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What are Resin Bases?

By Mona D. Rigdon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Resin is a compound that starts in a viscous state and hardens with some type of treatment. Resin bases are structures created from one of many types of resins that are used to anchor and stabilize a figure, sculpture or other craft object. Collectors, crafters and art enthusiasts often use resin bases to display items.

There are many types of resins from which these bases can be created. The two main types of resins are natural resins and synthetic resins. Natural resins come from plants, and synthetic resins are created by man and must be mixed with a catalyst. Although it is possible to use natural resins for casting, it is more common to use synthetic resins. Polyester resin is the most common mold used in resin casting and is used to create many resin bases. Other common crafting resins include urethane, epoxy and acrylic.

Collectors often purchase pre-made resin bases on which to display their collectible figurines. Crafters generally make their own through a process known as resin molding. Some resin bases, such as paper weights with embedded objects, require a clear finish. A tinted finish might be desired for certain other applications. Some enhusiasts of arts and crafts even employ more complicated processes for showing texture or detail.

Many different and unique resin figures and bases are available for crafters and collectors. Molded resin objects can be as simple as a clear or opaque base for a figurine or can be as complex as a finely detailed sculpture. Paperweights with embedded flowers or other items are common, but resin objects also can appear similar to other media such as stone, ceramic or glass. Larger, more detailed sculpture-based resin figures are often used as the base of decorative glass-top tables. Dragons and dolphins are popular resin bases for this type of furniture.

Most resin bases are created through a molding process, which varies depending on the type of mold, type of resin and desired appearance of the finished product. Molds can be made or improvised at home or can be purchased at craft and hobby stores. The various types of resin molds provide a wide range of options for those who enjoy casting resin. Silicone and plastic molds are some of them most common types. Creative resin casters often make use of other materials for unique molds, including plastic packaging from items such as small toys or decorative items.

Some of the different types of resins are more dangerous than others. Crafters who use resin often or who expose skin to resin have been known to suffer from various skin conditions as a result, so many opt to go with less dangerous types of resin. Acrylic resin is difficult to cure and highly toxic in the uncured state. Safer resins include urethane plastic and fiberfill UV-cure resins. These are used for repairing damaged areas on many products and crafts, and for creating new, original resin bases.

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