Introduction: Making Wax Molds for Making Stop Motion Puppets

Picture of Making Wax Molds for Making Stop Motion Puppets

I like to do stop motion animation for a hobby and I make my
own stop motion puppets. To explain a basic way of making a stop motion puppets
is you start out with a simple armature (skeleton) that can be made with wire
or ball socket joints and then build a mold around the armature. Most people
use plaster to make a mold but I have figured out how to create a mold from an
everyday material that can be melted down again and again so you don’t waste
any material as where plaster cannot be reused. The only problem that I have
had with this process is that I can only make a one piece mold unlike plaster
where you can make two or more.

Step 1: Things You'll Need:

Picture of Things You'll Need:

Things you’ll need:

Ordinary Candle wax (as much as you need to fill the volume of the molding box)

Plastic container (for your molding box)

Clay or play-dough (I used homemade play-dough to add a little bit more of a DIY feeling to this project)

Mold builder liquid latex or silicon (to create skin) you can get it at michaels

Craft wire/ floral wire (to create the armature)

Scrap wood

Two small BB’s

Acrylic craft paint

Fake fur

Baby powder

Petroleum jelly

Tools you’ll need:

Hot glue gun & glue sticks

Drill

Old paint brushes

Hair dryer

An oven or anything that can melt the wax

Sandpaper

Wire cutters

Scissors

Jigsaw

Step 2: Making the Mold and Casting:

Picture of Making the Mold and Casting:

First I made a ball of clay the size I wanted the head to be.
Then sculpted the head the way I wanted it to look. Then I spread the petroleum
jelly on the clay head. I then melted the wax in an old Fry Daddy after it
melted I poured the wax into the plastic container. Then I put it in the freezer for about 30
minutes to speed up the cooling process.

After the wax had hardened I took it out of the freezer and
dug the clay out of the mold with a paint brush and some tooth picks. Now I had
my wax mold to make my latex face for my figure. I poured out a small amount of
Mold Builder Liquid Latex and added some Acrylic paint to color the latex, I mixed
it with a paint brush until the color was completely mixed in. Then I rubbed
some more Petroleum jelly in the mold so that the latex would release easier.

Then painted a thin coat of the colored latex on the mold and dried it with a hair dryer

(be sure to use the cool button on the hair dryer because the mold is wax and it will melt)

build up about three layers of latex and then put the extra latex in an old pill bottle to keep it from drying out.

Wait until the next morning to pull the latex out of the mold.

Step 3: Making the Armature:

Picture of Making the Armature:

In the meantime I put the armature together. I first cut a small piece of wood just a
little bit smaller than the head and rounded the sides with some sand paper.

I drilled seven holes for the mouth, nose, ears and neck and twisted the wire
twice to give it some extra strength and hot glued the wires onto the piece ofwood.

I then made the eyes by taking two BB’s and painting them with some more Acrylic paint.

Step 4: Back to the Latex:

Picture of Back to the Latex:

The next morning after I pulled the latex out of the wax mold
I added another thin coat of latex on the outside of the latex face.

(This time I added some yellow to make the latex a lighter color.)

Then took the paint and made it darker and splotched it with a paper towel to give it some texture.
After that I trimmed the excess latex off the edges of the face.

I then glued the eyes in and put the hair on, I had to trim the hair a bit to get it to look
like I wanted it to.

I then sprinkled baby powder over the latex head so the latex won't stick to it self.

Finally, I stuck the head on a stop motion figure that I had previously made.

Step 5: Done!

Picture of Done!

This process can be used for more than making stop motion
puppets, you can cast plaster and other various casting material in the wax
mold. I have been working on this molding style for about two years and I think
I’ve been able to do quite a bit with a recyclable material like
wax.

The advantage to using latex over just ordinary clay for stop
motion is that there are no finger prints, the wire won’t poke through and you
can shape the face a bit without squishing it.

Thank you for reading my second Instructables project.

Please comment below.

Thanks

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Bio: We are a home school group that has created a robotics team with 3 members involved in the team. We do several shows with a ... More »
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