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Sakura Gem Craft Kit

Reported by Jenny Barnett Rohrs


If you are a fan of crafting with resin, here’s a brand-spanky-new product for you to try: UV curing resin by Sakura Hobby Craft (not to be confused with the gelly pen folks!) I snagged this kit at CHA Summer, and tried it out quickly in the booth.

I figured it was high time to try out all of the goodies in the package, which included:

  • Two-part UV (sunlight) curing resin
  • 3 packs of “gem particles” in raspberry, peacock green and blue flash
  • 8 tray-style jewelry findings
  • disposable gloves
  • black cardstock AND
  • “wood styluses”– aka toothpicks!


I wasn’t sure what exactly “gem particles” were, so I had to tear into those flashy little baggies first. As far as I can tell, they are a finely-shredded acrylic substance. They are itsy-bitsy, so make sure you don’t have a fan running…they might blow away!

They sure are shiny, though, and I started following my kit’s step-by-step pictorial instructions to trace and cut some cardstock, then glue it into a jewelry tray. After spreading a thin coat of “UV Base Coat”, you dab on some of the gem particles and they stick right on. Then you set it in the sun for 1 to 3 minutes….or if you live in the Midwest, you stick in under your UV light (which Sakura also sells, but you can find them readily on auction sites and beauty retailers).


After this first step, this is how my project looked so far. Very sparkly and shiny. But I did notice that this layer is mildly tacky and will leave fingerprints, just so you know.

You then need to make sure that none of those little acrylic particles are sticking up too high…so you give it a little scrape. This ensures that your second coat of “UV Base Coat” will completely encapsulate the gem particles, resulting in a smooth, domed, glass like finish.

After the second base coat, you apply one more layer- the “UV Top Coat” that will eliminate the tackiness and keep it shining like glass. This layer takes significantly longer to cure- 15 minutes or more in the sun. I left mine for over 30 minutes in my UV light, and it cured well. However, there was still some gooey cleanup to do, as some of the resin had overflowed and seeped underneath. Of course, because the UV rays didn’t reach it, it didn’t harden. Nothing a little baby wipe couldn’t clean right up!


As is my habit, I decided to try this same technique on a few different projects. The first was to use the jewelry tray without the black background. In this sample, I used some mica-painted sheet music as my base layer, and then added my gem particles. I have to say, I like this effect, too.

Just for hoots, I also tried it out on a piece of tumbled glass (faux beach glass) to see if it really took on a “faux dichroic glass” look. The UV resin has enough viscosity that it stayed on the top of the glass without dripping down the sides. (I made sure to use thinner layers, since there was no dam to keep the resin in place.) I really like this effect- it’ll look great with some wire-wrapping!

Lastly, I added some resin to make a glassy top-coat to a polymer clay pendant. As stated on the box, it bonded well and provided a great finish.

Unlike some other UV resins I’ve tried, this one seems to stay where you put it. Some others have a tendency to “pull away” from the edges, leaving some areas uncoated. Sakura’s UV resin gave me great coverage and a nice doming effect as well.

Pros:

  • Slightly less expensive than other UV curing resins
  • VERY sparkly gem particles that give great believability
  • Nice kit
  • Items available on the website for purchase
  • Easy to use
  • MUCH faster than using traditional 2-part mixing resins

Cons:

  • Not sure if the kit is going to be widely available; not currently listed on the Sakura Hobby Craft website…which leads to:
  • Must purchase all items separately
  • Difficult to find in retail outlets
  • Mild odor to the resin; be aware if you are scent-sensitive
  • Not labeled as non-toxic

So, I think I’d like to play some more with this UV resin, and see if what they are offering on their site is one or two-part. In any case, I will certainly continue to use this product in my jewelry-crafting arsenal.

Have you had experience with UV curing resins? Any feedback you’d like to share? Leave us a comment and let us know!

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One Response to Sakura Gem Craft Kit

  1. Avatar
    Donna VW November 13, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Sounds like a fun product – thanks for the review.