Making a resin lamp is a captivating combination of creativity and functionality, allowing you to transform a basic piece of furniture into a unique work of art in your living space. Surely you are wondering how to make a resin lamp? The 11 simple steps below will help you create a complete, beautiful and personal […]
How to Make a Resin Lamp? Simple Step by Step Guide
Making a resin lamp is a captivating combination of creativity and functionality, allowing you to transform a basic piece of furniture into a unique work of art in your living space. Surely you are wondering how to make a resin lamp? The 11 simple steps below will help you create a complete, beautiful and personal plastic lamp. Let's start doing it right away.
Equipment needed for a resin lamp
||When making a resin lamp, you will use epoxy resin to create the parts of the lamp (body, base or the whole lamp). Clear Epoxy Resin should be preferred because it gives a highly aesthetic look to your lamp.||$17 - $119|
||It plays an important role in shaping and forming the resin parts of the lamp. A spherical shape is a good choice because it distributes light evenly all around.||$9.9 - $27|
||The lamp kit provides all the essential components you need to assemble a lamp: Socket and Cord, plug, switch, threaded rod, nut, washe, harp and finial (Optional)||$17.89 - $29.9|
|LED light||You can choose LED lights that can change color.||$1.6 - $6.47|
||It not only diffuses and directs light but also adds aesthetics to the overall design.||$30.9 - $75.9|
||The lamp base is where you install the lamp and its components. It is also a place for you to place your resin product on top.||$31.9 - $99.7|
||You can mix it into your resin mixture.Color powder makes your lamp eye-catching and increases its aesthetic appeal.||$1- $4/ pack|
||It is used to mix resin and hardener or to adjust the position of decorative elements||$6.88 - $24.2|
||Sandpaper use to smooth the plastic surface of the lamp||$4 - $15|
||Used to measure resin and hardener||$3.9 - $5.9|
||Goggles will help protect your eyes from toxic fumes or plastic droplets||$4.32 - $20.3|
||Wearing gloves will help your skin avoid direct contact with toxic resin||$9.97 - $26.5|
||You won't be inhaling toxic fumes or preventing plastic droplets from splashing in your face||$26.9 - $36.6|
11 Steps to make an epoxy lamp
In these 11 steps, we will provide you with detailed instructions and practical tips to help you understand how to make an epoxy resin lamp.
Step 1: Preparing a workspace
You should choose a well-ventilated place with good air flow such as a yard, garden... If you work indoors, consider sitting next to a window and using a fan to improve air circulation. This helps reduce smoke concentrations and ensures a safer working environment. You should also clear your work area of any clutter and unnecessary items to make it more spacious and comfortable.
To protect your work surface from any spills or drips, you can lay down a plastic sheet, a tarp, or a mat. You also need to wear gloves, goggles, and masks to avoid direct contact with smoke and resin.
Step 2: Preparing the resin lamp mold
The most important thing you need to pay attention to when preparing the mold is choosing the size. Depending on the space for the lamp, you can choose a large, small mold or its shape.
Make sure the mold is not damaged (cracked, torn, etc.) before using it. If it is, you should get a new mold to prevent any problems during the molding process.
Cleaning the mold with water to remove dust and dirt is also essential to providing the best looking surface for your work. Then, dry them completely before using.
|*Note: You should use silicone molds because they have many shapes, high elasticity and the ability to create a smooth product surface. Furthermore, it is also non-stick so the product can be removed easily and can be reused.|
Step 3: Adding and Mixing the epoxy resin
Before mixing the epoxy resin, you should use separate, clean cups to measure the volume of resin and hardener and follow the right proportion. Most epoxy resins have a 1:1 mix ratio, meaning you use equal amounts of resin and hardener. However, some may have different ratios, so it is important to follow the instructions on the packaging before proceeding.
Now it’s time for you to pour the resin and hardener together and start mixing. Use a clean, dry stick to mix the mixture slowly, being careful to avoid creating air bubbles.
During the mixing process, you should scrape the sides and bottom of the cup to ensure the two substances are evenly mixed together. Continue stirring for about 15-25 minutes so that the resin and hardener are completely combined and form a transparent mixture.
You can watch the video below to learn more about how to mix resin.
Step 4: Mixing and Blending Colors
Adding color to resin makes your lamp unique and personalized. You should choose colors that are formulated to work well with resin, providing a vibrant and consistent color. You can refer to some types such as acrylic paint, mica powder, pearl pigment…
Start by adding a small amount of pigment to your resin mixture. Stir thoroughly so the color is mixed evenly. Continue adding more color until you achieve your desired color.
Is the color darker than you expected? Don't worry, you can adjust by adding resin to the mixture and mixing until you are satisfied.
I recommend that you only use a small amount of colorant to avoid affecting the hardening of the resin as well as the aesthetic appearance of the product. If too many colors are added to decorative elements, they will be obscured and the light will not diffuse well.
