Monday, August 7, 2017

Silicone Mould Making - Resin Starfish Food Label Holders

Gold painted resin starfish food label holder

When you need to replicate a small item in a hurry, EasyMold Silicone Putty is the solution to making easy, detailed moulds. Once your mould is cured (in just a few minutes!), you can fill it with resin, clay, wax or soap, and because the silicone is food grade, you can even fill it with chocolate or use it to make unique ice cubes.

For an upcoming tropical-themed birthday celebration, I want to use starfish as food label holders to place in front of the platters on the food buffet. But I only have one starfish so I'm going to make a mould of it so that I can cast as many as I need. When you need to reproduce a small object like this in quick time, then EasyMold Silicone Putty is a great choice for making your mould.

I've split this tutorial into three parts so you can jump straight to the part you want to learn more about: 
  1. Making the mould
  2. Casting the starfish in resin; and finally, 
  3. Colouring the starfish and turning them into food label holders.



1. Make the Mould

For this part, you'll need EasyMold Silicone Putty and a starfish. 

You have just a few minutes to work with Silicone Putty before it sets so make sure you work quickly.

Measure out equal quantities of the putty, making sure that you have enough to cover the starfish or object that you've chosen. The easiest way to measure out equal quantities is to roll each part into a ball and check that they're the same size.
Measure out two equal sized balls of silicone putty large enough to cover the starfish

Place the two parts together and begin to blend them.
Part A and Part B of the silicone putty ready to mix together

Keep mixing them until the putty is uniformly coloured and there is no streaking.....
Mixing and blending the silicone putty until it is thoroughly mixed.

and then roll it into a ball.
Rolling the mixed silicone putty into a ball ready for making a mould.

Flatten it so that it is large enough to fit over the starfish.
Flattened disk of silicone putty

Centre the putty over the starfish.....
Silicone putty disk being placed over the starfish

and push the putty onto the surface making sure you press it all the way around to pick up all the detail. Try to keep the mould at least 6mm (1/4") thick, especially over the high points so that they don't poke through the silicone. Now leave the mould to cure for 25 minutes.
Silicone putty is now covering the starfish completely.

Once it's cured, you'll be able to easily remove the starfish by gently pulling the putty away on all sides.
Gently removing the starfish from the cured mould.

PIN THIS IDEA!
Step-by-step tutorial on how to make an easy silicone putty mould.


2. Cast the Starfish

Note: I've found it best to leave the mould for 24 hours if you want to cast resin into it or you will end up with a very rough surface because of the gas that is given off whilst the putty is curing. If you're working with clay, chocolate, wax, etc, it's OK to use your mould straight away.

For this project, I need to cast several resin starfish but I've only made two moulds, so I don't want to use a slow curing epoxy. Instead, I'm going to cast with Castin'Craft's FastCast urethane resin. It cures in around 15 minutes so I'll be able to cast several starfish in an hour. 

You have about 3 minutes from the time you pour the two components together until it begins to gel, so you have to work quickly. 

We won't be adding any colourant to the resin because it cures white.

For this part you'll need the mould you made in Part 1, FastCast, measuring cups and stir sticks or an acid brush

Tip: I've found acid brushes work better than a stir stick does for scraping the unmixed resin off the walls of the cup when you're mixing small amounts of FastCast.
FastCast resin and silicone putty moulds ready for casting.

Measure out equal quantities of Parts A and B.
Measuring out Part A of Fast Cast

The package instructions contain thorough instructions for mixing the resin but basically, you need to stir thoroughly for at least 30 seconds, using either a disposable brush or a wooden stir stick, then pour the resin into a clean cup and use a clean brush/stir stick to mix it for another 30 seconds.
Stirring Parts A and B together with a disposable acid brush to mix them.

Pour the mixed resin to the top of the mould.
Mixed resin being poured into the silicone starfish mould.

Now, sit back and watch it change from translucent to white......
Curing resin in the starfish mould, turning from clear to white as it cures.

....right in front of your eyes!
Resin almost completely white as it is almost set.

It will only take around 15-20 minutes to harden depending on your room temperature. To remove the cast from the mould, just gently pull back the silicone on all sides and pull the starfish out.
Gently removing the cured white resin starfish from the silicone mould.

Here's the original starfish on the left and the cast resin piece on the right.
Comparing the original starfish with the resin starfish.



3. Make the Food Label Holders

Gold painted resin starfish holding a food label on a tropical buffet.

Cut a slit across the top with a coping saw, just wide enough and deep enough to sit a card in.
Slit being cut across the top of the resin starfish with a coping saw.

Spray paint is ideal to apply a quick coat of colour. I've chosen a bright gold to give the starfish an opulent look. Do this outside and protect the area you're using by placing down newspapers or a painter's drop sheet. Spray the starfish with a couple of light coats of paint, allowing each one to dry before applying another one.
Spray painting the resin starfish with gold spray paint.

Freshly painted.....
Finished gold starfish

And now it's ready to serve!
Tropical afternoon tea buffet with gold starfish food label holders.

These gilded starfish are perfect food label holders for a Hawaiian themed buffet. But they'd be equally good as place name holders for your next dinner party.


PIN THIS IDEA FOR LATER! 
Step-by-step tutorial for how to cast resin starfish food label holders with quick-curing FastCast resin.


'Til next time.......











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