Sunday, September 2, 2012

Making Your Own Soap Molds


For my eggnog soap, I was determined to make a tiny mug full of eggnog for the top of each bar of soap. Sometimes, it takes a while for practicality to catch up with the creative concepts in my mind :)  










I thought I would try making a mold of this 1-inch mini ceramic mug. I remembered seeing this soaping101 video that showed how to make your own silicone mold, and I was hoping it would be as easy as they made it look!






While the process was very quick and simple, I learned a couple of tricks that I thought I would share, which would hopefully make it easier if you decide to try molding a deeper embedded object like this. 

As the video instructed, I mixed equal parts silicone sealant and cornstarch. For the mini mug, I used approximately ½ cup each of cornstarch and silicone (I just eye-balled the measurement of the silicone, it’s easy to add more if you need it). 



 
 I carefully folded the cornstarch into the silicone sealant with my gloved hands. Once the cornstarch was incorporated enough into the silicone, I was able to pick it up and continue to mix it without it sticking to my gloves. 





 
You may need to add a little more silicone or cornstarch to get the right consistency; if it’s too sticky you need to add more cornstarch, if it’s dry and crumbly you need to add more silicone. It takes under 5 minutes to mix it all in.





This is what the end product should look like; it should be smooth and elastic, it reminded me very much of fondant when it was finished.







Once I had a good molding texture, I formed it into a ball and began to push the mug upside-down into the top of the ball. 







 Pushing the mug into the top of the ball flattens the molding compound somewhat, so I just re-formed it up and around the sides of the mug, taking care to make sure the mug did not poke through the bottom.






I kept working the compound up the sides, until only the bottom of the mug and the handle was exposed. Make sure there are no gaps around the object; you want the mold to be snug as possible so that it can pick up as much detail as possible from the object you are molding.

 In this case, I had to take extra care around the handle of the mug, to make sure that the molding compound wrapped around the inside of the handle.





I left the mug in the mold for 90 minutes to set up.

 
Because of the handle of the mug, I couldn’t pull it straight out of the top to remove it, so I had to cut down the opposite side of the handle, from top to bottom, to pull the mug out carefully.






 
To use it as a soap mold, I wrapped an elastic around the outside of the mold to hold the cut side closed. I poured in my melted soap and let it set up for about 30 minutes.








My mugs didn’t come out without blemishes (it is hard to see in the pictures). With the second mold that I made, the handle didn't quite mold properly, probably because the mold was too thick. And, the rim of the mug came out uneven for some reason, but it didn't matter because for my purposes I was filling the mug with eggnog soap anyways.




And there you have it, a soapy little mug waiting to be filled with eggnog soap! I put a penny beside it to give them some perspective :)
After several uses my original mold is still intact, but it is showing wear and I can see it lasting only a little bit longer. In the picture, you can see how it’s starting to leak a little bit at the bottom, but the leak self-heals after a few seconds and the mold is still perfectly usable. 






Regardless, this was a quick and inexpensive project, and I’m sure I will be doing this many more times, my head is already swimming with all the possibilities…like these:
















Just a couple of quick notes:
Make sure you use 100% silicone sealant. I bought a smaller tube that the clerk at the store said was silicone sealant but it did not work right at all, and when I compared it to my original tube, I noticed that my original tube said specifically ‘100% silicone sealant’.

It’s a good idea to coat the object you want to mold with mineral oil, this should make it easier to release. Mine still stuck in spots though, so I will try a heavier coating next time.

Don’t make the mold too thick around your object. In this tutorial, I had a bit too much molding material around the mug, and I think it made it more difficult to remove the mug because it wasn’t as flexible.
         
Make sure you wear gloves and that you work in a well-ventilated area while making the compound.

Oh, and most importantly! If you do decide to do a picture tutorial with such a messy project, make sure you wrap your camera in plastic wrap for extra protection =)

9 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing your tutorial, you made it look easy! I think I'll have to agree with you on all the creative possibilities with this. I can't get over how cute the little mugs of eggnog are! :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing your technique for making silicone molds, Cee Gee! You do make it sound easy, especially with all of your great tips. The little eggnog mugs are so adorable, and they add such a neat touch to the soaps!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jenny! It's really quite easy and fun, I hope my little demo is helpful :)

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  3. I love the way your soap looks. Those little mugs are great. I so want to try this when I have more time! Thanks for the inspiration, Cee Gee!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Linda! It's really nice to be able to mold what you want on a whim...if you try it, please post some pics!

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  4. What an interesting post! Possibilities are great if you are skilled and patient enough!

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  5. I'm fascinated by this! Good job. I don't understand how the handle comes out if the silicone goes in the hole. I read you cut the opposite side, but doesn't the silicone wrap in the center of the handle, thus "holding" the mug?

    Thank you so much! I just subscribed!
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Susan, welcome! I did cut the opposite side from the handle...this was quite a while ago, but if I recall correctly, the silicone had formed around the mug handle but hadn't quite 'joined', so it pulled apart easily enough for me to get the handle out.

    ReplyDelete

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