In this tutorial I'm going to take you through the process of making a mold that easily duplicates parts with complex details. I'm going to teach you some techniques for getting the most out of inexpensive silicone, creating molds from parts you can find at your local hardware store, and making incredibly detailed high fidelity castings.

This tutorial is going to cover my process for making a glove mold with a matching mother mold for my production line of Impala Horn Candles (now available on Etsy). I'm going to be making all my castings in wax although this molding method is perfect for nearly any liquid casting material.

For this tutorial you'll need:
Mold making - Many of these items like the fiberglass resin and chip brushes are available at Home Depot
* Casting Silicone (I used Smooth-On's OOMOO 30)
* Spray Mold Release
* PVA (Ployvinyl Alcohol)
* Chip Brushes
* Clay
* Sculpting Tools
* Sculpting Sponge
* Boards
* Hot Glue
* Rubber Gloves
* Shellac
* Fiberglass Mat
* Shears
* Fiberglass Resin
* Stirring Sticks
* Plastic Cups
* Xacto Knife

Casting - You can find most of these materials at your local craft store
* Wicks
* Translucent Casting Wax
* Wax Tint
* Hot Plate
* Oven Mitts or Welding Gloves
* Pliers
* Tin Can

For other tutorials on making molds and casting check out
* Mold Making: Two Part Silicone Mold
* Rigid Urethane Molds
* Casting Complex Parts

For more details on candle making check out
* Custom Candles
* Teacup Soy Candles
* How To Make Candles

Step 1: Prepare Your Model

Ok, so this step assumes you've already chosen something to mold. What makes a good candidate for glove molding? It's usually something with a fairly simple parting line, something that's not going to rip the mold to shreds when you try to take it out. Molds with lots of complex parts, like for an action figure with a billowing cape and huge headgear, probably aren't going to look spectacular. Things like monster fingernails, breakaway glass bottles, and animal horns work well for this method.

I started by filling my horns with Great Stuff, like you can find at Home Depot, to help me adhere them down to my wooden bases. This isn't a completely necessary step, but it meant I could get a really clean seam around the base. I stuck the horns down to my bases, which had been sprayed with clear varnish, with hot glue. Then I pasted some lengths of bamboo to the backsides of the bases to make a funnel through which I could pour the wax once the molds were finished.

It's pretty wise to give everything a final inspection at this point. I made sure there weren't any cracks in between my horns and their bases by filling in the seam with a little window putty. I also gave them a good cleaning to make sure there wasn't any dirt or fingerprints. Everything that you see on your model will end up in the mold and on the finished parts. A little scrutiny here saves a lot of time later.

