I bought a little bulbasaur planter off ebay and when it arrived i instantly regretted not buying the concrete version.
But it was around 8 times more expensive so i thought id have a go at making my own.
After reading many other instructables on DIY silicone molds i decided i would try it. (how hard can it be?)
PLEASE NOTE - the pictures in this instructable show the process of me making my second mold, (i didnt take pictures the first time as i was caked in silicone and paint)
The concrete planter i made in the instructable is using the first mold (heres one i made earlier kinda thing)
For the silicone mold i used:
1 tube of bathroom silicone (the one shown in the picture is a much more expensive one than necessary but it was left over from a job i was on)
White spirits (in the uk that is what they are called)
A container that is big enough to fit your item in and leave room for some silicone all the way around (but not that big that you need gallons of silicone to fill it up)
For the concrete planter i used:
The silicone mold
Tub to mix it in
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Step 1: The Mold
This was my first attempt so if you want a fully informed instructable on mold making definitely look for an alterative as there are plenty on here. I wasn't too fussed about making a perfect one because i was hoping to clone my planter just the once so if it broke after one use its fine.
(As it turns out i have had about 8 uses out of my first one and its still fine now)
Heres the steps i took to get my mold the first time (like i said before the pictures here are of the second mold i made pretty much just for the purpose of this instructable)
I would advise to do this in a well ventilated area as it honestly stinks and im pretty certain you wouldnt want to breathe the fumes in for too long
1- empty the tube of silicone into your container
2- add white spirits to the silicone, (mix and pour bits more in until you reach a consistency that you think will work to get in the small areas etc)
If you are making a mold around something with lots of fine details you will want it quite runny.
3- add acrylic paint to the mixture (i believe this is added for 2 reasons. One being that the silicone needs moisture to fully cure and that is provided by the acrylic paint. The second being that its easier to tell if you have mixed your batch well enough as it will be an even colour.
(My original mold was using grey silicone and grey acrylic.. silly idea really. This one was clear silicone and green acrylic)
4- push your media into the mixture
(In the picture i am pushing the planter into the mixture as i wanted this one to be a runnier mix to get a better grasp of the finer details. But on my first mold i put the planter in the bottom of a second tub and poured a thicker mixture over the top.. both worked so which ever you prefer)
Leave this to dry (depending on how runny you make it this will usually take around 24 hours)
My second one actually took around 36 hours to be tough enough for me to risk putting concrete into it.
Step 2: The Concrete
You dont necessarily have to use concrete for this bit, you can use whatever you prefer or whatever you have readily available.
You can use resin, plaster of paris, mortar.. whatever you fancy.
Steps i took:
1- wet the inside of your mould slightly, and pour out any excess water.
2- put your mold inside a container to hold it upright and relatively level.
3- in a separate container mix your concrete.
(I actually used mortar as its a tiny mold and i didnt want to introduce big chunks of gravel)
I used a 3/1 mortar mix to get a decent strength mix and also keep the grey concrete colour as opose to a red/brown mortar)
I poured 6 shot glasses of sand and 2 shot glasses of cement into the container.
4- mix the materials dry to get the cement and sand combined before you introduce water.
5- add the water and mix until you have a relatively wet mix (i made mine similar consistency to single cream)
6- pour your mixture into the mold until it is slightly overfilled
7- tap the sides of the container to vibrate it and release as much trapped air as possible (thats why we overfilled, so it sinks in a touch as the air bubbles come out)
When you think it is set and tough enough to de-mold then definitely wait another 12 hours as if you are like me you will be eager to do it early and it will crumble.
Step 3: De-mold
Once you have waited what seems like forever.. (i waited 24 hours, then changed my mind and left it another day to be on the safe side)
Gently push the cast out of the mold. Try not to grab the concrete and start pulling. I kind of started to turn the mold inside out without putting pressure on the concrete (i was more concerned about breaking the concrete than damaging the mold)
As it happened to mold separated easilly and didn't damage either and the mold has been re-used a few times since.
Step 4: Add a Succulent
Add your succulent and act really smug whenever anybody asks you where you got your planter from.
Thanks for reading, hopefully i have inspired you to make your own mould, or your own concrete planter.
I would be super grateful if you could drop me a vote in the competition too.
Participated in the
Stone Concrete and Cement Contest