A lot more people are getting obsessed with resin crafts, which isn’t a surprise. There’s something truly magical about the crystal clarity and depth of resin creations.
Resin is highly customizable and excellent for making unique, personalized, giftable stuff by merely pouring the mix in a mold, and waiting for it to dry. The applications are infinite and the best part is being able to do it all by yourself.
Theoretically, the concept sounds simple to implement. And it is pretty simple with the right steps, a beginner-friendly resin, and the right materials.
However, without the best mold material for casting resin, all your efforts will go down the drain if you cannot pop out your craft. In addition to following every step of the process diligently, you will have to ensure that the molds you obtain are up for the task.
What makes a good mold material for casting resin? A good mold material for casting resin is flexible and inert, with excellent heat and chemical resistance. It is even better if it has remarkable detail replicating abilities. Silicone is especially popular and often considered the best, but latex, polyurethane, and even gypsum plaster will work.
If you recently got hooked to crafting with resin like many other hobbyists, and haven’t had much success with finding the right molds, you have come to the right place.
This article will enlighten you on the best mold material for casting resin. We also give you bonus tips on how to use them for the best outcome, and recommend a few great products to try.
Choosing Mold Material For Casting Resin
Latex, silicone, polyurethane, and even gypsum plaster are common mold materials.
Over time, silicone has claimed the top spot for mold material for casting resin among home crafters owing to its favorable properties. Here are some reasons why:
- Silicone molds are stretchy. They have the flexibility necessary to push out finished objects effortlessly and still bounce back.
- It’s essentially non-stick. Silicone works similarly to a release agent such that the resin doesn’t fuse to its walls after curing. They are flexible enough to make for easy removal.
- Silicone makes for precise, detailed molds. Silicone is preferred mainly because it can replicate contours of original form elements with an impressive accuracy level.
- It is is considered to be safe. Most importantly, silicone is considered to be nontoxic – a top priority for any DIY at-home project. As long as the chemicals, dyes, and any other agents used to make the silicone are non-toxic, your silicone will be too. Silicone rarely seems to irritate skin or cause allergies, as well.
- Silicone molds are ubiquitous. This is another reason they are a favorite among crafters.
But not all silicone is created equal. So, how do you select the best silicone mold for casting resin?
Choosing a Silicone Mold For Casting Resin
While silicone rubber is generally elastic and flexible, it can vary by the degree of hardness.
Soft silicone can break and develop cracks quickly when overly stretched while removing the cured resin object.
Silicone rubbers are of different scales ranging from a shore value of zero to eighty. The lowest shore portrays a silicone material that is highly flexible but unstable and prone to wear and tear quickly.
As the shore number progresses upwards, the silicon material becomes harder, more inelastic, but sturdier and dimensionally stable. Choosing the hardness of your silicone mold will depend on the type of molding you want to perform. But the best is the one you can handle efficiently.
Practically speaking, harder silicone rubber is appropriate for huge projects. It promises stability against the weight of the resin cast. Softer silicone is ideal for small projects like jewelry, key chains, coasters etc.
Also, go for silicone molds with glossy interior surfaces as opposed to the matte molds used for baking. Some of that sheen will translate to the finished object giving it a brilliant, luminous shine.
Best Molds For Casting Resin
Having trouble finding the best mold for casting resin? Here are our expert-recommended products.
|1.||Augshy Silicone Casting Resin Jewelry Molds Set||36 molds, 50 screw eye pins, stirrers, spoons, droppers, drill, sequins, storage bag|
|2.||Repinsta Silicone Resin Casting Molds||5 mold shapes (cube, sphere, pyramid, square, circle) measuring cup, pipettes|
|3.||DHSHRUN Resin Jewelry Box Molds||3 box mold shapes (hexagon, heart, cube)|
Each one is made of silicone and will serve you well when resin casting, but you can read more about each one below.
1. Augshy Silicone Casting Resin Jewelry Molds Set
If you are hoping to do your maiden resin project, this mold and tool set will come handy. You not only get an assortment of beginner and medium level molds but also the tools necessary to get the job done successfully.
The set gives you a chance to experiment with various shapes and sizes ranging from spheres to cubes and cylinders to teardrops. There are rings and polygons too suited for resin jewelry.
The silicone material flexes with ease and has a glossy, smooth, flawless surface. Do not let the small openings deceive you into thinking you’ll break a sweat removing the final products! It stretches wide enough without getting damaged and retracts for the next use.
