Learn how to fill open back bezels with resin in this easy to follow tutorial.
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So you want to make a pretty resin pendant for a necklace? Or perhaps you’re going to make your very own bespoke charms. Then again you could have something special you want to embed in earrings to keep forever. There are a lot of reasons why you might want to learn how to use resin in open back bezels and I’m pretty stoked for you… because that is exactly what we are going to learn today!

What are Open Back Bezels?

First up you might be wondering what bezels are full stop… Bezels are these little trays often made out of metal but sometimes even wood. You place items inside of them like dried flowers, glitter, charms, and other small items to make custom jewelry pieces. Then you pour resin into the bezel, allow it to cure and that’s that.

Open back bezels are just the lip of a bezel without the back. But how do you fill something up with sticky resin when there is no back to hold it in? You use tape! But what kind of tape?

Supplies Needed to Make Open Back Bezel Resin Jewelery

Open Back Bezels

So the open back bezels I have linked to above are simple gold and silver round shapes that are about an inch wide. You get 15 gold and 15 silver for a really good price and this is a great option if you’re just starting with resin. With them being so inexpensive you don’t have to worry so much about ruining supplies if your first few attempts don’t go as well as you would have hoped.

What Kind of Resin Should I Use?

UV resin is perfect for this project because it doesn’t have to be mixed up and it dries in 15-20 minutes by sunlight or 60 seconds by UV lamp.

But not all UV resins are the same. Having run out I ran to Michael’s and purchased a bottle of Blue Moon Studio brand resin and ran back home to use it. I could NOT get that resin to not bubble up as it cured. It was insane. It was frustrating. I wound up wasting my two best four leaf clovers. So I ordered my favorite resin and waited for it to arrive in the mail like I should have from the beginning! If you’re new to resin crafting it is so rewarding but using bad materials will give you a bad first experience and I want you to love this craft because it is SO MUCH FUN!

Resin Tape

Basically to keep the resin inside of the bezel you use tape as a temporary back. And I’ve seen tutorials that use plain old masking tape. And I have tried it myself but I’ve never gotten good results.

So while you can use technically use any tape you like but, again, save yourself a huge headache and buy resin tape that is made specifically for this purpose. It’s sort of stiff, like an acetate sheet, that helps it have a smooth, surface when it’s removed. It also has just the right amount of adhesive so that it sticks to the bezel but doesn’t leave adhesive residue on the back of the cured resin. This means you don’t have to sand the back of your open back bezels to be smooth which causes a whole different can of worms

Learn how to fill open back bezels with resin in this easy to follow tutorial.
Learn how to fill open back bezels with resin in this easy to follow tutorial.

UV Lamp

A UV lamp is used to quickly cure your resin in about a minute a layer rather than 15-20 minutes. In the time it can take to dry the first layer in the sunlight, you can have your whole necklace put together.

You don’t need an expensive UV lamp and the one I have I snagged for less than $10. If you already give yourself fancy nails and have a UV lamp, it is the same thing that is used for resin so you don’t even have to buy anything! If you purchase the UV lamp I have linked to in this project, you can use it for both, but I love that the back pops off of this one making it easy to set over your bezels to cure rather than having to slip them inside of the device which can cause a bit of a mess.

What Can You Embed Inside of Resin?

Dried flowers and leaves, like these four leaf clovers, are fun items to embed in resin for DIY jewelry.

Honestly you can put just about anything in resin! For today’s pendants we are using itty bitty dried flowers for resin. You can always dry your own flowers and if you want to make your own flower press for cheap I have a tutorial to do just that! When working with resin the flowers MUST BE DRIED. If there is any moisture left in the flowers they will not work.

You can also use small charms, glitter, sequins, and pretty much anything dry that will fit inside of your bezels. If you want to change the color of your resin from clear to something else, check out our post about how to dye resin with things you might already have around the house or in your craft stash.

How to Fill Open Back Bezels with Resin

Filling open back bezels is super easy! First you need to prep the bezel with tape.

Cut a small strip of resin tape that is a bit larger than your open back bezel. Lay the tape adhesive side up on your work surface. Press the back of the bezel into the tape but take care NOT to touch the sticky part of the tape with your fingers. Run your finger around the bezel with a bit of pressure to make sure it sticks all around.

Pay special attention to the tape itself. Can you see how there are flecks of “stuff” inside the tape on the bezel above? This WILL transfer to the cured resin. Before starting twist your tape all around and look at it from different angles and replace the tape if you need to.

Apply Your Resin in Thin Layers

The first layer of resin has NO embeds in it. This is a very, very thin first layer of just resin to give us a smooth back of the bezel.

To prevent bubbles from happening we apply the resin in thin layers. Put the squeeze nozzle on your bottle of resin, if necessary. Place the tip of the bottle as close to the tape as you can get without actually touching it. Gently squeeze the bottle to release a small amount of resin running the bottle first around the inside of the shape of the bezel. Continue going around and around until you reach the center of the shape.

Remove the Bubbles from the Resin

Any bubbles in the resin now will cure with the resin. To get a pretty and smooth finish we need to remove all of the bubbles before it cures. There are 2 ways I use most often…

A heat gun on the lowest setting will help bring the bubbles to the surface so that they will pop. This is great because you can easily remove tiny bubbles you can’t easily see while the resin is still wet. However, if you use your heat gun around debris (I use mine to modify my sprinkler system which means it’s outdoors and near dirt) be sure to run it for at least 15 seconds to dislodge anything from inside so that it won’t blow into the resin.

