World's Easiest Silicone Mold.

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Introduction: World's Easiest Silicone Mold.

About: I'm an Instructables success story! After relying on the site to DIY my way through art school, I was able to join the Instructables Design Studio in 2012. It's the best! Whe...

Yep. That's right. I am about to change your mold-making technique forever. This simple way of silicone mold-making will have you wanting to make casts of all your trinkets and toys.

You will need:

Step 1: Make Your Catalyzing Solution.

By mixing a high-concentration of dish soap with water in a bowl, one is actually making a catalytic bath for your silicone. The glycerine in the dish soap accelerates the cure process for of your 100% pure silicone.

This is by no means an exact science, I use blue dish soap because it allows me to see how much I have added to a water bath, I approximate that I used 4 oz. of soap in 64 oz. of water.

Step 2: Catalyzing the Silicone.

Cut off the tip of the silicone caulk tube, and set it in the caulking gun. Unload enough silicone to surround the desired object, into the bath.

I use the whole tube usually.

Step 3: Preparing the Silicone.

While keeping your hand submerged in the dish-soap catalyzing bath, gently clump the string of silicone together. Form it into a ball, and slowly massage it. Fold it, stretch it out, and work it very much like one would knead dough.

When it begins to become a bit less malleable, and stiffen, it is time to sink your positive into your material. In this case, Mike helped me, and we used his dinosaur, Jesus. (hay-zoos)

Step 4: Make Sure the Mold Is Water Tight.

The best way to make sure your mold is watertight is to add a kind of thick-ish layer of silicone to the surface area of your object. Note how the dinosaur is padded by about a 1/2" layer of silicone all around its body. Also, I have left a considerable amount of the dinosaur uncovered, as I am only casting half of this figure.

You want to make sure you can still wiggle your figure out of your mold, without any of it getting caught, otherwise it can be very tricky to extract once your mold has set.

Step 5: Let It Cure.

It will take about an hour for a full cure of your mold, before you can use it. Allow your object to remain in the mold while it cures. When the mold is no longer tacky to the touch, and feels rigid, gently remove your positive.

We kept this mold on top of the fridge, and put a bit of soapy water down on the plate so that the silicone didn't meld with the paper plate.

Also, this part smells awful. Make sure you do all this in a well-ventilated space.

Step 6: Use Your Mold!

We made a sparkly rendition of Jesus with clear casting resin and glitter. When the resin began to gel we set three LEDs inside of him. Behold the sparkliest light up dinosaur in West!

13 People Made This Project!

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2 Tips

Baby Powder, about 1/8 inch layer will also keep it from sticking. Also, when using a silicone mold, baby powder works as a release agent.

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Hey guys, please note that this only works with type 1 silicone, not type 2. Type 2 will not harden.

10 Questions

Can you use this process to make a full mold, not just half of the figure? I need to make an ice sculpture for a challenge. I wonder if I can use this process to make a mold of a plastic action figure that i could then possibly cut in half to remove the plastic figure (positive) and be left with the negative mold in 2 parts. Then if i can figure a way to glue it together with a hole to pour water into- i could then position to make the needed ice sculpture. Then once frozen, i could cut away the mold to reveal my figure - What are your thoughts on this?

Hey there, this methodology is not skin-safe during the curing of the resin, as it 'weeps' acetic acid as it cures. Check out this 2-part compound by smooth-on for making models from body parts and hands.

Does the mold come out with a tail? I love the idea just curious how he looks when its not the whole mold.

I tried this on a ceramic dish but the silicone got completely stuck to it. How can I remove the silicone? Thanks

Was this an unglazed ceramic surface? The silicone likely penetrated the pores of unglazed pottery. I'm unsure of a way to remove cured silicone outside of brute force :-/

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Would these molds be safe to use with food? I'd like to make molded chocolates.

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This silicone is an Acetic acid cure silicone (smells like vinegar) and is not safe for food. Silicone also comes with a Tin Catalyst or a platinum catalyst. Only Platinum catalyst silicones are safe for food. Alas also the most expensive.

1 more answer

No. You have to use a food-safe silicone, which is more expensive and comes as a 2-part kit.

would this mold be safe to use for melted lead

Lead melts at 621.4°F, 327.5°C

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Is there a way to make this pourable. maybe with something that disolves silicone enough to make it liquid?

I did exactly what your steps said, i used 100% clear silicon. And my mold is not curing its been 24 hrs and it is still super sticky, i made large enclosed mold of spoons.

