TIPS / RESIN DOMING FAQ

TIPS / RESIN DOMING FAQ

Our community of makers have come forward with some great questions in relation to doming with resin. We have answered them all here.

Best doming resin?

Our stocked JustResin DiamondCote or ArtCast Slow Set Resin are our two top recommendations.

Does resin bubble? If so, how do you remove them before it's cured?

Yes, when mixing resin bubbles do form. Our tips to remove and minimise bubbles are heating the resin in warm water or the sun before pouring and mixing the resin, let the resin sit for 5 or 10 minutes after mixing the two parts together, use a heat gun or lighter to pop the bubbles once the resin has been applied to the surface.

What's the best heat gun to remove bubbles?

Hot Devil or Scanpan Butane Blow Torches are the top recommendations from our resin community on Instagram.

Why does the resin shrink and pull away from the outsides of my domed piece?

Shrinking is a result of a chemical reaction that occurs when certain resins cure (specifically UC resin). You are using the wrong resin for doming if this is happening. You need to use a resin that is specifically made for doming such as DiamondCote or ArtCast Slow Set Resin. These resins will not shrink when you dome with them.

Tips for someone new to doming?

Take your time with the process, do some research on Google before starting and invest in resin that is made specifically for doming like DiamondCote or ArtCast Slow Set Resin

Should you sand before or after resin doming?

Sand after doming, otherwise you'll end up having to sand twice in case there is resin spillage. 

Is resin safe? 

It is imperative that you follow safety measures when using resin as it does release toxic fumes. You need to wear a mask, goggles and gloves to avoid any skin exposure. Sit in a well ventilated room like a garage with the door open. As long as you practice these safety measures, you will be fine. Don't let it scare you from playing with resin as it is truly a wonderful medium.

What is the best tool to use to apply resin to the surface of what you are doming?

This is a complete person preference. I [Lauren] use paddle pop sticks but haven't tried any other method. Others swear by a syringe. See what works for you!

Can I use UV light to cure JR DiamondCote resin?

DiamondCote does not requires UV light to cure  It cures itself over a 7 day period. It can be touched after 24 hours.

How do I keep my resin from peeling off my clay when I drill holes?

Peeling happens when the resin is not cured enough. It is important to allow a full length curing time before drilling (look at the resin instructions to find this information). Drilling the hole from the back of the polymer clay piece stops the resin from peeling on the front. Placing masking tape on the resin and drilling over the tape is also a way to prevent peeling and cracking. 

What do you do if resin drips over the edge of the polymer clay?

Once the resin has cured, you can sand any resin spillage off the sides of your pieces.  

When doming, does it cover the sides?

Doming only covers the top of the polymer clay (or whatever surface you are applying the resin to). It does not cover the sides... but never say never!

Have you got a question that hasn't been answered here? Send us an email and we would love to help you out. 

July 02, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TIPS / HOW TO CLEAN BRASS CHARMS

TIPS / HOW TO CLEAN BRASS CHARMS

Ever wondered how to make your brass components shinier after a bit of wear and tear? Or how to remove the tarnish off raw brass? 

All you need is lemon, baking soda & vinegar.🍋 Mix these ingredients together until a paste is formed. Apply the paste with a soft cloth in the affected areas and let it sit for ain it’s or two. Rinse with warm water and dry with a micro fibre cloth- your brass components will look brand new.

P.S. This is also a great little trick to pass onto your customers if they ever run into this little problem! 
June 29, 2021 — Lauren Holder
Blog series / Wholesaling your products / Products

Blog series / Wholesaling your products / Products

So, you are wanting a clearer direction on how to enter the world of wholesaling your handmade products and you have ended up here – brilliant! This blog series is packed full of valuable information [tested by me personally] to help you reach a new and exciting stage of your business. To avoid overwhelm, we are breaking this series up into separate stages. First up we need to talk about the core of your business, which is your product.

Identifying your product 

Before even considering wholesaling your products, you must clearly identify your product. Be definitive with which products you are going to wholesale and make sure you have enough supplies to make an adequate amount of those products.

If you are a start-up [which is likely you are], it is better to focus on delivering one product and delivering it properly. Some handmade businesses can get caught up in the excitement of starting a business and decide to release many products. This is not the way to go. Start with one product, nail it, and then think about expanding your range. So, you must decide which product/s you are confident in selling wholesale.

