Resin is so versatile—you can use it to coat easily scratchable surfaces, create highly detailed molded pieces, or sculpt it as a medium all its own. In nature, trees secrete this viscous liquid to heal gashes and punctures; synthetic resin, which is what you’ll find in most crafting supply stores, comes in liquid or powder form and firms up when mixed with resin hardener in a one-to-one ratio. First time using this miracle material? Browse our selection of starter products—all of which include both resin and hardener—to find your perfect pick.
1. Art ‘N Glow Clear Casting and Coating Epoxy Resin
There’s always some anxiety involved in working with resin. Will your pieces actually come out clear and smooth, or will they be opaque and craggy? Lay your fears to rest with this tried-and-true kit, which comes with clear, step-by-step instructions. Art ’N Glow’s resin dries over the course of 40 minutes with minimal bubbling, and its crystalline sheen will never yellow. An extra perk: It’s odorless, so say goodbye to any fume-related headaches or nausea. Start with this very affordable duo of eight-ounce bottles (one each of resin and hardener) and work up from there. If you agree with our assessment, this product also comes in 32-ounce and one-gallon kits.
2. Environmental Technology EasyCast
This resin kit is ultra beginner-friendly, including not only epoxy to mix and complete instructions but also a few project ideas. The resin and hardener come in smaller amounts than the others on this list (just four ounces each), making this product best suited to small casts, like for jewelry making. It’s far from the best value, but it does the job if you’re just experimenting. Though the resulting pieces are small, they require at least 24 hours to cure.
3. Alumilite Amazing Clear Casting Resin
This kit comes with eight-ounce bottles of resin and hardener, accompanied by detailed instructions, two stirring sticks, and three measuring cups. What makes it stand out from the competition is that it is compliant with FDA 21 CFR 175.300 and can be used for castings for food purposes—once fully cured after seven days. Note that this does not make your artworks dishwasher, microwave, or oven safe. Alumilite also makes dyes, alcohol inks, and other nonwater-based colorants, so you have a full arsenal of pigments to turn to that you know are compatible with the resin.
4. Dr. Crafty Epoxy Resin Kit
This kit comes with mixing cups with handy spouts, stirring sticks, plastic spatulas for spreading, and enough formula to create one gallon of resin. This makes it a cost-effective option for classrooms, workshops, and other group uses—and if you want even more, you can purchase a kit for two gallons or two quarts. The low-odor formula is key for busy spaces, and beginners will find the 45-minute open time very useful. This kit also comes with a straightforward instruction manual. Unused formula can be stored for about a year under the right conditions.
5. Naked Fusion the Artist’s Resin
Specifically made for fine arts usage, this formula is nontoxic, non-yellowing, and also UV-resistant—a quality that can be hard to find among two-part resin formulas. It’s also BPA free and therefore safe to use on countertops, cutting boards, and other kitchen gear. It has a 45-minute working time, after which the self-leveling solution dries hard and glossy. If you love resin, this is a great choice to stock up on and use for experiments and final pieces alike.