How to use cookie cutters as resin molds

How to use cookie cutters as resin moldsby Kate Ledum

Have you ever picked up cookie cutters and thought they would make great resin mold shapes?  Let me assure you that you can!  A wide variety of things can be used as molds for resin.

Cookie cutters

Step 1:  Gather cookie cutters

As odd as it may seem, the best cookie cutters for this technique are metal. Cookie cutters with simple shapes are easier to use.

mask cookie cutter

While you can use cookie cutters with small openings and other intricate shapes, they can be difficult to seal and demold.

Warning: If you use an item in resin casting never use it for food later.

rubber stampsStep 2:  Gather Texture Tiles or Stamps

A textured tile is basically a large rubber stamp. The texture tiles I have are grey rubber and made for working with polymer or precious metal clay. I think the best kind of texture tile is one with deep impressions and wide openings.

rubber tiles

Thin delicate lines may not allow the resin to flow into all the cavities or may trap bubbles. This makes them less suitable for cookie cutter castings.

Tip: If you have a tile or stamp you want to try with this technique, to see if it will work with resin, pour a small amount of resin on the back, the unpatterned side, and let it cure. If you can peel the resin off easily, it should work with resin. But, if it doesn’t peel off easily, you can try it again with mold release. Should your trials show the tile or stamp won’t work with resin, since you used the back to test it, you haven’t ruined it for other uses.

Step 3:  Get Silly Putty

Yes, the kid’s toy Silly Putty. Resin doesn’t stick to Silly Putty so it makes a great temporary molding material or a great way to seal a gap.

The colour of the Silly Putty isn’t important. I have a couple of eggs of Silly Putty I bought at the grocery store. Over time and use, it does get a little less pliable.  Sometimes, bits of colour and glitter inclusions stick to it making a batch less than ideal.  But, it’s pretty cheap and readily available in many different types of stores.

Step 4:  Get resin

For these projects where I’m showing you how to use cookie cutters as resin molds, I’m using Resin Obsession Super Clear resin. The super clear resin is a 2-part epoxy resin with a 2:1 ratio. This means you need to combine two parts of part A and one part of part B. The super clear resin cures to a soft cure in approximately 6 hours when it can often be removed from a mold and set to finish its cure separately. It cures to fully hard in 12-24 hours.

Because mixed resin has a limited amount of ‘working’ or ‘pot’ time (the time before it starts curing), it is best to prepare the molds for casting before mixing the resin. The super clear resin has approximately 30 minutes of pot time.

applying mold release

Step 5:  Prep with mold release

Because the cookie cutters are metal, resin will bond to them unless you use resin mold release. You can also use release on the texture tile or rubber stamp to help make unmolding easier.

Place the cookie cutters into a container to catch the excess release, then spray.  You don’t need a thick coat.  A light coat is enough.

applying Gilder's paste to rubber mold

Step 6:  [Optional] Add powders to the texture sheets

You can add powders, paste, paint, and glitter to the area on the texture tile you will be using for the mold before you put the cookie cutter in place.  For example, you can use gilders paste on the high areas of the texture tile. On the finished piece, this will accent the recesses.

place cookie cutter onto mold

Step 7:  Create the mold

Making the mold is as simple as placing the cookie cutter on the tile and sealing the gap at the bottom with Silly Putty.

Place the cookie cutter on the tile to frame the texture you want to see on your project. If the tile you’re using is narrow, make sure the cookie cutter is entirely on the tile and not hanging over the edge..

form silly putty around cookie cutter

Make a Silly Putty snake and put it at the bottom of the cookie-cutter where it meets the tile.

apply silly putty snake

Squish the Silly Putty around the bottom of the cookie cutter to make a seal with the tile and create a bezel-like opening.

cookie cutter with silly putty

If you’re using a more intricate cookie-cutter, like this masque, make sure you seal each angle and inner cut area. You can use the back of a paintbrush or a stir stick to squish the Silly Putty into those places.

cookie cutter removed from mold

For less complex shapes you can either remove the cookie cutter before pouring the resin or leave it in place.  Cured resin is easier to remove without the cookie cutter. If you choose to remove the cookie cutter, be sure you don’t lift up the Silly Putty from the tile while taking the cookie-cutter out. You want to have a complete seal around the area you want to pour. Also, be careful not to distort the shape.

glitter in resin molds

If you are wondering what part colors play in how to use cookie cutters as resin molds, they can play a big part!  You can add additional glitter, powders, or other embellishments after you have created the mold.

resin crafting supplies

Step 8:  Mix the resin

Now that the molds are prepared, it’s time to mix the resin.

