We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
"Little Gidding"
T S Eliot

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Mouldy stuff!

We thought we would have a go at making our own silicone moulds, as the bespoke stuff you can buy is so expensive.

Take some bathroom silicone (I got some small tubes at the pound shop) and cornflour (though you can use talc), plus some petroleum jelly, and latex gloves (optional).

Cover your hands (with or without gloves) with petroleum jelly.  Start combining the silicone and cornflower with an old credit card or similar (also cover the card in pet jelly), then switch to using your hands. Continue kneading until it is malleable, with no cracks, and not sticky.  Proportions are about 50/50 silicone and cornflour.  This takes longer than you may think, but don't overwork it, as the silicone will start to dry out.

Then press anything into it that takes your fancy, but make sure the item is also covered in petroleum jelly to stop it sticking.

Here are some I did, a bee from a keyring, and old metal button from my mother's button box, and a couple of plastic things that I thought would be useful as wings.

This is everything we did with 3 tubes of silicone, and we did waste some because of overworking.

There are some more buttons, a plastic bird, tiny plastic sewing related charms, Ideology frames, and a pendant.

It was a hot day, so we put the tray in the sunshine, but we were a bit impatient, as we probably took the items out before the silicone had cured.

I would suggest 24 hours, even though it may feel "done" before that.

Each time you use a mould, cover it in petroleum jelly to act as a release agent.

I used some paper clay to try them out, here are the results before paint and stuff.  The good thing about paper clay is you can trim it once dry.

The button is fab, as are the wings and bird.

I'm going to do the bee again, as I didn't press it into the silicone evenly, so one wing is a bit off.  The pendant didn't go in deep enough either, nor did the Ideology frame.  The anchor button is not too good either, so will repeat that too.

To see how much detail had been picked up by the silicone, I painted everything black, and added some gilding wax.

This definitely works, but care must be taken to press shallow items deep into the silcone, and also ensure larger items are pressed in evenly.

I really love this technique, and will be searching around for other stuff to make a mould from!


  1. Fantastic. Will give this a go soon.

  2. Wow - it does work then! I feel a workshop coming on...