Should you make to order or have stock ready on hand?

A tough question handmade business owners must consider is whether or not they should make their products to order, or to have stock ready on hand. This is a decision that you must make based on your situation. There are many factors that you should consider, including how long it takes to create a product, the cost of making the product, if you think the product is going to be a popular seller, etc.

If the products are quick and easy to make, it makes sense making them to order [then there is no risk of you making them all in one colour when the stockist in fact wants them in another colour]. If the products are time consuming, it is perhaps a safer option to make them ahead of time [alternatively, just inform the stockist that production time will simply take longer].

Stockists often buy in large quantities and it is very common for them to want five or more of a SKU. It is recommended you have plenty of supplies or pre made stock on hand for this very reason. If they order more than what you have available of a product, you are missing the opportunity to make a higher profit!

How often do you need to update your product lines?

It is recommended that you update your product lines 3-4 times a year. Perhaps changing them around a bit for each season [eg colours]. Customers will lose interest in your products if you do not change them or introduce new items. 

Imagine if Adairs never updated their bedding and everything looked the same every time you went into their shop! You would lose interest, wouldn’t you? It is exactly the same for your brand. Stockists will stop reordering if no one is buying your old product in their shop. 

Confirmation Bias 

When creating new products, something you must keep in mind is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. In a non-dictionary sounding way, it means you think the product is good enough to sell when really, it is not that flash and needs some working on. So, when you create a new product, seek feedback from family, friends, social media followers or even ask your stockists what they think! You then avoid wasting time and money on creating a product that people are not going to buy.

In the next blog post in this series we will cover the topic of approaching and finding stockists. 

May 18, 2021 — Lauren Holder
Tutorial / Should I be scratching my earring posts before glueing them to polymer clay?

Tutorial / Should I be scratching my earring posts before glueing them to polymer clay?

An ongoing debate between makers is whether to scratch/sand the pads on earring posts before glueing or to not? Let us tell you more about this topic. 

The earring pad’s smooth surface makes it harder for polymer clay to stick to it. The purpose of “scratching” the earring pad is so that it can adhere to the glue and polymer clay surface. Get what we mean? If you use a glue to adhere your earrings to polymer clay, we encourage you to scratch them a little. You can use an exacto knife or sanding paper to do this [both of which you can find at your local hardware store]! 

If you use another method to adhere your earring posts such as embedding, resin or liquid Sculpey, then it is not necessary for you to sand your posts. Wondering how? Head over to our blog post about attaching earring posts to polymer clay here.
May 06, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TUTORIAL / How to create a howlite marble effect with polymer clay

TUTORIAL / How to create a howlite marble effect with polymer clay

Have you caught onto the latest polymer clay howlite marble effect trend? Honestly, the opportunities are endless with this technique as you can use as many clay and paint colours as you like, meaning you could create a version of it that is unique to you and your business 'cos #DifferentiationIsKey in the handmade industry!

Want the inside scoop on how to create this effect? Keep reading...

What you need [to make a monochrome howlite marble effect]:

  • White polymer clay 
  • Black heavy body acrylic paint (or any other black thick acrylic paint)
  • Sculpey Liquid Polymer Clay
  • Zip lock bag [you're not reading wrong - go to your kitchen and get one out of the draw]
  • Acrylic rolling pin
  • Blade or knife
  • Pressing tool [not a necessity but will come in handy]

Follow these steps:

  1. Using a blade or knife, chop your white block of polymer clay [whichever brand you prefer] up into small pieces
  2. Put the chopped up pieces of clay into a zip lock bag
  3. Add a blob of black heavy body acrylic paint on top of the polymer clay in the zip lock bag
  4. Securely close the zip lock bag and use your hands to start moving the clay around the bag to cover all pieces in the black paint
  5. Once all white clay has been covered in black paint, take it out of the bag and drizzle a somewhat minimal amount of Sculpey liquid polymer clay over it and mix it in
  6. Using your hands, start moulding all of the chopped up pieces of clay together to create a rectangular cane. Using a pressing tool and rolling pin can make this process a lot easier 
  7. Once moulded into a cane, use a blade or knife to cut 3mm thick pieces off the cane 
  8. Line the 3mm cut pieces next to each other and start mooshing [not a word but hopefully you understand what I mean] the pieces together and use an acrylic rolling pin to help bond the pieces together to turn into a slab. 

