Where We Left Off

Our first round of encapsulation didn’t go so well. See this post to follow the drama that was Round 1 of our encapsulation adventure.

Though the first project was a disaster we didn’t give up. We watched the videos which I included in part 1, and learned some new ways of doing things. Google is your best friend when picking up a new hobby so I recommend you go there after reading this. This post is in no way exhaustive.

Encapsulation Techniques

There are several ways you can go about encasing a bug. There is the technique that uses two pieces of Plexiglas on top and bottom, and the fill a mold and try to get it to look good method.

The latter does not require a buffer so that is our preferred method.

If you look online there are many ways to encase all kinds of things. You can get complex and involved as you want. Because we aren’t reselling any of our projects I don’t really want to get too crazy.

Our Process

Our process:

  • Find a creature.
    • Dead or alive (dead is best for not having to kill something, alive makes it easier to position the creature.)

Prepping the insect

  • Soak creature in rubbing alcohol (this accomplishes the killing part of the process as well as preserving them).
  • Prepare the mold.
    • Clean it, make sure it is dust free.
    • spray the inside of the mold with the releasing chemical if you have some.
  • Mix your resin.
    • Mix as instructed by the manufacturer.
  • Pour in the resin.
    • The mold should be about half full at this stage, or maybe a little less for large insects.
  • Let resin sit until gelled or very sticky.
    • Be careful not to accidentally add bubbles testing the resin.
  • Take the bug out of the alcohol.
  • Let it drip dry for a minute.
  • Set the critter in the resin.
    • usually upside down so it will be right side up once the mold is complete.
  • Mix your second batch of resin.
  • Position the bug. Usually this is the most difficult stage with spiders.
  • Once you have them how you want them pour the rest of the resin in the mold.
  • Hopefully they haven’t shifted too much. If it has you can adjust the legs a little bit, but be careful that you don’t get a bunch of air bubbles.

Positioning insect

  • Let harden until the resin is completely set up.

Hardened mold

  • Remove from the mold.
    • This stage is tricky and is a really good opportunity to ruin your project if you get too rough with it.

 

We Still Need Work

As you can see from the pictures the legs still get away from me sometimes. Maybe it gives it character. There were also a lot of bubbles.

Finished encased spider

The biggest issue I have is the resin didn’t set up all the way. I think I messed up the ratios on hardener to resin. Either way it looks pretty good.

It’s a fun project you can do with your kids. The initial costs are pretty low. About 30 dollars. I would definitely not allow your kids to do it alone. Imagine the mess partially hardened resin would make all over the floor, couch, table, their bed, your bed, really anywhere they may decide is the best place to discard the unused portion.

Photos of Other Projects

Here are all the pictures of all the encasing projects we have done recently.