Plant & Project – British Soldier Lichen (Cladonia cristatella) Part II

As I related in Cladonia cristatella Part I, I searched for British Soldiers in hopes of creating a gift for my friend Sherry. I planned to encase the British Soldiers I collected, along with pressed Queen Anne’s Lace, in resin.

Instead of the two-step pour and mix variety, I chose the softer, one-step product. I purchased Blue Moon Studio charm molds, UV resin, and a small UV light from a local craft store. The products were expensive, but I was lucky and found them on sale.

The directions in the package were simple. When followed, they yielded perfect results. The resin, as indicated, dried in two minutes under the UV light. One plus was the ‘on’ button on the UV light; when pushed the light stayed lit for only a minute. This helped me avoid over-drying the resin.

The charms popped right out of their molds. Beautiful! I couldn’t believe I crafted something so tiny.

I gave the charms a bit more time in UV light and placed them in natural sunlight for a few hours. One final thought on finishing the charms. After I placed jump rings in the hole created by the mold, I strung the charms on a polyester necklace.

The polyester retained wrinkles from the packaging. I dampened the strand and hung it on the clothesline with a large weight. This straightened the necklace out in a few hours.

My tips after using Blue Moon Resin Products:

When I first tried to pour the resin from the bottle into the molds, I could not get the product to flow.

Why didn’t I remember most liquid in bottles come with an inner seal? After a bit of frustration, unnecessary squeezing, and muttering to myself, I took the cap off, felt sheepish when I saw the seal, peeled it away, and of course, no problem at all afterwards.

I did wipe the interior of the molds with a bit of rubbing alcohol before using them.

Tweezers are a definite must for placing the Cladonia and Queen Anne’s Lace in the poured resin.

I would never use the resin indoors as it dries under the UV light. Even on the porch, the smell in the air became noxious. Next time, I will be aware of the strong odor beforehand and move away.

I wish I remembered to thoroughly examine the poured resin before curing. After drying, I discovered a few trapped air bubbles. The directions state you can pop air bubbles with a straight pin before curing. When cured, they are a permanent part of your project. I plan to have a magnifying glass at the ready when I create my next project, and of course a sharp pin at the ready to pop those bubbles.

11 thoughts on “Plant & Project – British Soldier Lichen (Cladonia cristatella) Part II

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