Make sure that you are using Type 1 Silicone. It should smell like vinegar. If you are using Type 2 (or "Type II") or a "Neutral Cure" silicone, then the water will not catalyze it and it will take longer to cure.

What temperature will this mold handle. I want to make soft plastic baits using Plastisol which need to reach 177°F. Will this mold stand up to that heat?

Yes, silicone can handle up to 500 F.

I have tried and tried to make the homemade silicone molds no matter what I do it will not cure and harden what am I doing wrong

Are you using 100% clear silicone? This technique will not work with any kind of silicone.

377 Comments

This is my first time on instructables and this article catch my attention because also I make a dinosaur mold for cakes. Congratulation!!, it is asome.

Quick question can I use food coloring with the dish soap or would it influence the colour of the silicone?

I tried several times to make a mold from a ceramics figurine (unglazed) I made for the project. But the silicone always sticks way too good to the figurine, thus not leaving a very smooth mold. Also very hard to get out.
I never tried to cure it in soap water first, but do you really think that would make the trick? I tried to cover the figurine in oil first, but made no difference.

Now I just have a figurine with a lot of silicone residue all over it, and I can't figure out a way to clean it off efficiently so I can start over

17 replies

Ceramic is a pretty porous material, even when glazed sometimes, and the silicone loves to stick to it for that reason. In my experience, using the soap water bath will not change the unfortunate results very much if at all. I don't know a good method of cleaning a silicone stuck figure besides burning the silicone off and I wouldn't advise using ceramic objects for this process, ceramic just doesn't want to play nice with silicone.

If you are still bent on casting it, you could maybe coat the ceramic figure with some sort of resin after it is cleaned to give it a less porous surface...? Something to look into perhaps!

I'm not too keen on getting it glazed, because I want to keep as many details on it as possible

Hi Mikki! I am an instructor for porcelain and ceramics (35 years) and I tell you that so you know I am not blowing smoke but know the mediums enough to give you help. You can glaze any bisque piece with 2 smooth coats of clear glaze and not lose the detail of your piece. Over coverage is where most folks lose some of the details but you will never be able to get a nice mold from a piece that is not smooth to start with. The mold only replicates what you have, and exactly as it is. You're mold will be so nice once you prepare your ceramic item correctly, and your pieces you pour will too! Good luck!

any tips on release agents? TY

I have worked with silicone on home repair projects. when I want it to stick to one surface and not an adjoining surface, I slightly, very slightly dampen the surface I don't want it to stick to and powder it with baby powder. This works when you are laying down a bead, but if you move the work too much, the silicone will absorb the baby powder. Otherwise it works great.

If you you go through this instructable you can use the mixed whater+soap as release agent. I tried and it released easy.

Would that work with a spray on clear glaze as well?

Actually, you don't have to glaze it. SuperSeal from Smooth-on seals porous surfaces and is specifically made for this purpose. It comes off with warm water.

https://www.smooth-on.com/product-line/superseal/

Try melted wax to coat the positive. Use a heat gun on low then wipe clean with a cloth

user

You can use vaseline as a separator. Smear it on and then use a hair dryer to warm it up - this will remove (melt) the finger marks and excess away. Use it thinly. Let it cool and "dry" before applying silicone.

There is something called mold release that you spray on your original piece so it won't stick. I know the Smooth On company makes one, but there are a lot out there.

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If you need to remove silicone from a surface, the easiest way is to use
white vinegar. I used it to remove special mold-making silicone, should work
for this cheaper version as well. I haven't tried it on ceramics, so do a test clean on a sample just in case.

Mikki the trick to it not sticking to your ceramics is it needs to be a glazed piece. Not sure if you are using a bisque or plaster piece but it needs to have some kind of finish on it. Hope this helps.

'Contractors Solvent' by De-Solv-It will remove silicone. Available at most hardware stores, it is safe on skin and smells like the skin of an Orange. The solvent is then washed off with soap and water. Use a moisturizer after rinsing your hands as it will also remove your skin oils. I use it to remove tar and tree sap from clothing as well.

Ceramics as in heat resistant? Silicones are known to be almost in-destructable by chemicals (there are some nasty bases that actually dissolve silicone but nothing houshold-grade). Most silicones however start to degrade at 300°C. You could try to put your figurine on a barbecue grill and see if it can burn-off the residuals.

Its a stoneware figurine, so defiantly heat resistant, as it was burnt at 1250°C :P
I'll try that, thanks!

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