April 27, 2014

How to Make a Silicone Mould

Fall For DIY How to Make a Silicone Mould

Working on getting the new site up and running has meant I have neglected my ‘How to’ series. But we’re back with probably one of my favourite tutorials that has so much potential. This DIY is something I’ve been working on for ages! Being able to quickly and easily make a mould means I can make clay, resin and concrete (to name a few) versions of pretty much anything I like… Think of the possibilities!

So, like I say I have been working on this for a long time. The idea originally came from this post, which was awesome but I found it a was lacking a few key details so I recreated it here. I tried several different materials, techniques and combinations so some of the details in the pictures may change – so read through carefully!

Materials:

Silicone Sealant – So this is important. It has to say silicone on it! I tried with different sealants and some worked… some really did not. The one in the picture below worked ok, but the best I tried was a “bathroom silicone sealant” which produced the final mould.

Caulking gun – to get the silicone out.

Hand soap

A positive to make the mould out of

bowl or bucket that isn’t used for food (because you’re not going to want to eat of of it again!)

Fall For DIY How to Make a Silicone Mould tutorial

Instructions:

1. Mix your soap and water together. I’ve done it roughly about 1 part soap to 10 parts water.

Whoa! We’ve changed soap colour here. This tutorial took a few times to get right, so we now have purple soap for the rest of the DIY. Like magic!

Fall For DIY tutorial How to Make a Silicone Mould

2. Cut the end off the silicone and without using the nozzle squeeze it all out using the calking gun. If you’re making a small mould you can just use a little and save the rest for another time.

3. Work the silicone until it is not sticky. I used both my hands to pull and squeeze the silicone whilst it was submerged in the water for about 5 minutes.

4. Keeping it wet transfer into a container. This step was not in the original tutorial but as the silicone drys it gets very sticky so you want it somewhere it won’t make a huge mess! The soapy water keeps stops it from sticking to your hands so don’t dry them yet either.

How to Make a Silicone Mould tutorial Fall For DIY

5. Press your object into the silicone to create the mould. You’ll want something with smooth edges that the silicone will peal off easily. This resin bracelet was perfect.

6. Leave the object in your resin until the mould is firm. This doesn’t take very long. Mine was set in just a couple of hours! Carefully peel the object out of the mould and the mould out of the container (so you can use it again!)

You might be wondering why I needed to make a silicone mould of a bracelet that I just made from a mould I already have…. right? Silicone moulds are ace for different materials and I needed something more flexible for a very special tutorial I’ll be able to share really soon with you! In the mean time I’ll probably be making moulds of everything I can think of, so expect to see more of this!

Fall For DIY tutorial How to make a mould

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75 thoughts on “How to Make a Silicone Mould

  1. Sandra

    Hey, do you think this will work for candle molds? I’d really appreciate your response, thanks for a great tutorial!

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      I don’t see why not, but I haven’t tested the silicone with heat myself yet. I might do a few experiments and come back to you to make sure.

      Reply
      1. Kevin

        Most silicone handles up to 400 degrees quite easily. It should be fine. You just want to make sure you don’t have air pockets in the mold that may expand at a different ratio.

        Reply
      1. fran Post author

        Amazing, thanks for getting in touch and letting us know. You’re making me want to make candles now. Oh the possibilities!

        Reply
  2. Alicia

    This looks awesome, but I’ve got a couple of questions: Do you leave the object in the silicone until it dries, or take it out immediately? Also, how long does the silicone take to set up?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Hi Alicia! I completely forgot to put these details in the post. Thanks for reminding me! Leave the object in the silicone. It’s easy to remove once the silicone is set, which only takes about 1-2 hours. Really quick!

      Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Hi Helen,

      I didn’t coat the bracelet, but as it was resin it has a nice shiny outer layer anyway. Plastics and other hard shiny surfaces should be ok as well. I imagine any surfaces that might be porous like fabric or wood might need a layer of glue or vaseline over the top. I’ll be experimenting loads with this technique so I’ll see what I can find out!

      Thanks for your question!

