General info re using molds
Purchased molds (all kinds)
.....for polymer clay
.....other purchased molds (plastic, metal, silicone, etc.)
Ready Stamps (having molds/stamps made)
Making molds yourself
...ideas & tips for all mold types
...stiff polymer clay molds (regular clay)
...flexible polymer clay molds ...MoldMaker, Bake & Bend
...glues (flexible) & hot glue (deep & shallow molds)
.........casting in glue molds
....silicone (flexible) ....1-pt. tube & caulk
.......2-part silicones ...(liquids) ...putties
.......... brands of silicone putty, like Miracle Mold, Alley Goop, Amazing Mold Putty, etc.
...........other uses and info
...other materials for molding
......alginate, latex rubber (flexible)
......plaster, misc. (stiff)
......reusable materials
......air-dry clays (for size reduction of molds,items)
...groups, more suppliers
Reverse molds
2-piece molds (2-sided)
Antiquing, highlighting, staining
.....(w.paints,inks,metallic powders/waxes, etc)
Other ways to use molds
....various ways
Websites & Groups


General Info

simplest basic instructions
... to make a polymer mold from an object... soften a ball of clay, apply mold release to it (and/or the object) if necessary ... press the object into the clay to create your mold (...for fragile items or those you want to have a flat mold facing, press the clay onto the laying object (or while the object is still in place, flatten the back of the mold against your work surface, if desired.) .... remove clay.... bake create a molded clay item in a mold, soften a ball of clay (& form a pointed area if the mold has a tiny indention you may miss, like a nose in a face mold)... press clay into mold ... remove clay.... bake

NOTE: ..technically, I think "mold" refers to a concave depression, and "cast" or "pull" refers to the object or design made from the mold. . . unfortunately I and many others have gotten into the habit of referring to both of these as "molds." . . . hope it’s not too confusing!

many kinds of molds can be used with polymer clay.
...purchased molds of all kinds (intended for clay, or for soap, cookies-chocolates, etc.)
......objects from around the house (which can be used as molds)

...molds you've made from objects around the house, or from something you make yourself, then have made a mold from (e.g. a face)
....some ex's: Melnik's Pez disp. head, figurine & ornament heads, hand she'd made

when filling a mold with clay... you can use just a bit less clay than will totally fill the mold so its edges will be smooth and perfect
...or you can use a lot less clay if using only one areas of a mold
...or you can fill the mold exactly (keep trying diff. amounts of clay) ..... or you can overfill
.......if overfilling, having a lot of overfill can create a bit of "background" to the molded shape, or excess can be presse backward around small armature for making the mold more dimensional or used to create additinal parts, etc
...... or all excess clay can be "shaved" off with a long blade
...... or the overfill edges can be smoothed before baking or sanded after baking, or they can be trimmed off with a craft knife, needle tool or mini cutters
...excess background can also be cut into another shape (e.g., to create a frame) ... I sometimes like to cut my raw clay for the mold into a square, rectangle, or any shape, just outside the impression made for the mold. That way, when the mold is baked and pressed into raw clay, a background of depressed clay is left around the raised central image, leaving a raised frame around the outside. (...if a number of these framed images are made next to each other, the result is a raised frame area around the depressed one . . . or the same thing happens if the area just outside the outer edge of the depressed frame is cut away. DB
...mica clays can be have problems when casting in molds because the mica particles can easily get un-aligned and dark areas will be created
.....Norajean has some suggestions about avoiding this... basically rolling any cut edges under, cutting things at an angle so the edges are not visible from the top side, carefully pulling out areas of clay out to fit into depressions in the mold (rather than just pressing in a smooth ball, etc.), and rolling (over) the clay to move just a little clay at a time (like moving waves)

an acrylic block (or sheet of glass-plastic) can be used to press down an object (like a charm, etc.) to be molded into the clay when making a mold (or also later when pressing raw clay into a mold)...using a clear block allows you to see the process as it happens so that you can stop when you want, or make any corrections. It and most importantly leaves the top and bottom of the mold very flat which is often helpful later. keep the thickness of the clay mold as even as possible all the way though, three or more small cubes or other small items of the *same height* can be placed under the block before pressing. All kinds of things can be found around the house which allow you to make different clay pad thicknesses (jewel boxes for tapes, corks, etc.) If you can't find three of the same thing, cut one thing into three pieces, or try two open books. DB (photo near bottom)

stiff clay molds you make can't have undercuts (okay for flexible molds) ...or you can mold only the non-undercut portion

to remove clay, especially from stiffer molds ...often the clay will come out fairly easily, but if not:
....use a release agent (see Releases below for which releases are best for which clays or situations)
....let cool awhile (in frig or freezer, or naturally) . . . and don't use really warm or gooey clay (can cool or leach it) on clay back with another wad of sticky clay ...or with Blue Tac or semi-stiff plastic sheet (or anything which will create a vacuum).
....(especially if the molded clay item doesn't need a flawless back, or if you plan to add a layer of clay or something later) you can insert a loop of wire (I used phone wire) as a handle to help pull the baked clay out of the mold ... or try inserting a needle or other tool horizontally into the back and try to pull out the clay.
.......also like a cake, sometimes you can run the tip of a blade around the rim to break the
vacuum seal
(...flex the mold or push from the back, if using a flexible mold)

after removing clay from a mold, the raw clay can be further manipulated, or added to with more clay, before curing
...add onlays,
or parts from other molds... or bases-backgrounds... or accessories .
...distort... reshape any parts by stretching, pressing, manipulating with tools ...or add impressions, etc.

...cut out areas where you want holey-ness/filigree....
.. cut out or impress areas where you want to replace with other clay, or "set" a stone or other object or clay
(... you can also add details to a baked clay item from a mold to create a second generation object to then mold
(... e.g., make a flower from a flower mold... bake ... then add to the flower some raw clay leaves you've sculpted, or raw leaves taken from another mold (with liquid clay or glue if no mechnical hold)... bake ... now you'll have a flower-and-leaves mold to use as you wish
........Sarajane did this with a face, to which she added headwear to create her final mold from

to cut off part of a mold or cast without distorting, you can partially bake it. Then it is soft enough to cut but stiff enough that it won't distort. 5-10 min will do it.

before or after baking... molded clay items (or any textured item) can also colored ...or partly colored
....can be "antiqued" by coloring the crevices, or highlighted by coloring the upper parts (doing this will bring out the detail, add dimensionality, complexity and punch, and in the case of antiquing create an aged look)
....antiquing is done with paints, inks, metallic or non-metallic powders or waxes... these may be thinned for more of a "stain"
........highlighting can be done with the same materials, and can add a metallic or elegant look if using metallics
...molded items can be completely covered with these materials as well, or be antiqued or highlighted after complete coverage... if completely covered, sanding the top areas can create an antiqued effect as well)
...(see below in Antiquing,etc. for more on all these)

Maureen Carlson's online video lesson on pressing a teardropshape of clay into a push mold (face)
.... then removing it by pressing a cylinder of raw clay on the back and begining to loosed the edges...+ and other ways to use molds (YouTube)

Heather R's lesson on using different colors of clay to fill in a mold (in this case, for a Santa figure)

NoraJean's lesson on making a molded face with gold (or other mica) clay ...which is a problem because dark sides can show when clay is cut or tip: don't drag your tool over the face to move stuff...roll it instead, leaving the surface intact

"carved-out" sheet molds
...draw or transfer a basic shape (animal, etc.) onto the surface of two layers of raw #1 clay
...use various tools to carve into the raw clay to create the mold shape you want, keeping in mind that you're carving from the side which will be the bottom of the mold (belly, etc.)
...can leave as is, or incise or impress more lines, shapes etc., all around as a background

I used a tool (dental?) with a very small end to texture the molded (or stamped?) bits to make them look as though they had been carved out instead of molded ;-)... the molds were taken from a brass buckle, a brass calendar, a bone bead, and a plastic bead. Stacia

see more on these techniques below under Stiff Molds or Flexible Molds

also: see Textures for sheet molds and shallower patterns...also see Stamping
(for some ideas on giving a demo on molds, see Teaching > Suggestions for Projects, Preparation (using Miracle Mold)


molds sold specifically for polymer clay
(among them Maureen Carlson’s character molds & house fronts, & Judi Maddigan’s flowers, creatures, etc;
order online, or look at craft & other kinds of stores)


culpey's EZ Release multi-mold units ...semi-flexible (no release needed)
... many molds
(in 3 categories...see full listing below), some by Marie Segal

Amaco's Push Molds...designed by Judy Maddigan, Maureen Carlson, & others ...stiff resin and semi-flexible rubber (or enter molds in their Product Search)
Makin's sheets of molds (craft stores... intended for paper clay)'s.molds

MAIL ORDER ......(or just to see whole lines of molds )

PolymerClayExpress sells many molds for polymer clay from diff. manufacturers (sitff and flex)
......Maddigan, Carlson, other Amaco including cabachons & houses... Polyform molds ...(& "texture molds") (look under Molds category)

Judi Maddigan’s Design Push Molds ( Amaco, stiff resin)... various

Madaboutmolds ...single, stiff molds of reg.polymer clay ...many shapes & themes
(...note: most "molds" shown are actually the original items which their molds are made from --to see actual molds, click on an indiv. item)
...also have a gallery of customer pieces (click on Gallery)
...animation of using molds their way (click on Accessories, then click on Movie Clips ... take a while to download)
....... they place a sheet of clear flexible plastic on top of the clay ball in mold, then press down with an acrylic block (when removed from mold, clay sticks to plastic)... remove from plastic if cutting out any holey areas with Xacto ...and/or bake on plastic... then final result, painted


Cheryl's small baby faces molds (polymer clay) ... and fairy face molds? ...... ....
Millie's 2-part molds ....for 6-6.5" tall whole women (one wide hipped, one not) & man & 3" baby (+ 5" baby faces)

Maureen Carlson face molds
Maureen Carlson's Designer & What A Character Push Molds
(manu. by Amaco) (faces... also, words & more) ... flexible rubber & stiff

Kathndoll's molds . . my molds are from my original designs- so far I've got frogs/nature, faces, dragons, dragonflys, etc. ...I hope to have some fairies soon. They are totally copyright free- I'm allowing any use after purchasing them- (other than duplicating my molds... and selling molds!) (still available?)

Maureen Carlson's What a Character molds ...elf-style? hands and feet

Robin's 3 pgs of flexible silicone molds ....faces and some bodies (also ethnic, and masks, mummy, etc.)

Krafty Lady Moulds --cameos, faces, large torsos.... Asian, Egyptian, African, "Decor" (various geometric, filigre-type button rounds-squares etc.)
....(flexible polymer clay, or 2-pt silicone material?)... for use with clays (oven or airdry), paperclay, coloured hotglue sticks, melted embossing powders, beeswax, candle mix, soap mix, play doh, icing fondant, etc
... ...
... (both sites in Australia, but sell worldwide)

Somerset's Art Molds ... Chinese coin, King Tut and other Egyptian themes, leaves, African masks, etc.
("can be filled with clays, beeswax, plaster, cake icing fondant, UTEE or a myriad of other materials. Each mold has a built-in release agent.") (gone from site?)

single alphabet letters in square format

house front molds (stiff)... Carlson, Amaco...

Polyform-Sculpey's multi-mold EZ Release Push Molds
....categories: ... on one of the 3 categories to see them all:
EMBELLISHMENTS (strips, borders & indiv. designs):
....African, Asian, Eqyptian, Etruscan, Victorian, Leaf borders and designs, Celtic knots & braids, Sconce , Summer Floral Swag,

DOLLS (faces, hands, feet, ears)
....Grandma/Grandma or Santa , Angelic/Young Adult, Whimsical, Miniature Dolls
THEMED (whimsical, childlike):
Alphabet... Zoo Life Elephant, Giraffe, Lion, Monkey, Tiger, Toucan, Zebra, Chompers Crocodile, bulldog, shark, SuperFlea, T-Rex... Garden Party Butterfly, Dragonfly, Grasshopper, Inchworm, Ladybug... Grow a Garden : Picket fence, Bumblebees, Butterfly, Wheelbarrow, Birdhouse, Flowers (2 styles), Garden glove, Bird, Spade, Flowerpot, Watering Can, Let it Bloom Roses (3 sizes), buttercups (2 sizes), Daisies (4 sizes), Lilacs (3 sizes), Butterflies (2 styles), Designer flowers (3 styles), Leaves (5 styles), ...My Sports Sport jersey, Baseball bat, glove and ball, Football, Football helmet, Soccerball, Basketball, Golf ball, Golf club, Gold putter, Golf bag, ...Family Time Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother, ...Country Charmers Barn, Horse, Pig, Chicken, Cow, Milk barrel, Feed stock, Haystack, ...Sea Life Blue whale, Dolphin, Tropical fish, Seal, Seahorse, Sea turtle, Starfish, Sea shell, ....My Pets Dog, Cat Goldfish, Doghouse, Bone, Fire hydrant, Food bowl, Collar, Fish skeleton, ....Baby I Love You Stork, Baby stroller, Rattle, Block, Rubber ducky, Sheep, Rabbit, ....Stocking, Angel for All Reasons Angel and minature snowman, Valentine heart, St. Patrick clover, Flower, Watering can, Birdhouse, Flag, Watermelon, Apple, ....Teddy bear, Pumpkin, Turkey, Class Creations Chalkboard, Schoolhouse, Open book, Pencil, Eraser, Apple and bookworm, ABC's, School bus, ....Not So Scarecrow Scarecrow, Sunflower, Corn, Pumpkins (2 styles), Oak leaf, Maple leaf, Crow, Kringle & ...Snowman Santa, Snowman, Christman tree, Stocking, Candy cane, Holly leaf, Christmas light bulb, and Ho Ho Ho, plus six architectural embellishments,
etc., ....Fairytale items, dragon, castle, etc.

I just purchased one of the Sculpey flexible push molds to see how well they work. ...I was very disappointed in the quality---tiny bumps where they should have been smooth, edges not crisp. If I had purchased a rubber stamp of this quality, I would take it back! I'll probably never use this push mold.....I went back to Michael's today and tried to look at some of the molds without undoing the packaging. It appears that about half of them have some slight defect---little bumps or edges not crisp so I think they could do better with this. If you have tried them, you know that they are also very, very thin. I would not make my own molds that thin. Jeanne R.

**(see Karen P's lesson on how to use the hands, feet, and face molds to make a bas relief old word Santa on a plaque )

Maureen Carlson's Designer Push Molds ...faces, masks, etc. & "words" (not whole heads)...(flexible sheet molds, manuf. by Amaco) (for now)
(Sun: suns and faces.... Moons: quarter & full moons with faces ...Tribal: 8 sizes of African mask faces ( profile) ...Victorian: 6 faces (mostly women, + Santa Claus, child, one profile)
....also, each mold sheet set comes with 3-4 moldable "words" which can be added separately (for example, love, imagine, spirit, legend, dream, etc.)
... It's easy to add all kinds of decorations to the faces (or use for surrounded "medallion faces")... At the moment I'm working on a Terra Cotta pot for my "Secret Garden" using a large sun face. Dotty

fancy molds from House on the Hill, Inc.(expensive), made from a composite of powdered wood and resin stained to look like wood, and mounted with a hanging ring:
Angels, Animal Kingdom, Autumn, Babycakes, Cakes, Christmas, Decorative, Easter, Faith, Farming, Flowers & Fruit, Garden, Hearts, Home Sweet Home, Hornbooks, Medieval, Military & Patriotic, Miniatures, Music, Nautical & Fishing, Renaissance, Rolling Pins, Saint Nicholas, Seasons, Singulars, Speculaas, Spinners, Spring, Springerle Presses, Struwwelpeter, Vino, Wedding & Courtship, Winter (hover cursor over, then click on each)

The Amaco line of Push Molds (see links above) give permission to make one of a kind pieces for sale from the molds... you may not hire people to make the same item in quantities greater than twenty, and you can't make small changes and produce derivative molds
... check on the back of packages for molds by other distributors to see what their restrictions might be. Elizabeth

ERA Graphics sells a number of (shallow) mold boards (like the Ready Stamps ones but without the stamp sheet?) 3 1/2" x 4 1/2", $10.50

other purchased molds
(plastic, metal, silicone, etc. ...sold for non-clay uses)

candy or chocolate molds–plastic ones or individual metal ones (can use the outside of the candy mold as well as the inside…)
....many kinds of molds in one place
....... (look in "catalog") . . . some hard, some flexible, for butter, chocolate, gumpaste, etc.
... (many molds --click near bottom of page, on the left side)
..... ...many sheet molds for candy
... One thing about candy moulds is that they are sometimes quite thin plastic and you do need to push the clay in firmly - especially if you are making a lot and want to work fast. So I have on occasion made a 'support' for the back, by pushing the back into scrap clay, baking that and then putting the result under the mould while I'm using it. Only needed for larger and more delicate bits, of course! Crafty Owl.
...very small candy molds (usually in a sheet mold) are often available for making tiny shapes, figures, etc.... these could be highlighted or covered with metallic powders,(or even painted) etc., to be hung on tiny Christmas trees as ornaments, or glued onto gifts or gift tags, etc.

also soap molds, candle molds, paper(clay) molds, and others

I love flea markets to find things to use as molds. It's endless. peg polymer

search eBay for words like candy mold, soap mold, candle mold, chocolate mold, even cake pan, etc. eBay Stores for the same (under Art, or Crafts, etc.) this eBay store , there are also medium to larger molds made from various materials (often intended for use with plaster or concrete...but the shallower ones will work with PC if used with proper mold release)...they often will to toss in a bonus least they have each of my orders, and they combine shipping on multiple orders. Barbe
(or...go to > E-Bay Stores (Specialty Sites list) search for The Molds and Statues Store (be sure and include "The")

You can use plastic or metal measuring spoons as molds for cabochons. . . . Sharon
.... little plastic protectors on tops of solid deodorants (Mitchum, Secret) make fabulous cabochons... most have small handle built in. Crafty Michele
... plastic ice cube tray.....use the cut-off wheel of a Dremel, and cut off one 3 or 4 mm of a square from the tray. ...the one I have has lovely slightly rounded corners and edges. jclausen
....the round plastic flip top lid of my vinegar bottle makes nice round ones. jclausen

plastic bead rollers can be used as molds to make thick "ropes" of various shapes (see Beads > Bead Rollers) ....any shape of bead roller could work
...Sue Lee also sells a long 12" version of the oval bead roller (Gibson Channel Tools) for creating a rounded clay rope long enough to go around the entire wrist for a bracelet ... ..she uses one lengthwise half, or both halves?
...though even the shorter rollers could be used for a long rope by molding each length that will fit, then overlapping a bit for the next length... may need a bit of finger smoothing to remove any small indentations

various shapes and sizes of single, metal molds ... fairly inexpensive and the possibilties are endless! Jan R. (look around)
....they have pyramid 4-15cm, tartlette 50-100cm..these are the ones you can buy in cooking supply and Indian stores too, petit four molds, timbale flower pot without lip...1-1/8" high and larger
(also make making hollow items a breeze!)

