I have a really fun project for you today… an iridescent ice mountain to rival Elsa’s. Of course, you could make your little mountain any color you like (or any material you like… little resin mountains! sweet mountain candles!) but I’m going for an ice mountain so we’re talking resin with iridescent flakes.
These little holographic mountains are going to be perfect as part of the winter wonderland centerpiece on my holographic tablescape.
I can’t wait!
But before we can set our holographic winter table we need to make a few mountains. So let’s whip out the resin and get to work!
- Total Boat Maker’s Epoxy Resin
- Mountain 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
- Iridescent Flakes
- Paper Towels
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 prep our work station… gather all our supplies, cover all the surfaces with freezer paper, place our mountain mold in a baking tray with deep sides (so that if it spills the resin will stay off the floor) and can be easily transported into a safe space to cure overnight.
Trust me… you don’t want resin on your floor.
Just remember 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 (and moving resin as it cures 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 supplies: including those iridescent flakes. They’re slippery little buggers! 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.
You’ll also want to keep temperature 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 winter at the moment after all!)
Step 2: Mix your Resin
Since I want a few of these little mountains I’ll have to make one, wait for it to cure and then start all over with a second mountain. Resin is funny like that but for projects like these the only other alternative is to buy multiple molds… and we’re not making enough mountains for that!
That’s ok… these little mountains will be worth it!
We’ll have to start by making one mountain at a time. 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 (I made these little iridescent hummingbirds and even a few little resin gnomes at the same time) but this particular set of molds used about 400ml of resin… so that’s 200ml of part a and 200ml 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 but the best part is they’re nothing like glitter. Glitter is kind of a pain in the rear as it’s heavy and alllll falls to the bottom (or the front) of your mold. Which isn’t great if you’re trying to make 3-dimensional objects.
On the other hand these iridescent flakes stay suspended in the resin and don’t settle to the bottom! Which is kind of amazing! You can basically 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 few large pinches 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 while you can always add more but you can’t take them out!
You’ll want quite a few flakes in these little mountains though… so that they really reflect the light!
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.
And yes… stickify is a word.
Step 3: Pour Resin into your Silicone Mold
All set? Ready to roll? Perfect! Let’s go ahead and pour our resin before it starts to cure.
Double check real quick though: is your mold clean of all dust and dirt? If the answer is yes then you’re good to go. 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 a teeny tiny little beak and a circular section where bubbles can settle and get stuck.
Just keep pouring in as thin a stream as possible until all of your molds are full. I know that pouring in a thin stream can be hard with the flakes (especially in these little tiny areas) but just try your best. I find it works best if you pour the resin in as central a location as possible (the body and tail) and then let it settle into the smaller areas.
Once the resin has settled in the bottom of the mold (just the bottom) you can use the tip of a twist tie or toothpick to guide the resin down into those narrow areas. Pay special attention to the tips of the mountain and all the little cracks… and while you’re guiding the resin through these areas use your toothpick to push any little bubbles that have gotten stuck to the surface.
Then you can pop them with your heat gun!
Since these little mountains are quite deep you’ll want to pour in layers. So pour about 1/5 of the mountain and then double check alllll the nooks and crannies for bubbles. Then pour another 1/5 and keep going until the entire mold is full of resin… popping bubbles as you go!
If you have even more time (and patience) you can let each layer cure in between pours but I had pretty good luck pouring everything in one go.
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!
This is the fun part! Go ahead and 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. For larger pieces like this one it’s all about introducing air into the mold as much as possible. You should be able to pull one side far enough away from the mountain that you can see the tip of the mountain from the base… just work your way around the entire mold!
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!
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: Topcoat
We are sooooo close to finished! Because this specific mold is meant for candles and not resin it leaves a matte finish. That would probably look amazing on a light pink or blue mountain but it just looks a little cloudy on a clear mountain with iridescent flakes.
So let’s put a topcoat on these babies!
Resin topcoats really shine everything up and make them crystal clear again… so that you can see all that holographic goodness.
Make sure that you’re using a silicone mat (so that any resin that drips down the side of the mountain will be easily cleaned up and not hard to remove) and a pair of gloves for this… it gets messy. Once you’re gloved up you can mix about 20ml of resin… you won’t need much for each mountain.
Honestly? I like to scoop up a bit with my (gloved) fingertip and then spread it allllll over the mountain. Make sure it’s in all the nooks and crannies and that it’s a thin layer. The thinner the layer the less will drip down the sides and pool at the bottom. Once everything is spread evenly go ahead and set it down to cure for a night and then you’re good to go!
Although you can always double check your pieces in an hour or two… if any resin has pooled at the bottom of the mountains you can move the mountain to a dry spot on the silicone mat and prevent having to cut off the excess later!
Step 6: Enjoy!
That’s it! The whole process!
I absolutely love how these little mountains turned out… definitely fit for an ice princess.
Yes, I sang let it go continuously while I whipped them up! I know I’ll use them in other projects later but for now they’re the centerpiece of my pretty winter wonderland tablescape. See allllllll the details (and see a few more angels of these little ice mountains) on my Holographic Tablescape with a Winter Wonderland Centerpiece post.
In the meantime enjoy these finished pictures of my pretty little mountains!