      Reply
      1. Patrick R

        Just don’t try to make a mould of a silicone object. Silicone doesn’t play well with silicone!

        Reply
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  5. Catollie

    just wondering what materials could be used as a food grade source.
    buying molding kits for fondant etc. are expensive. but some of those molds are also silicone. or even using the rubber dip that you can find have you tried that as a molding source? TIA

    Reply
    1. Eve

      Hi Catolie,

      For food grade silicon, I am using Amazing mold putty. You can buy it easily online. It is working well with fondant, resin, clay and you can bake it.

      Have fun :-)

      Reply
    2. fran Post author

      Hey,

      I’m pretty sure you can’t use this silicone with food items. The smell alone is a bit chemically. I have also bought silicone molds for fondant, but I’m afraid I don’t know how you can make a safe mold for food. Have you tried pressing shapes into compact brown sugar and using this as a mold?

      Reply
    3. Andrea

      You can make a mold for fondant from fondant. Use some of your old fondant (use your older stuff for this) and dust with cornstartch. Stick what you want to mold and take out and let dry. I saw a video on youtube. The lady use practically anything–mcdonald toys, toy cars–whatever you want. Paint and you have a great fondant decoration for your cake.

      Reply
  6. Jessica

    you can also use silicone sealant and cornstarch.. dump cornstarch on a smooth surface.. the pump out the silicone sealant, enough for what ever you need to mold. knead the cornstarch into the silicone adding cornstarch as needed and work it until it isn’t sticky. lightly coat whatever your going to mold with petroleum jelly or spray lightly with cooking spray and press into the silicon and leave to dry/cure. it works for lots of small things such as pendents for jewelry etc.

    Reply
      1. fran Post author

        Hey Cherie,

        Thanks! Just make sure you get one that has the word “silicone” on the tube, but I think that any brand is fine. I usually use the cheapest ;)

        Reply
    1. Puzzlme

      I did an ornate oval frame with both recipes. Due to the size of my project I used an overlay rather than a press method. I found the soapy water was not as messy to prepare, it was quicker and much easier on the hands.. With the soapy water method you can pinch off pieces and add them to the mold without causing lines. The cornstarch recipe worked very well but it had to be done in one large application or it formed lines in the mold.

      Reply
    1. Annette

      The silicone needs to state on the packaging that it is paintable otherwise the paint won’t stick.

      Reply
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  8. Tony

    One quick comment to piggy-back on something that was already said. Do NOT use kitchen or bathroom silicon sealant for anything that will touch food related items. These sealants have chemicals to prevent the growth of mold (like cyanide!! YIKES!) mixed into them.

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Thanks for clearing that up Tony. Definitely don’t want those things to be touching food! Also probably wise to wash your hands well after you’ve been making/using the mold as well.

      Reply
      1. Lucinda Price

        If you use nitrile exam gloves (like the kind that are used in medical clinics now in place of latex), that will protect you from the chemicals you might be exposed to if you handle the sealant for extended periods of time. :-)

        Reply
  9. Florence

    Thanks for this. I have been looking for something to use to make a dolls head mold. I live on a mountain miles from anywhere and find it hard to get supplies but I can buy silicon from the local butchers!!
    Will give it a go :)

    Reply
  10. Kelly

    There is a silicone that is heat resistant, we had to use it when we installed our pellet stove. This is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing!!!

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Hey Kelly! Thanks for that pearl of wisdom. Heat resistant silicone would be perfect for candle making… the options are endless! :)

      Reply
  11. Pat Simcox

    Hi, this sounds fabulous !! Would the moulds work with polymer clay do you think ?? Also are they flexible when they set so you can get the object out easily ?? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Hey Pat,
      Yes! I’ve used them myself with polymer clay. They work brilliantly. The reason I wanted to make silicone moulds is for making objects out of concrete. I needed something flexible to keep the concrete intact when I was releasing it. These moulds are perfect for that requirement. I have also popped the mould, with clay set inside, in the freezer for half an hour to make it even easier to get the clay out before heating. Works a treat. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  12. Silver Otter

    I have been wanting to restore an old mirror with plaster framing there are several places where the plaster has been broken off it was always one of those how can i do it projects. now i know i’ll make a mold of a good section . then pour plaster into that and glue the dried product to the mirror then paint and gild it. Won’t my friend mate be surprised when i restore her special floor length oval mirror. She asked me years old to fix it now i can. thanks

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      I have never made soaps, but I think it would. That’s something I’d really love to do… I’m going to do some research!

