This tutorial is graciously shared by Rona Phillips. Originally written October 2012. Updated February 2020.
It is hard to find any tutorials on how to make a bracelet form for molding in silicone, so I thought I would create one to help out any one who would like to do this. I wanted a mold that was tall enough and the shape I wanted to use to create resin bangles with transparencies. Plus, I wanted one that fit me perfectly, so I decided to figure it out for myself. I am a polymer clay artist so the first thing I thought of was polymer clay. It is easy to work with and it is cheap. I have also made bangles in polymer clay, so it was not hard to move it to the next step.
-Premo Polymer Clay (any color) 3-2oz packages (More or less)
-Translucent Liquid Sculpey
-Wet dry sand paper (400 – 600 – 800 – 1200 – 1500 grit)
-Ceramic tile (big enough for bangle form to fit on) or oven-proof glass surface
-Cardboard poster tube (the ones they mail posters in) Choose one that you can fit your hand through
-Repel Gel for polymer clay
-Plastic tub (I use 15oz butter tub) with bottom cut out
-Two sided tape (poster)
-Silicone molding material of your choice
-Optional stamp with your name on it
-Pasta machine for Polymer clay
-Wipe out tool
-Acrylic roller or knitting needle
-X-Acto craft knife
Cut off approximately 3 1/2 inches of the cardboard tube with your craft knife. Be very careful not to cut yourself!
Make a paper template using the cardboard tube with the length and height you need for your form.
Coat the bottom ¾ of your cardboard cutout with 3 coats of Repel Gel with a paintbrush, letting it dry in between coats.
Rolling out the polymer Clay
It all depends on how wide and how tall you want to make a bracelet form for molding in silicone as to how much polymer clay you will need for this project. I buy polymer clay by the pound, which is really cheap.
-Start with clean hands and work area. Knead clay until soft and smooth. Do not place uncured clay on fine furniture.
-I don’t wear fluffy or furry clothes or anything that sheds a lot of fibers; otherwise I spend ages digging out bits from the clay.
-Chop up clay into little pieces. (At home I use a food processor.) The clay needs to become pliable. The more you work the clay the stronger it gets. Knead the clay – twist the clay – roll the clay.
-Flatten out the clay with your hands.
-Feed the clay through the pasta machine on the # 1 setting, which is the widest setting.
-I use a pasta machine to help me in making uniform sheets of clay.
-Roll out a long wide sheet of polymer clay.
Lay your paper template on top of the rolled-out polymer clay sheet. Use your tissue blade to cut out strip. Be careful because the tissue blade is sharp.
I always cut ½ inch longer on both ends.
Forming the polymer clay
Wrap the polymer clay sheet around the cardboard tube.
Make sure to overlap your strips. Hold your tissue blade straight up and down and press in till you hit cardboard. Be careful as the tissue blade is sharp!
Use your wipe out tool to smooth seams together.
Baking the polymer clay
Bake on tile or oven-proof glass surface at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.
DO NOT USE A MICROWAVE OVEN.
DO NOT EXCEED THE RECOMMENDED TEMPERATURE.
DO NOT BURN! The burnt fumes are not good for you to breathe in.
Remove from oven and let cool. You will have to remove the polymer clay bones from cardboard tube very carefully. You may have to slightly squeeze the top of the cardboard tube to pop the polymer clay away from the tube.
Then, very slowly pull the polymer clay down off the tube. Take your time and remove it slowly. I call this fist layer of polymer clay the bones.
You will have to make a 2nd polymer clay strip to cover the bones. Cut it out using your template and lay the strip aside.
Apply the liquid polymer clay to the outside of the bones.
With your fingers, smooth the liquid polymer clay over the outside of the bones.
Wrap the polymer clay sheet around the bones.
Make sure to overlap your strip.
Hold your tissue blade straight up and down and press in till you hit the bones. Be careful not to cut the bones or your fingers.
Use an acrylic roller and to smooth the seam. You will need to be very light handed on the outside polymer clay sheet, otherwise, you will have dings or dents on your form.
Before you put your form in the oven you will need to take your name stamp and press into your from. Bake on tile or oven-proof glass surface at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.
After you remove your form from the oven, let it completely cool. You will now start the sanding process. To sand polymer clay, do it under water with a dash of dish soap, using wet dry sand paper 400-600-800-1200-1500. If you see any cracks or flaws in your form in the sanding process, you will need to fill them in with more polymer clay. Rebake on tile or oven-proof glass surface at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, you will then start the sanding process all over again.
After finishing the sanding process, you will have to buff until the surface is smooth and shiny. The smoother your form, the smoother your mold and resin castings will be.
Put double-sided tape on the top of your form. Overlap the double sides tape until the top edges are covered.
Take the butter tub lid and center your form, tape side down. Make sure the tape is secured to the butter top lid and your form. You will have to read on your instructions for your molding materials on how much space you will need between your form and the butter tub, to make a good strong mold.
Snap on your bottomless butter tub to the butter tub lid. Make sure it is secure or you will have a huge mess when you start to pour your silicone molding material.
Here is a side view. You are now ready to start the molding process. Follow the directions of the molding materials you decide to use.
This is what my mold looks like after I have removed it from the butter tub and removed my form.
With this tutorial you will be able to make a bracelet form for molding in silicone. You can make it to fit your wrist size. You can make it tall – short – fat – skinny. Or, you could adapt it for a two or three part mold. I bet you could even create different textured if you wanted to! With polymer clay I have created all kinds of forms for my molds. (Rings – Bangle – Beads – Hearts – Pendants – Mobiles etc …) You are now ready to make a bracelet form for molding in silicone. *hugz*
Want to see how to cast your bangle? See Rona’s tutorial on How to create a resin bangle bracelet using transparencies.
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