Today we are talking about how to make polymer clay items with molds. Using molds is easy and you can make all kinds of interesting things with them.
Let’s Look at Polymer Clay Molds
Polymer clay molds are a fun way to make polymer clay jewelry and other accessories. They allow you to make multiple shapes that are exactly the same. You can use molds that have intricate designs and create a focal piece instantly or you can use the type of mold that has many small pieces that you put together to create a design.
Below is a picture of singular molds that create an instant design.
Here is a picture of a mold that gives you options. This mold has many shapes that allow you to build a design. This particular mold has jewelry shapes.
The molds shown above are made from silicone. They are flexible and you can even bake your clay in some of them. These are the easiest to use.
Where To Find Fabulous Molds
You can find a variety of molds in different departments in your craft store. There is of course the clay aisle. But you can also find great molds in the cake decorating and candy making section. Most of these are made of silicone. You can head over to the soap and candlemaking department and find some interesting molds. Most of these are made of a stiffer material like plastic.
Make Your Own Molds
You can make your own polymer clay molds quite easily. I like to use scrap clay for this purpose. If you want to make a flexible mold, you can use Sculpey Mold Maker. Sculpey Mold Maker allows you to create your mold quickly, you then bake it and it’s ready to go!
How To Make a Polymer Clay Mold
- Whether you use scrap clay or Sculpey Mold Maker, you should make sure the clay is well conditioned.
- Form the clay into a slab or ball that is large enough for the item you wish to make a mold from. You can use an acrylic block or some other flat object to flatten the top of the slab. Leave the slab a little thick, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
- Prepare the item you want to make a mold from by using a release agent. This will keep the item from sticking. Release agents can be cornstarch or a spritz of water. There are others but these two are what I use. With cornstarch, you can use your fingertip or a small paintbrush to lightly cover the inside of the mold. With water, I use a fine spritz bottle to lightly spray the mold.
- Press the object firmly and evenly into the clay without rocking it or wiggling it. This can cause double impressions. If this does happen, just ball the clay up and try again.
- Very carefully remove the object. Try to avoid distortion. This can take a little practice. Look at your impression. If you like the image then you can bake it. If not, just start over. You may trim any excess clay if you have a lot of extra around the image. Bake according to instructions.
Things To Think About When Making Polymer Clay Molds
- If the object is metal, you can bake the mold with the object still inside. You can avoid distortion if you leave the object inside. Metal objects can take the heat of the oven without a problem. Use lots of release agent and wait for the metal to cool before removing.
- Some materials can react with polymer clay. Some plastics can “melt” when used with clay. Also, varnished or painted wood can react with clay. I would suggest not using items of these materials if they are valuable to you.
- If you would like to make a mold of a double sided object, you can make one mold with with both sides of the object on the mold or you make two separate molds. If you make one mold with both sides on it, you will have to stick the sides together afterwards to get your final object. If you make separate molds you can mold both sides at the same time.
- Don’t forget, whatever you use for molds should never be used with food or go into your mouth.
Items for Making Polymer Clay Molds
Here are a few ideas for objects that make great molds.
- Food, like cereal, cookies, dog treats etc.
- Small toys, trinkets and doll faces and hands
- Things from nature like leaves, twigs and rocks
As you can see, you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to making polymer clay molds. They come in handy when you want to replicate something many times.
How To Use Your Molds
- Make sure you have used a release agent in your mold before using it.
- Condition your clay well and roll into a ball. If the shape is simple, you can put your ball of clay right into the mold and press well, making sure to press all around the image. You want to be sure the mold is completely filled. If the mold has an intricate shape, you may want to use small pieces of clay to first fill in the tiny details then gradually add clay to fill it up.
- If there is overflow of clay, use a tissue blade to carefully trim away the excess.
- After filling the mold, you way be able to turn it over and dump the clay out. If you are using a flexible mold you can bend it to remove the clay. Some distortion may occur when bending but you can usually push it back into shape if it is a simple shape. If you are having trouble, you can let the clay cool down or put it the refrigerator for a few minutes to stiffen up the clay before removing from the mold.
- Clean your molds after use with alcohol. This will remove any stickiness or leftover clay and they will be ready for the next use.
What Will You Make with Polymer Clay Molds?
I would love to hear about what you have made from polymer clay molds. Store bought or homemade molds are a super way to create jewelry and accessories. Leave me a comment or question below!