I’ll be honest… when I bought this little silicone mold I had no idea what I was going to use it for. I just thought it would be a cute and easy resin decoration for Christmas. It’s a small mold though and reads “You’re on the Nice List, Love Santa” so those words are fairly tiny.
I whipped one up with a bit of resin to see how clear the words would be once made and instantly fell in love with the entire project. Then I had a light bulb moment… I could make a few of these “you’re on the nice list” cards and put them in adorable little envelopes (that I made with my Cricut) and put the whole thing (envelope and resin card) in an adorable little mailbox… destination: Santa’s Workshop.
That’s right we’re making a Letter’s to Santa Mailbox and these little “nice list” resin cards are going to be the actual letters from Santa… to all of the nice little girls and boys.
But before we put the entire mailbox together we need to whip up a few of these little nice list resin cards.
Let’s get started.
- Total Boat Maker’s Epoxy Resin
- Santa’s Nice List 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
- Iridescent Flakes
- Paint Brush
- Paper Towels
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Step 1: Prep your Work Station
Ready to mix a little resin? Before we jump right into the project let’s prep our work station… gather all our supplies, cover all the surfaces with freezer paper, 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. That means a little extra prep work but it’s totally worth it to be able to turn out 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 pigments and glitters. 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… it is December at the moment!)
Step 2: Mix your Resin
Since I only have one mold for this little nice list card (and we want to make a few of them) we’ll start with the iridescent flake piece since it’s the “hardest” and then I’ll make the other two later. The only difference in adding iridescent flakes instead of craft paint is the quantity. You want to add about 10% of paint to resin when working with paints… you can add as many iridescent flakes as you like!
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 but this particular 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.
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.
After you’ve mixed your resin for 3-5 minutes and it feels really mixed up we can add our iridescent flakes. These little babies are gorgeous in resin (just check out this crown trinket box where I used them a few months ago, or the iridescent hummingbird ornaments I made last week) but the best part is they’re nothing like glitter.
They stay suspended in the resin and don’t settle to the bottom so you can add them to your resin, stir and go. You don’t have to wait for your resin to thicken up. Which is great since resin pours the best right after it’s been mixed.
I’m getting away from the topic… go ahead and add a pinch or two to your resin and stir it until the flakes are evenly distributed. If you need more go ahead and add more just keep in mind that you can always add more but you can’t take them out!
One more tip? If you already have resin on your gloves take them off and get new ones before grabbing your bag of iridescent flakes… you don’t want to permanently stickify your crafting supplies.
Step 3: Pour Resin into your Silicone Mold
So now you have a big bucket of resin mixed up with beautiful iridescent flakes. What’s next.
Pouring it into the mold! Make sure the mold is clean of all dust and dirt and then start to pour. 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.
Unfortunately pouring in a thin stream can be hard with the flakes but just try your best and our in as thin a stream as possible. A thin stream with globs of iridescent flakes is better than a thick stream with bubbles!
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. Typically I like the way the iridescent flakes look just fine but sometimes I’ll get a bunch in one area… just use your stir stick (or a toothpick) to push them around a bit until you like how they look.
Once the entire piece is filled you can use a toothpick to push any small bubbles to the surface. I try to check all the corners and around any words/design for bubbles and pop them with my heat gun as soon as they get to the surface with my toothpick!
It can take a minute but it’s so worth it for a bubble free surface on your piece. 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 liberate this baby from it’s silicone prison (and start all over with the next piece). 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!
This really is the most satisfying part of the process… not only do you get your first look at how the piece turned out but something about pulling resin free from the silicone is like popping the bubbles on bubble wrap or peeling that factory sheet of plastic off a new phone screen.
Spine tingling good.
Make sure 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 nice list cards without needing to tilt them this way and that way.
So instead of relying on the sun we’re going to use a little paint to highlight those indention’s.
Luckily this is a pretty 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 was super excited about my little mailbox idea.
Check it out!
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!