      Reply
  13. Marge

    Jaclyn – Pewter melts at 340-450 degrees. If your silicone is good to only 400 you might have a problem, but if you find some that is for heat resistant , like Kelly mentioned.

    Reply
    1. Diana

      Well, from everything I have read, why not use a silicone mold to make a cement mold, then use the new cement mold for the pewter casting …. just a thought

      Reply
      1. fran Post author

        Thanks Diana! These are all processes you can do easily at home. If anyone tries this out I’d love to see the results!

        Reply
        1. Kzoo Kid

          Diana, the double-mold process works great. I’ve used it many times to make plaster molds for glass casting. The plaster molds are destroyed by heat needed to melt the glass, but the silicone mold they’re made from is good for many, many reuses.

          Fran, good tutorial, thanks. Gonna have to check out the rest of the site.

          Reply
  14. karrie

    ive gotten all the stuff to try to make a couple molds for some buttons and maybe some pendants. how do you store your molds after youve made them?

    Reply
    1. Kzoo Kid

      karrie, anywhere cool & dry will be fine. As long as the mold is completely cured, it won’t stick to a shelf or whatever you set it on. Any dusty bits that settle on it after a while can be rinsed off with plain water before using.

      Reply
  15. farrah

    cest beau ce que vous faite etr je sai je suis tres interer de faire et de creer des modeles car je sui sure de faire mieu et meme plus mai jai pas les moyen de materiel sasserais tres reconnaissante pour la puit que vous me raporterais, mercie manque ces creation et ideé et model et nous avons bon acheteur,

    mon portable :00213698586348
    facebook;farrahfati

    mercie

    Reply
  16. Emily S

    Heya,
    Just wondering whether anyone has attempted this tutorial for a two part mould and used anything like porcelain slip? I would really love to make ball jointed dolls, which means making two part slip moulds to achieve hollow body parts, but I can not bare the concept of the expense for a liquid silicon mould kit!

    The tutorial is fab by the way- I will find some use for it whether it is the above described or not, I have no doubt xD

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Hey Emily,

      I have not tried anything like that. Hopefully someone might comment who can help maybe?
      Thanks for your lovely compliments about the tutorial though. I hope you fins it useful!

      x

      Reply
    2. marcella

      Hi Emily, and excuse me Fran if I step right in with an answer. I am not sure silicone moulds would work with porcelain slip, as the point in getting hollow parts is making the porcelain powder in the slip adhere to the mould walls while the liquid part of the slip gets soaked up by the mould itself, which therefore should be quite porous to do this. I used to cast tiny miniature cups using gesso moulds and don’t know of any alternatives that work as well.

      Fran, great tutorial indeed! I am quite a heavy silicone mould user and will surely give this a try! Just a question: does the silicone dry up even while in the soapy water or does the water keep the silicone workable a bit longer?
      Thanks again!

      Reply
  17. Mary

    I wonder if this would work to make mold’s of leaves for doing concrete,etc. In the winter I have no leaves to work with,this would be great if it would work. What do you think?

    Reply
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  20. karrie loughridge

    I am going to try this for making some molds outta of some buttons and maybe some pendants. what do you store your molds in after your done using them?

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Hey Karrie,

      I love that idea of using buttons to make moulds. You could make some really interesting things out of those! I just throw my molds into a big box. As long as they don’t come into contact with any sharp objects they should be fine.

      Reply
  21. Catalina

    Really nice tutorial! I have been trying to make molds for a while now and I bought some liquid silicone but it turned out to be to expensive and tedious. Do you think I could make a two faced mold for plaster with the example you just did? Im thinking of just covering my whole object and then just cutting out the silicone in half when is done. Or is the silicone to hard? thank you!

