Many people have a creative side and love to express it. For example, it’s quite simple to go to the store and purchase an already designed MP3 case, but how much more fun would it be to make your own? If you have the time and money, you can do just that.
Find silicone. It's not very easy to locate, but there are a few companies that offer it. Moreau Marketing & Sales offers a Red High-Temperature RTV Silicone Adhesive/Sealant you can use to make molds with. Other types of silicone come in two parts that you mix together when you are ready to make your mold. For the purpose of this article, we will deal with the two-part silicone base.
Gather your tools. You will need a knife, a scalpel, a pair of cutting pliers, a file, screwdriver and a spatula for mixing the silicone. You will also need a base plate, an adjustable mold wall, thin wire, the master mold and spacers. However, because you are making a mold that is a little bigger than your MP3 player, you should use a master that is about 1/4 inch bigger all around. Remember that you can cut out the right holes after the mold has been made. Other materials you will need include contact paper, paper towels, two mixing beakers, a tube with a funnel, masking tape, plaster and super glue. You will also need a lab coat and latex gloves.
Cast the mold. Raise the master, or the item you are molding, about 1 inch off the table, so the silicone can form a complete wall around everything. For air to escape the mold while you are casting it, it is recommended that you use super glue to connect thin wires to the edge of your master on the top. When you put the master down on your master plate, make sure you put contact paper on the plate so the silicone doesn’t stick to it when it’s ready. Next, apply a wax-releasing agent to all surfaces of your master, so it will separate with ease when it’s time. Once this is done, place the wall around your master, no closer than ½ from it. You can use modeling clay around the bottom of the wall to make sure silicone doesn’t leak from the bottom edges.
Mix the silicone. Your silicone is composed of a 1:1 ratio, so mix accordingly, and make some extra just in case. Pour your mixture slowly so you don’t get air pockets around the walls of your master. Let it set for 24 hours before you touch anything.
Take out your mold. Use your scalpel to cut through to the master. You do not have to cut the mold perfectly. In fact, a non-uniform cut might actually be a little easier when you put it back together. When cutting the mold, it may be easier to use two people: one to cut and one to pull open the mold. