Beeswax makes beautiful, semitranslucent castings of everything from Christmas ornaments to shaped candles. Premade moulds can be purchased at craft stores, but mould shapes are often limiting. Create your own unique moulds at home using silicone rubber, and enjoy personalised beeswax casting. Silicone moulds are flexible and easy to use --- perfect for fragile beeswax.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Master part (object to be cast)
- Silicone base
- Silicone hardener
- Polythene or acrylic rectangular base
- Superglue or hot glue gun
- Painter's tape
- Two paper cups, one larger in diameter than master part
- Craft knife
- Clear plastic mixing containers
- Nonporous stirring stick
Choose the master part. Ideally, the master part will be nonporous and have three-dimensional sides and one flat side that will not show up in the casting.
Attach the flat end of the master part to the centre of the acrylic or polythene base using a glue gun.
Cut the paper cup to a height about 1 or 2 inches above the height of the master part with a craft knife. Place it over the object, then glue it down on the bottom edge using the glue gun. This is your mould box.
Pour ten parts silicone to one part hardener into one of the plastic mixing containers. The volume of the mixture should be enough to easily fill the mould box, covering the master part entirely.
Mix together using a nonporous stirring wand or a piece of acrylic sheeting. As the silicone is very thick and the hardener is very thin, mixing can be difficult, but it is key to the success of your project. Stir constantly for about five minutes. Many silicone hardeners are blue so that you can see when the mixture is uniformly stirred.
Minimise damaging air bubbles. Make a 1/2-inch incision in the side of a new paper cup. Cover the incision with painter's tape, then pour the mixed silicone into the cup.
Position the prepared mould box below the edge of a high table. Place the paper cup with the tape-covered cut facing outward on the edge of the table. Remove the tape and allow the silicone to pour out of the incision into the base of the mould box on the ground. You may need to reposition the mould box as the silicone pours in.
Cure the mould according to the directions on the hardener package. Fast-curing silicone can cure within two to four hours. Remove the paper cup surrounding the silicone, and gently pull it away from the master part and base. Your silicone mould is now ready to be cast with melted beeswax as many times as you like.
Tips and warnings
- You can also prepare a master part of your own design using oven-bake clay.
- Premixed silicone putty can be substituted for silicone base and hardener.
- When minimising air bubbles by pouring silicone mixture into the mould box from a height, make sure there are no drafts or air currents interfering with the flow of silicone.
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