Once I was happy with all the details I pasted everything down to a plastic sheet with hot glue and prepped everything for silicone.
I thought that was a replica of the spine candles from harry potter. Either way, I was looking for some molding instructables anyway. Cool candles!
Uhh. Just for your infomation those horns are those of a male Springbok (Springbuck if you don't know afrikaaans) It is the national animal of South Africa where I live. Impala horns don't curve they sort of go straight up and the backwards.<br><br>Just Constructive<br><br>DRH1469
I'd like to use your tutorial to make fiberglass molds to make custom foam latex gloves for a Halloween costume. This step is slightly confusing to me only because there isn't a photo explaining how the silicone mold is used in regards to the fiberglass. Could you explain this a little and maybe some tips for someone wanting to make gloves and not a solid casting?
The fiberglass is a support for the thinner silicon mold. The author explained that silicon is expensive, much more so than fiberglass. Look at it as a mold of the mold :) One could also use plaster bandages instead of fiberglass. To cast gloves of latex, you need a mold of a hand in plaster, in order to let the latex harden. the plaster form absorbs the moisture from the latex so it can harden.
This is a really neat instructable! I would like to try this and replicate those really cool candles in Harry Potter 3. Thanks!<br />
Thanks!<br /> <br /> I don't remember those candles specifically. Were those the ones shaped like a backbone?<br />
They were! As soon as I&nbsp;saw them in the movie, I wanted to make them.<br />
I have... http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheOneLifeRider?ref=seller_info :)
Yea the Spine Candles those were cool <br>
&quot;Cast and play and sculpt and duplicate until your heart fills with boundless joy&quot;<br>lol
Oh,my English is so bad.
have you ever used gauze to reinforce outer layers of the glove mold?
Couldn't you use latex instead of silicone?<br />
Yes. Latex is a lot slower though, because you have to apply thinner coats and allow each one to dry properly. <br />
I&nbsp;saw the horns in the thumbnail and had the image of a demonic skull candle with wicks that went all the way up into the horn tips. xD<br /> <br /> Great 'ible, very clear instructions, with awesome pics.<br />
Yay!&nbsp; When the horns have burned away, there you have your demon skull with flames coming out of the head where the horns were.&nbsp; Far out.
dude, and if you put the wicks in the right way, eventually the fire would be behind the eye sockets!<br />
&nbsp;Thanks. That would be mighty cool. I've been researching doing some projects with skulls.
did you part the silicone down one side or both?<br />
&nbsp;Only down one side. Some glove molds need more complex seams but one clean cut with an xacto worked for these.
Just to clarify from the above comment, what separates this technique from a glove mold is that there are no split lines at all on a glove mold. You take it off the product like a glove off your hand (think rubber glove), turning the mold partially inside out or stretching it so the product comes out. Good instructible just mistitled.<br />
&nbsp;Safety Warning: I would suggest that you melt your wax in a double boiler, never directly on a hot plate. My mother, a fourth grade school teacher melted wax on a hot plate for a school project as you are doing here. She burned down the elementary school. Boy was she embarrassed; although I got high-fives from the kids that got to go home early. &nbsp;The fire martial said that she should have used a double boiler to keep the flammable wax from igniting.
Very good point, but as an experienced candle-maker I will tell you that even using a double boiler there is danger.&nbsp; Years ago using a gas stove I managed to fumble the hot wax can as I took it out of the boiling water, and spilled some alongside the burner, and it ignited.&nbsp; Fortunately I got away with a second-degree burn on one hand, and got the fire out without burning down the house, but it scared the **** out of me and sobered me up right suddenly (of course that's another warning - don't do this sort of thing drunk).&nbsp; I think this could happen with an electric stove too, so long as the burner temperature is above the ignition temperature of liquid wax (I don't know what that temp. is, but it isn't real high).
For me, I just do it at a moderately low temperature, wait longer for wax, don't have to wait for fire brigade.<br />
Just in case nobody noticed, That's not a glove mold...<br /> This is what's called a butterfly or clamshell mold.<br /> Nice piece though.
nice one , but give every item in full detail that what the materials are made of ....<br />
&nbsp;Very nice! &nbsp;I've only ever done this with a plaster of paris mother but the fiberglass technique seems better for many purposes.
Awesome Instructable!!&nbsp; For a higher tear strength mold, can use Smooth-On Rebound 25 as well.&nbsp; It's very easy to use and will give you a bit longer lasting mold.<br />
Why did one candle burn faster than the other?
This is definitely one of my favorite instructables. I've been looking for this. (:<br />
&nbsp;My pleasure. This project was fun to make.
As for bubbles, I have already seen it is common use to vaccum the mixture (not just silicone)&nbsp;in order to get rid of the bubbles before.
&nbsp;It's a really good method as is pressure casting when the silicone is on the model. Unfortunately I don't have a&nbsp;vacuum&nbsp;chamber in my shop, but they're not all too hard to make.<br />
&nbsp;These are nice! Great instructions. One thing I would like to add is that you can substitute fiberglass resin for an acrylic plaster. I use what is called Jesmonite. It is water based, odor free, and extremely strong. Cheap, too! You use it the same way you do with the glass/resin materials.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> How do you get the wicks to stay put during the casting process? Those are sure neat.<br />
&nbsp;Good advice. I'll have to try it out.<br /> <br /> I usually use a pair of clothes pins to hold the wicks up while casting.<br />
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Bio: I'm M@. If you know Prototype This, TechShop, The Best of Instructables, Show Me How, or AVPII: Requiem, you've seen some of my ... More »
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