I've used my son's metal creepy crawler set (sheet) molds... They have tons of details and are really cool if you are into bugs...(glow in the dark, hanging from the ceiling?) Halloween?

spoons make great molds for pendants. Soup spoons, tablespoons, measuring spoons, etc.
Check out the thrift shops and garage sales for different shapes. The blue domed pendant in the "newest stuff" folder of my photopoint site TLC
is made from a spoon. I also used art emboss metal for each of those domed pendants' innards. . . . The citrus blend pendant box is made from a citrus juicer that I made a mold of. TLC

"hemisphere molds" (stainless steel "molds-forms"). . . non-solid ...can use the inside or outside for shaping
--smallest to largest sizes, with more in-between
3 cm = 1-1/4" diam., 5/8" high, (3/4 oz)
.............3-1/4" diam., 1-5/8" high ("single-serving")
10 cm = 4" diam., 2" high
20 cm = 8" diam., 4" high (70 oz) (good for making bowls too)
I've tried various items for making hollow beads etc (paint trays, light bulbs, glass balls etc but these work best for me and there's no doubt that your two halves are the exact size). You can apply clay either to the inside or outside of the molds so you're getting 2 sizes for the price of one. I bought 2 of each size I wanted so I could bake them at the same time. Jan R.
............Lynne Wardrop's lesson on making lentil beads ... or cabochons using just one dome made on a 25 watt lightbulb
(see also other lessons on making hollow beads in Beads >Lentil)

purchased silicone molds (...sometimes called just "flexible molds")
...silicone can also be used to make your own molds, usually from 2-part putties...(for more info, see below in "Making your own Molds")
advantages of silicone:
... will usually result in a somewhat more detailed casting than polymer clay molds
....raw solid clay can be baked while inside silicone molds
because they can take high heat (often up to 500 degrees)....(no need to remove clay)
.......liquid clays can also be baked in silicone molds
(...for more info on that, see below in Silcone Molds > 2 pt. putties)
.... silicone molds need no release agent with clay
......(however: "When first cast, silicone rubbermolds exhibit natural release characteristics. Over time, however, the reactant agents in most casting resins will deplete mold lubricity and parts will begin to stick in the mold. A release agent should be used at the first sign of sticking, and reapplied only when sticking reoccurs")
One technique that I particularly like for silicone molds:
--I *lightly* brushed the inside of (two of the round mold indentations) with Armorall
--applied a thin coat of Kato Liquid polyclay and baked. Let cool.
--I applied a second coat, cooked, cool . . .
--and then a third coat (don't bake this one yet)
. . . to the unbaked liquid clay I apply very thin transluscent cane slices
--Gently press the slices into the mold and bake again.
(--You can continue adding liquid clay and/or slices as desired.)
-- Once you're satisfied with the design, simply pop the two halves out of the mold and join the two halves using more slices and liquid clay.. . . For this final bake, you can actually bake the ball in the mold so it doesn't roll around and to hold it steady while baking. Jan R.

MAIL ORDER (or maybe LOCAL) silicone molds:
....silicups ... reg. and mini sizes of
fluted silicone muffin cups
...."pinch" bowls (2-1/2 x 1-1/2")......called pinch because can pinch bowl to make spout to pour spices, etc (up to 500°)... Norpro
....trays of molds
... (look at all pages)...each tray of molds is 7x12"
......these sheets have round and other shapes like ovals, candy mold shapes, etc. . . ..... for example, the sheets of round molds produce items from 1-1/2" dia. x 1/2" deep, to 2-3/4" x 1-1/4"
individual item molds:
...silicone molds can also be used
for casting chocolate, aspic, tallow, fondant, pastillage, salt, pepper, hot sugar, granulated sugar, ice, etc..

purchased "rubber" molds... "silicone rubber" or real rubber? (only up to 300 degrees or less? ).... many item shapes ....

Check your local hobby store - the kind that caters to model railroad enthusiasts. They have all kinds of cool textures (& molds) for their railroad layouts, including stone and brick (molds made from rubber?---bakeable?). Irene
...stone or brick walls . . . ....(lessons) . . This is one of the ways I was thinking of for making a wall too, especially since my son has a cool, rubber sheet mold comprised of lots of individual, small-rock molds. I'm thinking that type could be used to make individual, differently-shaped rocks which could be removed one at a time and set onto a clay sheet or other surface puzzle fashion; after baking, grouting could be added between the rocks, or the rocks could just be left on a mud/mortar-colored background. . .
...For the finished stone or brick wall molds, I was thinking that a thickish sheet of marbled clay colors could be laid on the mold, and pressed down (perhaps with some scrap clay, or not) into each rock/brick, then grouted after removing and baking. (If lots of different variations in the marbling were used, or bits were added here and there before flattening into a sheet, it might look fairly realistic; wish I had time to try it.) Diane B.
(see also below in Making Molds, for Katherine's lesson on making your own stamp to create a wall mold)

wooden bird eggs which are cut in half....I have always had trouble making cabochons, getting them even, rounded the right way...I found wooden, bird egg forms in Michaels the other day and I immediately thought - MOLD!!!! I was right!!
... I made a 1 inch square block of scrap clay, pushed the half egg into it, and made a mold! Now I have a nice little mold for making oval cabochons!! The packs range in size from 1/2 inch tall to 1 1/2 inch tall, and I only paid .99 cents for the pack of 4!! Sharon

"Ready Stamps"
(sending off to have stamps-molds sheets made from images you select)

Ready-Stamps (can use the "matrix boards" you'll receive with the stamp sheet, for molds)

This is a great idea (and you get to support a worthy cause to boot!) All you need to do is draw anything you like (with black ink), or paste on photocopied images from Dover books, etc., or type type some text onto white paper (if you've pasted on photocopies, re-photocopy the whole thing so you have just one flat sheet), then send to:
Ready Stamps,The United Cerebral Palsy Foundation, 10405 San Diego Mission Dr., Suite 10,San Diego, Ca 92108. . . (619) 282-8790. Call to order first, and for any additional information;
turnaround time is less than 2 weeks.
....Be sure to request both the MATRIX and PLATE with your order so you will have the negative into which the rubber is poured. This acts just like a sheet of molds and makes great raised designs in the clay!
(Jami -- you can use both the positive and negative in your designs for wonderful effects. You don't even have to purchase a sheet of rubber made from your designs.)

ERA graphics have lots of great background stamps and something they call mold boards to use specificly with polymer clay.


MAKING Molds yourself

WARNING <g>. You’ll never look at anything the same way again once you get into a mold-making frame of mind!!

Am I enjoying my moldmaking? That might be an understatement. ;-) .... It's addictive! but in a very good way.
...I like that when you make molds, you make them for a lifetime... it's like building a collection. Mary T

Ideas & Tips for All. types of molds

Altoid boxes are swell for carrying a small powder ponce bag and lump of elasticlay (or regular clay) in your purse for taking impressions any time you see something interesting! --even tidier than the plastic baggie I was using, and not as suspicious looking. Sarajane Helm

I have used brick sidewalks, gates and fences, meant for model builders (dollhouses or model trains) ... they seem to be a good scale. (size). sensewhim

I made molds last night using shells I've picked up in Bermuda and Mexico and Sue Heaser's instructions in her "Clay Jewellry" book.
.... I have a metal hair clip with a row of star fish on it, so I have a mold of that, too…

Don't forget, you can make your own molds if you want to imitate chocolate candy. I keep thinking someday I will make myself a chocolate necklace. . . .
..... (lesson) Press the best-looking piece of chocolate into some nice warm clay (I think I put the chocolate in the freezer for a few minutes to make sure it was nice and hard). Throw that piece of choclate away and bake the clay... You can see a book mark dangle I made like this. It really does look good enough to eat. Nanette

Maria's lesson on making a leaf by pressing an oval ball of (cold porcelain) clay --could use silicone or polymer instead-- onto just the central part of a heavily veined tough leaf
... she then cuts small bites from the sides of the leaf with a straw so they resemble oak leaves, or poinsettia leaves flatten a freshly picked (floppy or thick ?) leaf (for making a mold of a fern or other leaf), you can carefully lay the frond onto the sticky side of some wide, plastic packing tape, making sure all the tiny leaflets are lying flat ....then apply the mould material before the leaf can dry out. Alan Vernall
...Kathy also makes molds from leaves by coating a real leaf with (Art Silver Clay or Precious Metal Clay? paste), then uses them to make a mold after they are fired in a kiln
.....or could cover with something else like plaster which doesn't need a kiln... or use a few layers of liquid clay??
...various clay leaves used in jewelry, made from impressing-molding real leaves
(for all other info making leaf molds, negative molds, stamps, and clay leaves, see Texturing > Other Items & Ideas, leaves, etc.)

I've made a mold from a real feather (I used Sculpey Bake and Bend clay because it's soft)
...then make a raised feather, cut it out, antique it or whatever.
...lesson: Roll a sheet of B&B to 1/2 your pasta machine's largest thickness. Generously powder with cornstarch. Roll the clay and feather through and bake the mold. Then use the mold against another sheet of clay same thickness. Roll through pm together and don't forget to cornstarch the raw sheet. Patti K.

interesting little trick for making a mold from a button that has two holes so the holes don't show (buttons with a recessed area work best).
....cover the center area with the holes either with a half pearl or a rhinestone before making the mold ...bake
... then fill the baked mold with raw clay, and you'll get the shape of the button but with a raised area (hemisphere or faceted) in the center of rather than a recessed are with 2 raised areas where the holes were. Jeanne R.

Sometimes if you put a layer of aluminum foil (mostly?) around the (bakable) object you want to emulate, then put a layer of clay, and bake, it will work as a mold... some times you can pull out the object, leave the foil, then bake, then pull out the foil. the smoother the foil the easier it is to remove. . .

.....for non-bakable items, another method would be to crush aluminum foil, unfold it back into a wrinkley sheet, mold this around the (item) doll, form the armor (or just clay sheet) on the foil (thick enough so it holds its shape).. carefully remove the foil and clay armor leaving the doll out of the oven, and baking it. . . . .If you fear the foil/armor shape will collapse, you could "stuff" the foil side with scrap clay or sand or more foil or something to support it.
.... (In other words, you would be making a one-use, temporary mold from the foil, probably doing half the body (front and back) at a time.) After baking the foil could be peeled off or at least trimmed so it didn't show.) This approach should work for lots of items of questionable heat tolerance, as long as the inside doesn't have to be perfectly smooth...

Fingernail polish bottles are just right for (making) thimbles with an aluminum foil covering .. but they are one of the items I do not bake.
...Sometimes these open-type plastic objects seem to shrink inward a bit... in that case, put it back in the oven, heat to 180'... then pull it out gently before it cools.... I've made boxes and thimbles and bowls this way…

liquid clays can be often baked in regular polymer molds, but not always reliably.... other mold materials and pre-bought molds can be used with liquid clay though (for more info on all these, see Liquid Clays > Molds)

making a mold for liquid clay with flour is similar to a technique used by some chocolatiers (lesson):
-- place flour (reg. baking flour) in a shallow pan (or box lid?), (I used small, aluminum pie tins).
--GENTLY pack it down with a flat bottomed glass or another flat object
(--make an impression with something)
--carefully fill the impression with a squeeze bottle full of TLS.... you have much more control of the flow and it is less likely to disturb the impression
--bake (at 300 degrees)!
-- After baking, remove the object ... wash, sand, and finish. Jan R.
(...for more details and ideas on doing this, see Liquid Clays >
"using with Molds & Stamps & Texture Sheets")

molds can also be made by pressing brass stencils (or other small stiff stencils) onto a ball of clay so that clay rises up through the hole; this can be baked and used as a stamp (possibly with some texturing added to the shape first), or pressed into raw clay and baked for a mold

(see also Stamping for other materials to use as molds: "Magic Mold,"" Magic Stamp,"" Pen Score," etc.)

STIFF Polymer Clay molds + ModelMagic

Most molds can be very easily made with ordinary polymer clay
... the resulting molds will be stiff, show a lot of detail, and be quite strong
....stiff molds can be created from most any items or texture as long as the item has no undercuts
Flexible molds can be made from other materials when necessary.
....these may sometimes give more detail, and are essential for undercuts, but often more expensive to make

I like to make most of my molds from SuperSculpey for several reasons:
....SS is cheaper than most other polymer clays (and although plain white or terra cotta boxed Sculpey is even cheaper, they're pretty brittle)
it's always available at home, and I don't have to decide which of my clay colors to use up when I want to make a bunch of molds
....I can color code all my molds to make them easier to find and to sort into groups
........for example, all my face molds are green, geometrics are purple, animals are blue, nature items are red-ish, etc
........just adding a bit of colored clay to SuperSculpey is sufficient to color it because SS is very translucent so doesn't have much color on its own
.......although SuperSculpey isn't the strongest of the clays, it is strong enough if thin molds are not pressed down hard over balls or wads of clay....instead, put the mold face up on the work surface, then press the clay onto it.

To make a polymer clay mold, press clay against an item or some part of an item, remove it, and bake;
... later, a reverse image can be made from that mold by pressing more raw clay into the mold and baking that (also called a "cast" or a "pull") . . . (more details below)
--often you will need to use a "release" on the clay or on the item to be molded in order to make the raw clay easy to remove; sometimes this isn't necessary though if the clay isn't too soft and you can put the right "English" on it (see below in "Releases" for details)
--to remove the mold/cast: a piece of clay onto the back of the cast clay in the mold and pull, or try to pry out a corner first, or put in the frig for awhile... or bend back the raw clay if making a mold.
--items with "undercuts" can't be molded unless you use a "flexible" clay or other flexible material (see below)
--when making a deep mold (from a face, e.g.), form a wide cup of clay which is thick in the bottom, and press the cup around the face back to the earline, pressing on the face well.... then put this cast shape onto a ball or egg shape of clay later to create a head (can blend clay to ball, or hide join with hair, etc.)
--when making a cast of a face or other item with a tiny recessed area (like a nose), form the clay into a teardrop & insert the tip of the teardrop into the recessed area first

After stamping or pressing a shallow flat mold into raw clay, you can cut just inside the raised outer areas to give a depressed, smooth background;
...OR you can make --or use-- a stamp or mold which is smooth along the edges, and then create a frame around the image by cutting off the clay just outside the outer raised edges. . . . (if a number of these stamped images are made next to each other, the result is an automatically raised frame area around each image.)

see more on these things above in Gen. Info.... and in Stamping or Textures > Making Your Own

You can make molds from many household items, old or new jewelry, and toys (figures and other things), etc., etc.
...some EXAMPLES:
. . . . screwdriver tips, bolts (make great stripes), fancy buttons, wooden shapes, shells, charms, wadded aluminum foil, the strip from rubber hose clamp, bracelets, wooden shapes, bits of filigree, netting or fabric, combs, charms& anything that doesn't run away when you begin to press clay onto it! ---this list could go on forever!

If you make a neat face or other item or pattern, make a mold of your creation so you can make duplicates (...or the duplicates can be distorted or added to for more variation!)
Make faces, or other body parts like hands from dolls, action figures, Pez dispensers, and other figurines.. . I made molds of all my son’s tiny animals before handing them down to the next generation ..

Molds made from any polymer clay will be stronger the longer they're baked (color-darkening usually isn't a problem for molds)
...I've usually baked my molds for 30 minutes or more... sometimes for an hour

Melnik's molds (& casts) made fr. Pez dispenser head... figurine & ornament heads... hand she'd made
Irene's molded fern and other leaves on switchplates (antiqued)
Jeannie's lesson on making a mold of the suface of a sandwich-type cookie (vanilla with creme filling) --to create a rosette pattern (this one uses a silicone mold)
ake molds from charms, large and small (see tips above in Gen. Info) (click on Catalog Pages on bottom of home page) (over 3000 brass charms, many themes)

Jan S's lesson on making a flat mold from a baked clay sheet with a shape punched out   ......or do this with multiple shapes punched out?