Accompanying the mold is screw eye pins, glitter sequins, glue, hand drill, droppers, and stirring spoons.
If you already have the resin without other supplies for resin crafts, then this all-inclusive kit is great value for money and the perfect resin beginner set.
2. Repinsta Silicone Resin Casting Molds
The molds in this set are super soft, flexible, easy to use, and clean. They stretch with little effort and recover quickly, making them reusable.
The flexibility is, however, not a trade-off for strength. If you’ve been working with flimsy molds, you’d be stoked to receive this set. The material is of excellent quality and sturdy.
You get five different shapes among them round, square, cube, sphere, and pyramid, perfect for resin coasters, paperweights, and other decor. You should be able to reconfigure the flatter molds to double as pendants; you’ll just need to make sure you leave a small opening when pouring the resin.
Also included in the set are a measuring cup and five pipettes.
3. DHSHRUN Resin Jewelry Box Molds
Resin boxes are cute, hip, and versatile gifts. They are handy for storing your resin cast jewelry or other small things such as coins, buttons, or keys. They can also function as small candle holders or planters for young succulents.
You get three different shapes for making resin boxes with this silicone casting resin mold set: a heart, a box, and a hexagon complete with corresponding lids.
The quality of the silicon is elastic, and durable. You can twist and roll down the mold to remove your box with minimal resistance. The mold will still be in tip-top shape for subsequent uses.
The only non-quality issue is that the lid sits on top as opposed to fitting in. Otherwise, the set utilizes the best mold material and is a worthy buy.
If these aren’t fitting the bill, however, we have more ring jewelry molds for resin casting that may do the trick.
Tips For Using Silicone Molds For Casting Resin
Despite being the best mold material for casting resin, silicone can turn messy and difficult if not handled appropriately.
Below are some measures to take when using silicone molds to extend their useful life:
- Keep the mold thoroughly clean. Silicone tends to attract a lot of dust, lint, and particles between uses. To avoid contaminating your casting resin, you should thoroughly clean your mold with a little dish soap and water before pouring resin in it.
- But clean it carefully. Avoid aggressive scrubbing or using any abrasive tools or products that will likely scratch and deform the surface.
- Use release agents. The use of release agents will likely extend the longevity of your silicone mold. New silicone molds are already lined with release agents, but the effectiveness deteriorates after several uses. Add these agents only when you feel the quality of your mold has started diminishing and freeing your pieces is becoming difficult.
- Work on a level surface. Silicone tends to follow the levelness of the surface below it. If your work surface is not uniform, your finished product may turn out that way too. That is despite pouring into a flat even base mold. Be sure that the tabletop or working surface is smooth, even and flat.
- Use heat from the right sources. Most resin tutorials will tell you to heat the it to get rid of air bubbles. However, direct or open flames will damage your silicone molds. We suggest opting for the gentle use of a heat gun in place of a flame from a torch or lighter. Better yet, heat the resin in a different container to remove all bubbles then pour it in a single stream into the silicone for curing.
- Remove slowly and with care. Carefully de-mold the resin cast to avoid over stretching and tearing the mold. Pay particular attention to sharp-edged forms such as cubes and pyramids. Adding a few drops of soapy water, vegetable oil, or baby oil inside and pushing gently from the bottom while parting the opening, helps the object pop out with the least fuss.
- Store with care. Store your clean molds in an organized way on a flat surface. Silicone will permanently warp if stored in a folded or bent orientation.
Can You Make Your Own Silicone Molds?
Yes, silicone molds can be customized using existing models, or with blank frames. In most cases, it is efficient and cost-effective to use models since the exact amount of silicon rubber is usually put to use.
Before forgetting to mention, silicone rubber is an expensive product that you can’t bear wasting away. As a beginner resin crafter, you are better off using readily made silicone molds.
How Do You Keep Resin From Sticking To a Silicone Mold?
You will have a few smooth rides with new silicone molds. However, sticky issues start cropping up once the manufacturer’s releasing agent slowly wears off.
To keep the resin from binding to your mold, you can spray some release agent prior to pouring. Also, do not damage the inner surface while cleaning by avoiding abrasion. Any scuffed spot will stick to your resin.
Even with the best mold material for casting resin on your hands, an uncured resin mix will not let go of the mold. Ensure that your resin is thoroughly mixed and completely cured before pushing it out.