Go Clickety-Clack for Resin Keycaps
Nowadays, people are spending as much time (or more) on the internet as they do on sleep. In fact, on average, technology users topped out at almost 8 hours a day spent using technology, which includes phones, computers, and other devices. Now, we aren't here to judge that; instead, what we want to talk about is how to customize those technological devices that you spend so much time using.
In the past, we've discussed crafty ways you can use epoxy resin to deck out your phone and truly express who you are. Today, we're going to talk about your keyboard and the infinite possibilities of customized resin keycaps.
Custom Resin Keycaps Creation Tips
It's always important to consider best safety practices when working with resin products. Safety glasses and gloves should be worn whenever you're working with epoxy resin. Additionally, for any sanding that you do to polish up your project, we highly encourage wearing a respirator. Always work on your project in a well-ventilated space.
The process of making resin keycaps usually starts with either purchasing or creating your own resin keycap mold. While the process for creating a mold doesn't have to be complicated, it’s an extra step. For those who want to brave this step, we recommend using mold-making products like The Amazing Mold Maker from our friends at Alumilite.
When it comes down to molds, you also have options. Online, you can purchase standard keycap molds or more unique shapes. For example, if you're a fan of animals, you can actually get keycap molds with paw prints on the top. There are also miniature molds of a variety of objects, like roses, hearts, and cute cartoon characters, that you can cast and then adhere to your custom keys.
Lastly, it is always best to use molds made of silicone. Silicone is one of the materials that epoxy resin will not adhere to, which will help avoid mishaps related to de-molding your project.
It's always a good idea to plan out the design that you’re going for before combining your epoxy resin. Whether you're thinking about adding mica powder or inks for color or sparkling things up with glitter and gold or silver flakes, you only have so much time to work with epoxy resin before it cures. So, if your design is elaborate, it can be helpful to practice it beforehand in whatever way works best for you. Your practice can even be something as simple as a sketch!
If you choose to incorporate sculpting into your custom keycap project, we encourage you to use products like Super Sculpey. Alumilite's Super Sculpey is a clay that bakes to a ceramic feel and is perfect for crafting out those tiny details for designs like this.
As far as casting resin in the mold, we would suggest using ProMarine Supplies Tabletop Epoxy. Our Tabletop Epoxy mixes in an easy-to-use 1-to-1 by volume ratio and has excellent air release qualities! To ensure a thorough mixture, make sure to mix the two parts carefully, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixing cup with your stir stick to ensure a thorough mixture.
Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, you can mix your colors in ahead of time or even paint the mold with your mica powder. If you decide to dust mica powder on the mold, do so with a small paintbrush. Make sure to tap excess powder out of the mold to avoid unwanted mixing.
Resin Artisan Keycap Artistry
In the crafting community, we have seen numerous inventive applications for personalized keycaps. Beyond changing the color of the keycaps or creating interesting textures, artists have encapsulated entire environments in the span of a single keystroke. These encapsulations involve the designing and assembling of what are, basically, a miniature dioramas or landscapes and capture stills of natural habitats or scenes from beloved movies.
Regarding keycap encapsulations, crafters have also chosen to include items of their own making or embedments from Mother Nature into keycaps. These range from small-scale sculpting projects to flowers, moss, and other foliage. Artists apply one or many of these techniques to realize their unique designs.
Talk to Us at ProMarine Supplies
Do you have any questions about making your own resin keyboard keys or other resin-related projects? If you, don't hesitate to reach out to us on our Contact Us page! You can also view common questions on our FAQs page.
For those who seek it, inspiration of all kinds can be found at on our social medias sites, like Instagram and Pinterest, for those who seek it. We'd also like to thank our friends at Alumilite for our thumbnail image, handmade resin keycaps by them!
Happy crafting, everyone!