If you’re new to resin art, you probably discovered a craft with limitless possibilities. You can basically make anything with resin, from baking molds to spare parts, to jewelry, figurines, and just about anything. It’s a material that allows you to discover a world of imagination, and the best thing about it is the processes are simple and materials are easily found.
There are ready-made resin molds you can buy, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for or you want to make one of your own, you can definitely make a DIY resin at home. It may seem intimidating and complex at first, and you probably won’t get it right the first time but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be filled with excitement about all the great things you can make.
And so, without further ado, let’s begin our simple guide on how to make resin molds. But first, what are resin molds?
What are Resin Molds?
Resin molds are made from types of flexible rubber that are used to make resin art. They are hollow forms that you pour casting resin into to create a shape. The shape, structure, and finish of the mold will impact the resin when it hardens.
Once the resin fully hardens, you simply remove it from the mold, and it will remain in its shape. Most resin molds are reusable but there are types of materials that are easily damaged with their use. The kind of resin used in molds is casting resin, which is a type of resin that mixes in a thin consistency, making it possible to create all kinds of shapes and objects.
How to Make a Resin Mold
Here is a step by step guide into making a resin mold:
Step 1: Prepare the following materials:
- Silicone putty or liquid
- Object or model (the object you want to duplicate)
- Box (plastic container or old milk box)
- Cardboard or any flat tray
- Rolling pin
Step 2: Prepare the Silicone Putty
You can buy silicone putty or liquid at any craft or hardware store. Make sure you have more than enough to make one replica. Preparation of the silicone putty or liquid depends on the brand, and they come with instructions, so it’s best that you follow the directions to make sure you’re mixing them right.
For silicone putty, you need to knead it like you would a piece of dough. Kneading the putty makes it softer, which means it will be easier to manipulate. It will also remove possible air inside the putty that may cause your mold to crack or break. Once you can feel a good texture with your putty, form it into a ball and place it on top of your cardboard or tray.
Slowly make the ball flat by using a rolling pin. Depending on your model or object, you will decide the thickness of your mold. If you have a thick object, the least width you can make with your putty is 0.5.”
Step 3: Place Your Model on the Putty
If you’re using putty, gently press your object on the flat putty. This method is ideal for capturing the shape of objects where you only want to use one side, such as the face of a doll, a skull, or any object where you only want to use one section. Gently press your object into the putty, making sure its details are indented on the putty. Leave it there for at least 3 to 4 hours to cure, or you can also follow instructions on the putty’s brands. since some silicone will cure faster or longer.
If you’re using liquid silicone and want to capture the 3D details of an object, place your model in the middle of your plastic container or old milk carton. Put some glue on the bottom of the object so it stays in place in the middle of your container.
Step 4: Remove Your Object or Model
Once your silicone has cured, gently remove the object from the putty or the silicone liquid that has turned hard. After you’ve removed your object, you will have successfully created a resin mold.
Some Things to Keep in Mind
When choosing a plastic container or box to hold your silicone, make sure it is sturdy, leak-proof, and the interior is lined with plastic so you can pull your mold with ease. It also must be big enough to leave space around your object.
Silicone is the most ideal material for DIY molds because it provides the most versatility. It will not require a separating object to prevent the resin from sticking, and it’s also easy to manipulate. It’s also non-toxic, as many baking molds are made of silicone. However, silicon putty is limited to small objects.
If you have a large project, silicone may not be the most ideal. It’s also prone to dullness and damage with each use, so if you’re making resin art in large volumes, you may need to make more than one silicone resin mold for your needs.
Silicone Putty Versus Silicone Liquid
Silicone putty is great for capturing one section of an object, as well for anyone who doesn’t want to get down and dirty. It’s simple, fast, and easy to use, but it’s limited to small objects. It is the easiest type of material for resin mold and if you’re a beginner or you’re teaching resin casting to kids, silicone putty is the best option.
Silicone rubber in liquid form can be a bit messy, you’d need to be a little more careful when it comes to handling silicone liquid, and you might need to wear gloves. You’d also be dealing with a lot of waste since you’ll be filling most of your container when you make your mold. However, silicone rubber cures longer than putty. In fact, silicone liquids can take up to 24 hours to fully cure.
Choosing your resin mold material depends on your needs and willingness to create more complex resin art. If you want to make resin casting a one-time hobby or you simply want to try it out, silicone putty is for you. But if you want to make resin molding a consistent endeavor, then using silicone liquid is more apt.
Making resin molds for simple objects and small pieces can be simple and easy. By using silicone putty or liquid, you can start as soon as you have your materials ready, and as long as you’re willing to put in time and effort in making your very own, custom, and DIY resin molds at home.
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my kids however, that is typically a challenge with how limited their attention span can be and how messy it gets. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and creating fond memory for all of us.