Christy's bas reliefs ...some antiqued, or made with lightly tinted clays pressed in mold, as if lightly painted

for making molds of letters, see Letters-Inks > Lettering > Molds

make molds of the Balinese Filigree patterns you create (these may not be quite as distinct as doing them from scratch, but could sure come in handy!)... DB (see Clay Guns > Balinese Filigree for more)

Carolyn S's many small (probably) molded items (sculpted first?)...intended to for altered books, collage, etc.....heads, sealife, etc., many faux ivory (click on "Embellishments")

Kathy Davis' (kathndolls?) photos of creating sculpt for mold, and other ideas for molds (middle of page)
Dotty's lesson on making a whole head from a face cast

examples of molds made from sculpts, also showing their castings (these by Kathndolls are for sale too) (website gone)

lesson on carving a pattern in baked clay to make a flat mold for flat beads
.... (following lines made by rubbing a previously drawn ballpoint ink image on tracing paper onto raw clay, then baking...this will result in a reversed image though unless you turn the paper over and re-draw the lines on the back)

Elizabeth's Carved Stamp Swap... In each photo, the carved/onlaid original "stamp" is on the left (and its negative --impression-- is on the right )... polymer is used for the molds.

(lesson on making a repeating pattern mold with one "stamp" you've made:)
...(for example, for a brick wall) first make a prefect brick to use as a stamp and bake it.
--make a template of the (desired) bricks pattern on paper using a ball point pen, with the bricks drawn to the same size as your stamp (or leave more "mortar" area around each brick). (Ball point ink transfers readily to raw clay just like copy toner...once the mold is baked though, the ink doesn't transfer)
--transfer the ball point pen pattern to a raw sheet of clay (or) flexible clay (if you want to use it curved as well as flat, e.g. for a tower) (either Sculpey Flex or Kato Polyclay).
-- use water as the mold release, and stamp the brick according to the pattern you've laid out. It's a good idea to work on a baking surface, i. e. card stock, so the mold isn't distorted when transferring to the oven.
......the (flat-stones) stone wall is done using a similar technique, but a ball stylus is used to push the clay aside in a regular pattern of irregular stones. ( Sometimes, I'll make a positive by drawing lines in the clay so the rocks or stones are in relief, and then make a mold of the positive. For irregular rocks, I make a negative by drawing the impressions a rock would make in the clay.) Katherine Dewey
(see other ideas for making walls above, in Bought Molds)

Model Magic air-dry clay by Crayola
... amazing how much detail the marshmallow-y stuff picks up if you use it as a mold and then press polymer clay into it after it has hardened....Picked up every tiny detail of everything I was making molds of.
....Only problem I found with it,is that after a while it has a tendency to tear like paper and I haven't found a way to fix this.Even the thick pieces. So now I only will use it to create molds to impress with poly clay. Peggy

much of the rest of this page may be sorted into the wrong category, or not quite accurate...
I tried to find out exactly what the differences were but probably was not always successful, so keep that in mind!

FLEXIBLE polymer clay molds

(flexible polymer clay molds)
oldMaker --or SuperElasticlay (improved version of Elasticlay)
Bake & Bend (SuperFlex), etc

Sculpey Super Elasticlay MoldMaker is the new name for Polyform's reformulated Elasticlay formula.
...sold in a 1/2 lb. box... at Joanne's and other places
...cheaper than 2-pt silicone mold making material, but more expensive than regular polymer clay used as mold making material
...finished mold is somewhat flexible's very soft and pliable when raw, so reproduces details well fact, can also be used as a "clay softener" when about 1% is added to stiffer regular clay
...condition it a bit, and use a powder release (cornstarch, or metallic powder?
...bake mold (don't overbake)
...these molds will harden over time, and may crack with heavy use and age (though old Elasticlay was worse).
.........Sarajane says that rubbing baked molds lightly with veg. or mineral oil may help in the long term
....can also be used to make texture sheets (flat molds)
...can pour Plaster of Paris in the molds (instead of polymer clay)
...Sarajane has a page with info on MoldMaker and Miracle Mold... in one photo, she compares the two (referred to as Super Elasticlay here)
...Super Elasticlay is more rigid (than silicone molds) ---but I still have good success with those molds, and so far mine have not degraded
if I ever have trouble with the silicone putties (which I prefer) and still want a mold, I use Super Elasticlay requires a different method of taking the impression than silicone but I never get air pockets with it (like some silicones). . Jeanne R.
(Don't know if the old version, Elasticlay, is still being sold... it tended to degrade over time and had other prob's ---see Char's of Clays page for details)

Bake and Bend, or SuperFlex (special polymer clays) molds made with this clay turned out wonderful as far as detail and flexibility ( but I don't think I would use this clay for too much else since the surface does not "look" all that great.) Jan
...I used Bake and Bend for all my molds for the swap and they turned out great.... Jeanette
...I work with Sculpey's SuperFlex (Bake and Bend) all the time. Yes, it's tacky and somewhat greasy, but it's a problem solver..... I use it ...for flexible sheet molds that can be run through the pasta machine. . . Katherine Dewey
...I use Bake & Bend for thinner molds in sheets which use low-relief textures and items. I recommend it for my leaf molds, and texture sheets. ...It is extremely durable and flexible and when the sheet mold is thin enough to go through the pasta machine with more clay. . . It can be used for thicker pieces also, such as molding a button or such, but it will not be as flexible in the thicker pieces as MoldMaker is. Patti K.

Would Sculpey's Eraser Clay work??... it seems to have lots of plasticizer too (and may eat into other porous or finished woods over time??)

Glues ... Glue Gun Glue
(somewhat flexible glue molds...and casting glue in other molds)

These molds won't be able to create fine details.

(a strong "white glue" --is this the industrial quality version of Elmers? )
..My Dad made these great flexible molds for me with Elmer's Stix-All Adhesive (1 oz tube = $3.50) a trial run first ...these molds are super flexible
...he set a flat-backed polymer clay shape on a piece of plexiglass (or glass,tile,etc.) face up pieces were 1/2" thick or less)
...then he (squeezed) enough Elmer's Stix-All glue to cover the piece (using no release on plexi-glass or clay)
.. let it sit overnight
...after the first coat dried, he added a little more glue to the top just to make it a little thicker
...after that dried, he peeled it up off the plexi-glass...and popped the clay piece out and presto an awesome flex mold!!!
...the mold will be semi-clear when dry, so pushing clay into the mold you can flip it over to make sure it's pushed all the way in
......the glue levels itself out, and goes into all of the creases on the original still have to watch out for undercuts, but you can create deeper impressions than you can with a push mold from clay picks up a lot of detail too (I made a cookie shape and stippled the top with a toothbrush to add texture... after the mold was made from this, it even imprints the toothbrush marks onto the clay)
...If you try this, I would definitely do it outside ... the fumes from the glue are VERY strong! Stacey Morgan
...there is always slight shrinkage from anything that "dries" in the air to harden it (but used this way, prob.shrinks only in thickness)

glue gun glue molds

some GEN. INFO about glue gun glues:
...non-stick surfaces: glass, ceramic tile, shiny metal, possibly aluminum foil, silicone sheets (Silpat?), Teflon bakery items, special pads sold for use with hot glue, special "craft sheets" like those sold for UTEE ... even on a surface of water, or ice
...releases: glycerin, pigment inks (or dye?), veg. oil, metallic powders like Pearl Ex, water in some cases,
...guns are high temp or low temp... glue sticks are either high or low, or more often now "hi-low"
...glue can be heated in various ways... extruded through a glue gun, on a non-stick & heat-resistant surface with a heat gun, or in a melting "pot" (or possibly in 340 degree oven?)
... curved or other shapes can be made by extruding glue onto a curved non-stick surface like a glass jar... a shape could be reheated briefly in microwave or with heat gun, then bent to shape desired (or draped over something) and let cool in position
...hardened glue can also be softened slightly in a microwave ... undesired "strings" of glue (mostly from low melt guns) can be remelted with a heat gun
...glue sticks can be cut into smaller bits, especially when melting it/them with a heat gun, and not much is needed glue sticks come in opaque colors as well as clear... acrylic paints can be used to color glue, and/or various colors can be swirled while hot
...inclusions and embedded items can be added while glue is melted .... and new glue layer can be created on hardened glue layer to encase items
...after cooling, can be colored with metallic leaf (very slightly tacky), metallic waxes like Rub N Buff, acrylic paints, etc. not use plaster or plaster-based materials in glue molds, because the heat they create (120-160 degrees) can melt the glue


deeper molds could be made by placing the hot glue in a deeper compartment (perhaps with a release, or by using tip of Xacto blade in an unimportant area and pulling out)...or maybe something like aluminum foil, alone or lining another item
... after the glue molds sets, press raw clay into it
...could also pour in UTEE or other embossing powders?

ceramic tiles tend to hold the heat from the glue and keep it from setting up as fast, so I squirt them with water to help cool. Pam
...or put in frig. or freezer a short time.

shallow, "texture molds" (or finished pieces)

shallow molds and "texture molds" can be made from hot glue by impressing a blob of glue:
...on the surface where you want it (as long as the surface is at least a bit heat resistant)
...or (to be able to remove it later) while it's sitting on a non-stick surface

...rubberstamps could be used (really deep stamps work better than shallow ones), or other items
.......would our plastic texture sheets be heat resistant enough??
...use a release on the stamping tool like water, pigment ink, veg. oil (Pam or wipe), metallic powders, etc.
...let cool ... remove stamp, etc .... (remove new glue piece from non-stick surface, if desired)

You do not need to push the stamp down into the glue puddle ....just gently set the stamp on top of the hot glue, and it will sink down ... meridee

I put an inked stamp into a large blob of hot glue from my glue gun (which was extruded in a puddle on glass, a tile, or whatever will release it), then let it harden
.... I slowly peeled off the stamp, and pressed conditioned polymer clay into the new *mold* (...because the glue *mold* was flexible, I was later able to pry the polymer clay out quite easily). Barbara (website gone --DB, ADD PHOTO?)

lesson on making curved glue item by stamping into hot glue puddle while it's on a bottle (or other object)... cool... remove, or glue on with another glue? impression made with a wet stamp (of any kind) may become cloudy (temporarily?)

Could also use this shallow mold as a STAMP.

metallic foil.... press foil (not leaf) onto (flattish) glue while hot....let it cool a little, then pull the excess foil away
...(to stamp into it,) heat again and watch the foil change ... press your inked stamp into it... remove when cool and you have a great embellishment. Carol C
...could also cut the cooled foil and glue sheet into shapes, etc.

casting glue gun glues in molds

Glue gun glue can be poured or extruded into various molds
......made from polymer clay, silicone (including purchased "Push Molds"), metal, glass, etc (also plastic chocolate molds? bec. they're used for pouring chocolate melts in after melting?... or be sure to use low-temp glue guns)
.......for releases in clay molds, can use Pearl Ex, embossing fluid (glycerin), or veg. oil, and maybe other things (water?) before pouring in glue from gun (...can use 2 guns at once for speed, if want)
..after cooling, the molded glue shape can be popped out, or an Xacto blade, etc., can be stuck in the back side to help pull it out
...cooled glue shapes can be colored with acrylic paints (metallics too, and Patio Paints are especially adhesive), Pearl Ex set with spray fix, metallic leaf, metallic waxes like Rub N Buff, etc.
....they can then highlighted or antiqued with acrylic paints, highlighted withor Rub 'N Buff, etc, if desired

some of these glue castings are made with colored hot glue sticks, some finished with Rub N Buff, etc.

mcuniverse's lesson on casting glue gun glue in plastic molds, with a wiping of dish washing liquid as a release casts made with colored glue sticks will be stiffer than clear glue sticks ...heat glue gun/sticks well before starting ...pour from deepest part and center and try not to stop while extruding or may see blobs ...put mold in frig/ freezer little while before trying to remove cast)
...she paints her casts later too: clean cast with a tissue ...paint with a water based primer (like gesso?)...let dry then paint with acrylics ...

glue gun glue can be put in flexible "Push Molds" (sold for polymer clay, etc.)

glue gun glue in polymer clay mold (....would work in raw clay molds too?)
...use a release like metallic powder, or a spray of Pam, glycerin, etc. (see all releases listed above)

plastic "chocolate" molds should work okay because they have to be heat resistant enough for pouring hot "candy melts" into
...though other plastic molds may work too if using low-temp glue guns

plastic cookie molds ...put a releasing agent on it first.... but if you forget, you can microwave them until the glue is soft then use a toothpick to pull it out. Brat

see more on hot glues and other ways to use them in Glues > Hot Glue
....another idea would be to make some glue shapes to make polymer molds from ... see "Freeform Glue" on that page


Silicone, etc. (very flexible) molds
(1-part & 2-part silicones)

(for info on SuperElasticlay and Sculpey's SuperFlex polymer clays to use for making flexible molds, look in Characteristics > Elasticlay or Superflex . . .though some warnings for Elasticlay are below)

These molds will pick up very fine detail.

some types of mold materials and their characteristics
...and's explanations of kinds of mold making materials
many molds from a swap... mostly likely silicone

(for already-made molds made from silicone in various shapes, see above in Bought Molds > Other kinds)

Two types of silicone materials we can use for making molds (though they may have different characteristics and uses) are:
--one-part silicones, which are generally used as sealants (caulks)
--two-part silicones, which are primarily for encapsulating and mold-making (has a great explanation of these, and their differences!
.......also, two-part silicones come as liquids (non-bakable) or putties (bakable)
(these are mostly "RTV" silicones, room temperature vulcanizing)

Nancy Banks sometimes mixes embossing powders into 2-part epoxy glue (like Devcon...?30 min. setting type) with a stick
...she then casts this mix in a silicone mold ... wrap aluminum foil(?) (won't stick to epoxy)... can wet sand, if needed... clear and very interesting

One-Part silicone (& Caulks)

--small 1-3 oz.squeeze tubes ....and 10.3 oz cartridges for caulking guns
(may be called an adhesive or a caulk??)
--no curing agent; curing begins immediately upon exposure to air; usually "skins" within 5 min. and completely cures within 24 hrs.
--advantages: toughness, availability (hardware and automotive parts stores), cost (cheap but varies).
--disadvantages: toughness (difficult to work with once it has cured...e.g. cutting), workability when uncured state (more difficult to get into details); tends to stick to everything including tools since it's designed as an "adhesive."
--There are many look for:
......100% silicone ... not "siliconized" caulk or "acrylic latex caulk with silicone"
......will withstand temps of around 400 deg. constant, 450 intermittent... durability over time?

(the silicone you use around bathtubs etc).... press out the silicone and foam up your hands with a lot of soap (which acts as a release). whatever you want down in the putty and let it dry
...(later:) this didn't work well. It was too soft and never seemed to dry!! ..the industrial quality may work better tho...Christel :-)

lesson on using just a thin layer of silicone sealant over a plaster-of-Paris backing for an inexpensive mold

Two-Part Silicones
( 4-to-1's or 6-to-1's are harder to measure)

"Every plastic product in your household was molded at one time using this material.
Since silicone is so flexible and has so many different uses, there are literally thousands of silicone products out there, all with their own specific properties."

(liquids take several hours to set up, as opposed to putties below!)

One to One, Rapid Mold Rubber by MicroMark . . .2-part, liquid type
Liquid Silicone Rubber for Making Molds Our two-part liquid RTV
--pourable because it's a liquid
--resin (uncured rubber) and a catalyst (hardener) must be mixed together in correct proportions
--cost (about $25 per pound, retail, 1 lb. minimum).
--advantages: ease of use (liquid flows around rather than having to be squeezed onto), workability (not as tough as one-part raw), toughness (easily cut after curing with sharp knife).
--disadvantages: . .takes 4 hours to set up (rather than 5 minutes for putty types) ...can't bake?? all brands in oven with clay??.. mix/pour time is generally about 10 minutes...30 min. pot life?... set-up (cure) is 4 hr.. . .
...mix parts A and B together and pour into a mold box containing your (item)..reproduces every detail... genuine silicone rubber (withstands up to 600 degrees F)
--availability (now at some retail stores, hobby shops), and mail order: (click on RTV Silicone Rubbers) .. Green Sil and Blue Sil

Toika's lesson on making flexible push molds with pourable silicone mold material which is workable for 15 min, and sets up in 4 hrs. (hers made with RTV silicone liquid from Micromark; she says you can't bake the completed mold in oven (wrong?) though she says de-molding of raw clay casts causes very litte distortion)
...she mixes parts A & B then, stirs it 40-60 sec.
....brushes the mold material on the item first (to avoid air bubbles), then fills in the area around the item to be molded (which is sitting in a small, taped down, cardboard frame on top of a sheet of plexiglas, etc.) with more of the liquid.... cuts around the edges of finished mold to loosen. use the mold, she pushes the raw clay in, then puts in freezer 5 min.... slices off the excess clay from the top of the flat mold
...flexes the mold to release the clay (which she says happens without distortion)
...she makes a thin, ropey "frame" for using as a bezel or to hold tinted or other contained pools of liquid clay
...for thin or flexible items, she held them firmly to the plexiglas by using spray adhesive on the back


These putties come in two parts (generally one is white and one is a color), which must be mixed together just before using, and make very flexible molds :
....they also set up rapidly
....the molds can then be baked in the oven with clay (or with liquid clays ).
....they need no release agent, and take undercuts well

most "RTV" (room temperature vulcanizing) liquids (?) and putties can handle 600 degrees at least, and most are very flexible after setting

Carrying around a bit of unmixed silicone putty in your purse, etc. (maybe in a metal Altoid or other box, but keep the two components separate) is a great way to do spur of the moment mold making when you spot a nifty bit of texture, etc....the putties set up quickly so then the mold would be simple to transport home.

