In this instructable I'll show how to make a silicone mold of a spinning wheel bobbin and then how to use it to make glittery resin bobbins.
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Step 1: Materials
For the mold you'll need:
- A bobbin (I used one from Babe's Fiber Garden)
- A 4" length of 1" wide PVC pipe. The pipe comes with different inner diameters so make sure the tube fits over the nub on the end of your bobbin. (optional, if you can break apart the bobbin you can use that tube instead)
- Oomoo 30 silicone molding material
- Mold release or vaseline
- Legos to make the mold frame
- Disposable plates
- A sharp knife
For the bobbins you'll need:
- Ice resin
- Mixing cups and popsicle sticks
- Mold release or vaseline
- Neon glitter
- Stickers (optional)
- Elastic hair ties or rubber bands to hold the tube mold closed
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- A drill (optional)
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Self sticking velcro
Step 2: Preparing the Mold Frames
Prepare your bobbin pieces by separating the end piece from the bobbin. You can do this by inserting a knife into the groove and twisting gently, repeating all along the edge until the top pops off.
Place your end piece and tube on clean, dry plates and build lego frames around the pieces. The legos will contain the liquid silicone during the molding process. Make sure your frames are at least a brick taller than your actual pieces. Allow at least 1/4" to 1/2" around the bobbin pieces but try not to leave too much empty space around the pieces to avoid wasting the silicone. Apply mold release or vaseline to the bobbin pieces. Place your end piece flat side down inside the frame.
Step 3: Making the Mold
Mix Oomoo according to package directions and pour into the frames over the bobbin pieces. Use the legos to help you gauge when the pieces are covered. Make sure the pieces are covered by 1/4" to 1/2" of silicone so the bottom of the molds will be stable.
Following package directions wait until the silicone is set (about 6 hours) and then remove the legos. Next, carefully remove the bobbin pieces from the molds. You will need to use a knife to trim the silicone around the center and edges of the end piece mold so you can get the piece out. For the tube you will need to make a long cut down the edge of the mold so you can grasp the tube to get it out.
Optionally, repeat the process twice more on the end piece so you have a total of three end piece molds and one tube mold. This will allow you to cast all of the pieces for your bobbin at once. Alternatively you could just use the same end piece mold three times.
Step 4: Mixing and Pouring the Resin
To prepare the molds spray with mold release or wipe with vaseline. Also put elastic hair ties around the mold in several places to hold the mold closed.
Mix the resin according to package directions. You will need approximately 35mL for the tube and 17mL for each end piece. Mix in glitter as desired and pour into the molds. For a multicolored piece pour two or more colors very quickly so they don't have time to spread out or get muddy. Make sure to run a popsicle stick or toothpick around under the rim of the end pieces to get out any bubbles. Bubbles under the rim will result in gaps and rough, sharp pieces in your finished bobbin.
An alternative method is to use clear resin, sink stickers in, let the pieces set for a little while and then add glitter on top. The glitter will sink in and color the piece without obscuring the stickers. If you use stickers make sure to waterproof them with clear glue so they don't show water spots. I didn't do this and my stickers turned out a little murky looking. You may need to add a little more clear resin on top of the glitter depending on how well it sinks in.
To make a colored tube piece pour in different colors of resin in layers, letting the mold set a bit in between layers. If you don't let it set in between layers the glitter will all float down to the bottom of the tube.
Step 5: Set the Resin
Preheat your oven to 170F or the lowest temperature setting you have. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your molds on the sheet. Keep the hair ties on the tube mold or it will leak. Bake for 5 minutes if you are setting the pieces in between layers, or about 30 minutes for the final hardening. Remove from the oven and allow pieces to cool.
Carefully remove pieces from the molds and trim any rough edges if necessary. Be careful! It is hard to cut the resin at this point. If it's too hard to trim you can try sanding the pieces instead.
Note: instead of baking you can set the resin according to the package directions by letting it sit for 12 hours. However the pieces will still be soft when you remove them from the mold because they are not thick enough to set properly. They will eventually harden but it seems to take about a week. Just set them on a disposable plate and put them somewhere out of the way while you wait.
Step 6: Assemble the Bobbins
Mix some clear resin to use as a glue and assemble the bobbins in two steps. You will need a second batch of resin for the second step as it will dry out before you can use it the second time.
First, spread the glue around the nub on one end piece and slide it into the tube. Stand the assembly up with the flat end of the end piece down so the glue doesn't drip. Next glue the remaining two end pieces flat sides together lining up the edges to make a nice groove around the outside. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool/
Next, apply glue to one of the nubs on the double ended piece and slide it into the other side of the tube. Bake for 30 minutes again and allow to cool. You now have a bobbin.
Step 7: Finishing Details
Chances are your central holes are not perfectly aligned so use a drill to smooth out the holes. You need the bobbin to spin freely on your spinning wheel. You can also use sandpaper to try to sand out any imperfections in the holes.
Cut a very small square of the hook part of the velcro and stick it to the bobbin. This will help hold your leader yarn in place while you start to spin.
Step 8: Test Your Bobbin
Attach a leader to your bobbin, grab some fiber and give it a test.