Step 5: Pour Resin into Mold
You should choose a space with a temperature maintained between 68 - 70F and place the mold on a flat surface.. Then, start pouring the resin mixture slowly and evenly into the mold. You should not pour it too quickly because it can create air bubbles.
Pouring resin in thin layers is a way to help you easily control risks and minimize the appearance of air bubbles. Let the previous layer of resin harden a bit, then add the next layer and repeat until the mold is full.
If your mold has small edges, use a toothpick (small wooden stick) to push the resin into those gaps. This helps ensure that the resin completely covers the positions in the mold and creates the most beautiful lamp.
Step 6: Adding decorative elements
If you want your lamp to shine brighter and more eye-catching, adding decorative elements is necessary. You should choose items that are compatible with resin such as dried flowers, seashells, glitters, or other decorative elements, even small LED lights. Make sure the elements are completely clean and dry when you add them to the resin.
Usually decorative details are quite light and can float in resin. Therefore, you need to partially pour the resin into the mold and let it partially cure. Then add decorations to the desired position and slowly pour the remaining resin to fill the mold. If you notice the decorative elements shifting, use a stir stick (or toothpick) to return them to their original position.
Step 7: Curing the resin
Several factors can affect the curing time of epoxy resin, including temperature, humidity, mixing ratio, and thickness of the poured layer. Warmer temperatures often speed up the curing process, while cooler temperatures can slow the curing process. Room temperature from 72 - 74°F and air humidity from 40 - 60% are perfect conditions for epoxy resin to cure best.
Besides, epoxy resin cannot withstand high temperatures or humidity. Therefore, you need to keep the mixture in a dry, cool, clean place and let it freeze naturally for at least 48 hours.
Avoid any unnecessary disturbance to avoid interruptions during the curing process. Even small vibrations or movements can affect the final result.
Step 8: Demolding
Check the resin surface, if it is not sticky and becomes completely hard then you can remove the mold. Start by gently pulling the edges of the mold away from the resin. Press evenly and gently on different parts of the mold to gradually release the resin. Avoid using too much force as it may crack the resin or mold.
Step 9: Sanding and Polishing
Sanding and polishing a resin lamp is an important step in creating a finished product that is both smooth and shiny. It can be done by hand or with the use of power tools, but it is important to be careful not to overheat the resin, as this can cause it to melt or warp.
To sand a resin lamp by hand, start with a coarse-grit sandpaper (such as 120 grit) and work your way up to a finer-grit sandpaper (such as 400 - 1200 grit). Be sure to sand in a circular motion and apply even pressure. Once you have sanded the entire lamp, wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any dust.
Once the surface has been sanded smooth, you can move on to the polishing step. Apply a small amount of polishing compound to a soft cloth and gently rub the surface in a circular motion. Be sure to polish the entire lamp, including the base and the lampshade.
Step 10: Assembling the lamp components
Now just attach the light and your lamp will be complete. Cut a hole the size of your LED light in the center of the base to ensure even illumination. At the same time, drill a small hole on the side to feed the light cable through.
Next, insert the cable into the drilled hole and connect it to the light. Test the light to ensure it works properly before attaching it to the base. Then, carefully place the lamp in the hole.
The last thing you need to do is attach the lamp base to the resin. Silicone sealant is the best choice for this step. Put some glue on the base of your lamp, then place the permanent resin on it and leave it for at least a day to let the glue dry completely.
If your lamp has a lampshade, drill a small hole along the body and thread a harp and finial through it. Next, use the fixing items in the lamp kit to carefully and firmly attach the lampshade to the harp. Also, make sure the lampshade is centered and straight.
Be careful when working with electrical components and consult a professional if you are unsure about any wiring details.
Step 11: Enjoying your resin lamp
Tada! You have completed a beautiful and unique lamp for your living space.
Find a lovely space to display your own lamp. A small note for you, in order to preserve the quality and durability of resin lamps, places with dry, cool spaces and away from direct impact of temperature are the ideal choice for displaying them. Display your lamp.
Common mistakes when making a resin lamp
Below are some common mistakes people make when making resin lamps and our suggested solutions.
Improper mixing or degassing of resin can lead to air bubbles forming in the lamp base. These bubbles have a very negative effect on the clarity of the resin as well as the permeability of the product.
Therefore, we will tell you 4 ways to avoid and remove those annoying bubbles.
- Pour resin in thin layers and let each layer cure a bit before adding more.
- Warm resin in hot water (60°C - 70°C) or near a heater to make it more fluid.
- Use a flame torch for fast bubble removal, but be careful of the heat and the mold type.
- Use a heat gun for effective and safe bubble removal, and apply resin in thin layers.
The wrong ratio can cause your resin to cure too quickly or not cure at all. This misalignment can also cause your resin to crack, break when curing, or form a rubbery texture.