Contact with tin will keep the two parts of silicone molding materials from setting up properly, so use plastic spoons, or wood, etc. instead (all 2-part putties?)
...also some rubberstamps have tin in the rubber (Stampin' Up, for example) ... Linda explained that those have
IIRC. lib
.......she also mentions a workaround for those stamps though...using a barrier on the clay like Saran Wrap

I was wearing latex gloves and the Miracle Mold stuck to them. Lib ... latex is incompatible with MM. (all 2-pt putties?)

The two parts need to be kept entirely apart or cross-contamination will cause either one to harden
...I would guess that you contaminated one part with another when you last used it, causing it to harden. It might help to measure out each part with a separate plastic spoon. Libby

bubbles happen occasionally, more often in some brands than others
... bubbles in the silicone (one cause seems to be in the makeup of the particular formula) ... and bubbles in the molded item from incorrectly pressing the object into the putty
...also, I found more bubbles with an older batch of Miracle Mold -after it sat in my shelf for six months, the molds I made did have a few tiny bubbles, as opposed to the first ones which had none (I'm at high altitude, and I mix the MM by hand) I do a final squeeze/impaction of the MM lump before using it hard in on itself and onto the work surface to force out any hiding bubbles. Sarajane
...I have had just a few molds (maybe only 10 out of a few 100!) where I did not push Alley Goop in the right direction, and I trapped some air and did not get as good an impression as I would like... so I then applied the Alley Goop in the direction to allow air to escape. (this mainly happens when surfaces are very smooth.... this is not the same as the "gas type blow-outs" though). Jeanne R.
...Alley Goop does get the tiny bubbles as often as other brands I've tried so far (Micromark and Miracle Mold)
...sometimes, molding very smooth surfaces can be a bit troublesome (super detailed objects generally are no problem, but when you are doing a smooth/glassy surface there is just nowhere for those little airpockets to go....with a detailed object there are lots of opportunities for the air to get released)
........what to do in that case?....basically, you *shear* your object into the Miracle Mold, rather than pushing it straight in (in other words, you're trying to push away the excess air that may become trapped in the mold; once you shear your object in, then firm the mold material around the object. I kind of cup it in my hands and push it all together to make it conform
.......also, often you can carefully poke into the airpockets with a needle. ..the air escapes and the mold flattens back down. Worth a try, caneguru
...overmixing the two parts can sometimes makes bubbles too

liquid clay into silicone molds
. . . baking the liquid clay in the mold is the only way to go for me. . . . the Kato liquid clay works great too! It makes a more flexible piece than even the TLS . .
...I had no little air bubbles or bumps in them this way like I had experienced in the past. Part of the trick seems to be
(1) letting the liquid clay settle (...the Mitchells suggest 30 minutes) for a bit before baking
(2) not incorporating air into the silicone when first mixing the two components
. . . If you look into the molded surface of some of the mold materials (brands) with a 10x (or higher) jeweler's loupe, you can see air bubbles/imperfections within the cured molds. You don't notice the imperfections much on regular opaque polymer clays, but they sure do show up on the liquid clays or PMC. Some brands (of silicone molds) seem to be particularly prone to the problem. caneguru
... (I used the Bellicold brand) I tried mixing oil paints with the TLS and it was a disaster. There were all kinds of bubbles on the surface of the piece (which would be the bottom of the mold). This was a fairly thick piece, almost half an inch deep. Should I have let the TLS sit in the mold for a while before I baked it?... I also used too much oil paint. Nancy
...added color in the liquid clay will deepen after baking, so don't use too much colorant
(....see much more info on all this in Liquid Clays > "Air Bubbles" and also > "Molds, Stamps")

If properly handled, silcone molding materials should have a long shelf life. Libby

Nancy Banks sometimes mixes embossing powders into 2-part epoxy glue (like Devcon...?30 min. setting type) with a stick
......she then uses this in a mold made from silicone ... wrap aluminum foil (?) (won't stick to epoxy)... can wet sand, if needed... clear and very interesting
...lesson on using using Devcon (2-pt epoxy adhesive) in a homemade 2 pt silicone mold a realistic whole eyeball (see more lesson details in Other Materials > Epoxy Adhesives)

(see more on using glues, etc., for making molds in Glues)

What about creating your own custom made fingertip protectors with a bit of 2-part silicone putty ?? By making your own, you could make them fit tightly, be smooth, and be as long or short, or thick or thin, as you wanted (... for example, you could make the finger part thin, but have a thicker area on the end for wherever you want, or usually get burned when using a glue gun)...these protectors could also work for already-burned fingers while using more glue too (or possibly to avoid allergic reations especially when doing gross motor things with the clay like color mixes, blends or conditioning, etc.).
(for use with glue guns, I think most silicones clayers use for making molds are heat resistant up to about 400-600 degrees, so that should do the job, and I'm assuming that silicone would release the glue easily but this is all just a guess.) Diane B.

FIRMNESS: Some of the 2-part silicone mold materials are firmer than others.
. . Miracle Mold is considerably firmer when set up than Alley Goop, and Alley Goop is firmer than the vinyl polysiloxane products such as MegaSil. caneguru
......though Alley Goop can be made thicker if the oil (from silicone) that shows up on the surface after some time, is poured off
...amount of firmness has advantages and disadvantage

COST: Alley Goop is the cheapest, I believe? (or just because not as much needs to be used?)

examples of molded items made in a 2-pt silicone putty mold...scarabs, and heads (used for onlay)... Miracle Mold

when making texture *sheets* (for the pasta machine), I think any of the flexible polymer clays work better than the silicone putties. Katherine Dewey (....although see the comments below on using latex rubber to make texture sheets instead)

hirstart's lesson on casting plaster objects with silicone-rubber molds or other molds

you can make any silicone putty clay go farther using the "mother mold" concept:
...(see Jeanne's description of doing this with regular polymer clay to cradle the silicone mold if necessary below in Alley Goop)
Make the silicone mold relatively thin, and with near smooth sides except for a few localization keys sticking out (to make them easy to insert in the correct place when used again later?). Then, using cheap plaster, make a big heavy 'mother' mold which would be basically just a plaster holder for the rubber mold. This gives your walls extra strength while packing the mold (with clay). . . .(mother molds made from plaster can't be baked though). Remember mother molds are merely holding the silicone mold while you are packing the clay into the mold. . . . could make an assortment of basic shapes of 'mother' molds. Making them in either a truncated cone (sides sloping in) or a mini bowl shape will allow the silicone mold to be easily removed with the clay loaded in it without much flex. . . .then fill the cavity with Miracle Mold, insert the 'object' into the MM, then let cure. This way you do not need as many mother molds. . . .
o quickly tell which molds & mother molds go together, you could make an impression on the outside. Get some of the cheap rubber stamp kits & stamp that into the MM before it sets up. The rubber stamp numbers could also be applied to the 'mother' mold. . .
...You could even make the clay a thin-walled object by pressing in a cornstarch 'peanut' into the middle of the clay. Lysle
...mother molds can also be to make a stiffer backing for molds made with flexible mold materials ... I had some quick set plaster stuff around ...mix up and pour onto the back side of the flexible molds and let it set up. I removed the plaster from the mold to let it dry thoroughly overnight. I put the plaster back in to use the mold and remove the plaster to pop the clay out. Now you have the convenience of a firm mold, but the ease of a flexi mold. Tonja

could also make pencil grips or pen grips in special shapes with silicone putty? ( to fit around shafts and allow for easier holding and writing/drawing for children, those with arthritis, etc.) ...see more in Disabilities > Tools,Assistive Devices

some of the BRANDS of two-part silicone putties which have been tried with polymer clay:

Miracle Mold, Alley Goop, Mystic Mold, Amazing Mold Putty, Mega-Sil, Quick Sil, Silicone Putty (MicroMark's), & BeliCold
the brands vary by cost, color, smoothness of detail, heat resistance

ALLEY GOOP from Karen Rhodes at the Clay Alley. . .(gray blue)
COST: 4 oz "sampler" for $8.50 + s/h?......1 lb = $27.50 +s/h
....however, if you buy 3 or more pounds of Alley Goop, there is a graduated price break per pound that can't be beat with any of the other silicone molding putties. Jeanne R.... (good for guild members maybe?)
........3 lbs = $25.00 per lb .....5 lbs = $21.50 per lb ....10 lbs = $18.50 per lb ......(+ shipping about $1 per lb) and photos of Alley Goop by Jeanne Rhea
--Alley Goop is thinner than most of the other putties, and some people feel it can go farther because of this: (showing the number of molds Jeanne got from 1 lb of Goop (8 oz each of Part A & Part B)
......measuring: Jeanne R. likes to pour out blobs of each color (parts A and B) separately ... let them level out (because they are thinner bodied), then choose which two blobs are the same size before mixing them together to get the exact proportions correct (can put the rest back in the jars)
...........I just pinch a bit of the white and make it into a ball.... lay it down ... then pinch a bit of the blue and make as close to the same size ball as I did with the white. Karen
--Alley Goop is a Shore 35 so it is "softer" than Miracle Mold & many others
....I like Alley Goop because it is so flexible that I can easily pop out the clay with no nicks or damage (I do not cure in the mold.) Jeanne R.
....if you ever find a mold is not firm enough or too thin (if you push hard when pressing raw clay into the mold), use a bit more Alley Goop (especially around the walls)... or add more just around the relevant area and let set up again
....... I saw where someone was complaining that Alley Goop was too flexible... I am sure though they were trying to stretch the material so far that it became too thin for the size and type of item they were molding.... I do scrimp, and have had a couple of molds where a part of the mold barely had a skin on it....even though the skin was very tough, it would not work as a mold because the clay would distort when pushing it out... so I returned the item to the Alley Goop thin mold, then I used regular polymer clay to bake a hard shell around it (luckily, the item was metal and could take the heat).
(......but so far, I have not had success with any of the silicone putties if I made the molds too thin, and tried to add more silicone putty.)
......(see above for using plaster for a "mother mold" instead)

....detail: Alley Goop molds are really quite detailed....crime labs use it to "pick" up fingerprints... can actually mold the engraving right off a dollar bill
....I have also made "clay shapers" from Alley Goop by using small amounts, and shaping it as it cures.
....veterinarians use it to pack the feet of horses when the sore is too deep... it cushions the foot and helps with healing. Karen cost, Alley Goop goes much farther for less money than other brands.
--Alley Goop sustains temps up to 750 degrees
...the blue part is the "hardener", so if you want the putty mix to set faster, use more of the blue. Karen
......... I found this out the hard way... I put more of it into the mix and it set up before I had a chance to set my piece in correctly, and wound up with a very indistinct looking mold. Gwen
...when I opened the jars after a time, there was a layer of 'oil' on the surface. I mixed it back into the compound but working with it was messy & slippery. Gwen
.......that oil is a product of the can mix it back in, pour it off, dab it off, whatever... .if you get rid of it, the putty just becomes thicker, but it does not affect the outcome of the molds since it's there to make the silicone putty easier to work with. Karen
--Alley Goop is also FDA approved for food fact, confectionaries use it to make chocolate items for cakes (they pour liquid chocolate into the mold, put it in the freezer and then pop it out for cake decorations!
....... couldn't we then make our own molds for liquid chocolate or craft "chocolate melts", or for lollipops, jello, e.g., using items or textures or bas reliefs, etc., we've sculpted or otherwise created first from polymer clay? Diane B.

ALSO: liquid, brush-on Alley Goop (no longer available?)
....Karen also has a new, even thinner, liquid, brush-on Alley Goop product especially for making texture sheets
...same cost as the regular AlleyGoop... uses two layers of Goop....don't know if she'd mix and match for the discount though
...I have just purchased some of the Liquid Alley Goop and made one mold with it of an antique button. I had previously made a mold of this with regular Alley Goop. I do think the impression is even better with the liquid. (It takes about an hour to setup.) I'm anxious to work with it more. Jan

MIRACLE MOLD from Linda Geer, Puffinalia (purplish-reddish pink)
COST: 2 oz kit=$ 8.00 +$2.00 s/h .... 8 oz kit = $25.00 +$5 s/h (Tonja guesstimated 8 oz.will make about 25 small molds)
1 lb=$50.00 + s/h...2-4 lbs=$45.00 per lb + s/h ......5 lbs or more=$40.00 per lb + s/h and photos: &
...Christy's lesson on carving a bas relief in clay, baking, then making a silicone mold (M'Mold) from it for duplicates
being used on a bas relief sculpt
...Sarajane's page showing Miracle Mold used for various face molds
...many molds from swap... mostly likely Miracle Mold
....heat resistant to 600 degrees... can bake the clay right in the mold
...makes a fairly firm mold
...use only amount needed at one time because it will begin to set up quickly and the impression it can make after it begins to harden a bit isn't as good
...Personally I'm liking this new material better that Micromark's stuff. I really love that I can now use my new molds in minutes, not hours.... And it sure seems to be tougher. I tried with all my might to tear it and I couldn't. Most of my molded images also have more of the original detail now. And this new Puffinalia Mircle Mold has an oily feel to it so I don't need a mold release. I really like that, too. Tonja
... I'm with you Tonja - I have used a number of two part silicone molding compounds for PMC and polymer clay both. I had been sticking to Bellicold (the purple stuff) which can be finicky if you don't use the right ratios. However, this molding compound is super forgiving. I even purposefully mixed uneven amounts just to see if it would still set up. It did EVERY TIME and I went down to almost a 30% / 70% ratio. It still kept the nice sharp detail as well.... I don't need mold release for anything - not even paper clay anymore. Meredith can "tweak" the firmness and set-up time of your molds by adding more of the red part (then will get a softer consistency, and longer set-up time). Linda
...I mentioned that I had I ended up with some sticky molds...Linda told me to try less of the catalyst (the red stuff)...and I did...Instead of trying exactly half/half, i purposely went under in the red...The mold was not sticky and it cured super fast... Just in case anyone finds themself witht he same problem... NF
... (Many of the other similar molding materials might be able to baked in the oven), but some ...will likely degrade after a certain number of bakings due to the ingredients in the mix. But your mileage may vary. ...the catalyst in MicroMark's (Silicone Putty) only is rated to 300 degrees and don't know aobut PoYo. Mine is definitely rated to 600. Linda
........Linda's tests comparing Miracle Mold to two other putties (blue one and purple? one), in which she shows a less even surface before and after baking in the other 2 mold materials and the subsequent casts
. . . .There are other issues, too when you are considering silicone molds. Many of the products in the market will degrade after being heated (IF they can tolerate heating without melting or noxious fumes) and have a shorter shelf life. Moreover, I've used several products on the market and am certain that they are not all created equally - in ability to be repeatedly baked, in sharpness, in ease of mixing, in how forgiving it is with inexact mixing....(Puffinalia). caneguru
..I have used the 2 part (blue and white) silicon mold material (Mega-Sil, the blue ear mold stuff) and Puff. Miracle Mold, and I definitely prefer the Miracle Mold! I have made the same mold out of both of them and then did a side by side comparison. Yours is sooooo much more flexible, and what comes out has better detail. A few of my blue ear mold ones have split when trying to get the item out.
.... Yours take a little longer to set, so I have more time to make sure I get it right, or fix any problems that might happen when trying to make the mold.
...Another thing I noticed is that I can make very large molds with your stuff and they are flexible and stay together well. I tried to make a large one with the blue stuff and it split in two the first time I tried to get the clay out. Kimba
....Be aware that making molds on glassy surfaces with Miracle Mold can sometimes cause a less than super smooth surface. I've been in touch with my chemist and he advised me that glassy smooth surfaces sometimes don't give the air in the mold anywhere to go when the mold is setting up. (This does NOT happen in detailed pieces.) . . .The work around according to the chemist is to "shear" the item into the raw mold instead of just pressing it in. Slide it in the raw mold and twist it a bit to release the air. And then build the mold material up around the sides. caneguru
.......Miracle Mold may stick to latex gloves
.......tin (including tin that can be present in rubberstamps) can react with Miracle Mold (in that case, cover stamp with Saran wrap?... and/or
......bake for a few minutes to speed up the setting?

MYSTIC MOLD Compound, by Artique (Linda Bernstein) (very light blue, or other colors). . .
COST: 8 oz. kit =$14.95 + $5 s/h ...
...Linda is using is for metal clay as well. Bette

AMAZING MOLD PUTTY, Alumite Corp (yellow)

...also carried by Michaels and Hobby Lobby, and others? (near the polymer clay?, or near the mica powders or stamping supplies?)
...label has pics of baby on front "to indicate non-toxic"
COST: 10.6 oz (2/3 lb) = $20 ...or larger sizes
...longer curing time: 20-30 mins --a disadvantage, but craftygoat says that "gives longer working time and time to make other molds if she has any mixed putty left over"
...has instructions re using as craft
video lesson on making a miniature pan using regular epoxy resin, in Amazing Mold Putty, by GardenOf Imagination
video lesson on making a clear(ish) "molded Jello" by GardenOfUtopia... she used a floral setting resin instead of a regular epoxy resin so after curing coated with acrylic finish to keep cover stickiness on outside

MOLD-n-POUR (Ranger Industries & Suz Weinberg) (med. blue) ..."pour" refers to fact that can pour melted embossing powder into cured molds
COST: 1.5 oz.= $13 +s/h (makes 8-10 molds of small buttons) .. more expensive than others, but may be available at retail?