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Hey Catalina,

      This silicone mold is perfect for this use. The silicone is soft and easily sliced with a craft knife. I have not tried it myself but I think you can definitely use this technique to make a two faced mold xx

      Reply
  22. kristie

    Does this mold stay flexible so you can make a mold of a solid object can be fully incased with the silicone mold material can be crafter the material sets, with a razor blade directly down middle starting from one side and around to other side leaving bottom of mold untouched.

    Reply
    1. fran Post author

      Yeah, it’s really flexible. If you check the comments I wrote a little bit about this somewhere. But basically it’s perfect for that sort of use :)

      Reply
  23. Lajuana

    I just this moment just made a mold using this method. mine set up in less than 30 minutes. I ended up using the whole caulking silicone and it was not enough for a large bangle. I have been searching for a way to make bangle bracelets and I like this tutorial. Before I seen you site and example I had an idea of doing just this method. I just did not think it would work. I used a very cheap dish liquid from the .99 cents store and in my opinion all dish liquid will work . Mine had a chlorine alternative. I do not know if that had to do anything with the quick curing silicone. Any way that this is great I will me making me another bangle mold this afternoon. i use thick and thin masking tape as my bangle object. Masking tape is great for a medium to large adult size hand.

    Reply
  24. Karenthor

    I have a cascading fountain made of very large concrete elephant ears. Over the years they have begun to crack and I’ve patched them many times. It’s getting to the point that I think I should just make new ones. The existing ones could be used to make the molds. How can I make molds of something large like this? Probably 2 ft wide by 3 ft long. About 1″ thick. Thanks!

    Reply
  25. Jen Hacker

    Hello,

    I have a human skull that I would love to make a mold of. Do you think this would work on a larger object like this? I thinking making two and piecing them together, would I need two tubes of sealant? I do not mind covering the skull in Vaseline for the process if I get a good result, the bone is ancient so it would probably do it some good!

    Any advice before proceeding would be fantastic.

    Jen

    Reply
    1. Jen Hacker

      I have just seen a previous comment from Kristie, I will try covering the whole skull and then cutting in half to remove. Any suggestions on how to attach both parts together? I have read may options like wet plaster and PVA, any suggestions?

      Reply
      1. marcella

        Hi Jen, I use modeler’s grade two-part silicone for my moulds: I can cut them up and the two parts stick together again with no problem at all, I only need a rubberband to keep them aligned while pouring the casting material in. It’s true I work in miniature and my moulds are quite small, but the properties of silcone should stay the same in any scale. Don’t know if this is true with the sealant kind as well, but it could be worth a try anyway.
        Hope this helps!

        Reply
  26. Joel Haas

    I have worked with a variety of silicones for moulds. For casting pewter, I suggest you find a company like Silicones, Inc in High Point, NC. They make a silicone for pewter casting that works much better than an ad hoc mold, particularly if you want to make a two or three piece mold. Always, be careful there is no water anywhere in your mold if you cast pewter! Water instantly turns into steam and explodes then metal outwards. In bronze casting, aluminum cast, etc, it is always common practice to preheat any metal or tools that will go into molten metal or heat shock will make the molten metal explode upwards. It is one of the most common ways people are badly injured in foundries. It is not so bad with pewter, but much depends on how much and how hot your pewter is.

    Food grade silicone rubber is very expensive because it has to be made in an all stainless steel environment subject to surprise inspections by the FDA (the same is true for companies making restaurant equipment) Making an entire manufacturing line over again in all stainless steel is very expensive.

    Silicone calk is a two part catalyst material. Acidic acid (know as vinegar) keeps the hardening agent from interacting with the silicone material. If you apply a thin layer repeatedly to an object it may go faster, or at least with fewer air bubbles. Too much caulk flopped together means the vinegar drys on the outside, allowing the outside to harden but keeping the inside squishy. Thin layers avoid that problem. Afterwards, make a back up mother mould to keep it from flopping around. I use plaster.

    Your caulk will go further with this method if you’re trying to stretch your material (pun intended.)
    Joel Haas, sculptor
    Raleigh, NC

    Reply

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