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
- 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.
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!
This Post Has 16 Comments
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!
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!
Oh, aren’t you kind! I remember being fascinated when using plaster when I was maybe 10… and I still am!
I love all your creation! I just found you on Pinterest and I visited your Etsy store, so many wonderful things. You are really talented and I wish you would sell some of your molds and texture plates in your Etsy store 😀 It’s really hard too find different looking molds that everyone else is already using and simply having the time too make my own.
Thank you for sharing all your wonderful homemade goodness!
Thanks for the compliments! It is really difficult to make and ship to sell. I just had an experience where someone insisted on buying a small piece and the post managed to break it (even though well wrapped) so I had to refund and therefore lose an original piece.
You can use any found objects quite easily. I used the bird found at dollar stores for this one
You are absolutely a very intuitive and creative one how ingenious u r I’m stunned how beautiful all I see I just opened one page cannot wait to see much more and definitely will donate to such a giving and sharing one like urself. Not many like u in the world please keep ur soul fresh and untouched by the tainted ones here’s to you a spectacular one may we all learn something from u and ur giving self 🌺 it says I’ve already posted this I have not it’s my first time here 😟not understanding
You are absolutely a very intuitive and creative one how ingenious u r I’m stunned how beautiful all I see I just opened one page cannot wait to see much more and definitely will donate to such a giving and sharing one like urself. Not many like u in the world please keep ur soul fresh and untouched by the tainted ones here’s to you a spectacular one may we all learn something from u and ur giving self 🌺
Such kind words! Sometimes I do wonder if taking on a blog is worth it. BUT, I enjoy what I do immensely so that’s all that matters! Enjoy & spread the word!
Thank you SO much for the information on the types of concrete to use. I’m an artist and while I’ve ‘thrown pots’, done ceramics and sculpted various things, I’m just now embarking on some work in concrete. My only real question is what city are you in as I would LOVE to meet you! I live in Calgary and can’t wait to get started!
I fondly remember working with clay in school. Funny, part of the reason I love concrete is because it does not require a kiln. As a child I already had a great love of all kinds of ‘making’ and was disappointed when my parents would not buy a kiln and potters wheel… And I was so fascinated with pouring plaster into simple molds. It’s great to get kids hooked on being creative! Anyway, I am in Ontario in the greater Toronto area! I like to hide behind the camera 😉
Will you marry me???? I so love your philosophy as well as your amazing projects….was going down the rabbit hole looking for tips on concrete sculpting and VOILA! Here you are! Thank you thank you thank you….I can’t wait to get to the hardware store for supplies!! Yippee!
You may also like some tips here and make sure you get the right mix. Happy Concreting!
I just saw your incredible work and my question is, what “cement ” would you suggest using to drill holes in?
Thank you and keep it coming…!!!
I am not sure what you mean by this? Did you want to made beads and drill holes? Sorry, I need more info…
Hi, Barb – worried about you – I tried to send a comment about your concrete and burlap bags and received a message that your page could not be found. If something needs to be adjusted, please try to fix the problem so we can know that everything is O.K.. I notice that, for some reason, there have been zero comments posted regarding your latest post and that seems unusual. nv
Oh, as with anything digital there are sometimes crashes. I think we are all good now! I sweat buckets too when can’t see my page!