MEGA-SIL...the ear mold stuff... by Microsonic (blue, or yellow?)
...(this is sold for the use of making a mold of an ear- for making hearing aids)
OR > the earmold store.... you'll want the blue Mega-Sil I think. Kathndolls
....comes in handy single packs as well (MegaSil "Solos") but you have to buy 24 at a time, or you can buy it in bulk.
... the ear mold compound (Megasil) is an entirely different composition (from the others). It is vinyl polysiloxane. It is the ONLY one I haven't put through heat trials because it is so different. Feels really different too, in both the uncured and cured states. Linda G.
.....There's a "freshness" dating of about 3months... but we think that's for sanitary purposes- and doesn't seem to effect our use of the product.
.....The main page says that these products are only sold to health practitioners. Is this true? ...No, anyone can order it.
.....This stuff from Microsonic, Inc. is ear-mold material, and from I can see it is very simular to the stuff that Suze sells, and the stuff that Ranger is coming out with. It is called Mega-Sil - it comes in bulk or in small two part packages. The price is GREAT and it works wonderful - I have been using it for my polymer clay molds for quite some time and I haven't had any problems with it. BTW, they are very fast to ship too. experience with Microsonic. . . I love using microsonic moldmaking material, it is easy and makes incredibly detailed molds. I've used it to mold an old cinnebar bead, handcarved santa, just all kinds of things with great results. On the cinnebar bead I covered it and then cut it out of the mold, then marked both sides to line up design, worked great! Karen K.
....Don't make the edges of molds too thin though, or they might tear.
... As far as large molds, I don't think there is any limit to size long as you can get the two parts of the material mixed together right, it should would. However, taking a mold (cast?) from a very large silicone piece may be a little difficult as the silicone is so very flexible. It may distort the image. Dotty in CA
....I tried to make a large mold with the blue stuff and it split in two the first time I tried to get the clay out. Kimba
...I just used mold material I bought at least 10-12 months ago. It worked the same as usual. I never read about shelf life and now am glad I didn't know; I might have tossed it out. It feels and looks like molds I've made before. Perhaps if the product is used as intended, ear molds, there is some important difference related to shelf life.Kay
..............You can also get the Mega-Sil in bulk but you don't save much that way, and you have to try to measure it correctly which isn't all that easy. At least not for me. You can buy the Mega-Sil Solos individually (or save some money and buy a full box of 24 Solos for about $21). Dotty
...The reason I buy the individuals (which are only about a dollar more by weight), is that I can carry the individuals with me when I go visiting, just in case there is something that I want to make a mold from. Also, I would rather pay the little extra to not have to measure out the two different halfs - this way it is pre-measured for me.. judy
.... They now offer a scoop to measure the bulk stuff. However, the catalyst is in a tube, which is a different form than with the Solo's and I have not tried it so I can't comment on how it works. There is one advantage to using the bulk type and that is you can choose how much you need for a particular project. With the Solo's you have to use one pack or two, or more. Dotty big a mold will one packet of Mega-Sil Solo make?
For a very flat item, that's not too deep, you can go a max of about 2 1/2". ...Deeper items such as ornate buttons, you may need one packet to do right. Dotty

SILASOFT, READY PRESS, MICRO-SIL, etc., also by MicroSonic . . . .how are these different from others?

Castaldo's QUICK SIL (light blue green)
. or
Castaldo website about the material makes it sound very easy to use: (no careful mixing, self-lubricating/no release, can be used with metals, 0 shrinkage).... the main drawback is that the Quick Sil is sold 2 lbs minimum everywhere for @ $40. Darlene
...I have researched many different groups and their comments regarding the various molding putty compounds. They all sound similar (Quick Setting Silicone Putty Compounds). . .
...Quick Sil claims to be heat tolerant up to 900 degrees, and only sounds like a different color mixture.. . This mixes really fast...molds are done in less than 10 minutes (shorter working time could be an advantage or disadvantage depending on what you want to do). I didn't need clamps, or cold frames (for one piece molds). Mixing took less than a minute, no gloves needed, it is safe. Overmixing can make air bubbles.. Someone said they got air bubbles in the new material (Miracle Molds) too that you mentioned above, probably from overmixing. They both don't require exact mixing (I used a regular old metal teaspoon and filled them unevenly a couple times). I don't know the exact differences other than this one worked great, and sounds to have very similar end results. This may have a higher heat tolerance, and is a great price for 2 full pounds. Molds of even the smallest items were crisp and clear. I baked in the molds at least 20 times and they were still pliable, no cracks, and worked as good as new. I even cut my multi-molds into smaller molds, and baked them several times, and they didn't crack or break down. I don't need any mold release at all, even after dozens of bakes. CrystalLuv
...I'm not clear that it holds its sharpness, and whether it can sustain repeated sustained bakings.caneguru

SILICONE PUTTY from MicroMark (rose pink)
5 min set up. This is an excellent brand. Kathndolls
....fairly cheap ($27.50 per lb +s/h?). It is strong and produces a mold with wonderful detail. lizzylayd ...maybe not as strong as some others though?

BELICOLD from Rio Grande (very, very light blue?)
...suggested by Donna Kato...Actually I was asking her where to buy Elasticlay for molds and that is when she suggested the Beli Cold. Lavender Lady . . .
..... I learned about Belicold in a PMC class and really like it. You do not have to purchase the kit that has the forms. The package that has a jar of the two parts is about $30.00. Jan S.
....may be a little finicky if the ratios aren't exact (but true for most, right?). . . .

Try Knead-a-Mold or Exaflex , two silicone based putties, at $40 to $50 dollars.
....Knead-a-mold is the softer of the two and takes about 3 hours to set after blending the two part compound together, but there's only about 15 minutes working time.
...If you're casting with liquid resins, the shore hardness doesn't need to be too great if the mold walls are thick enough, but you'll need universal mold release, available fromSynair, the company that makes Knead-a-mold. Katherine Dewey

Exaflex (dental putty, silicone based) : 2-pt impression material, type O ultra high viscosity;
....Exaflex sets in 15 minutes with about 5 minutes working time and is the firmer of the two with a greater shore hardness;
... takes incredibly detailed impressions; $60-100/gm; Patterson Dental Supply 301 210-1050 #138301, 07 326-210): I only made a small dent in the jar, the two jars are three inches in diameter and three and a half inches high. Seems as if a whole guild meeting could make 4x6" plates on a #4 thickness. Lindly H (Nan Roche showed her)

I like the putty MicroMark sells and the putty Linda Bernstein sells as well. Both have a high shore rating and are a bit firmer . . . Katherine Dewey (written before Puffinalia & Alley Goop? came out)

MISC. PHOTOS of molds and casts:
Kathy Davis' dragon molds with casts attached around slender glass candlesticks (black clay with bronze Pearl Ex) .. kathndolls

other uses & info for silicone molding materials

Try making your own rubber stamps ...Linda
.....they make great "stamps" to use with inks, especially with molds made from a cut glass vases, etc. jjoan
....I dye silk, and like to use stamps to accent them, but I don't want to use commercial stamps... so I'm going to design and make my own. Tess
"resin" texture molds for impressing clay leaves (gone)

I've used them to make safety covers for the tips of my carving tools..... (in other words, I take a small blob of MM and form it over the ends of my Dockyard tools, for example.... when it is set, it allows me to keep the tips covered when not in use. Linda G. (Miracle Mold)

lesson on making a mold with several coats of silicone rubber over a rock... then later filling with a shell of plasteras a mold
Graphi's site for molding with latex rubber or silicone-based rubber (...and many other molding materials) etc.

hirstart's lesson on making casts with plaster (from silicone or other molds)

Other Molding Materials (plaster, latex... misc)

(for making your own flexible molds with hot glue, or with Elmer's Stix All glue, see above in "Hot Glue & Glues")

....those with latex allergies should not use this material
liquid latex mold compounds-- paint layers onto anything --and undercuts won't matter because the finished mold is flexible.
.... so if you had an item, or an item made out of polymer clay, you could paint enough layers of latex until you had a rubbery mold that would hold itself up and together. hmmm.. maybe if you paint the whole thing laying flat, and then slit it open around the top-- then you could hold the edges open and pour into it\ can get liquid latex mold compound at craft stores right next to the resins, or online. chica grande mas bonita

May not give quite as detailed an impression as silicone molding materials?

I have used several of those thin liquid mold builders . .often one must put a layer of gauze on the item and build up from there
....also some of the instructions say that for for more rigid molds, to use a plaster cast over them ("mother mold" concept?). Jeanne R.

for more info on using liquid "latex rubber" (such as Mold Builder), see Textures > Making Your Own...especially for making flat "texture plates" with this material to then use with clay
....liquid latex rubber can also be used to make "glove"-type molds (from 3-D objects)

Tap Plastic's video lessons on using various types of molding materials (latex, etc.) to make molds

Graphi's site for molding with latex rubber or silicone-based rubber (...and many other molding materials) etc.

Another fun website for that sort of thing is at (latex rubber masks... over an "oil-based clay" model)

hirstart's lesson on making casts with plaster (from silicone or other molds)

lots of good info about molding and casting with various materials

resins--sealers, Molding/Casting, see casting groups below, in Groups

alginate/alginate based compounds (semi-flexible ....molds last only a few days?):
....Alginate is a wonderful material. As an ex-dental assistant I MUST warn you of a few facts:
1) It MUST be mixed thoroughly. Don't leave lumps. It should not be runny when finally mixed.
2) The temperature of the water is critical. The
warmer the water the faster the set up time. And I mean it can set up before you finished mixing!
3) Use a rubber mixing bowel and a plastic wide spatula.
4) Clean off the bowel and spatula as soon as possible. Many people will tell you that it is ok to let it set up and then peel it all off, but you will probably have to use scotch brite to get it all off and that will scratch the bowel. I used to teach dental assisting and after 21 years of experience it is better not to be lazy. Have someone help you while you do this. Use a small plastic container to put your alginate in and then "lay your ear" into it itll it sets up.
5) Clean excess off your skin as quickly as possible. Around ears we have fine hairs that will harden up along with the alginate and it will be very uncomfortable to get off!
6) The biggest problem with alginate is air bubbles, so mix well and place your ear into it slowly to allow for the air bubbles to escape.
7) Yes! I have done this before! Good luck! Robin R.
Depends on how much of your body you want cast, and in how much detail. Face casts are usually made using prosthetic grade algenate, a substance made from seaweed, which picks up everything down to zits and the fine lines that texture your skin. Larger areas that don't need such fine detail can be cast using plaster bandages made for this purpose.. . . . Whatever you do, don't use plaster (directly) on your skin, it can cause burns.
....Check your library for make-up books. "Techniques of 3-D Makeup" will tell you all you need to know about casting faces, ears, hands, etc.
....Also check out and The former has a section about making tummy casts during pregnancy which might give you more information. Bethany

......Alginate. FX supply houses carry it in bulk and it's cheaper than dental alginate. It sets up quickly, doesn't heat up the way plaster does and is more comfortable during the mold process. . . . Katherine Dewey

....see also latex mold sheets below, under Stamps, for this use
....see more on Texture Sheets in general in Stamping and/or in Textures

Plaster of Paris . . .(not flexible)
.... when I want a very detailed mold for small shapes, such as buttons and jewelry, I make it from plaster
....I also use for molding polymer containers
... quick ....easy to clean-up
...can be baked with the clay still in it without worrying about not having enough release on it.
...needs no release when using polymer clay piece in it. Jacqueline
......(but problems when removing from objects from objects used to make the mold itself ...see below in RELEASES)
... no flexibility so if you have undercuts in the thing you are making a mold of, forget it.
... It's pretty easy, although it can be somewhat messy.
...precaution ...make sure the mold has even thickness sides around the mold cavity. ...not for safety, but rather for preservation. If the sides are different, the mold may crack and you will have to make another one. :-(. Jacqueline
As I mentioned, releases are not needed for polymer clay, but they are necessary for the objects to be used as models for molds.
... I'm not sure about Armor All, but it would probably work.
...The traditional way to coat things that are going to be molded is liquid mold soap, about three coats, each drying between. This is not just your average dishwashing lotion. It's available from clay suppliers, and it's not expensive. Buff between each coat so no brush marks show.
...Spray silica mold release is another good release. It's arount $15 for a can. Any place that has materials for clay or sculpture will carry this too. I've gotten this in a plastics supply place, and at an art supply store.
...You can also use Vaseline, but it's not good for things with fine detail because the vaseline will fill up the detail. Jacqueline
I use vaseline petroleum jelly instead (I have used both)... dabbing vaseline on the sculpt, box mold sides, and plaster, 1st half of 2 piece mold, and making sure you brush out and minimize its final amount before plastering begins. Dane
...Oil is also ok, but like the vaseline, watch out for pooling in the detail areas.
.......I've also used spray oils, like Pam, etc. (not the sprays with butter tho'); brand name isn't important :-) Jacqueline
.If you use Pam, make darn sure you sop up the extra Pam residue or you will have an unstable finished plaster mold surface that will prematurely disintegrate from the foreign oil matter in the plaster. Dane
DRYING: Finished plaster mold pieces must be very throughly dried before attempting any slip casting. The weight of a fully dried plaster mold decreases substantially from its freshly created counterpart. Drying plaster molds should never be accelerated by heat guns or placing inside an oven. The water contained in the wet plaster (which boils at 212%) will expand and BLOW UP your mold! Plaster pieces can be placed near a heat or sunny source after 3 or 4 hours (I reccomend over night). If you have a wood stove that is an excellent place to place plaster molds near by, but not on, until the second or 3rd day of drying.... You can also redry the used plaster molds the same way after two to four slip casts per molding session. Of course mold release agents should not be used when slip pouring clay into the finished plaster mold. The Dane
.....lesson on using only a thin layer of silicone sealant with a plaster-of-Paris backing for an inexpensive mold.
lesson on making a mold with several coats of silicone rubber over a rock... then later filling with a shell of plasteras a mold

.... If you try to use the plaster molds made for porcelain slip as they are for polymer clay, the clay can stick like mad (although it doesn't always, somehow!). However, if you seal them with a spray varnish or a mould release, they work fine. I have a set of little owls, intended for moulding slip to make ceramic buttons, which I use with PC with no trouble. Crafty Owl.
...hirstart's lesson on casting plaster objects from silicone molds or other molds

gypsum, drywall . . . sheets of drywall can be carved with linoleum cutters etc., to create shallow carvings
...could also be used as molds for clay? (...or printing plates?)
...wet and remove thick paper from one side of drywall ... keeping gypsum damp, carve with linoleum tools or anything else that works

(for info on making your own mask on your face with Plaster gauze, etc., see Heads/Masks --Masks)

I also say a mention of someone using papier mache to create a form, then cut it in half to use as an armature and mold for anything. Lynda B.

Rio Grande has 2 mold materials that shrink intentionally .. Linda G.
...(the orig. is called) called Reducit
......Pinkhouse has Reducit and technical information on line; I think it's originally their product. I know it's cheaper at Pinkhouse than at Rio Grande. Katherine ... it may leave a rough surface though.
...their Reducit II takes several weeks to dry (and is a polyurethane product) but will dry smooth-surface

re-usable mold materials

re-meltable Vinyl materials ??

Protoplast low temp thermoplastic pellets and sheets have been used in the medical field for years to make splints. This stuff is great. It makes the most exact molds I have ever seen. It is easily softened in hot water, quickly molds and hardens and it can be used within minutes. The best part is, if you no longer want the mold, drop it back in hot water and reuse it. You can order this stuff directly from the company. Their website is ... It is available in pellets (in 1 or 3 lb. containers) or in sheets. Dorothy
...PolymerClayExpress has it too: (5 oz, $8.00)
...I just happened to go by QVC this afternoon and saw something called Mold Magic...Looks like it would work for just about anything. It's white pellets that you drop into hot water till they turn to a clear gel-like substance. Then they pressed it into a sheet and just molded it over all kinds of things. Jean/PA
It made a very flexible?? mold and they removed it from what appeared to be a hardened piece of clay, though I can't imagine that it would be bakeable. And it's reusable -- when you've used a mold as much as you want, you just drop it back into hot water and start over! Sunni/Colleen
... It's basically the same stuff as Friendly Plastic pellets (and Protoplast pellets) is. The sheets come in colors too :) Jan @->---
(but used for theatrical purposes?) BUT would the Friendly Plastic pellets be really flexible, soft?

