Making Your Own Molds

Has anyone tried making their own molds?

I apparently want the impossible - a tiny bow shape - and by tiny I mean about 1/2 inch horizontal. I did find some sprinkles that were the right size but they only came in white or pink and I want red (and I can't imagine painting them would work).

I have found many different molds that produce bows but none of them are as tiny as I want (except for one supplier on Etsy that can't get them to me in less than a couple of weeks).

I have tiny bow shaped buttons that are exactly what I want so I'm considering making my own mold from them. Just wondering if anyone has tried making their own molds and if you have any tips that might shorten the experimental trial and error stage.

Original Post

Ooh, gosh, I haven't done much mold-making. I got a whole bunch of supplies at one time from various companies, and tested a few, but then got waylaid by other work and never got around to comparing the various products. I'll be interested to hear what others say.

If the mold thing doesn't work out, you could make tiny hand-formed bows with rolled fondant or modeling chocolate, if you've got the time and patience.

I teach a class in making molds for jewelry cabochons and findings, but the applications are the exact same. 

I suggest you start with a two part silicone compound that is considered food-safe. Most simple silicone molding compounds can be measured out either by weight or volume. For smaller molds, like the bow you want, they often don't need de-gassing in a vacuum. 

Smooth-On makes a series of food-grade silicones that will work well for culinary applications. This is directly from their site: "Smooth-Sil® 940, Smooth-Sil® 950, Smooth-Sil® 960, some Sorta Clear® Silicones, and the Equinox® Series are suitable for making baking molds and trays, ice trays, casting butter, chocolate and other applications used to produce foods. The ingredients in these products comply with FDA certification 21 CFR 177.2600."

You will also want to find something that has a flat back, to avoid having to make a two-part mold. You can use jewelry, candies, buttons... anything really, as long as it has a flat back - you can even sculpt your own design. The flat back gets glued down to foam core (because it's cheap and disposable), then a "wall" is built around it (you can use a plastic cup or small cardboard box), then use hot glue to seal the base. Then mix your silicone per instructions, pour and wait. It's really that simple.

This video is a good overview of the general process: 

If you try it, I'd love to see the results. 

Thank you! 

I've purchased a one step product so I've already ignored your advice! LOL  It's also a reusable one. I chose it because I figured I would be making mistakes and might take a few tries.  Meanwhile I've also found some tutorials on piping bows using templates (I have so much to learn!) and that might also be a solution. I will post my efforts here. First I have a zillion cookies to make...

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