Intro: Resin Casting & Mold Making Tutorial
In this resin casting tutorial, I show you how to make Mickey Mouse ears from a silicone mold. These Mickey Mouse ears were made from excess epoxy resin from my other woodworking projects. I used various colors to make the Mickey Mouse ears and some glow in the dark.
Things I Used in this Project:
- StoneCoat Casting Resin: https://goo.gl/J5R1i5
- Use the code jeremy10 at checkout to get $10.00 off an order of $50.00 or more.
- Cheaper Epoxy Resin (2nd Choice): http://amzn.to/2FiulU9
- Mickey Mouse Ears Silicone Mold: http://amzn.to/2FX0Bgk
- Resin Glow Powder (Neutral Green): http://amzn.to/2D3m7wX
- Resin Pigment Powder
- Fuel for Torch: http://amzn.to/2Fi1XRV
Step 1: Obtain Silicone Mold and Epoxy Resin
The first step in this resin casting tutorial is to purchase a silicone mold. I purchased a silicone mold of Mickey Mouse ears from amazon. You can find it here. Epoxy Resin will not adhere to silicone, which makes it a perfect material for a resin casting project. Next, I purchased epoxy resin from Stonecoat epoxy. I've tried many different types of resin and Stonecoat is by far the best I've tried thus far. Stonecoat has a specific product for resin casting projects called Casting Resin. This is the item I purchased for a few other projects I'm working on; therefore, it is the one I used for this project. If you decide to purchase your resin from Stonecoat, you can use the discount code jeremy10 to get 10% off your order of $50.00 or more. One quick note: Stonecoat's products are a bit more expensive than others and for good reason. I am a big believer in 'you get what you pay for'; however, I've used less expensive epoxy resin products and they performed extremely well. For this reason, I recommend this product on Amazon as an alternative.
Step 2: Mix Epoxy Resin
The most important step of this project is to mix the epoxy resin according to the instructions from the manufacturer. Each resin has a different formula; therefore, it is vitally important to mix the resin appropriately for a successful project.
After I measured the resin and poured each part into the container, I added glow powder and mixed according to the instructions.
The glow powder is actually called photoluminescence powder. This type of powder is fantastic to use in epoxy resin, paint, and more. The glow powder charges naturally from light, so no batteries or pre-charging required. You can purchase glow powder from here in various colors and quantities. I used Natural Green for this project.
I also used pigment powder for the various resin casting of Mickey Mouse ears. Pigment powder, in my opinion, colors resin the best due to the vibrant tones and different combinations available. There are many different ways to add color to resin such as latex paint, dyes, etc..
I used latex paint to color the resin in my canvas art project and it worked fine.
Step 3: Prepare Mold and Pour Resin
To prepare the mold, I removed dust/debris. Some people add a thin layer of wax to the silicone mold to make it easy to remove, but I don't think this is necessary. I use furniture wax on my river table projects because it makes it much easier to remove from the melamine or whatever material I choose to use. Next, I poured the resin into the mold slowly and in a controlled manner. The Mickey Mouse ear silicone mold I used is roughly 3" thick. So, I can fill it up to the top and get 3 Mickey Mouse ears from one after I slice it on my bandsaw. Quick Tip: If glow powder is used, I normally pour thin layers because the glow powder normally sinks to the bottom. If the resin casting is too thick, the top of the mold won't have enough powder to glow.
Step 4: Remove Bubbles
After the resin is poured, I use my mini torch to remove bubbles from the resin. It is important to not let the torch touch the silicone mold for an extended period of time for obvious reasons.
I keep the flame roughly as far away from the resin as possible to successfully pop bubbles. I start about 5 inches away and get closer until I see bubbles begin to pop. Bubbles continue to rise to the surface for roughly 10 minutes after the resin is poured. I normally pop bubbles for every 2 to 3 minutes for 10 minutes. After you work with resin for a while, you will get a feel for how long you should stick around and remove air bubbles.
Step 5: Remove Object From Mold
To remove the epoxy resin casting from the silicone mold, simply peel it back and the mold should release easily.
Step 6: Test Different Color Combinations
I mentioned earlier in this post and in my video that I made all my epoxy resin castings of Mickey Mouse ears from leftover epoxy resin from various projects. This is the reason I have many color variations of Mickey Mouse ears.
Resin castings are a great project because it doesn't require a lot of resin, pigment and glow powder are inexpensive, and silicone molds are readily available on amazon.
Resin casting is very forgiving, which is a good thing for those just starting with epoxy resin experiments. If I mess up a resin casting, I simply toss it in the garbage and start again. In fact, I just purchased this silicone mold for a future woodworking project that will have a beach/ocean theme. Experiment with different colors and a variety of silicone molds - just have fun with it.