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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    3,809

    Default Make cool Skulls for PENNIES!!!

    If this looks lot a lot of instructions, its actually real easy. I just talk a lot.

    You will need:
    A plastic, vacuum formed skull decoration
    Some Plaster of Paris
    Petroleum Jelly
    Some Cheesecloth
    A Popsicle stick

    First, I took an inexpensive vacuum formed plastic skull wall decoration, cut one off, flipped it over, and like magic, we now have a mold!


    Next, I spread a very thin coat of petroleum jelly to aid in releasing the plaster from the mold. Keep it very light. (i'm not sure this step is even necessary, I do it just in case.)


    Now, mix up some plaster. I made enough to fill the mold about halfway. We are not going to make these solid (that would be pretty heavy), instead, we are going to make them semi-hollow...we will do 2 pours (2 batches).

    Pour in your first batch of plaster (I mix it like pancake batter consistency) and begin to tilt your mold in all directions- causing the plaster to get up the sides.( Do this over a garbage can or something, cause your bound to spill a bit. I also suggest wearing old clothing, or a shop apron like I do). Just do your best to get plaster to stick along all the sides...it gets easier to achieve as the plaster sets up and thickens. Keep tilting and swirling the mold around until the plaster's no longer a liquid. Let it sit for 15 minutes or so, while you cut a swatch of cheesecloth to lay into the next pour. (Set it into a bowl or something to keep your mold level).
    Now lay the cheesecloth into the mold then pour in the next batch of plaster, repeating the tilting process. The cheesecloth greatly strengthens the plaster! Just like adding burlap to monster mud! (You can also use the excess cloth that hangs out to tug on as you remove the dried skull from the mold.) As the plaster sets, I use a Popsicle stick to kind of push the drying plaster up the sides. Just keep trying to build thickness up the sides, as gravity wants everything to collect in the middle at the nose.
    Let it set for 1/2 hour or so. When it feels hot, its just the plaster setting (drying)...it cools back down.
    Note: The mold looks full in the photo,like the skull will be solid, its actually not. Its just coating the sides and face.


    Time to de-mold! Turn the mold over and tap lightly on the outside ( all around), I use a small screwdriver handle with a rubber coating to do this.. You want to get it to separate, and this is a good start. Flip it back over, and lightly tug at the cheesecloth. You will begin to see separation between the skull and the mold around the edges. I usually do this over a towel to cushion the skull in case I drop it! It fights a bit, but always comes out. Just take your time here.
    Once its free, just trim the excess cloth, and smooth the rough edges with a little sandpaper or something and you have a new skull! At this point, you can add scratches, carve deeper spaces between the teeth, whatever... the plaster stays relatively "soft" for a while. Once it completely dries, It becomes quite light as well. The downside here is that they are fragile, the upside is they are CHEAP and EASY to make...so don't sweat it. I would guess about a dime each?

    ***Look how the inside of that mold appears to be looking to it's left, it will follow you around just like in the Haunted Mansion...isn't that just the greatest cheap illusion ever? ...Sorry, back on topic!



    The one on the left is painted with el-cheapo craft paint (that's another tutorial) and sealed with Krylon matte clear coat. You could also just leave 'em white!
    The possibilities are endless!! Glue 'em to your Tombstones, Make wall ornaments, embellish entryways, fences or even add some hair and corpse 'em out....I plan to!!



    Yeah, they break! I broke this one the first time I tried all this. I squeezed the mold trying to separate it, and it crumbled. It hadnt dried long enough to de-mold either. Anyhow,I thought the the pieces still looked cool, so I dumped some extra plaster over some Popsicle sticks to make a stand, Glued the skull fragment to that and painted it. What can I say, I dont want to waste a whole dime!! Lol. The round base is just a little plaster I let dry in a margarine container.



    ONE MORE TIP!!! This last photo is a different way to use the same "mold", only in reverse..You also use paper mache instead of plaster! Instead of using the inside of the mold, lay the wet mache over the "outside" of the mold, ( the positive, or front side) let it dry a bit, then just lift the skull off. Just cover the mold with cling wrap first to prevent sticking... These obviously dont break, and you can squish and distort features as they dry. This is painted the same way as the plaster... I dribbled hot glue all over it to make the "strands".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The mountains of New Mexico
    Posts
    600

    Default

    Wow, those turned out great~!

    Nice tutorial.......!
    Thank ye matey, from the bottom of me scurvy heart......"One Eye'd" Mick

    The ships' doctor warned me that I've been partaking in too much wine, women and song and told me that I should cut back a bit.........I am really going to miss the singing.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    EUREKA! Nevada that is
    Posts
    796

    Default

    GREAT TUTORIAL - and i like wordy. people think i'm wordy too.
    where did you get those molds? i have looked everywhere (except where you got 'em) and the closest i came was a crappy 1 use ice mold @ ?-mart.
    i want to try this idea with GS spray foam. i think it will work. has anyone else tried this method? HM
    They Throw the BEST Damn Parties at the Rim of HELL!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    3,078

    Default

    Wow....Great idea, Thanks
    So many ideas....Too little storage space

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    3,809

    Default

    Thanks O.E.Mick....Frankenfrog..
    Hallomarine- Its a silly glow-in-the-dark wall decoration I bought at Party City for 3 bucks. I always look for things that can be used as a mold. I've yet to cast GS foam in one..I'll have to give it a try!.. I did make some ice skulls with this in the freezer and it worked! Thanks for commenting! -Jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Layton, Utah
    Posts
    341

    Default

    wow. easy and simple thank you for posting with great pics. more words the better!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Austin
    Posts
    8,086
    Blog Entries
    66

    Default

    Oooh, great idea and now I'll look at everything as mold possibilities. THANK YOU!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    USA.
    Posts
    3,164

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hallomarine View Post
    GREAT TUTORIAL - and i like wordy. people think i'm wordy too.
    where did you get those molds? i have looked everywhere (except where you got 'em) and the closest i came was a crappy 1 use ice mold @ ?-mart.
    i want to try this idea with GS spray foam. i think it will work. has anyone else tried this method? HM
    I had bought my molds at Menards a few years back but I think I saw them in an Oriental Trading catalog too. Check their website www.orientaltrading.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    584

    Default

    Great tutorial! Simple, effective, on the cheap and excellent results. Very cool Chop Shop!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    romulus ...michigan
    Posts
    1,464

    Default

    awsome thats a great idea how did you come up with that .....wow

 

 
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