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Mold and Cast An Epoxy Glitter Ornament

December 21, 2016

For this project, I made an epoxy and glitter ornament. The original piece was sculpted from modeling clay. The silicone mold is a simple one piece block mold. The epoxy and glitter was poured in layers to give the finished product dimensionality.

Materials needed:

Your work area:

  • Clean, level work surface, covered in paper or plastic for easier clean-up.
  • All materials comfortably within reach.

Project steps:

  • To start, I cut out a piece of cardboard a  bit larger than I wanted the ornament to be. I sketched out an outline of the shape I wanted sculpt. I used medium non-sulfur plasteline clay to sculpt the ornament shape. I should mention I did not go to art school and I have no formal training in sculpture so I tend to stick to basic, simple shapes if I need to sculpt an original. I say this because many people are intimidated by trying to sculpt a shape for an original and they needn’t be. However if you don’t want to sculpt the shape yourself, you can frequently find pre-cut wooden shapes at a craft store or even a cookie cutter that you could use to cut out the shape from rolled out clay.

 

  • Next, I cut cardboard for sides of the mold box and hot glue them into place around my clay original. Remember to keep the sides a half inch to an inch away from the piece.

  • I used AeroMarine 128 Pourable Silicone to make the mold. I have covered the mixing and pouring of this product in more detail in the previous post about the two part pumpkin mold. For a brief recap, make sure your work surface is level before you pour, mix the silicone 10:1 by weight (I use a scale that weighs grams) with the catalyst and mix until it is an uniform color. Don’t forget to scrape the sides and bottom of your container while mixing.
  • Since the ornament has some detail where the top meets the round part, before I poured the silicone, I used a brush to work a bit of the silicone into the detail part. This helps ensure that the silicone gets into the detail area with no air bubbles. You should use an inexpensive brush for this because silicone can be difficult to remove fully from the bristles.

  • Once the silicone is poured, let it cure for 24 hours. Then take it from the mold box and remove the clay original from the mold. Find the most level area of your work space and place the mold there. An inexpensive level from Target or Home Depot will help you find the best spot to place your mold.
  • I sprayed a light coating of Epoxy Mold Release into the silicone mold before I started measuring and mixing my epoxy. This  helps the finished casting pop easily from the mold. Using a mold release saves wear and tear on the mold and prolongs the life of the mold.
  • I used AeroMarine Products 300/21 Clear Epoxy Resin to pour into the mold. This product has a 2:1 by volume mix ratio. I used very small Solo cups to measure out 2 parts 300 resin and 1 part 21 hardener. You cannot vary the mix ratio with this product to speed up or slow down the cure process. It has to be mixed 2 parts of 300 resin to 1 part of 21 hardener for it to cure properly. I used a disposable plastic knife to mix the the combined 300 resin and 21 hardener.

 

  • For the first pour of resin, I just want to coat the bottom of the mold with a thin layer of epoxy. I want to layer the epoxy and glitter because the glitter tends to settle at the bottom of the epoxy and it doesn’t look as nice.

  • After the first pour of epoxy is tack free, that is, it doesn’t come away on your finger if you touch it (about 12-24 hours), then do the next pour. First, I sprinkled some red and green craft glitter into the mold.

  • Next, I mixed and poured the next layer of epoxy, filling the mold up about halfway.

  • After that layer of epoxy cured, I sprinkled some silver glitter into mold. Then I mixed and poured the next layer of epoxy, almost filling it to the top, but leaving room for one more thin pour.

  • Once that layer has cured, I mixed up and poured the final, thin, plain layer of epoxy. This just ensures that there are no glitter bits poking out, everything is totally encased in the epoxy.
  • After waiting 24 hours for the epoxy to cure, popped the ornament out of the mold. Because the clay wasn’t as smooth as it could be, the epoxy appeared a little frosty. Fortunately this is very easy to fix. I mixed a small amount of epoxy and brushed a thin coat on.

  • Once the epoxy cured the ornament had a high gloss finish and you could see all the glitter suspended within it.

  • Tie a short length of ribbon through the hole on top and it’s done.

I did an ornament shape with glitter for this project.  However, you can do any any shape and embed a variety of things in the epoxy like pictures, bottle caps, coins, etc, by following the same basic steps. If you are embedding paper products, they must be sealed with a clear urethane or acrylic sealant first. Otherwise, the epoxy will give the paper a “wet” look. If you have any questions, you can always contact us at [email protected]!

 

 

 

 

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