Introduction: World's Easiest Silicone Mold.

Picture of World's Easiest Silicone Mold.
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:
  • water
  • blue dish-soap (any brand seems to work)
  • 100% Silicone (do not buy quick set silicone, you need 100% silicone)
  • bowl
  • caulking gun
  • something you want to make a mold of.
  • scissors/knife
  • masking tape - to patch holes in your positive, if necessary.

Step 1: Make Your Catalyzing Solution.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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.

Picture of 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!

Picture of 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!

Comments

TheCraftsman1990 (author)2017-11-11

Cant get this to work at all. Using 100% silicone, blue soap, water. Ive been messing with it in the water for over 45 minutes and its still like it just came out of the tube.

It also says right on the tube not to get it wet right away.

kpd01 made it! (author)2017-10-11

Great concept! However, when I tried it the silicone never set up correctly. I kneaded the Silicone in the soap mixture for almost 15 minutes and it didn't seem to stiffen up much. I went ahead and tried molding it anyway, but after 3 days it was still tacky and soft. BTW... the tube I used said it was 100% Silicone.

Mikki G.W (author)2016-04-28

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

SherryP34 (author)Mikki G.W2017-08-26

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.

BrandonG22 (author)Mikki G.W2016-04-30

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!

Mikki G.W (author)BrandonG222016-05-03

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

KarenW142 (author)Mikki G.W2016-06-25

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!

samd115 (author)KarenW1422017-08-14

any tips on release agents? TY

DrRadium (author)Mikki G.W2016-07-04

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/

GintareC (author)Mikki G.W2016-08-31

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.

MaryW145 (author)Mikki G.W2016-05-27

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.

uneektalent (author)Mikki G.W2016-05-19

'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.

dedehai (author)Mikki G.W2016-04-30

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.

Mikki G.W (author)dedehai2016-04-30

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

DIY-Guy (author)Mikki G.W2016-05-02

Have you tested a wax coating to prevent silicone sticking to the piece?

Mikki G.W (author)DIY-Guy2016-05-03

I have some beeswax, so I might give it a go.

Aethelstan2000 (author)2017-07-23

How similar is this to work with when compared to the food grade two part putty that I can buy? I have never made any moulds before, so I want to practice a bit without spending too much money on failures. Obviously I will use the real deal once I get the hang of it :)

Mayjones (author)2017-02-15

Hi i would like to make a mould to use to make outrageous jellies/mousse/blancmange. Can i use this method?

Have you made them yet? I want to hear about them! :)

No I didn't. I purchased a couple at a car boot.

that's understandable LOL
I'd like to talk to you about your ideas, if you like.
I'm always looking for interesting sculpting projects. Outrageous is good too

nspirov (author)Mayjones2017-02-15

No, this type of silicone is totally NOT food safe. Please use a two-part food grade silicone (see below for links).

Mayjones (author)nspirov2017-02-16

Thank you I will look at The food safe method. Your help is much appreciated.

CathyW1 made it! (author)2017-06-04

I made a two part mold using this method- it would have been perfect had I spent more time pushing the silicone into my sculpt, into the nooks and crannies. I also had a funny little issue with 'flaking'- for lack of a better word- of the silicone in the water & soap solution. There were bits of the silicone that just wouldn't stick to the ball of silicone for whatever the reason- I used really cheap dish soap so maybe that was it? And sweet jeebus the smell....overwhelming vinegar stench which initially I didn't think would be all that bad so after de-molding I soaked the pieces in a bucket of plain water overnight and it was fine. Here are 3 shots of the process...I havent taken any yet of the finished mold or soap that ive made. It's a sculpey Siamese snufflelupagus baby I made that I wanted to cast in either resin or soap...or both. I would say the mold was a great success and it's only flaws were due to user error.

CathyW1 (author)CathyW12017-06-04

I also wish I'd used something other than marbles- maybe some pegs or anything longer. I also completely drenched my husbands caulking gun in caulk that would not harden for whatever sciencey reason- it stayed gummy and sticky. I am on a caulk gun ban until I figure out how to clean it- Im going to toss cornstarch all over it and hope I can roll the gunk off. Thank you so much for this instructable, btw. A perfect instructable.