Therefore, the step of measuring volume ratio requires high precision and concentration. You should use a measuring cup to accurately measure the amount needed.
Besides, each type of resin and each brand will have different mixing ratios. To have a perfect texture, carefully reading the instructions for use on the product packaging is extremely necessary. For example, we use epoxy resin and its mixing ratio will be 1:1, i.e. equal ratio of resin and hardener.
You stirred the resin with too much force and for too little time. No, this is wrong. It will cause your resin mixture to bubble a lot and not mix well.
When mixing resin, you should mix it thoroughly, about 15-25 minutes. Mix slowly and remember to scrape the sides and bottom of the cup so the mixture is completely mixed. Only then will your mixture work well.
Improper curing conditions
Environmental conditions are also very important in the resin processing process. If you leave the resin in inappropriate conditions, such as too high or too low a temperature or inadequate humidity control, it can result in incomplete or uneven curing. Therefore, you should let it cure in a cool, dry environment and maintain environmental conditions for at least 48 hours. The ideal temperature for working with resin is between 72 - 74°F.
Checking your piece too often
If you check the resin too often during the curing process, dust from the outside environment will enter and cause holes or cracks to form on the surface of the product or lose its aesthetics. Also, moving the mixture when you check the piece can lead to inconsistencies in the hardness of the final product. To avoid these problems, simply follow the manufacturer's instructions for curing times and leave the resin to cure undisturbed.
Not testing first
Testing a small sample after mixing will help you anticipate what will happen to your product. It will help you check whether the mixture has been mixed in the correct ratio and whether the curing texture is according to your wishes. At the same time, you can also see whether the color of the resin after processing is darker or cloudy.
Adding too much colorant
Overuse of colorants will affect the curing process of resin. Whether your colorant is powder or liquid, adding too much will prevent your resin mixture from curing completely. 6% volume of resin and hardener mixture is the maximum volume of colorant you are allowed to add. Adding too much colorant also affects the aesthetics of the lamp and prevents light from passing through the resin layer.
Over-torching your resin
Your resin may burn if you use too much heat. Extremely high temperatures can change the mechanical properties of plastics, such as hardness, ductility and strength. This may reduce the stability and durability of the product. It also creates dents and even burn marks on the surface of your resin. Therefore, when using heat to treat resin, you should not use too high a heat level or keep it in one position for a long time. Keep the heat source 6 - 8cm away from the surface and 1 - 2 seconds is enough time for you to remove the bubbles.
Not covering your work
You check the results after 2 days of waiting and suddenly notice dust stains or small insects on your lovely lamp. It's terrible, isn't it? Therefore, you should buy molds with lids or cover the surface of your product with a dust screen or cover it above a box.
Resin lamp making ideas
Below are a few ideas of Hiroarts' lovely lamps with different themes that you can refer to.
Ocean-themed lights are a captivating blend of art and function. These exquisite lamps bring a peaceful atmosphere into your space, immersing you in the mysterious beauty of the ocean.
Do you like to explore the animal world? The magical lights and meticulously detailed depictions will immerse you in the animal world.
Dried flower-theme Lamp
Dried Flower-theme Lamp brings the sophistication of dried flowers into your living space. Exquisite design, meticulously dried flowers are fixed inside the lamp, creating a natural work of art and bringing harmony with nature.
You can also refer to a few other lamp models that we have collected.
On this creative journey, we discovered the magic of creating resin lamps. Hopefully, through our tutorial, you have found joy and excitement in creativity, and understood how to make an epoxy resin lamp. Please continue to explore and experiment, so that the next works will bring even more wonderful experiences.
What do you need to make resin lamps?
There are many basic materials needed to create a beautiful lamp including resin, mold, protective gear, heat gun or torch, lamp kit, mixing cups, stir sticks, sanding and polishing supplies. Depending on your requirements and preferences, you can prepare lampshade, decorative elements or release agents...
Can you put LED strip lights in epoxy resin?
Yes, you can embed LED strip lights in epoxy resin to create unique and visually appealing lamps. You should do it in Step 6: Adding decorative elements.
How do I avoid air bubbles in the resin lamp base?
Mix the resin mixture slowly and gradually. Warm the resin before pouring it into the mold. Pour resin into the mold in thin layers. Those are a few things you should take note of to avoid the appearance of air bubbles.
What safety precautions should I take when making a resin lamp?
To ensure your own safety when working with resin. You should wear a mask, gloves, and protective glasses and work in a spacious, well-ventilated place. These will keep you from being directly affected by resin.
How do I choose the right epoxy resin for my lamp project?
Depending on your needs as well as the environmental conditions in which the lamp will be displayed, you can choose the appropriate resin. Some factors to consider when choosing epoxy resin: curing time, safety, quality, transparency, heat and humidity resistance...