Make a Unique Quicksilver Mask Moulded From Your Face




About: I am a trustee at Southampton Makerspace, So Make It, and work in freelance Software QA. I have always had an interest in DIY, my first projects involving circuit bending and wearable electronics. My current...

Instamorph is a low temerature thermoset plastic, which melts at only 60°C / 140°F. This makes it particularly suitable for moulding with your hands, even to the extent that you can mould a mask to your own face before the plastic sets!

Step 1: Melt Your Instamorph

Materials you will need...

  • A packet of Instamorph
  • Silver spray paint

Tools you will need...

  • Bowl to contain hot water
  • Heat gun
  • Tools such as a small drill, a dremel, etc

Melt the Instamorph

You have to dip the Instamorph pellets in a bowl full of hot water at 60°C / 140°F. Wait until the pellets turn transparent and stick together. Remove it from the bowl carefully and remove any extra water hidden in the block of melted Instamorph.

Step 2: Mould the Gross Shape of Your Mask

Instamorph is mouldable for a short time so you have to work quickly. I worked the material until it was too hard to shape, dipped the Instamorph again in hot water each time adding hot water to the bowl to keep it at the required 60°C / 140°F.

A heat gun can be a very useful tool to shape smaller details but be careful not to heat the Instamorph too much otherwise it will start to melt and bubble, it will be boiling hot and virtually impossible to manipulate by hand.

To get the correct shape, I held the flat piece of Instamorph to my face when it was cooling and beginning to go white, so that it wasn't too hot to hold near my skin.

I used my fingers as it was cooling to get the gross shape of the mask, including eye holes, a ridge for the nose, and I pinched along the edges to make an interesting shape.

Step 3: Add Fine Details Once the Plastic Is Set

Once it is completely cooled, you can use any tools to work the shape further. You can cut it, polish or drill it with no problem ... It is a surprisingly strong material.

I used a drill to make holes for the fastening and a dremel to finish the edges.

Step 4: Paint Your Mask

After the sculpting was completed I used spray paint and dry paint brushing to create a fake quicksilver metal effect.



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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Never used instamorph before, Does anyone think it could vaporize like styrofoam does when used as a mould with melted aluminum and the whole sand displacement method?

    Did I ask that correctly?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry, I have no idea. Instamorph is a brand name for polycaprolactone, so you may have come across it as Polymorph or ShapeLock. It melts at 60C so quite a low temperature. I've managed to make it bubble in a low temperature oven at about 150C, so I imagine using melted aluminium on it would give you interesting results to say the least.


    4 years ago

    Fun use of Instamorph. I would love to see how it looks on.