Gather all the items you will need to mix and pour the resin before you start. Cover your work surface with a sheet of wax paper to protect your work surface from drips and spills and make clean up easier. Use Nitrile gloves to protect your bare skin from the sticky resin. For accuracy, it’s always best to measure each part in its own cup.

When using cookie cutters as resin molds, each mold will only need a shallow amount of resin. I generally mix 1 1/2 ounces or less. To make this amount of resin using the super clear resin, pour 1 ounce of part A in the first cup and 1/2 ounce of part B (hardener) into the second cup. If you are making a different amount, part A needs to be twice as much as part B. If you have never mixed resin before, read this article on how to mix resin.

adding color to resin

If you’re using Resin Obsession colors for resin, add a small amount to the Part A cup before you mix them together. This picture shows 1/2 ounce of part A with 1/4 ounce of part B to make 3/4 ounce total. Add additional drops of part B, 1/2 of the amount of the pigment, to ensure the proper ratio.

mixing resin

Combine the two parts into one cup and thoroughly stir them together. Mix slowly to avoid adding bubbles. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides often, and scrape the stir stick as well. Mix the resin for at least 2 minutes to be sure the parts ares well combined. You can pour the mixed resin into another cup and stir for an additional minute to ensure a thorough combination.

resin in cookie cutter molds

Step 9:  Fill the molds

Part of learning how to use cookie cutters as resin molds means learning that you can only pour in a little bit of resin.  Otherwise, you may not be able to demold it.

You want to have approximately 1/8 inch (or about 3 mm) of resin in your molds. If you remove the cookie cutter from the Silly Putty, only pour to the depth of the Silly Putty wall. Then, leave the resin to cure in a level location, preferably with a cover. The super clear resin works great even when it is poured in a thin layer.

I use wax paper-covered, low-walled rigid plastic pans under my tiles while I am making the molds and pouring the resin. This allows me to move the resin-filled molds to a curing location. There, I can cover them and so I can have my desk available for doing other things while they cure. If you move the uncured resin in molds, be very careful not to spill it.

resin curing

Step 10:  Let the resin cure

For my curing location, I use a pair of cheap plastic letter trays lined with wax paper as shelves for curing projects. Resin generally doesn’t stick to wax paper. If you have a spill, your resin project won’t become a permanent part of your curing location. I also use plant trays as covers for resin items because they’re cheap but keep dust and cat hair out of the curing resin. In colder months, I cover the whole area with a see-through plastic bin.

Resin cures best when the temperature is around 74 F (23 C). If your curing location is a bit warmer, the curing time may be decreased. If it’s a lot colder, the resin may not cure correctly at all.

Under my curing shelves I have a heating pad and tin foil pan to add a bit of warmth to the curing location. Before I even pour the resin, put on the cover, and turn the heating pad on to high to warm up the air where the resin will be curing.

demolding resin

Step 11:  Demold

When learning how to use cookie cutters as resin molds, you need to be mindful of the resin soft cure time.  The super clear resin cures to a soft cure that can be unmolded in 6-8 hours. I like to unmold cookie-cutter castings at the soft cure stage and let them cure to hard out of the molds. This allows more flexible options to remove extraneous bits from the casting.

Unmolding a piece without the cookie-cutter is easy. Just bend back the flexible tile and pop the resin piece off the tile and remove the Silly Putty. I always put the Silly Putty back into its egg so I can use it later.

demolding resin from a cookie cutter mold

Unmolding an item cast with the cookie-cutter still in place takes a bit more effort. First peel the tile off of the resin, just like with the item without the cookie cutter. Remove the Silly Putty from the tile and put it in the egg.

unmolding resin from a cookie cutter

Next, pop the resin out of the cookie cutter. With some shapes, it can be hard to remove the cured item from the cookie cutter. If you unmold when the resin is in a soft cure, you can carefully slip a craft knife around the edges to release the resin. Otherwise, if the resin is cured to a hard cure and is stubborn coming out, putting it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes can help. Applying a good coating of mold release at the beginning of the project makes this stage so much easier.

unmolding silly putty

When you unmold items that have colourant and glitter, the Silly Putty will often pick up some of the embellishments from the tile. These can generally be picked off before you use your Silly Putty again. For this piece, the Silly Putty didn’t have a tight seal on the tile all the way around, so a bit of resin seeped under. This also can also be removed from the Silly Putty.

soft cured resin pieces

Step 12:  Clean up the edges

When learning how to use cookie cutters as resin molds, you need to be ready to trim up any resin that may have seeped underneath the cookie-cutter edge.  If you remove your items from the molds when they’re soft cured, you can trim away some of the edges with scissors.