Because I have pets that get all up in my crafty business I sometimes need to fix out “stuff” that gets into the resin. You know, little pieces of hair or whatever. Using a craft knife like my Cricut TrueControl Knife, gently run a clean blade around the inside edge of the bezel, taking care not to touch the tape. This will help pop itty bitty bubbles around the edge. Twist and and use the tip to pop any other bubbles or drag them up through the resin until they reach the surface and pop. You can also pull the resin and bubble up on to the top of the bezel and gently wipe off of the bezel.

Cure the Resin with UV Light

After you’ve removed all of the bubbles and debris from a layer or resin place the UV lamp over top of it. For the UV resin and UV lamp I use 60 seconds is the perfect amount of time, however, you may need to play around with your resin and lamp. You want a nice, smooth cure with very little or no tackiness.

Allow the bezel and dried resin a few seconds to cool off before handling it again.

Adding Your Embeds to the Open Back Bezel

Now that the first, thin layer of resin has hardened and cooled it’s time for the fun bit! Embedding stuff in the resin!

Squeeze a tiny amount of UV resin onto the first layer of the bezel. Place your embed on top of the wet resin.

For my pendants today I embedded a single four leaf clover in one pendant and then three small yellow flowers in another. For these floral embeds squeeze a tiny bit of UV resin onto the first layer. Place your flower onto the wet resin and move around until you are happy with the placement. A craft knife works really well for this, just make sure not to scratch the first layer.

When you’re happy with the placement, apply a thin layer of resin on top of the embed starting from the center and spiraling around to the inside edge of the bezel. Use your craft knife to pop any bubbles or remove any debris.

Note – I don’t recommend using the heat gun on any layers that have embeds as the air will push it around and could even force air behind the embed that can bubble up as it cures.

If Using Glitter or Other Fine Items

One of the fun things about working with resin in layers is that you can spread out your fine embeds like glitter so that they appear throughout the open back bezel and look more 3D. You can also, however, add the glitter or whatnot all in this second layer, if you prefer. Play around with the placement by layer until you get the look you’re trying to achieve.

Layer of Resin, UV Lamp, Repeat

Depending on how thick your bezels are you might need quite a few layers of resin. It may seem like a good idea for the sake of speed to go with a couple of thick layers but you risk the chance of bubbles, in my experience.

Just apply a thin layer of resin and cure, repeating the process of popping the bubbles before placing back under the UV lamp.

Remove the Resin Tape

Once your topmost layer of resin has been cured and cooled, remove the resin tape from the back, gently peeling away.

Once your topmost layer of resin has been cured and cooled, remove the resin tape from the back, gently peeling away.

To make sure the backside of the resin isn’t still tacky, place the pendant bottom side up under your UV lamp and let it cure for 10-30 seconds. Allow to fully cool.

And That’s How You Use an Open Back Bezel with Resin

Let’s check out the close up results!

Oops – can you see it? There is one itty bitty bubble in the pendant but it’s hardly noticeable. Overall, pretty solid and clear results!

Learn how to fill open back bezels with resin in this easy to follow tutorial.

Now isn’t that so lovely and clear? Again, you can see that one bubble, but only from certain angles. Overall, I’m super stoked with today’s DIY!

Turning Your Open Back Bezel Resin Pendants into a Necklace

Slide your pendant onto a matching necklace chain. If the clasp prevents you from being able to slide the pendant, slightly open the jump ring that connects the clasp to the chain. Remove the jump ring and clasp and slide the pendant onto the chain. Place the jump ring and clasp back onto the end of the chain and twist to close the jump ring shut.

Tips & Tricks for Working with Resin and Open Back Bezels…

Resin tape can be prone to static electricity. I recommend using something to wipe away any dust or other junk that might be stuck to the outside of the roll of resin tape before you use it. I use a Swiffer-type sheet.

When removing the wet resin from your craft knife be sure to wipe it onto something that will not leave behind lint or residue. I use a piece of scrap copy paper. Always be careful when working with a sharp blade and never wipe away the wet resin with your fingers to avoid cuts.

Don’t use the same blade from your craft knife for cutting afterward. Small amounts of resin can cure on the blade dulling it which can cause accidents. Stow away your resin blade and you can continue to reuse that blade for future resin projects.

Learn how to fill open back bezels with resin in this easy to follow tutorial.

How to Fill Open Back Bezels with Resin

Learn how to fill open back bezels with resin in this easy to follow tutorial.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Learn how to fill open back bezels with resin in this easy to follow tutorial.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Equipment

Instructions

  • Attach resin tape securely to the backside of your open back bezel.
    Attach resin tape securely to the backside of your open back bezel.
  • Squeeze a very thin layer of UV resin into the bezel. Pop bubbles and remove debris from wet resin prior to curing using a craft knife.
    Pop bubbles and remove debris from wet resin prior to curing using a craft knife.
  • Cure each layer of resin beneath a UV lamp according to package directions.
    Cure each layer of resin beneath a UV lamp (like used in nail art).
  • Layer resin and embeds. Cure each layer beneath a UV light before continuing to the next.
    Layer resin and embeds. Cure each layer beneath a UV light before continuing to the next.
  • Once your topmost layer of resin has been cured and cooled, remove the resin tape from the back, gently peeling away. Cure the backside of the open back bezel beneath the UV light for 10-30 seconds.
    Once your topmost layer of resin has been cured and cooled, remove the resin tape from the back, gently peeling away.
  • String the pendant onto a chain to create a necklace.
    String the pendant onto a chain to create a necklace.

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