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I love to see creativity at it’s best… Making objects out of unexpected materials is one of those. Since I am a concrete-o-holic I just had to make a charm or pendant from my favourite medium concrete. Take something that you like and make a concrete version; cast your own concrete charm

The Ingredients for the mold:

I know there are professional mediums to use to make molds but I like to be able to use easily found ingredients

  • corn starch (not cornmeal)
  • 100% silicone caulking (not acrylic)
  • a bowl (that is not too precious)
  • caulking gun (if buying tubes) & knife to cut open
  • disposable Gloves
  • Your ‘Trinket’ or ‘Charm’ master shape

You can use anything that you think is interesting. If you are concerned about the mold material sticking then you can give it a thin coating of vaseline.

Making the mold:

Mixing this material is very much like making a bread dough.

  • I put a generous amount of corn starch in a bowl to cover the bottom well.
  • Put the silicone in the caulking gun after cutting tip and poking a hole in tube
  • Squeeze enough that feels like it would cover your object in one pile

  • Carefully work the corn starch onto it so as to keep it from sticking to your fingers.
  • Turn it and keep it covered in starch to incorporate it without sticking to bowl or fingers

  • Start to knead it until it no longer sticks
  • Make a ball that has a smooth consistency.

Now that you have a good molding compound you should work pretty quick. (it only has a few minutes of working time)

Flatten the dough to be able to wrap the object. Since my object was hollow I made sure NOT to squeeze the dough too firmly as I did not want it going deep into the shape.

Fold over the sides and envelope the whole thing.

It can be set in as little as 15 minutes. Once it is set it will not be malleable any more. Once it’s completely rubbery it is set.

Opening the Mold:

Since this is a one-part mold; an unconventional way to make an entire mold it will need to be cut open.

Take a sharp exacto knife and carefully cut open at the half way point. You can trim off excess if you want it to bend more. I find that this material is very strong and quite firm so sometimes shaving some off makes it more bendable. Make sure you mark where the centre top is and cut some of the excess away to be able to insert a bail (see below)

Make some loops to use as bails for the charm. Use round pliers to make a round loop and have extra bent wire that will be imbedded into to concrete securely and to not pull out. You can make many styles of bails from wire.

Casting your Concrete Charm:

Now that you have your mold you will need:

  • Rapidset Cementall
  • Container to mix in & mixing spoon/stick
  • Water
  • gloves/dust mask
  • wire and pliers
  • elastic bands

My favourite mix, strong and fast.

Mix the concrete mix with water. This is not ordinary mix and does use less water. It should have some flow to it but not as thin as cream.

Hold the top of the mold open and pour enough in until it just oozes out.

To secure the openings elastic bands work well. Tap a bit to dislodge any bubbles and get the mix to fill in the small details.

Slide a loop into the mold making sure it is centred.

This mix is unmoldable in 1 hour!

Open it up and be amazed… It does pick up such fine details.

Finishing:

The amount of finishing is your choice. Do make sure it is smooth enough not to damage clothing if using as a pendant. Various grades of emery cloth will smooth it out.

Concrete has a nice texture, bubbles and all so I love to keep it pretty natural. But the addition of some metallic leaf is a great accent.

You can use any 3-dimensional pieces. The only material that I found stuck to the mold mix was glass. Plastic works well too. Possibly you could make a charm from polymer clay and be completely original like my bunnies! ‘Possibilities are endless…

Thanks for stopping by and I hope I inspired you!

barbmaker

I'm an artist & I make things... all kinds of things.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. BRAVO! What a great project with, as you said, endless possibilities. This is a definite must try. Thanks once again for sharing your creative spirit!

  2. As always a wonderful idea that can be used to make any number of molds for loved objects out of things easily bought at any hardware store. You are a genius of craft Barb!

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