How to Make Hollow Plastic Molds

Written by alex smith
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How to Make Hollow Plastic Molds
Make moulds with hot air. (1950s hair blow dryer image by Scott Williams from

You can use a vacuum form machine to make simple plastic moulds. This machine softens sheets of plastic and uses a vacuum to mould it against an object, or "buck." Vacuum form machines are expensive and bulky, though. You'll find it simpler to create a plastic mould using the same plastic and a heat gun. You won't achieve the same amount of detail, but for moulding simple shapes it works wonderfully.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Original form to be moulded
  • Hot-glue gun and glue
  • Thin sheet plastic
  • Heat gun
  • Leather work gloves

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  1. 1

    Glue the form you want to mould to a table so it can't move around.

  2. 2

    Put on the leather work gloves.

  3. 3

    Hold the plastic against the form with one hand and begin heating it with the heat gun. Don't bring the heat gun too close to the plastic, or it could catch fire.

  4. 4

    Continue to heat the plastic until it begins to sag.

  5. 5

    Turn off the heat gun and set it aside.

  6. 6

    Press the soft plastic against the form. Run your fingers (in gloves) across it to capture as much detail as you can.

  7. 7

    Allow the plastic to cool and remove it from the form. You may have to cut slits in the excess plastic around the form so that it can flex off.

Tips and warnings

  • Heat guns are not hair driers; they are for industrial projects. They get extremely hot (typically 1,-17.7 to 760 degrees C) and can cause serious burns if not used properly. This is not a project for children.

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