WillieW18 (author)2017-04-08

How did you make an entire dinosaur when you only made half a mold?

AndrewL305 (author)WillieW182017-05-23

Create the bottom half as he did in the tutorial, then just repeat with the top half. When you cast, you can either combine the two into a solid piece with a hole so you can pour whatever you are using or you can just do just the halves and glue them together afterwards.

hansenelli (author)2017-05-09

I want to make a mold of my console cup holder to hold my 20oz thermal cup snugly so it doesnt fall over. Could it be accompished using this method? I was thinking I could put the cup in and then surround it with this material and let it cure. But would I be able to extract it?

StefanieR14 (author)2017-03-25

Where do you get your led lights from? I get tap flashers for hair bows sell but wasnt sure if they'd work or not I'm looking for other options

Kristy0411 (author)2017-03-22

I would like to make a laptop keyboard dust cover. Would this work?

ElizabethF54 (author)2017-01-13

I have a mold I'd like to copy. Can I make a positive from silicone and then make a mold from it, or will the silicone stick to itself?

NikB5 (author)ElizabethF542017-03-01

Use wax to make a positive and then once dried and hard you can then sculpt, remold with silicon and then melt the wax out.

And here's an instructable on how top do just that:- https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-mold-for-lost-wax-casting/

krutais001 (author)ElizabethF542017-01-18

Try concrete first, silicone second

Theoretically if you use a mold release between the two layers of silicone you should be able to do this, but honestly it might be really difficult, especially if you are using a sort of "knock-off" silicone. You best bet might be to cast it in something cheap like plaster, then make a silicone mold of that.

Marekot (author)2017-02-24

has anyone tried making a mold like this and then using it to cast something in concrete? Or does anyone have an idea on how to do that? :)

wold630 (author)Marekot2017-02-27

Check out the Mold Making & Casting class or the Concrete class to see if you could get some info there.

Tomas Jansen (author)2017-02-27

I would like to try this, but I know some types of silicone make the resin cast into them have a shiny finish, and some matte. I really want shiny finish, do you have any advice on the silivone for that? THank you!

craftymamamaarouf (author)2017-02-17

Hi - I'd like to try this with Barbie shoes; think it would work? Also, will the mold withstand hot glue?

LizS79 (author)craftymamamaarouf2017-02-23

I wouldn't use hot glue. It might not come off. There's other things out there. I've had success with type 2 plastics with many silicon molds. That's just bottle caps. You can use an oven or even a iron set to highest. You will need baking paper as well for the last method.

AndyH156 (author)2017-02-01

Does anyone know what the melting point of the set silicon mold would be? I'm interested in trying this method to create molds for candle making.

neuromonkey (author)AndyH1562017-02-04

Cured silicone (with an "e," silicon is an element,) is an inorganic polymer, with a very wide working temp range, from -55C/-67F to 300C/572F. The addition of dish soap probably changes this a little, but melted candle wax won't hurt it.

TamaraH35 (author)2017-01-24

I am working on a project of a human calf and was wondering how much alginate and silicone( what type) I would need for a 20 inch length from the toe to knee and a 15 1/2 inch around the widest part of the calf?

mostafa mojrek (author)2017-01-03

hello.I AM MOSTSFA MOJREK FROM IRAN.PLEASE HELP ME.What kind of substance use for making dinosur

Casting Resin

Niallerthetiler (author)2016-12-15

Does anyone know can you use the finished silicone mold for pouring hot Isomalt for sugar work??

the quality of silicone used in caulking guns is not food safe, and may be toxic to humans. Do not use in edible applications without comphrehensive safety research.

if your project is supposed to be eaten I would cation you to research the dish soap, and all other ingredients to ensure that you are not making your confections toxic. this is an example of a food safe one: http://www.makeyourownmolds.com/copy-flex

if your question was if the isomalt is compatible with this DIY recipe, i'd guessing yes- you should at least try it. However, if the sugars stick in the mould you might try some kind of kitchen oil, or a powder like confectioners sugar to address any "sticking"

afedorova (author)2016-12-13

GREAT!!!

T0BY (author)2016-12-06

Thanks for that, very helpful.

nmansfie (author)2016-12-02

If you freeze the caulk or use ice in the soapy water the silicone will set much faster. Your hands will just feel like falling off.

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