Monday Make: Fimo Oceans…

So I’ve seen lots of craft pieces and tutorials using resin and Fimo and think they looked fantastic, I really wanted to try it for myself so bought a box of resin and some clay. This was yonks ago though, I lost my bottle and couldn’t work up the courage until last week. I had one of those ‘let’s do one of those unstarted projects’ notions, and the resin fimo combo was what I chose. I went with the octopus and coral in a scallop shell, as I a) had been collecting scallop shells, b) didn’t have any other molds/vessels to hold the set resin in and c) had watched a few tutorials for it.

Making all the little corals was super fun and almost a little addictive. I wasn’t going for anything too realistic but did google corals to get a rough idea of shapes and textures. The octopus however was a little more tricky – his tentacles (careful) were very thin and floppy and upon reflection a little out of proportion for his body. I baked the whole thing as was, but when it came out of the oven all the pieces had returned to singular elements! This meant I had to silicone them back in to place.

I made a second smaller octopus in a shell, whos legs are super funky but ended up with a squashed head – handling things that small delicately is a must! I also tried to ensure that the corals were going to stay stuck together by adding some algae (green fimo) in-between the corals to plug any gaps. Fortunately this worked, and once out of the oven all of them were still in place.

After baking I painted some details and the eyes on to the octopus with some acrylic paints. Can you spot the little extra addition? A little seasnail shell!

Next was the part I was dreading, the resin mixing and pouring. I think I’d maybe read too much about it – like burning skin on contact, bad mixes that don’t set, highly flammable but use a match to pop bubbles, etc, and it all sounded way too dangerous for the super safe person I am. But I had to bite the bullet. So I snapped on some latex gloves, had a glass of water for extinguishing burning matches on stand-by and took a big breath.

And actually it was all okay. Nothing or no one got burned (bar the matches) and my mix eventually set hard! I used a pebeo mixing kit, which handily has marked measuring cups to ensure you get the correct 2:1 ratio. They also have lovely little handles making the pouring easy to control. The large ocean took the most resin as it’s a deep shell and I wanted the octopus to be submerged. The little shell was quite shallow and therefore I sort of did a resin puddle with what was left. After pouring I did notice I had some bubbles in the biggie, so as the tutorials suggested I lit some matches and very quickly popped them by hovering the match over them. Then I hid the two oceans in my glass cabinet to help keep the dust of them for 24 hours – and ta da! Two little octopus oceans.

One of the things I’ve learned for next time is to definitely take the time with stirring the resin mix and popping the bubbles. I think I may have stirred too vigorously and whipped air in to it which resulted in lots of fine bubbles in the deeper, larger ocean.

Anyone else tried resin before? Or maybe you too have a box sitting unloved – well start using it, it’s not so scary after all!