Alternatively, instead of following step 7 and 8, you can cut the cane into 1mm pieces and place them onto a 2mm rolled out slab [a great opportunity to use your scrap clay as the cut up cane will cover the entire slab]. This method will create more howlite effect overall. 

Are you a visual person and want to see all of these steps being performed? Click here to watch an Instagram reel of us doing *exactly that*. 

May 04, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TIPS / What resin should I use?

TIPS / What resin should I use?

Starting to delve into resin jewellery making but don't know what resin to use? This blog post is for you!

Jewellery Supplies Co. currently offer 4 different types of resins, all which can be used slightly different. You need to make sure you select the right one for your project.

Epoxycast resin is ideal for casting resin [casting is when you fill a mould with resin]. If you have nabbed yo'self some of the Jewellery Supplies Co. silicone mouldsEpoxycast resin is the way to go. Here are some of the benefits of using this resin:

  • Cures at room temperature
  • Anti-yellowing additives [because no one wants their "clear resin" to have a yellow tinge]
  • FDA approved, 'cos safety first 
  • All of the Jewellery Supplies Co. pigment powders and pastes can be mixed into the resin to give it a glorious colour
  • Only $33 for 375g, and trust us when we say that a *little* bit of resin goes a *very long way* [we learnt the hard way, haha]!

If you make polymer clay earrings and want to coat/dome them in resin to give them an *oh so lovely* shine, DiamondCote, ArtCast or UV resin will be your best friend. Here is a run down on them all...

DiamontCote is designed for coating applications such as polymer clay, resin art, acrylic pours, mosaics, photographs, prints, timber surfaces, sculptures and more. The benefits of this resin are:

  • 12 hour cure time [you can touch it after this period of time]. Full cure after 7 days
  • Heat is *not* essential to for top coats to remove bubbles, meaning you don't have to invest in additional heat torch equipment - bingo!
  • This resin is made in Australia - who doesn't love supporting local?
  • $55 for a 1L kit [aka a *lot* of resin for an extremely reasonable price]

ArtCast can be used for both resin casting & doming [double whammy]. It is ideal for applications such as jewellery creation, doming, embedding, casting and filling timber voids. The benefits of this resin are:

  • Low to no odour [it is still really important to wear a mask though]
  • Touch dry and de-mould at 24 hours
  • You can pour up to 20mm deep 
  • 400mL kit for $24

Finally, UV resin is a secret weapon used by many polymer clay makers who like to dome their creations *quickly*. When we say quickly, we mean less than 10 minutes - I know, mind blowing! Here are the benefits of this resin:

  • Fast curing, within 1-5 mins, depending on light source and depth
  • It comes with an easy applicator tube, with a screw on cap & small opening point for accuracy [ideal for the delicate polymer clay earrings you make]
  • Superb transparency and hardness 
  • The small catch - for it to cure, it requires UV light [hence the name of the product]. Under a UV light or torch, resin depths of 1-2cm [which is more than plenty for coating polymer clay pieces], it will take up to 5 minutes to cure. Under direct sunlight [pop it beside a window on a really sunny day], it can take up to 10 minutes to cure. The stronger the UV light source, the quicker it will cure - makes sense right?

Have a better idea on what resin you need to use for your project now? We hope so!

If not [that's okay], you are more than welcome to send us an email or DM on Instagram or Facebook to ask us what resin we recommend you use on your project.

May 04, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TUTORIAL / How to attach earring posts to polymer clay

TUTORIAL / How to attach earring posts to polymer clay

We are commonly asked by makers how they should adhere their earring posts to polymer clay. In this blog post, we provide you with lots of different techniques you can follow, test and trial yourself so you can determine which technique works best for you.

I am going to break this down into three segments.

1. Glue - Some makers swear by it, others couldn’t run fast enough away from it. There are lots of different glues on the market, but you will want to steer towards super glue for polymer clay earrings. Common ones used include Loctite super glue, Gorilla super glue gel & Zap super glue. These can commonly be found in local hardwares.

2. Resin - Makers enjoy doming the front of their earrings as well as securing their earring posts with it. They do this by embedding the post with resin, applying it to the entire surface of the back of the polymer clay. Once the resin has been applied, the clay can not cure in the oven again [unlike liquid Sculpey, which we discuss in the next point].

