefully pull the edges of the silicone away from your piece. The silicone will stretch realllllly far if you need it to but you don’t want to stretch it to far out of shape… once you have the edges all pulled back (so that you can actually grab the resin piece) you’ll want to pull the resin piece free from the mold.
Volia! De-molding finished!
Now double check that your silicone mold is clean and you can put it away for the next project (or make another piece… it’s ready to go right away!). If possible try to store all of your silicone molds flat in a temperature controlled place so that they don’t distort and warp over time. Perfect!
Step 5: Paint the Indention’s
At this point you could be finished… but do you see the difference in the resin pieces above? How when the sun hits them the surface is shiny and the words are clearly visible? That’s great but we can’t rely on the sun alllll the time. Plus I kind of want to be able to read my little buttons once I put them on my sign!
So instead of relying on the sun we’re going to use a little paint to highlight those indention’s.
Luckily this only looks complicated… it’s really a very easy process.
Basically we’re going to add a bit of craft paint to our piece and then use our paper towel to wipe the paint off. This will leave the paint in the indention’s while the surface is super shiny smooth.
A few tips? The paint wipes off super easy while it’s wet so work in small sections… paint, wipe, paint, wipe. Another tip is that if you’re having trouble removing paint from small areas a q-tip comes in handy!
Ready for the last tip? When you’re painting try not to put paint alllll over the sides of your piece. It will wipe off but I find it way harder to remove paint from the sides v.s. the front (go figure) and honestly it’s much easier to just avoid painting the sides in the first place.
At this point our little resin pieces are finished! You could easily add a ribbon to these bad boys and hang them on your Christmas tree… but I wanted to include the entire story of the magic button. So I whipped up a little “Santa’s Lost his Magic Button” sign with my Cricut to really show off this sweet little resin button.
Just a little word of caution before I go. Resin is dangerous to consume… which is one reason I liked the idea of hanging it on a sign instead of the tree. When I place resin ornaments on my tree (like these snowflakes or these hummingbirds) I make sure they’re realllllly secure and if kiddos are handling this one they could easily try to take it on and off the tree.
If your kiddos are still young and will put this in their mouths? They’re not old enough for it yet… buy a wooden one. If you have dogs that could eat it… make sure they’re locked up while it’s under the tree (for your kiddos to find). Basically if anyone in your family may try to chew on this button it’s not worth it. It’s adorable but only for looking at… not eating.
Looking for even more pretty blush and rose gold projects? Here’s a few of my favorite projects from this year’s Blush and Seafoam Christmas or all the projects I made for last year’s Blush & Rose Gold Christmas!