When I want to make glow in the dark resin toys I use a clear resin from Smooth-On.com called Smooth Cast 325. I order Glow Powder from GlowInc.com – they have several types, but I get the top of the line $250/pound Ultra Green Glow Powder. It’s the brightest glow powder on earth. These resin toys glow for 24 hours after being in sun light. I’ve never seen any toy glow like this. You could use a lot less glow powder, but I like the toys to glow like a light bulb. Check out my How To Make Resin Toys book for step by step details on how to make resin toys.
Many times when I make resin toys I use Super Sculpey Polymer Clay because it is easy to fire at home in the oven. However, I really prefer making the original out of glazed ceramic so that my toy has a slick glassy look and feel. I also find real clay to have a better feel in my hands. It seems to do what I want it to. Sculpey gets soft when it warms up. Sometimes too soft and it’s like working with toothpaste. White talc low fire clay stays firm and I feel like I work better with it. Better results, means better toys. I work small, so all I need is an inexpensive test kiln one can get at DickBlick.com, or any ceramic supply center. White talc low fire clay, low fire gloss glaze and kiln cones 05 and 06. Small test kilns plug into a standard 110 wall socket, no need for 220. If you want the glossy look, but don’t have a kiln, paint your Sclupey with glossy Sculpey Glaze. If you have the space like a garage or other well ventilated room, I still say real clay works way better and is worth the investment.
The Yupapotami are keen to learn how to make resin toys. Check out the new book by J.E.Moores titled: How To Make Resin Toys and learn about Glove Molds, Putty Molds, Block Molds, Silicone Rubber, Urethane Plastic, finishing, painting, containing and displaying hand made resin toys. You can also watch my instructional videos: How To Make Resin Toys to see some of these techniques in action.
Black Rub is a technique where you toothbrush black acrylic paint onto a resin toy, then use a damp paper towel to clean it off. Black paint stays in the deep areas showing off the details of your resin toy. Black Rub gives the toy an old fashioned look, like an old antique toy whose paint is worn off in places. Be sure to wear latex or vinyl gloves to keep your hands from getting messy. All this information and more is found in my book, How To Make Resin Toys by J.E.Moores.
I recycle our 5 gallon spring water bottles into small plastic trays. I use them for casting resin toys to catch drips and spills. My wife uses them to sprout seeds when gardening. You can see in the photo how the seed package can be slipped in between the two stacked trays so you know what you’ve sprouted. These trays are great for organizing drawers, holding pens, pencils, snacks, and food prep in the kitchen. HDPE #2 plastic is FDA approved for use with food. That’s why water, milk, and vitamins are in HDPE plastic. It’s high quality stuff, so you might as well reuse it somehow. Reduce the plastic going into land fills, make these simple trays and use them around the house, work space, and crafts area. Carefully use a pair of tin snips or sharp scissors to cut the trays from the empty water container, and see how many uses you can come up with for these nifty stacking trays.
Here I cast Smooth-Cast 300 urethane resin into several types of molds. I find that each mold has it’s own issues. Because resin can only flow where gravity can take it, your mold might have air bubble issues. After a while I learn how each mold needs to be dealt with in order to get a good casting. I find myself jiggling, shaking, or swirling some of my molds in order to get resin into the hard to reach areas of the mold. Sometimes I even cut a vent to get resin to flow properly. For complete illustrated information check out my book, How To Make Resin Toys by J.E.Moores.
When designing a resin toy you have to be aware that you have to work with gravity. The liquid resin can only flow where gravity can take it. Let’s say you designed a character. If his arms are up they will cast easily, but if the arms are down at your character’s side you will have to create a vent for air and resin to flow to that part of the mold. Glove molds are not easy to vent, so complex shapes may have to be cast in a two part block mold. The type of mold you create depends on the shape of the object you wish to make multiples of. I think it’s best to start out with a simple “lump” shape and a glove mold, and move on as you gain experience. All this information is illustrated and explained in detail in my book, How To Make Resin Toys by J.E.Moores.
Here are the how to videos from Smooth-On of their product Rebound 25 Brushable Silicone Rubber. I use Rebound 25 to make glove molds to cast simple tapered shapes, or “lumps” as I like to call them. The glove mold will easily roll off your casting if your original art is a simple tapered shape. In the video above they are making a more complex two part mold, but you can still see how to mix up Rebound 25 and how it looks to work with. There is a second half to this video for advanced casters. For now we will stick with making a Glove Mold using Rebound 25, and not a two part mold as in these videos.
Learning how to make resin toys is a very involved process so it is smart to start out with a simple shape that will mold and cast easily. Sculpey polymer clay is great to use because you can fire it in your home oven. Another benefit is that you do not need any release spray because silicone rubber does not stick to Sculpey. Your lump should have no extended shapes like X or Y shaped arms or legs. A simple lump with a face and a few details on the body will help you get through the process of making your first mold. Fire the finished lump in your oven, and when finished, hot glue it to the middle of a plastic food container lid. Put on some latex gloves to protect your hands. The brush on silicone rubber I use is Rebound 25 by Smooth-On.com. I spoon out equal amounts of Rebound 25, mix it up, and brush it on in thin layers allowing it to dry for an hour or more. After 4-5 layers allow mold to completely dry 6 hours before you cast resin. This is enough to get one started. I’ll make more videos of the next steps. Until then, get some Sculpey and Rebound 25 and a copy of my book, How To Make Resin Toys by J.E.Moores for detailed step by step illustrated instructions.
How To Make Resin Toys by J.E.Moores. This book is intended to provide an artist with the basics so you can get in there and successfully cast your very own resin toys fast and easy. Glove Molds, Putty Molds, and Block Molds are all discussed, as well as finishing, painting and packaging ideas to complete your resin toy. Check out the free preview. How To Make Resin Toys is available bound in soft or hardcover now in the JEMTOY bookstore.