'GELFLEX' (remeltable and remouldable PVC) ...
...its melting temperature of it is pretty near polyclay (120-130C) which would cause trouble (for some things)
...(great for moulds though - and will melt in the microwave) Alan V.
....this is interesting stuff. Is it actually meltable rubber? And is the correct price 10.20 pounds for 1 kilo?
.......Since it's reusable, and meltable in the microwave, it might be a good thing for us to make temporary molds with? (I guess the items to be molded have to withstand 250-275 degrees F though, so some things wouldn't work)..... Do you think it would make a finely detailed cast from a polymer mold, so it could be used as is or used to create another mold? Just trying to get a handle on what we might want to use it for... Diane B.
Gelflex i s a remeltable PVC whose composition (plasticisers, colourants etc etc) allow it to be used over and over again
...moulds made from the stuff are flexible enough to be bent out of the way of smaller 'undercuttings' in the material being moulded, but larger flexations aren't possible wihout mould damage
...The formulation would be ideal for use with cooler setting materials (less than say 100C) such as epoxys, polyacrylates - even low melt metal alloys like Wood's metal.
... I think it could be great for making short term use moulds for polyclay items, but I'd be inclined to use a releasing agent - just in case!
...There's no reason to suspect that the material would be as well conforming as Silicone moulding products...Alan

other reusable materials?
...If you used hot glue for your mold, you could remelt it in one of those little heated containers sold for doing that, or you could just heat in another way.
...For certain items, you things like wax (well-worked paraffin, beeswax, etc.), might be stiff enough... or silly putty... aluminum foil... wire mesh covered with well powdered clay, etc.
...Raw clay itself (particularly firm clay) could be used in some circumstances by coating it heavily with cornstarch or maybe a metallic powder, or with ArmorAll or Kato Repel Gel or a CA debonder??
....there is also a way of making a mold for liquid clay with a mound of packed flour...similar to a technique used by some chocolatiers (see Liquid Clay > Using With Molds, for details)

I carry kneabable erasers in my purse - once you work them a little they take texture pretty well. They are a little stiffer than polymer clay, but, don't leave a residue or hurt anything. You can find them in the art store wherever drawing tools are sold. To clean the eraser you just knead it like dough & all the graphite disappears, (or whatever is on it). ... I gave a tip on having some with me at the hardware store to see which knobs I wanted for polymer texture tools. Meredith

plastic fishing worms... top of a double boiler, pouring it into a mold and letting it cool until it was solid. The  casting was as soft and squiggly as the original worm.

....plastic army men work the same way (but would cool hard) a kid I used to melt them all the time. Seth

(see more on melting or softening plastics in Misc. > Melting or Softening Plastics)

air-dry clays .... (for size reduction of molds, items)

Since air-dry clays shrink while drying (from very little up to 50% depending on brand/type and amount of water in the raw mixture), they could be used to make smaller versions of molds, and/or casts from molds, especially.

....also, if air-dry clays are used to make both the mold made from an item and also the cast later made in that mold, the size reduction would be additive
......could then make a permanent polymer clay mold of that air-dry clay cast, and have a permanent smaller mold of the original item would usually be best to use an air-dry clay that had a fairly smooth surface texture (e.g....bread clay with glycerin, purchased CreativePaperclay or Makins, some of the cornstarch clays, etc.)

...could select an air-dry clay that shrinks the propotion that's wanted....or do consecutive moldings/castings to end up with the desired size

Rio Grande has 2 mold materials that shrink intentionally .. Linda G.
...(the orig. is called) called Reducit
......Pinkhouse has Reducit and technical information on line; I think it's originally their product. I know it's cheaper at Pinkhouse than at Rio Grande. Katherine ... it may leave a rough surface though.
...their Reducit II takes several weeks to dry (and is a polyurethane product) but will dry smooth-surface

Groups.. More Suppliers, etc.

The Compleat Sculptor, Inc.,    515 West 24th Street,    New York, NY 10021,    212) 243-6074
This place is great for sculpting supplies. They have carving tools, sculpting tools, shellac, moldmaking products, casting products, and marble, alabaster and stone (which can be used for bases instead of corian). They have a nice looking catalog.

Industrial Polymers Incorporated . . many molding compounds (spray, etc.), and more
....Speedliner, Rigid Casting Urethanes, Semi-Rigid Casting Urethanes, Transparent Casting Compounds, Molding Compounds, Brush-on Molding Gels, Coatings & Sealants, StyroSpray, Hard Coatings, Primers, Expanding Urethanes, Clear Elegance (fake water)

Cementex Latex Corp. ,    121 Varick Street ,    New York, NY 10013 ,    1-800-782-9056
A good source for anyone who works in latex for molding and/or casting and related products. They include a really good manual with instructions with your first order.

Alumilite Corporation ,  225 Parsons Street ,  Kalamazoo, Michigan 49007,  (616) 342-1259
(resin casting) Ask them to send you a catalogue of all their products. This is the stuff June Goodnow uses. (or see Molds > Resins)

(?) Productions,  P. O. Box 996,    Hampstead, NC 28443, I understand "they carry Dow Corning RTV Silicone rubber for making molds, casting resin & all supplies to make and cast rubber molds. They've got a great how-to book. Write for price list. "

Goldenwest Manurfacturing, California has what you need. I am a mold-maker\model maker\sculptor. I work with many different kinds of resin. Phone # 901-751-3664 ask for Shayne.

Polyresin? Try They have clear polyester casting resin by the quart and by the gallon. Get their catalog.

Synair Corporation, 2003 Amnicola Highway, P.O. Box 5269, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37406, 1 800 251-7642, 1 615-698 8801, Fax 1 615 624 0321
This company supplies bulk molding materials and casting resins. They recently started offering the materials in 1 quart cans (a half gallon kit). Their product line offers many different kinds of molding materials and different hardness and colors of resins. Lysle

Eberhard Faber (Helmut W. Gerber),    EFA Strasse 1,    Neumarkt, D92318,    Germany,    49 9181430231,    49 9181439221 fax. ??
fimo,fimo-soft, efaplast, holzy, ceramofix

ETI/ Environmental Technology,    South Bay Depot Rd.,    Fields Landing, Ca. 95537,    800=368-9323,    707 443-7962 fax
Envirotex, ultra glo, fiber Lok, Castin craft, mold builder, clock Coat


By making a mold *of your mold*, you can create the same image that you began with. This is very helpful in certain cases, i.e., if you want to create raised lettering (or any image) from stamps, or an impressed image from an originally raised one, etc. This can be done with thick clay or thin as in a sheet of clay.

Tyra's lesson on making a reverse mold of a stamp to make "stained glass" with TLS, oil paint and powders, on baked white clay (look under Mini Tutorials, then click on Stained Glass Polymer Clay Sailboat)

Heather's lesson on simple mold made from puffy heart charm; then clay added for duplicating
my simple molds made by kids
(website gone)
Melnik's molds and some casts
(website gone)
pendants made with molds (& powders, etc.) by kids
(website gone)
Jewel's lesson on using a mold
Heather R's lesson on making & using molds
Toika's article (lesson) in PCPolyzine on making molds (using 2-part silicone, but many tips there & photos)
Nora-Jean's visual lessons on molding (starfish, etc., abalone & shell, others)
(website gone)
(website gone)
Jeanne's FAQ on molding
Tory Hughes' video on molds/stamps

lesson: I first sculpt a master (of my heart) - an absolutely perfect shape. It might take me a couple of hours to sculpt a perfect heart.... I cure it in the usual way, then meticulously sand it.
... I make my molds out of polymer clay - the firmer the better. ...I use Fimo.
... I usually use half of a small brick. I like to make my molds in a metal jar lid, or something that will confine the clay and keep it from spreading when the master is pressed into it. For purposes of strength, be sure that there is at least 1/4 inch of space between the edge of the master and the rim of the jar lid.
Roll the conditioned clay for the mold into a smooth ball. Now apply a generous dusting of talcum powder to the entire ball. Press it gently and evenly into the jar lid, but don't worry about getting it to spread to the edges of the lid at this point.
.... Now center your master on the powdered surface, and gently and evenly press the master into the clay.
mooth around the edges to make them conform to the edge of the master. Don't press too deeply, because you will end up with a very thin bottom that could break through the first time you use the mold!
.... When everything is smooth and even, give a good hard puff of breath between the edge of the master and the mold. This will usually cause the master to release, without distorting the mold.
.... Now, this is important - bake the mold in the jar lid. You wouldn't want to risk distorting the mold by trying to remove it. Cure at the usual temperature, for a good half hour.
... When done, plunge into cold water to cool.
...unscrew the mold from the jar lid. If it's stuck, so what? Leave it there!
... Then with a piece of 600-grit sandpaper wrapped around your index finger... sand the inside surface of the mold. Voila! Elissa

lessons on making molds from polymer clay originals. That's what these guys do. They both have web sites
--Adrian S. Bruce's site has several pages on sculpting and mold making. Start at Sculpting and Figures How-To(lesson) by Adrian S. Bruce
--Loopy's Sculptures Gallery - Sculpting and molds lesson

Vesta Abel's lesson on impressing Veggie Leather with a stamp to create a sheet mold; she covers and presses in a sheet of clay, removes it (refrigeration might help stiffen it?), (then highlights with copper, verdigris, Decor-It inks on a make-up sponge) and bakes for a pendant,1158,CRHO_project_27250,00.html

(Making fabric stiffer in order to make a mold from it) Or even a piece of cross stitch fabric might work...might could dip a piece in future (Alene's Stiffener or a strong sugar-water or white-glue-water solution) and stiffen that baby right up to fit your needs!! Michele/luny

. . what about using Royal Icing to pipe a shape, then make a mold from it for future use with the clay? Diane B.
...I have thought a lot about using royal icing to make hollow forms. I remember it being very stiff when I worked with it. Pipeable, but very stiff. Anyway, the idea is is pipe and/or sculpt the icing into the shape you want. Then cover w/clay, bake, and then wash the icing out. . . . . similar to using cornstarch stuff, except it would probably take more effort to wash it away.
...I think it would work. We use it for our display wedding cakes. It's pretty hard to break unless you really try. Make sure to use the recipie with cream of tartar. There are several different recipies out there, but the ones without cream of tartar aren't as strong.

(foil armature to save clay?)...What if the artist put a double slab of clay into the mold, then filled it with crumpled foil wrapped in scrap clay? Kim K.

2 -PIECE molds ...& two-sided beads,etc.

using SILICONE PUTTIES for molds:
advantages: silicone molds will usually result in a more detailed casting than polymer clay molds
…silicone molds can be baked at our curing temps, so raw clay can be baked while inside the molds....(no need to remove it)
...liquid clays can also be baked in silicone molds
(read more on all brands of silicone putties and their characteristics & quirks above in Silicone Putties)

(no Repel Gel) ...I just form a ball of Puffinalia's Miracle Mold all around the whole item I'm molding ... and let it set up
... then cut the mold in half with a blade
.......since I'm usually molding beads, I've also put a wire or a skewer through the bead & molded that way, which gives me a good registration mark. Jenn
...or could mark with blade or pen, etc., across the two the parts for registation lines?

(no Repel Gel)...I don't use a release of any sort when I use a silicone putty
...I just let the first half of the mold cure (completely?)
...then make the second half of the mold and press it on (the two-part silicone mold making material doesn't usually stick to itself). Elizabeth
.......whether the two parts will stick to themselves must be according to how much of that oily substance is in one of the parts ...(with some silicone putties, I have been able at times to add additional molding material to the actual cured mold, but with some others I have not been able to get it to stick at all)
.......I'll try some more experiments, and also see if Repel Gel helps with the different brands. Jeanne

Repel Gel with Alley Goop silicone putty (I made a two-part mold, and the 2 parts fit together perfectly)
...I mixed a ball of the two parts of the Alley Goop ... and put it on a piece of glass
...pressed the item I wanted to make an impression of half-way into the ball
...waited for about 30 minutes until the Alley Goop felt cured to touch
...(leaving the item in the silicone)…I took a paintbrush and brushed Repel Gel around the top edges of the Alley Goop (anywhere it showed from the top)
....... this case, the piece had the arm on the hip so when the impression was made it would come out with no polymer clay in that spot (??).
...I then mixed two more parts of Alley goop ...and pressed that down on the item until it touched the first half of the mold
...I let it set there until that layer cured
...then I gently opened up the two mold halves and removed the item (opens extremely easily)
(...if each part of the mold was filled evenly and completely with polymer clay, you will get a very good full piece of the item you were molding). Jeanne R. ... (shows outsides of both mold halves?)

....I am not certain the other silicone molding materials would work the same, but I suspect they would.
I also think that there are other materials rather than Repel Gel may work, but I tried some that seemed to slide off too easily. Jeanne

Kathy W's two-sided beads made with Miracle Mold (exact technique not given)

using POURABLE SILICONE RTV mold making compound
....lesson on using Micromark's "One-to-One/Rapid" mold making rubber....use equal parts of A and B... this rubber also has a 4 hour cure time

using POLYMER CLAY for molds
...polymer clays can also be used to make 2-part molds, but either paint with Repel Gel, or heavily dust every single surface with cornstarch, to be able to separate all the parts later
...Sunni's lesson on making a two-piece mold from polymer clay... with random lines impressed for registration...
this is my way: Make two blocks of clay. Press a chess piece (or whatever you want to make a mold of) halfway into the top of one block, and make three or four small holes on the top of the clay block around the piece for registration. Bake, allow to cool. Press the second block down onto the first. Bake, allow to cool. Take apart. Now you've got a mold in two pieces. The small holes in the first piece should match up with small pegs on the second, which will make it easier to line the two halves of the mold up when you use it. Avram

I got inspired to use my new Molding Mats (by Clear Snap's ...rubber sheets of images and textures...10 available at, so I made these doubled-sided, textured, disk beads . I (made a mold by) rolled balls of scrap clay, powdered them and pressed them onto the mold mat with a 3" square piece of plexiglass to keep them flat. ...To make the beads, I took little balls of clay covered them with Pearl-Ex, placed a ball on one of the texture disks and placed a second over the top of the ball of clay and pressed down until the ball was flattened a little bit. That's the hardest part, making sure not to flatten them too much. I put the holes in before I baked the beads. Tonja

To make a 3-D mold (no flat side) with Super Elasticlay (or Sculpey's Superflex?), condition the clay, make a slab big enough to push the figure half-way into with some cushion to spare, roll the slab flat (you can use a brayer or straight sided drinking glass or other roller). Dust the original with talcum powder lightly but thoroughly, and press the figure half way into the clay. (If you want you can add a registration mark first -- like, for example, add a "bead" of elasticlay to the flat surface of the mold on diagonal corners, making sure it's attached well. Later these will help make sure your mold halves are lined up right.)
OK, you now have half the mold baked. Make a second slab of elasticlay with a flat surface. Dust the original with talcum powder. Dust the baked mold and the surface of the new slab with talcum powder. Put the original back into the baked half of the mold, precisely as originally positioned. Very carefully position the new raw slab onto the baked mold half and the original. Press down, trying to make sure the clay forms tightly around the original, without stretching or moving. Flip the mold over so the baked part is on top, and remove it carefully, lifting straight up so you don't disrupt the raw clay. Let the original figure stay in the raw clay half of the mold until you have removed the baked half and inspected the new half witht he figure in position. The beads from the registration marks on the other half of the mold should make little holes on this half. Bake.

Another useful thing is the pasta machine .... it is critical for my two part molds because it insures that I am alway starting with the same thickness, and therefore the molded parts come out uniform each time. (If you just use an unmeasured wad of clay, there will either be too much or too little clay for a exact fill.) So I start with a sheet of about the same thickness as the (item to be molded...could be several pasta machine layers. Lysle

Also, when I make my molds (I make an) edge ridge which acts as a sheer to cut into the sheets, leaving space outside the mold location for the excess clay to squeeze into. Lysle

making a double-sided button (lesson):
Get yourself a well defined textured button....with a shank prefereably, not the pierced ones (that's fiddlier but do-able) ...Put some clay on a tile/wax paper...or the surface you will be baking on. (If you have to peel your finished mould off a surface to move it to the oven you may distort the image) This clay needs to be at least 1.5 times the depth of the bead you want to make an impression of (twice the depth is preferable ...there's no point in skimping on a a mould you will have forever).
Thread a skewer or darning needle through the shank of the button, dusting it thoroughly with talcum powder, blow off excess.
Carefully press into the clay, pushing it down to the limit of the textured surface. Be careful not to disturb the flat surface of the clay slab you are working with...don't let it bulge up around the button you are impressing.
Ever so gently pull firmly but consistently on the skewer to coax the button out.
Trim around this impression fairly neatly, removing all excess scrap.** half of the mould is made.
Repeat the process, with the same button.
Bake your bead mould ...I like to overbake a little.
Now, take a small ball of clay about what you "think" will fill your new mould very well with maybe a bit of excess. Make sure your clay is well conditioned but not warm enough to be soft and has no lines in the surface.
Dust both sides of your new mould with talc, blowing excess out of the texture.
Pop your ball in one side, and by eyesight alone bring up the other side of the mould and carefully squish that clay ball. This is sometimes difficult, because the two moulds don't have "registration" marks that you can match every time to get the perfect bead. So, the **closer you "trim" your original mould, the more you can see what's going on in there.
Pop your beads out onto polyester batting, which helps preserve their shape.
If you absolutely must trim off any excess....stick them in the freezer for half an hour which will allow you to handle and trim them up a little without manking up the texture.
I pierce them before or after baking....but if I pierce them after...I usually put a little hole in one side so that when I am drilling, the bit doesn't slip on the narrow surface and mar the bead. You can also pierce them while they are still jammed in the mould....which is a sneaky way of getting a straight hole without damaging the integrity of the just depends on whether there is room to get a needle in there. tantaz

Claude's lesson on making a similar mold for a double-sided bead... he uses a round textured silver bead, impresses it into a wad of powdered clay, cuts a flat shelf in the excess clay around the bead at its equator (and makes a hole), then gently removes the mold and bakes it; he makes two of these raw clay halves, then joins them; he smooths the join with the side of a tip of a paring knife.
...Mitchells' lesson ... they make their molds with a leather stamp, then make two -sided beads,1789,HGTV_3238_1389622,00.html

(or use a silicone molding material if you have it, and/or Repel Gel for doubled sided items...see above in Silicone Putties)
(for more on two-sided beads, see Beads/Double-Sided & "LUMPY" beads)

( to save clay?)... what if the artist put a double slab of clay into the mold, then filled it with crumpled alum. foil wrapped in scrap clay? Kim K


Much of the this whole molds category is interrelated with stamps. A stamp is usually flattish and something which has outie-type lines delineating the subject, much like drawing with a pen; a mold usually has upraised sides and the delineating lines are indented; but they can overlap a lot!

