Friday, September 12, 2008

Making word molds

Cernit Scrap Clay
Alphabet soup noodles (Found these in the Mexican food section of my grocery store)
Amazing Mold Putty
Small piece of Plexiglas or glass (I have one that is 2”x 2 ½” that my fiend Pnina gave me, it is perfect, I can see through it and it is small)
Clay Blade
Piece of cardboard, I use a box top cut to fit in the tray of my oven

1. Condition the scrap clay and make it one color.
2. Run it out in the pasta machine on the thickest setting or 1/8” thick. If you don’t have a pasta machine, place two Popsicle sticks on each side of a flattened with fingers 2” round of clay and roll out with a rolling pin or clear glass jar, make it as smooth as you can or it will show in the mold when it is done.
3. Trim the end of the clay with your blade for a straight edge
4. Find the letters you are going to use, sometimes the letters are not perfect, look for the good ones. Place the letters on to the clay right directly above the cut edge.
5. Place the Plexiglas over the top of the letters and GENTLY press the letters in to the clay. Do not press the letters further than half way in to the clay.
6. Trim all the edges of the clay around the letters and place on your baking cardboard. I like to trim the edges very close to the letters. You can also make shapes if you wish, like thought bubbles and curved pieces, but I mostly use the straight pieces of clay and find that it works best for more situations. Think of word magnets for refrigerators and how you can out them together to form thoughts and statements. Mwaaaahhhhh! Boy can I think of a few choice phrases right now! It is working with phthalate laden clay for all these years that does this to me, wink, wink!
7. Once you have all of your word pieces, bake according to the manufacturers’ directions.
8. When they are cool, scoop out equal amounts of “part a” and “part b” mold putty and mix the white and the yellow together till it is one color about 1 minute to make sure it is completely mixes. Since the words pieces are so small I suggest you use a small scoop-like utensil, like the small end of a melon ball maker or a old ½teaspoon measuring spoon to scoop out the putty. I scoop out one color and then wipe off the spoon with an old towel and scoop out the other color. I get closer to the same amount this way. OR…isn’t there always an or?
Roll a bit of putty in to ½” coils and cut into ½” sections of each color and mix together 1 section of each color together, do not forget to wipe off the knife you cut the coils with, before cutting the other color coil.
Now that you are thoroughly confused…
9. When the colors are thoroughly mixed roll the mixed putty in to a coil that is as long and as wide as the word tile you want to mold. You may be able to make two or three molds from one mixing depending on the size of your scooping tool. Now press the putty down around the tile and make sure it is covering the whole tile and close to the tile on all sides.
10. I press on the top of the putty to press it down and then on all of the side and then down on the top again (not hard, PRESS NOT SMASH). Luckily this putty takes a little time to set up, which is nice so you do have some time, but don’t get up to go to the bathroom once you start mixing this stuff up.
11. After you get them all done, get out of the house for 15-20 minutes, do not do what I do and play with them and move them around and stick my nail in the top. Just go do something else. It is easier on my impatient self when I go away from the putty. If you could see my molds some of them have a ton of nail marks in the top of them. It is fun if you want to do it, just go right ahead, life is short, have fun.
12. After 15-20 minutes you can now stick your nail into the putty and it should not leave a mark that lasts, it will feel like it is bouncing back, then it is done.
13. Release the clay tiles from the putty. I also let them set just a bit longer after I release the tiles to let the inside set a bit more. If the letters stick in the mold, gently pick them out with a needle or a needle tool.

14. Roll a coil of clay about ¼” thick and as long as the mold tile on the inside of the mold.
15. Push the clay in to the mold, the mold will spread a little, so push on all sides of the mold to get the clay strip to be the right size.
16. Slice off the excess clay with your blade by slicing along the top of the mold.
17. Release the clay from the mold gently; try not to smash the letters. I make these molds kind of thin so that when I bend them back they bend easily and the clay releases easily and then I can grab the sides of the clay gently with out wrecking the letters.
18. You can bend the words in to different shapes, if you rub a little Pearl-ex powder just on the surface of the letters with your finger, it will make the letters stand out.
Here are some of the brooches that I make with these word tile molds.


  1. Terrific tutorial, Marie. And great pictures! Thanks to Cynthia for sending us your way to see what you're doing. And thanks to you for being so generous.

    I'm happy to have had this little visit with you today over my morning cup of coffee.

    Here's to creativity ... cheers!

  2. And again, thank you for the inspiration!


  3. A wonderfully simple, entertaining and easy to follow tute. Good photos make such a difference! Now...if only I could find some alphabet pasta in Sydney, Australia!
    Thanks! Sera

  4. I think I love you! I definitely love the tute! Thanks.

  5. This is such a great idea. I love this kind of wordiness!

  6. shut. up. This is AWESOME! I'm so going to try this! Found you via Polymer Clay Daily, and you have a new subscriber in me! Thanks!

  7. Awesome Tutorial! ^_^ Thank You so Much for Sharing ^__^

  8. awesome tutorial on making molds!! Thank you for sharing it. :-)

    I found you from Mill Lane Studio's blog by Mylene Himmam after doing a search for info on the Sakura 3D Laquer UV after seeing a video of hte Sajura Pendant demo from the CHA show here in the states ... but I found your blog. And I am glad I did!! I'll be back.


  9. Thanks for such a great idea and wonderfully detailed tutorial!! You have so many good tips! I have to walk away too to wait for my molds to cure.

  10. What a wonderful idea!! Thank you for sharing it :)

    See you!


  11. I have pinned this for so long, I have to try this soon!!! What an amazing idea! And endless possibilities with words! You could make games out of this, magnets, gifts ...!!! Looooove it!

  12. This shows how relevant your content is - you posted this generous tutorial over NINE years ago and it is still as meaningful and helpful as it was the day you published it. I can't wait to try this and am stoked it is still available. You've got fantastic ideas, a gift for expressing your ideas and explaining your methods, and a benevolent heart for sharing. Thank you for your creative generosity!


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