How to make furniture applique molds

Written by caroline adams
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How to make furniture applique molds
You can capture any or all of the details in these doors using a simple push-mould method. (Antique Wardrobe with Wood Carvings image by Yali Shi from

Sometimes a little detail can make all the difference. In vintage furniture, the carved details are what attract collectors and lovers of craftsmanship. But sometimes an older piece of furniture is missing its furniture applique, or some new reproduction chairs need a little vintage detail. That's when being able to make your own furniture appliques from a mould really works. The process is easy, inexpensive and will give you plenty of opportunities to add decorative details to furniture, walls and mirrors.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Furniture applique
  • Soft paint brush
  • Sculpey II polymer clay
  • Baby powder
  • Durham's Wood Putty
  • Water
  • Sandpaper, fine gauge
  • Old baking tray
  • Oven

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  1. 1

    Prepare the furniture applique by cleaning it with a soft paintbrush. Clean dust and debris that might be trapped in the tight spaces of the applique or the details of the reproduced applique will not appear sharp.

  2. 2

    Prepare polymer clay by working it until it's soft and easy to mould.

  3. 3

    Roll a ball of polymer clay that is larger than the furniture applique to be copied. The clay ball must be able to cover the entire applique plus have 1 or 2 inches above it when it is pressed into the clay.

  4. 4

    Before pressing the furniture applique into the polymer clay, dust the clay lightly with baby powder and a soft paintbrush. This will prevent the furniture applique from sticking to the clay.

  5. 5

    Press the furniture applique firmly into the polymer clay to ensure that all the details are captured by the mould.

  6. 6

    Pull the clay gently away from the furniture applique without stretching it. Check the mould to be sure that all the details of the applique are there.

  7. 7

    Place the mould on an old baking tray and bake in the oven according to the polymer manufacturer's directions.

  8. 8

    Allow the mould to cool before casting any appliques.

  9. 9

    Mix Durham's Wood Putty with water according to directions. Pour into the mould. Allow it to set up and dry completely.

  10. 10

    Carefully remove the furniture applique from the mould and sand any rough spots with fine-gauge sandpaper.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use more polymer clay to make reproduction furniture appliques. Push it into the mould and gently remove. Then bake as directed. Sand any rough areas.
  • Polymer clay can give off an odour while baking. Make sure that your room is well ventilated.
  • Do not use the baking tray for food preparation after using it with the polymer clay.

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