One of the texture type tools I've been planning to do is to take my textured buttons and create a double ended tool with the positive image on one end and the negative on the other (each end being mushroom shaped –the whole thing being hourglass shaped). Helen

Small items are good to put on a teardrop shaped piece of clay. You press the FAT end into the piece, then you have the other end as the handle which makes it easy to use. Once you have made and used some of these molds, you'll see what sizes and shapes work best for you. Dotty

Flat Molds, made from stamps
(see more in Stamping and Texturing)

Patti's lesson on making a flat mold from a stamp, which can be run through the pasta machine with clay (she made a holiday gift tag with reversed lettering) (gone)

(KA Dewey) . . . lesson: make an all purpose feather or leaf stamp, etc. (carved/impressed/thin) mold.
...Begin by rolling a sheet of clay (I use "leached Premo) at the 1/8th inch setting. Cut the sheet to form a rectangle 2 inches by five inces and bake. After it's cool, rub Diluent (or liquid clay) onto the surface and top with a another sheet of clay (I use the number 4 or 5 setting)
.... Press tool gently to create a groove. With the slightlest of back and forth motion, make this groove a little bit wider at one end.and use a fine needle tool to draw a series of parallel lines on each side of the central vein.
... To use it, cut a feather shape from a sheet of clay and taper the edges with your fingers. Lay your feather blank on the mold (don't forget mold release!) so that the tip of the feather is on the tip of mold and the central vein is aligned according to feather type.

(for a texture sheet) I used a flat latex mold that I had made by painting Latex Rubber (one company is Woodland Scenics)-- the rubber latex stuff model RR people use, from hobby stores --on a rubber stamp to make a mold, peeled it off (let it cure for awhile). . . .and ran it through the PM with the clay. It didn't stick to the clay at all!!!! No release agent used. After impressing the texture, I did the usual shaving off of texture and smoothing with the PM. . . . .You just paint a few coats (onto your stamp)..., let it dry in between, don't do the coats too thick....My pics are of the mica shift, the rubber stamp and the latex sheet... .Anna

You could branch out a bit and show them how to make "outie" molds from their stamps by brushing a wad of clay with a soft paintbrush dipped in talcum powder or cornstarch, then pressing the stamp into the clay….

Dotty's outie stamp mold used on black clay, highlighted wtih metallic powder (website gone)

(see Stamping > Basic Techniques, for creating an upraised clay pattern on a flat sheet of contrasting clay, using a deep stamp sheet (or smaller stamp?),1789,HGTV_3239_2932966,00.html

(with metallic powders,waxes, paints, inks,etc.)

Molds (or any textured item created with stamps or texture sheets, etc) can be "antiqued" by coloring only its crevices, or highlighted by coloring only its upper parts, or even stained ("glazed") all over or just in crevices.
... doing this will bring out the detail, add dimensionality, depth, complexity and punch (and in the case of antiquing, create an aged look)
... gives an impressive look with just a simple technique

...antiquing is done with paints (oil or acrylic), inks, metallic or non-metallic powders or waxes, etc.
to create more of a translucent "stain," these may also be thinned
...highlighting can be done with the same materials, and will add a metallic or elegant look if using metallics
...staining is usually done with more translucent
(or thinned) materials or oils....see Staining just below for much more
Molds can be completely covered with these materials as well... or they can be
highlighted after complete coverage by sanding top areas after baking.
ee also Paints, Faux--Ivory, other Fauxs... and Powders for highlighting molded items with Pearl -Ex and other metallic powders)
oil paint gives the clay a more glossy look .... acrylic paint gives a more matte look. Dotty in CA

An option after baking your molded object is to "antique" it....this will make the object look more dimensional by leaving another color in the crevices.
.... the most common material we use for antiquing is probably dark brown acrylic paint...though other materials can certainly be used
........"Burnt Umber" acrylic tube paint is the most often used brown. . .but Marilyn uses a warm brown by Ceramcoat called Autumn Brown)... and Raw Sienna is popular when a reddish tone is wanted
lesson: After baking, rub an acrylic paint (preferably tube-type) all over the piece, and especially into the crevices.....after the paint has dried (somewhat or completely, depending on the effect you want)...then wipe away the excess paint from the upper areas using several thicknesses of folded fabric or paper towels to make a flat pad( so that there is less tendency for the cloth to go down into the crevices)...make sure the cloth isn't too wet because too much water will remove too much paint.)
...if you have most of your crevices running in a particular direction, wipe perpendicularly or diagonally to those lines --across, rather than along, them
...stop wiping when you have the effect you want ....or reapply paint for stronger effect
....can rebake to set the paint even more (200-250 degrees for 5-10 min) .... (but is not necessary)
.... I've used acrylics for years and find them to be quite permanent.... after drying, I re-bake the piece for 10 min or so at about 200 degrees
......these won't stand up to being cleaned with household cleaners like 409 or Fantastik, but for normal handling and even cleaning with a damp cloth, acrylics are fine. Irene

I use my fingers to rub the paint in, which seems to work better than a paintbrush even tho I had tried to make sure I was pushing the paint in with the brush. It looks more natural that way....DeB

Antiquing can also be done over metallic powders or leaf, crackled finishes, in different areas or different colors used sequentially, etc.

I find that I almost always have to "play with" my antiquing a bit when using paint
.....sometimes thicker paint works best, sometimes diluted works best.
.... I'll usually just have my tube of paint and some paper towels at the sink so that I can rub on the paint, wipe... then re-apply or thin the paint with a wetted paper towel, or run a little water over the piece at will. Ulrike

If I find that there aren't enough crevices or deep enough ones, I may take an Xacto blade or a pin tool to the surface of the piece to create more lines, pits, and crevices for the paint to get into. Ulrike

If you want to clean the paint residue even more from the raised areas , you can use a touch of soap on your wiping cloth.... I run a damp cloth across a bar of Ivory soap and that seems to help clean up the slight film that might be left after regular wiping.
...Helen uses a baby wipe dipped in ArmorAll to remove some antiquing paint from the surface when it's just beginning to dry.

If you want a shine or sheen on the upper surfaces after antiquing, rub the item with 0000 steel wool after the paint in the crevices is completely dry (using no water?).... then buff with a buffer or cloth.

Desiree's lesson on antiquing
Jenny's lesson on stamping and antiquing (with various colors)
Sarajane's mostly-antiqued face molds (plus some highlighting on headwear, etc.)

white (or other light neutral) paint can be very effective when used as an antique too... it creates an archeological, just-dug-up look
.... (see more on doing that in Faux-Many > Aged Looks)
Donna Kato's two carved beads antiqued with white and parchment-colored oil paints (bottom of page)

I once made some skull rings for my son's classmates by making a mold from a small, cheapie, plastic skull I found somewhere (might even have been from a bag of Halloween rings)..... I pressed glow-in-the-dark clay into the mold, then baked....
...then antiqued some of them with brown acrylic paint and some with gold acrylic paint. . . .Diane B.

antiquing can also be done with one of the metallic waxes .... e.g. Baroque Art Gilders Paste (which comes in 28 metallic and non_metallic colors) ...rub off of upper areas immediately after application (....see much more on these in Powders > Metallic Waxes)

Sarajane's molded buttons highlighted with metallic powders (see Powders for most examples and info about highlighting) (top of page)
Sarajane's many molded buttons highlighted black clay... with (antique?gold powder)
Kathy W's examples of highlighted textured clay for beads (gold powder on black clay)

Jody Bishel's mulitple-technique method to get lots of depth & richness ...... (antiquing + highlighting + sealing)
... after stamping/molding gold clay... she "antiqued" in crevices with burnt umber acrylic paint for deeper definition...then highlighted with gold Pearl Ex in Varathane.... lastly, sev. layers of TLS to cover all... bake.

stains, glazes

Stains (or "glazes") can be used to completely cover or to antique (instead of thicker acrylic paints)--especially when a more translucent look is desired
....straight oil paints (which are naturally thinner and slide more easily into crevices) stain the whole surface, but also leave a heavier coating in the crevices
....thinned acrylic paints... or inks?
....clear liquids such as Future or Varathane or liquid clay, mixed with powders of all kinds, oil paint, etc.

oil paint gives the clay a more glossy look .... acrylic paint gives a more matte look. Dotty in CA

The trick I find works best is to have it be a thin enough wash---then you can build up layers (apply, wipe, repeat!). Sarajane

I've used oil paints as glazes since they are much more gentle than the acrylic paints ... (on etched clay... or for other antiquing). Louise

Last night I tried adding a layer of a wine-colored acrylic glaze (thinned acrylic paint?) on top of the raw umber antiquing...which when rubbed away, added a warm rosy glow and nice buffed matte effect to the antique look. Ann P.

When I use clay colors like red, I'll use more black in my stain mix for it
..... for the lighter clay colors like faux ivory, more translucent stains are better Sarajane H.

Cre8it's translucent glazes for sale

I have several stains made with Flecto's Varathane:
--there's "old dirt" which is Flecto Varathane mixed with black acrylic paint, plus antique gold PearlEX (...or metallic gold acrylic paint).
--then there are "yellow dirt" and "red dirt" which involve adding small amounts of yellow or burnt sienna to the Varathane and black acrylic. Sarajane

You can also tint liquid clay with mica powders and use it as a sort of antiquing, dabbing it all over a piece and into the recesses, then wiping off the excess, and baking it. Dotty

For antiquing plus backfilling sort of applications, I've used (liquid clay) TLS tinted with oil paint... or I've used a clay-made-mushy-with-Diluent mixture --although in either case it does have to go back in the oven for curing. Jules
(....for more on "backfilling," see Carving)

staining effects of varying opacities can also be achieved with one of the metallic waxes
...e.g., Gilder's Paste (a brand of metallic wax which comes in 28 metallic and non-metallic colors)
...can be thinned with paint thinner or mineral spirits, then brushed, or washed or sprayed onto surfaces (....see much more on these in Powders > Metallic Waxes)


Heather R's lesson on using different colors of clay to fill in a mold (in this case, for a Santa figure)
Heather R's lesson on using diff. colors to fill in a mold, and placing the baked molded items onto clay-covered papier mache boxes

Christel's use of face molds with added details for pin (big hat, scarf, etc.)
Sarajane's faces with added details (metallic folded, textured, sheets, etc.), mostly antiqued with black
Melnik's face molds used as onlays on top of covered Altoid tins

A cane slice can also be pressed into a face mold to give the features dimensionality
...or a cane slice sheet can be used to create a patterned face (for a mask too).

face-cane slices themselves can also be used in face molds
....can create some hilarious results that teeny-boppers would love to buy....! kelk
..Maureen's face (actually a face slice made 3-D) atached to a cloth doll (&) blackboards (on Grapevine Wreath)...
......use a face cane slice the appropriate size and color of the doll.... make the cane slice dimensional if desired (by "sculpting" it "Dimensional Millefiori" or by using mold?)... put holes into edge of slice. ... bake... sew onto cloth head (see more in Faces > Other Methods for Making Faces)

for making lifesize molds of people's faces (see Heads & Masks > Masks)

my favorite book... "1/12 Scale Character Figures for the Dolls' House" by James Carrington. My favorite thing is sculpting dolls and figures, so that's part of why this book ranks so "off the scale" with me. Very clear lessons for creating dollhouse scale figures with tremendous life and humor and vitality to them, all presented with clarity and thorough explanations.
New material, here, including how to make molds for your basic figures, so that you don't have to start from scratch every time you want to make a doll. Elizabeth

During the swap 'faces with attitude' Roberta Schwartz did one. I am not sure but I think she pushed a sheet with a transfer into a mold.

long ropes of clay (of various shapes) can be "molded" with PVC pipe or other materials which are cut in half lengthwise to form troughs
any shapes of bead roller (or tubing/cylinders) (see more in Beads >Rollers>Trough> Make your own) could work for long shapes as well, and may even be a supplement to the clay gun for even though larger, "extrusions"
......fill your trough with clay, trim, and carefullly remove.
......or if you have a decorative layer you want to use (cane slice sheet, transfer, e.g.), do as Patty did and lay that #1 sheet in first, face down, and an acrylic rod or cornstarched dowel to press it in well; then trim overhang; lay in a narrower strips of clay until full, pressing down; remove carefully and use
...(see details on making a hidden-channels, cuff or tile bracelet (with a transfer) using this technique in Jewelry > Bracelets)

Can you make some kind of mold of your wrist to use as a form for measuring or shaping?? (see Jewelry > Bracelets for various ways)

I made the bugs wings (for this necklace) with clay in a mold made from SUPER ELASTICLAY, paint with LUMIERE paints and refinishing with Pearlex green/violet/brown. No there aren`t anything inside.They look likes false nails (very fragile to be worn as a necklace even been made of PREMO). All the pieces took me 3 months of work. I made 50 wings. Paulo Guimaraes

Marty's molded faux ivory face on pendant (bottom of page)

Judi Maddigan’s Push Molds and various lessons on using molded items to embellish other items, etc.

*Sculpey's lesson on using colored clays in molds to simulate painting (click on Snowman Votive)

Maureen's lesson on angel ornament (high-relief) with wings and dangling feet under skirt, using her pattern shapes-- & head and wings mold

I recently carved some simple pictorial and abstract designs with linoleum cutters into baked clay and into plastic erasers, then pressed thin-layered colored clay stacks (like what you'd use for mokume gane) in contrasting colors into the carvings, then sliced the raised areas off. Looked nice -- sort of a variant on sgrafitto -- Georgia
(see also Mica for "ghost impressions" made with stamps in mica clays this way, in reverse)

Marcia B's lesson on using a mold to create a painted onlay for an Altoid Box (or terra cotta pot, xmas ornament, etc.)

liquid clays can be baked in some kinds of molds (see Liquid Clays > Molds)

edible candy doughs that look and work like polymer clay, can be made (simple) or purchased can be molded, as well as sculpted, or caned... then eaten if desired
[for all details, see Kids-Beginners > More (Various)]

HydroSpan can be used to enlarge any 3-D object (a sculpt, mold, pattern, real world object, etc.) you can create a mold for; it can be increased in size (repeatedly, if you wish) ... two-part urethane polymer which will expand 60% (or x1.6) after soaking in water, so ... working life =10 min, full cure = 24 hr . . . feels dry to the touch even if cut... "simply make silicone (or polymer clay?) molds from small objects and directly enlarge them. . .
....a flexible urethane polymer, which over time absorbs individual molecules of water deep into itself until it is completely water is absorbed the polymer matrix stretches to accommodate the in coming water ... Hardness of cured HydroSpan (before soaking) =45 Shore A, hardness of expanded HydroSpan (after soaking for 14 days @ 72°) =35 Shore A."


Cameo "effects" can be created in several ways with polymer clay, possibly adding other mediums too.
1. cast white, translucent,white-translucent, or even tinted-translucent clay in a mold (with a release if needed)
......can overfill mold then remove excess around image later, or underfill mold slightly to avoid that
...remove from mold (after cooling for refrigerating awhile if nec)... then apply to a sheet of contrasting-color clay (often a pastel, but certainly wouldn't need to be)
2. cast liquid clay in a bakable mold (silicone, glass, metal, etc.)...then treat as above
3. rubberstamp embossing ink onto baked clay... heat to set and make dimensional
(4. rubberstamp pigment ink onto baked clay, or raw clay creating slight depression... not real cameo dimension tho)
5. sculpt a bas relief and place on clay, or perhaps carve two layers of clay (cameo image color on top) in various ways

Flo's white cameo (white + a little Pearl?---no translucent) onlaid on covered matchbox

I onlaid molded shapes made mostly of translucent, mixed with a little white onto my baked base clay (using a little Diluent as an adhesive)

lesson & tips on making cameos with polymer clay using mold (click on Cameos in list... then click on Tips for Making Cameos at bottom ... then click on See Tips for Making Cameos Here at bottom )

plus "antiquing"
... cameos can be antiqued or stained with various colors if desired to delineate them more, if desired
...... generally a color that's close to the color of the cameo will keep it more natural looking (just a bit darker or lighter), but also a neutral color just a bit darker or lighter than the cameo, or even a regular darker antiquing color, could be used
...I've done something similar with a mold (using tan as the base clay)
.....but after baking I put a white wash over it (white acrylic paint, watered down very thin)
........ then wiped off the excess...I was left with a very nice finish, which was a bit darker in the grooves, etc (....this is just your normal antiquing process, but using white on a light color clay sure made it look different).
meiljolie's witch cameo pendant with antiquing
.......face made from a mold made from female face on a coin.... white + translucent mix cast in the mold, then face/hair/hat distorted
.......SuperSculpey used for the background (perhaps marbelized a little with the white + translucent face mix).... baked
.......cameo and background antiqued with reddish-orange (oil?) paint
.......frame for cameo cast in a mold using black clay...baked cameo pressed into raw frame, baked... part of frame painted with gold (acrylic paint?)

