Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Open Back Bezel Tutorial

I have had more than a few questions about working in frames and open back bezels.

These two copper frames came home with me from Paris.  I knew I would do something special with them one day.

 The frame can become a bezel by simply covering the back in tape.  I use red line double sided tape which is super strong.  But I have used packing tape in a pinch.

 After I am sure the tape is firmly attached, I flip the frame over and add a small amount of resin to this new bezel.  To do this project you need to think about two resin pours.

I add a small piece of text to this first layer of wet resin.  The paper becomes very translucent.  I let this cure overnight.

I try and wait at least 24 hours so that this resin is solid.  If I pull the tape off too soon and the resin is soft, it pulls away with the tape and the frame loses its shape.

If you did not burnish your tape down properly you may not get a perfect back.  See the bottom left corner?  The resin is not flat.  You can fix this by pouring another layer to create a perfect dome.  I would do that if this was going to be a necklace.  You now have a bezel that looks like it has a solid glass back.

The fun begins when you take the frames, after the first pour and add your embellishments.  Then you can pour resin right to the brim to keep your items solidly in place.  For the first frame I added this vintage German dolly.

I had a vintage button and some rhinestones to add to the second frame.  I also added some glass beads to the resin during the second pour.  I love how these open back frames are now see-through pendants.

Here is one of my finished brooches with an open back bezel.


  1. Wonderful tutorial. I have one question - after your first pour you suggested leaving it 24 hours - can you leave it too long between pours? I mean - if you have the patience to wait.

  2. Love this tutorial. The finished brooch is amazing. Thanks . Pam B

  3. How cool, brilliant work!
    It reminds me now of a kit I got when I was about 8 or 9 one year from Santa. I loved making things and I remember "playing" with the stuff with lots of shells and stuff. I also remember how it stank too! I think all the windows were wide open. Lol
    Jeanette :)

  4. You're creation is a must have ~ you should sell these Carmi, I LOVE your pieces!!

  5. Ooooo I have just started playing with resin and love what you have done with this :D
    I love how the paper has become translucent and was also thinking of using items with no backs.

    This is the piece I have blogge so far -

    Thanks for the inspiration :D
    Julie xx

  6. Hi DonnaJean!
    Resin cures in 48 if I do a two or even three pour project I don't wait the full 48 hours between pours. I wait about a day and then do the next pour since the resin is fairly hard. I do wait a full 48 hours after the final pour though! At that point I usually do a bit of drilling for attachments. There will be post in the future about polishing and sanding!

  7. This is a wonderful tutorial. I love how the piece looks at every stage, simple or complex. Generous of you share your expertise! Thank you.

  8. She who must createJune 2, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Can the epoxy b used 2 cover shells, types of jewelry, frames etc. w/o use of bezel?

    1. Yes, there are many posts on this blog showing you the resin in use.

  9. How can you pull the tape off after it is covered with resin? Isn't it permanently affixed to the resin?

    1. The tape pulls away...but it often leaves the sticky tape residue. This can be removed with products like "undu" but I prefer to just brush a little more resin across the backside. This makes the back harder and you don't see the tape residue.


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