Please note that resin is toxic and requires full PPE gear. Working in a ventilated room is extremely important too. Some people choose to not work with resin simply due to the health concerns associated with it, which is completely understandable, but plenty of makers still enjoy using it as it’s an incredible medium to play with!

3. Liquid Sculpey is becoming increasingly popular. Similar to resin, makers embed their earring posts with liquid Sculpey and then bake it in the oven.

4. Embedding earring posts in the clay is about as secure as an earring can get. If done correctly, there is absolutely no way the earring will separate from the clay. This can be a little more difficult, especially if you are looking for a very clean finish, but like all things, practice makes perfect.

Happy making!

March 21, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TIPS / What you should & shouldn't say in your business Instagram bio

TIPS / What you should & shouldn't say in your business Instagram bio

Your Instagram bio is the first thing a potential new follower looks at to determine what your business is and does. Instagram only allows you to use a maximum of 250 characters, meaning space is limited and you need to really think about what to include. 

What not to include:

- What your favourite food or pet is (eg. coffee and cat lover). At the end of the day, this will not help convert the person viewing your profile into a follower. A sentence like that is irrelevant (unless you have a coffee or cat related business)! 

- Special fonts from font apps. I know it might look cool, but special fonts in your bio make it harder for people to read, especially if they are cursive or bold fonts. 

What to include:

- What product or service your business provides 

- Where you are located if relevant 

- Your opening hours if relevant

- Tell people how they can access your products if you sell them online 

- Offer a promotion or sign up code if relevant '

- A few emojis to add some pops of colour

- Contact details such as your customer service email address

- Provide all of your information in an orderly and easy to read structure, such as dot points (you can use emojis instead of dot points)

 You will be unable to fit everything we have suggested into your bio, but pick the most relevant information and apply it to your business.

We hope this helps! 

February 22, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TIPS / Why Instagram follow loops will kill your engagement

TIPS / Why Instagram follow loops will kill your engagement

Have you ever received an Instagram message from a fellow business owner that says something similar to:

“Small business follow loop. We are doing a follow loop to help business owners gain more followers and sales. If you follow these 10 accounts and then share to another 10 people, the flow-on effect will result in you receiving 700 new followers.” 

Let’s be honest, gaining 700 new followers in a short span of time sounds pretty good, right? But you know what? Joining in and following all of these accounts in return for you gaining new followers will *kill* any chance you had at Instagram. 

The Instagram algorithm is incredibly advanced and can track unauthentic activity, including follow loops. As a result of participating in a follow loop, Instagram will penalise you and show your posts to less followers, meaning your engagement rate will *plumet* and sales will drop. 

So please, take my advice and never participate in a follow loop. Do not fixate on having a large number of followers but instead, follow the authentic follower pathway and allow it to happen naturally. If someone wants to follow you, they will. If you are now wondering, ‘Well how am I supposed to grow my followers authentically?’, then tune back in every Monday to our blog as we are going to be sharing SO many helpful Instagram tips across 2021.

See you next Monday x 

P.S. If you have made the unfortunate mistake of participating in a follow loop and are now freaking out, please don’t. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Leave Instagram alone for 3-4 days (aka - no posting, no activity, no engaging)
  2. Come back to Instagram and start posting real, authentic and engaging content that you genuine and engaged followers will love. Slowly the “fake” followers will slowly start to drop off your follower list and your Instagram activity will start to return back to normal
February 08, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TIPS / Don't make this social media mistake

TIPS / Don't make this social media mistake

Want to know something I have seen a lot lately? Posts turning up in my feed from graphic designers, web marketers and social media marketers, telling their small business owner audiences that they need to be on as many social media platforms as possible for greater exposure. I couldn’t disagree more.

In theory, I understand why some people may think this. I believe this is their thought process:

More platforms = more audiences

More audiences = more sales… Wrong!

Just because you are posting on a social media platform, it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you are going to gain lots of sales from your posts.  

Turning up on lots of platforms will do absolutely nothing for you unless you have a solid content strategy. Coming up with a content strategy doesn’t happen overnight, but instead is something that requires trial, error, changes, and more changes [because of those ever changing algorithms].