(Sue Heaser's instructions for cameos are in her "Clay Jewelry" book)

....candy or other molds (faces, and other molds) (see "catalog" for 2" mold for traditional cameo)
shallower molds
......or make your own shallow clay mold with a rubber stamp, or by carving out baked clay sheet, etc.
(see Molds for lots more possibilities)

beadizzygrl's cameos on various backgrounds, using a deeply engraved crystal as a mold
...dropped liquid clay with inclusion of white chalk into the face depression
...then either baked that, removed, and placed onto raw clay ...or added the raw clay before baking

(see also Releases below)

other ways to create cameo effects

Jane Beard's lesson on making a cameo from clay (in several ways)
..for a flat or slightly-depressed inked cameo image:
....roll out thin layer of white or ivory clay a rubberstamp with Colorbox crafter's ink (any color), and press into raw clay (can heat briefly to firm a bit)
....(then trim around image smoothly so can apply to a raw base clay background)
..(also uses shrink plastic for her tiny cameos),1793,HGTV_3401_1373583,00.html

agnesdei5 used embossing ink on a rubberstamp, to create a raised (white) image on baked clay

Katherine Dewey has done a lot with sculpted low bas relief (same eventual effect as cameos)
....she uses white or translucent-white images on faux stone and wedgewood blue background clays
...two lesson workbooks for sale at her site:
...... Bas Relief in Polymer Clay (low relief scultping)--5 full-page illustrated handout -- $5. 50 ($2.75 when ordered with 1st book)
..........("create a design; transfer the pattern onto thin sheets of clay with a razor knife; apply simple clay shapes to add depth; blend and model using gentle pressure...Inspired by topographic maps, adapted from fresco transfer")
Wedgwood Beads and Bas Relief Baubles --miniature relief, 6 full-page illustrated handout -- $5. 50
........(" mix your own colors to create perfect faux Wedgwood Blue and more than a dozen other stylistic colors. ...detailed instruction for how to pattern your reliefs for the best appearance and take sculpting in bas relief to another level. Lots of new patterns for creating stunning pendants and brooches")
(.........for wedgewood recipe, see Color > Color Recipes)

....also Carol Duvall show on this subject due to happen in Mar 18?, 02.. (can't find)



SUMMARY: releases used for regular clay molds:
.... none ....or refrigeration or freezer before removal
....powders like plain cornstarch
or "baby powder" ...or baking soda
........also other powders like metallic powders
(mica or real-metal)...embossing powders.... powdered chalks
... metallic leaf
...Armorall or Vaseline are sometimes used on molds/forms which will be baked with the clay, e.g., a non-porous?, upside down form used for a vessel
... Kato Repel Gel is now available in some places
... it's a thick, paintable, water soluble polymer clay medium which prevents polymer clay from adhering to itself while curing (baked or raw)... this would allow raw polymer clay to be baked in cured polymer molds and still release??

........(see more brands in Glues > Superglue Solvents)

...molds can also be varnished as a permanent release
(...silicone molds need no release --see more above in Silicone)

If a clay is too soft or too sticky (because it's a soft clay in the first place, or because it's become too warm from manipulation or air temp), let it cool before trying to remove it from the mold
... it sit for a few hourse or overnight (in the mold)
...or put in the freezer or fridge a few mintues.

Smudgeable clays (those that "smudge" well for sculpting --Sculpeys & Premo) tend to be insoluble clays so water is the release agent of choice, especially for intricately detailed molds.
..Fimo and Cernit, both initially firm clays are soluble clays; both possess a filler (possibly kaolinite) that absorbs moisture so water isn't so good as a release for them... talc or cornstarch are the better release agents. K. Dewey
...Kato clay??

I generally use pure cornstarch rather than baby powder.
.....the talc or whatever else is in baby powder definitely leaves a residue that won't wash off after baking and I don't want to buff everything I make. The cornstarch does wash off (with cool water), even after baking, in my experience. (also real talc isn't great for the lungs)
..Just a note about "baby" powders. Some have talcum powder as an ingredient, which is magnesium silicate. Once inhaled into the lungs, it cannot be expelled -- as with asbestos, porcelain dust and many others.... corn starch on the other hand is not dangerous (unless you get a huge lung full). misty
...I believe that most "baby powders" no longer contain talc because of the inhalation hazards ... they're pure cornstarch.

potato starch for a release-- seems it leaves *no* residue? Not sure where to find it. . maybe a health food store?
Look in places that sell kosher foods. Lots of potato starch is sold for Passover and some of these stores might still have some, probably on sale.

Use baking soda instead of cornstarch. It dissolves much more readily.
...I found that the corn starch "wants" to cook on, especially when the hot clay is cooled with water. The baking soda is not affected by the heat, and as a bonus also helps with odor control. Peggy

corn or rice flour also works as well and has the advantage of being smaller particles and semi-transparent to begin with.

I was in the natural food store when I remembered I needed to get some baby powder for a release. On my way to that aisle, I went thru the bulk stuff. There in front of me like a shimmering white angel was a tub full of arrowroot powder at 2.69 a pound. So much for baby powder! This will last me well into my next incarnation... -- Kelly

pounce ball (ponce?). . .There was one little nifty technique we used to help keep from overdoing the talcum. That is, if you take a section of old nylon stocking and dump the powder inside a layer or two and then tie or rubberband it up in a tight little ball and then tap that ball gently on the mold to use it. You will find that this evenly releases a small amount of powder rather than random blobs that then show up on the piece.. .
....At retreat I saw someone using a cornstarch-filled sock, & of course, I made my own version as soon as I got home (thanks, Oscelyn!). Did I make a ponce bag? I had been using rubber stamps with clay, & I didn't really *need* to have a release agent, but it works a little more smoothly with a little tap of cornstarch. Marla
...... I use one of my 7 year old's old gym socks. It's the perfect density of fibers, and it lets through a light enough dusting of powder without clumps. I can put almost a full cup of cornstarch into one sock. Then I just put a knot at the top, and stick the whole thing in a plastic bag. Easy as pie.... Adult socks work just as well. Karen H.
....Mine is a small square of cotton, with a spoonful of powder in the center, draw the corners up like a bag, and close it off with a rubberband at the neck. They are used traditionally to transfer quilt markings with chalk dust. Sarajane H
......BTW, it also works for spreading colour pigments (in this case some pearl ex powder) to items. The result is really good ! PoRRo
.... use an 6-8" circle cut from an old 100% cotton Tshirt! One that has been washed 10 thousand times or so and is very soft... in the center of the circle place about 1/4 cup of rice starch (flour) or potato starch ( if you cant find these use cornstarch, but the rice starch or potato starch tend to be a finer powder.)... gather up the edges to make a pouch and use either string or rubber band. SL

I've tried pounce balls, but still keep coming back to a small tray of powder with a fluffy paintbrush that picks up the right amount to use. My tray has two sections. I put the powder on one side and lightly tap it into the empty section if I want to use less. Jeanne R.

I have found that the method of dusting the mold/clay for the best results is as individual as the molds used.
.When I need to use a powder or release, I first dust my clay lightly and then dust the mold lightly.... I tap my mold on the side of my table to be certain that all loose powder is removed (so far I have had no build-up with powder and my resulting impressions are crisp and smooth and may I say near perfect? :)
....if they are not perfect, I just roll that clay up in a ball and try, try again. This is why I do not use water as a release. I could trap moisture in the clay and although I know that is not the worst thing, I suspect that some problems with bubbles I had were the result of trapped moisture.

....For some molds I roll a clay ball into a point then push the point into a low point of the mold (without a release)
......(even though it sounds like dusting the ball would be the best---it often is not the case... because the clay is being smooshed around every which way to get into every little crevice, it would be impossible to get a mold release on the clay INSIDE the ball of clay that sinks into the crevices. This is hard to explain, but the surface of the clay that has been dusted is not guaranteed to be the surface that touches the inside of the mold at any point, but for sure the mold surface will be touched with clay at every point.)
...My method is to first test (if using the silicone putty molds like Alley Goop, Miracle Mold, and MicroMark's) with no release. The first few times they are used, they may not need a release, but later they may.
.... Also the consistency of the clay makes a difference. Jeanne R.

I brush my molds with plain ole water. Enough to make them moist, not dripping. I use a clean paint brush to just brush around in the mold and then mold the stuff usually 2 or 3 impressions from one damp mold. Shaneangel. . .

~sometimes if you put a layer of aluminum foil around the object you want to emulate, then put a layer of clay, and bake it will work as a mold, using water as a release and it works great. I keep it in a small spray bottle (about $1 at the drugstore) and can apply a fine mist, which seems to be enough.

It's gross, but spit works better than anything as a release.Just try it once & you'll never go back.

Has anyone tried KY jelly? It's not oil-based, so it shouldn't react with the clay.

glycerin ... I learned (about using glycerin as a release from Tory Hughes) years ago and I'm not sure what she's doing now. It works fine;
.... I've used it a lot, especially when casting detailed items that might not have been able to hold up to something oily, and would have been clogged up by talc or cornstarch.
.....glycerin is an alcohol sugar which is clear, thick and sweet... used in foods and in many other things to make them softer, more lubricated, thicker, etc.'s also soluble in both water and alcohol

..... And it doesn't affect any paint, lacquer or Pearl-Ex on the clay piece.
.....since glycerine is related to sugar, it mixes easily with water and doesn't mix with clay at all
...... so after the piece is baked you can rinse any residue off, then dry the piece, so the glycerine won't interfere with paint or glue.
.or you'll have to knead it into the raw clay very thoroughly so it won't make a weak seam where it is folded in, if you don't like your cast
..... It sticks pretty well to smooth surfaces (when making a mold) where talc and cornstarch don't stick.
..... molds you make will be very precise and detailed....
the glycerine doesn't distort the surface at all
ou can also use it on a polymer clay mold to make a very detailed casting, but you can't then bake the mold and raw clay together, as you can using Armorall. (???) Georgia

large molds especially ? . . . I learned two ways of releasing the finished clay from a mold from Bonnie Bishoff and Dan Cormier at Ravensdale. Bonnie lined her mold with foil, then used a thin layer of Vaseline on the foil. Dan used 100% cotton rag paper to line his molds, the clay will adhere to the mold's shape and then release easily after it is baked. Note: I've only tried this with round, square or cylindrical molds, not anything small or detailed (face mold). Cassie
About Bonnie Bishoff - to make lampshades, she covers a bowl or box or other object with foil, then Vaseline as a release agent. The reason for the Vaseline is that the clay sticks to it, doesn't slide around, then slides off very easily after baking. Randi

metallic powders (mica-based like Pearl Ex, or real-metal powders) also work well as a release...they stick to the clay and leave a metallic surface on the front side of the molded item as well
.....or a sheet of gold or silver metallic leaf can be used between the clay and the mold as a release

The other day, I was using one of my flower molds, and for the leaf, I used a little bit of silver embossing powder as the releasing agent.... When it baked, the powder had melted into the little lines of the leaf- it looked pretty kewl. .....

You could also try varnishing your mold to seal it- - - as a release. Jody Bishel

(for other ways to help pull the clay out of the mold, see above under Gen. Info re Using Molds...)


This is a product designed to coat vinyl (esepcially in cars) and is a great mold release, however it can cause some things not to stick later.
NOTE: since brand names generally can't be mentioned in books or on TV shows, one author finally came up with the term "non-aerosol automotive vinyl protectant" to describe it.

Armorall ... it's silicone, not regular oil.
...As any auto/house painter will tell you ...nothing sticks to it.
....Unlike oils, nothing will remove it either (other than hydrofluric acid, a bit extreme), and it gets down in the pores of whatever it's on.
......solvents and detergents that remove oils off just move the Armorall around . Laurie ...(but may thin it by doing trying, or can wipe some off with tissues, etc)

After applying, be sure to wipe off any excess Armorall to get as thin a coat as possible because in those areas:
.... the clay won't stick to itself
.......clay onlays, etc., won’t bond to the clay
....try wiping or rinsing well with alcohol, and/or using superglue under the new pieces
....maybe powders won’t adhere well ?
... liquid clay will not flow and adhere to any spot that had been in contact with Armor-all.
...I've also noticed a distinct weakening of clay when using Armor-all. If I used it on thin pieces of clay, they often would not hold up to any stress. Jeanne

Future and Varathane don't like to stick to items that were molded with Armor All as release when they're fresh from the oven, or even freshly cooled. If I'm very stingy with the Armor All, there's a chance I'll get glaze to stick and not bead up. .
....I have used Varathane, but I use an paper towel to wick off most of the Armorall before baking so I haven't had a problem with that. Dotty
....I have used Armor All as a mold release, and Future won't stick to it well. (I had to use alcohol to get it off the piece very carefully so as not to make the clay colors run.) I still had to use several coats of Future to cover the clay and get a nice finish. Caroline SD

When using molds, etc., some people like to put the Armorall on the clay, and some put it on the mold

Marie uses Armor All as a mold release ...she can make up to 10 impressions from one application.
.......she has not tried painting her molded pieces, so she couldn't say whether the Armor All would interfere with acrylic paint adhesion
...yes, you can use acrylic paints after molding with Armorall.

Can also use inside the barrel of clay guns, etc
I wonder if one could spray this on cookie cutters, kemper cutters for a better release?

The problem with clay and Armorall, at least for me, is that if you are going to use the clay for anything else after Armorall, I find it is almost useless.
... It never feels the same afterwards. I try to use just the amount I need for the mold so I don't end up with clay that is unusable for anything else. Ka

I have had it also make the clay, especially the light colors, turn brown in baking. dnieder
...Only effect I've seen using Armor-all as a mold release is that it tends to darken Super Sculpey and make it more translucent after baking. In fact it makes it a very desirable skin color, which leads me to wonder about incorporating a small amount some day while conditioning some for a figure. Halla

Also, when trying to push the clay into the mold, it can keep slipping away on you.

While Armorall works as a release agent, it does eventually build up a residue. A soft bristle brush and "Simple Green" will clean this film. If not enough release agent was used and clay sticks to the mold, "Simple Green" will solve that problem, too.

Armor All contains (uncured?) silicone. Silicone is almost always a problem when applying finishes.
...Most of my work is with iron, and metal artists usually avoid silicone. I won't have anything in my studio that contains it, because even a tiny bit can contaminate a finish.. . . ...When I mold paper, I use PanPal (a spray oil/lecithin for cook pans) as a release agent, if I have to use one at all. Is this an option for polymer clay? There are "orange peel preventives" made as additives for finishes, that are meant to counteract the effects of silicone contamination. They're added in tiny amounts, carefully measured, to the finish before applying it. This might work with the Future or Flecto applied over Armor All. (Woodworker's supply stores are a source for this.) If Dawn doesn't remove the silicone, perhaps another solvent will work - alcohol, naptha, or mineral spirits (followed by Dawn to remove the solvent.) Cathy
. . . the silicone in ArmorAll and most releases... Happened to run into a mold release in the Enco catalog ( that says it's made to avoid this problem. It's called a Paintable release - Model 505-1200, 12-oz bottle for $3.47. 800-873-3626…Cathy



Irene D's (fatbak) --some molds used for onlay, texture
...Syndee's lesson on putting a molded shape plus some long molded rope shapes onto metal, ceramic or clay pots (and baked with them in the oven... or glue on if can't be baked) ...she says her metal pot color altered slightly when she baked it.

*Cheryl's stamped (molded?) multi-powdered pieces (website gone)
*Dotty's molded items, mostly powdered or antiqued (website gone)
Melnik's jar covered with molded items & Rub 'N Buff (website gone)


--mailing list for those who are interested in scratch-building, molding, and casting their own models and parts. It's called "The Casting List". We have over 500 members worldwide, a searchable archives, and a web site with lots of links and great information on it. If you're interested, check it out at
--I'm going to be publishing a free E-Zine covering model-making, mold-making, and casting, starting in June (2001). This will allow more in-depth coverage of these topics, as opposed to the Casting List (my discussion group), which is mainly a question and answer forum .... Everyone is invited to join, the cost is free, and I am very excited about the possibilities! There will be limited advertising / sponsorship in the Zine ... If you're...already a yahoo groups subscriber, you can just send a blank e-mail to: or go to the web page at: . Pat Lawless
P.S. Since I announced the E-Zine on the 29th of April, it's grown to 281 members already!

New forum now online: MOLD MAKING
Latex, Rubber, RTV Silicone etc.. . . Topics include: #Safety #Types of molds #Flexible Molding Materials #Casting (fill) Materials #Resins #Fibre Glass (GRP), (FRP) #Release Agents #Sculpting # Release Agents #Power tools, hand tools and accessories #Melting Equipment #Vacuuming Equipment #Mold repair and finish surfacing For beginners and Professionals alike. Graphi

(see also Heads for molds & 2-part molds, Sculpting for ApoxieSculpt, epoxy clays, etc, Stamping, Textures, Vessels for bowls, Mokume Gane, Clay Guns for cookie presses, Paints, Faux’s )