In this tutorial we will explain on how to make concrete household items using silicone mold.
Silicone molds are fast becoming a favorite solution for concrete casters. Here is just some of the many benefits of using silicone molds:
- Flexible - They can be bent into different shapes and end up regaining its original shape
- Shatter - proof - If you drop the silicone mold it will not break like its ceramic counterpart or shatter like glass.
- Dynamic - Silicone molds can be placed in the fridge, on the table and in the oven without losing their shape or quality.
- It is odorless and does not emit smoke while in the oven or kiln.
- Silicone items are also extremely easy to clean.
These are just some of the many benefits of using silicone molds for your casting. Now we will provide a tutorial on how to make and cast concrete with silicone molds. You don't have to be a professional in any manner, our tutorial is a detailed step-by-step walk through on how to cast concrete items like plates, lamps, planters and many more using Madmold’s one hundred percent silicone mold.
The first step is to clean the silicone mold. Be sure to clean the mold thoroughly and make sure that there are no particles in the mold. Once this is done we move on to the next step.
This is where the fun begins. You may choose any of the silicone molds Madmolds has to offer. Madmolds goes the extra mile by providing silicone molds for each possible item. There are silicone molds for planters, clocks, lamps, candles, trays and even furnishings such as soap trays, pen holders and tissue dispensers. In this tutorial we will use silicone mold for a relatively medium size planter. We're using the "Geo pot" silicone mold. The next thing we do after cleaning the mold is to prepare the things you'll need.
The next step is mixing concrete and when you're doing this the usual ratio to utilize is the 1:5 ratio which is when you use 5 times the amount of water used as the concrete. If you use 200g of water you use 1000g of concrete. The measurements vary in different situations. You just have to make sure the amount of concrete you are mixing is thick enough to hold. It's normal to have too much concrete left over during the first try so don't worry about getting the exact number. First off, you add the water to the container you'll be using for the mixture. If you're going to be making colored concrete then you add the coloring pigment into the water and mix till you have a clear color of the mix. There should be no clumps of pigment in the water at this time. After this you pour the concrete into the container slowly and mix till it is free of lumps. Some people believe in adding the water to the concrete mix and not the other way around but we recommend pouring the concrete into the liquid mixture. Make sure the mixture is elastic and modifiable but not watery and runny.
This is the most important part of making your concrete piece. You take the container of concrete and pour it into your silicone mold. When it reaches the brim, pick up the mold and gently shake it from side to side. This is to ensure that the concrete is fully present in every corner of the mold. You must do this to avoid holes in the middle of your concrete. Do this a few times and every time it goes lower - top it off. It is advisable to have an overflow so that you are sure the pockets of the mold are filled up. After this you scrape any residue off the top. You may also use a scrap stick to gently poke and mix the concrete around to be sure it is flat and well settled.
The next step is quite boring. You can either choose to stay close to your mold and regularly spray it with a sprinkle of water or you could place a wet cloth on top of it. The process is called “curing” and it must be done to further improve the density of the concrete. For smaller planters it may take 6 to 8 hours but for large planters you should wait for about sixteen to eighteen hours. Once you notice that the top of your concrete is losing its natural glossy sheen, spray it with some water.
This is where the hard work you've put in start pay off. After waiting for it to dry you can finally enjoy your planter but before that you must bring it out of the mold. This is actually quite pleasing to the senses so it is not the gruesome chore you think it is. All you have to do is peel it back and enjoy the satisfactory. The middle is definitely the hardest part to pull out. That is why you're advised to pull back the sides and then fold them inward, slowly peeling the mold from the concrete until your silicone mold is out. The silicone mode is much easier than the metal or wood molds because you can't peel those out. The wood mold would involve you deconstructing the mold every single time you want to get the concrete out.
The final step may not be regarded as an actual step however it is still useful. Once you are done getting your concrete out, clean your silicone mold and also smooth your concrete item. You can do this by using sand to smooth the uneven ends. It doesn't have to be completely perfect but we're sure it'll be wonderful and functional. With practice your work will be flawless and you could even end up selling your pieces. Be sure to get genuine one hundred percent silicone molds from Madmolds for the best results.