Like me, I imagine a lot of you are time poor, making it already difficult to carve time out to create a content strategy for one platform, let alone another five

So, rather than signing up on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Tiktok, Clubhouse and Twitter, start with *one* singular platform and absolutely NAIL your content strategy [where followers and very obviously converting into customers], and *then* find another social platform to try out.

Don’t get caught up in the excitement of signing up to every single social media platform there is. It wastes your time that could be spent on developing a content strategy, which fundamentally should generate you cash in the long run… meaning you are missing out on potential sales by fluffing around on too many platforms. 

February 01, 2021 — Lauren Holder
TIPS / Where to source packaging materials from

TIPS / Where to source packaging materials from

As a lot of you would know, packaging is an incredibly important part of a consumer’s unboxing process. You can change the entire perception and experience of your brand and product unboxing process because of your packaging. 

You might be wondering what basic packaging you need as a handmade business owner to give your unboxing process a *wow* factor without breaking your budget? Find the answer below…

We source all of our packaging boxes from EB-Packaging on eBay. They sell cute tiny boxes which are perfect for sending a couple of pairs of earrings in, all the way up to very large cardboard boxes that are perfect for larger items or wholesale orders. They ship exceptionally quickly and have never let Jewellery Supplies Co. down. 

To secure the goods inside of the boxes, we like to use a tissue paper. We like to use tissue paper from Gift Packaging and Accessories (https://www.giftpackaging.com.au/) as they are incredibly affordable, but if you’re after customised tissue paper with your logo, we recommend No Issue (https://www.noissue.com.au/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA0MD_BRCTARIsADXoopZnxQl4JrrbXQlgqspiU2Xqs1iyCFs1OiYr9nNJ3t9cOqNfs6CWYAgaAhUEEALw_wcB). From there, you can also find stickers and packaging tape, both of which are environmentally friendly and plastic free - winning!

We are changing our sticker production to No Issue Tissue, but previously we purchased ours from Oz Sticker Printing (https://www.ozstickerprinting.com/). They also produce and send their stickers very fast. 

If you want to place your box into a satchel to avoid any risk of water damage during transit, we insist you use compostable satchels only. We get ours from Plasswitch, but you can get them from No Issue as well. They are truly the go-to for all environmentally friendly packaging.

Do you have any other packaging questions? Leave us a comment below or contact us on social media x 

January 04, 2021 — Lauren Holder
2021 handmade business goals you should set yourself

2021 handmade business goals you should set yourself

 

2020 was arguably the worst year a lot of people have seen in a while. Whilst COVID-19 was not ideal, a lot of good things came from it. E-commerce stores have *thrived* like never before, businesses have been forced to change their business model to remain profitable and business owners have been forced to learn the ins and outs of digital marketing, all of which has benefited us! 

With 2021 fast approaching, maybe it is time to take 10 minutes or so to write down your business goals for next year. Set yourself an annual financial target and break that down into monthly and then weekly targets.

Setting the target is one thing, but then you need to consider what you need to implement in your business each week to help you reach these financial goals. You may find it helpful using a rough guide. Here are the goals I have made and the actions I need to make for me to reach them (keep in mind that these goals are based around the financial year, not calendar year). 

Financial goal for 2020/21

$X amount overall

3rd quarter

4th quarter

Financial goal for 2021/22

$X amount overall

1st quarter

2nd quarter 

These financial goal figures are based on the performance of previous quarters. For example, I know the 2nd quarter will always generate more income than the 3rd quarter as it is in the lead up to Christmas. Keep in mind that these figures you write down may not always be spot on, but they are a good guide and goal for you to try and reach.

Now that I know my financial goals, I can’t just sit here and hope they happen...  neither can you! Instead, set yourself small actionable goals that you can follow that will help you reach your financial goal. Marketing attributes largely to my revenue, so I break these marketing streams into smaller increments:

  • Instagram/Facebook feed
  • Instagram/Facebook stories
  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • EDM newsletters
  • EDM automation
  • Pinterest

Even further, I have narrowed down what type of content I will post on these feeds and email campaigns that will help drive customers to my website. For example, the type of content I will post on them. 

If you aren’t fussed about the revenue and profits and instead do it for the fun of it, write down some projects you have been desperate to try or been putting off!

Bring on 2021 and lets smash some goals!

December 28, 2020 — Lauren Holder