Place your items on a flat surface and allow them to cure to hard, usually 12-24 hours. Once the items are cured to hard, the edges can be sanded and finished.

sanding edges of resin

To sand the edges of small molded items, I like to use a nail emory board that I’ve picked up at the dollar store as my sanding tool. Go over all the edges of the piece to smooth off any sharp bits.

sanding voids with a sandpaper stick

If you have an item with voids or holes in the surface, you can use a rolled-up piece of sandpaper to sand them. A grit of 400 or higher is recommended.

wet wipe on resin

Use a wet wipe to remove any stray particles from your sanding before adding any additional finishing.

rubbing gilders paste on cured resin

 

Step 13:  Highlight details

Once your pieces are sanded you can add paint or Gilder’s Paste if you want additional highlights for the texture.

cast resin charms accented with gilder's paste

Adding colourant as a finish may have a slightly different colour than that which is put in the mold at the beginning.

NOTE: Colourant added after the item is cast won’t be as permanently melded with the resin and can rub off with wear.

resin charms

Every unmolding is like uncovering a unique treasure. Some items look great on both sides without any additional finishing touches.

What other questions do you have on how to use cookie cutters as resin molds?

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2020 Resin Obsession, LLC

Like this post? You may be interested in  Tips for working with epoxy resin

38 thoughts on “How to use cookie cutters as resin molds

  1. if i didnt want to use a textured base, can i use packing tape-sticky side up to hold the cutter? would i still need the silly putty?

  2. Would glycerin work as a release, as well? Funny story, I bought it online and by the time I got it I forgot why! This seems like a reason why.

    1. No! Glycerin is humectant, it gathers moisture. Its usually used in baking, but we crafters use it in stamp pads, inks and other things we dont want to dry up. So its basically resins mortal enemy, dont even try it. Im sure this answer is too late for you, but maybe this will help somebody else 🙂

  3. I have a PLA cookie cutter. Will the resin stick to the plastic? I dont have a mould releaser. How will i get awqay with demoulding the item from the cookie cutter?

  4. The information that you provided in this article is great, but the items that you made are what old women crafters think are nice and beautiful, when in fact they are throwaway’s and are the main objects in the gabage bins at thrift stores.

    1. The old adage “If you have nothing good to say, better to say nothing at all” comes to mind 🤨 Why on earth do you think your opinion carries weight here? Move along troll 🤬

  5. thanks for the tips, I will look at the mold release. looks excellent, But do they come to Aussie?
    As for old woman crafters, ie me — have you thought of these objects as “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” many may have interesting uses??? inserting into concrete tiles on floor, chrissy decs, tree hangers in garden for sparkle and attracts birds etc.

  6. so what would you use in the middle of a cookie cutter if you want to make an actual mold of the cookie cutter not just use as the mold itself. would you put silly putty in the center and then just pour what ever kind of casting mold to the cookie cutter.

    1. Hi Patricia, you will need to find something to serve as the bottom of your cookie cutter, then make a mold of the bottom and cookie cutter at once.

  7. Can u use oil spray inside two stainless steel bowls, one bigger than the other and one slips into the other to make a large bowl?

  8. Can u use most any idea for a mold and slip it iut with spray oil.
    I’m thinking of using saran wrap instead of wax paper. Does that stick?
    I’m asking if I use a dry flower arrangement sponge with oil spray on the mold and wax paper on the bottom of the mold. Shove the cookie cutter or a can one bigger than the other into the flower sponge to ensure a better seal instead of silly putty.
    Sorry so many questions.

    1. Hi Lee, while I appreciate your ingenuity, I’m afraid what you describe won’t work very well. 🙁

  9. Hi Kat, awesome tutorial, again!
    Can you think of any replacements for the Silly Putty for us, who live in countries where there is no such thing? Ive only seen it on tv, looks like fun, but absolutely no idea what its made of.
    And thanks for being you – youve given so much inspiration for us, just know it is well appreciated, dear 🙂 One more thing why Fridays are my favorite!

      1. How about play dough? I was thinking it has somewhat waxy or oily surface, maybe it can be added to the list? It would make an awesome temporary mold material too. If you havent tried it, there might be some experimenting in my future..

  10. Great instruction, Katherine. I would never have thought to use silly putty. Now, all of your students/fans know how to mold anything with tiny details. The putty will mold into all nooks and crannies. Thank you. ⚘

  11. Enjoy your tutorials and i learn just as much from the comments after. I am off to find my man, woman & child metal cookie cutters to make some glittery bookmarks. I may even find a small silicon heart mould to pop in, leaving a heart shaped space after de-moulding. Love resins possibilities!

  12. When you use resin release do you spray and let it dry? Or should I wipe it after it dries? When I let it dry all areas that left a dried spot also left spots on my resin distorting the appearance.

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