How to: Make a Resin Galaxy Ball Fan Pull
One of the things I hate most is ceiling fans where I can’t reach the pulls to turn on the fan. Only slightly less annoying is ceiling fans that have pulls, but they are the manufacturers ugly brand. (See below.)
I am not a particularly short person, but neither am I tall, and I don’t like to get up on ballet feet to get my fan started. So I decided to put together some pretty galaxy balls to use for fan pulls! This is a relatively simple project for beginning resin users, but if it is your very first time, I have some links at the bottom that should help you out with resin 101.
- UV resin. You can use a two part epoxy, but either most of your inclusions will fall to the bottom over the course of hardening, or you will take several days working on it.
- UV flashlight or UV Nail dryer, or UV bulb (sunlight works, too, but it slows the process down.)
- A ball mold, like this one from Amazon. You want one that has a ball that you feel comfortable gripping, but not one so big that it will weigh down the fan pull.
- Resin tint. You can use chalk pastels, resin dyes or pigment powder. I used these from Sophie and Toffee, which I like because they have a bit of sparkle in them. For these balls, I choose purple and light blue.
- Tiny cups for coloring resin. These could be reusable silicone, or medicine cups. I’ve even seen people pouring it on little bits of waxed paper, then using that. I don’t recommend that method, but whatever works for you!
- Beads for planets
- Star Glitter
- A ball chain and connectors. You need to check to be sure the ball chain fits your fan! There are several sizes, so be sure to check
- Toothpicks or silicone nail tools like these.
- Personal safety equipment. We are working with resin, to get your mask and your gloves ready.
- Flush cutters and files, to smooth out the ball when you take it out of the mold.
- Pour a bit of clear UV resin into your tiny cups and mix up your colors. I used blue and purple for my swirly galaxy bits, and black for the backing. You will need the most resin for the black, because that is the background that will show off your galaxy.
2. Once everything is mixed, pour a little clear resin into the bottom of the ball mold, and place a couple of planet beads in there. I have two sizes, so I did this in two layers, with the tiny beads first, then the larger ones. Poke around with your toothpick or tool till the beads are where you want them to be, then shine your flashlight on the mold, or stick it under the lamp, or set it outside to cure.
3. Next layer is the swirls. Layer clear, blue and purple into the mold, then swirl with your toothpick or tool. Do this at least twice, until you can look into the mold and you like what you see. There is a lot of interpretation here! Once you are satisfied, back under the lamp to cure.
4. Now we can add glitter. For me, this is the largest layer. Pour the resin in and swirl in the glitter. Make sure you scrape all the sides to help get rid of any bubbles. Heating the resin a little makes this easier. Stop when there is about a third left in the mold, then cure it under the lamp. Depending on the thickness of the resin, you might do this in 2 layers.
5. Last is the black layer. Pour the black in, rotating the mold and poking at it with your toothpick to get rid of the bubbles and make sure you’ve got good coverage. Leave a tiny bit of space at the top, because you are going to put your ball chain in there. Wrap the ball chain around a pencil or a silicone tool, then balance it in the resin so that it comes out in the center:
6. Next, time for the final cure. Because black is hard to cure with a flashlight, and I have a ball chain and stick preventing me from balancing my flashlight on top, I put it under the lamp.
7. My mold has been damaged a bit, so the balls don’t come out exactly shiny. So to get that mirror shine, I balance the ball on top of the mold and pour some clear over it, catching and “painting” with my tool until I have an even layer. Then it goes out into the sun for an hour or so for a final cure.
6. Of course, this leads to lots of bits of extra resin dangling off. You can pinch those with your fingers, or cut the bigger ones with flush cutters. Then file down the sharp bits so you don’t cut yourself switching on the fan. This leaves some bits that aren’t mirror bright, but as they are on the top, nobody will see it. (Unless they are dusting your fan!)
And there you have it! So pretty!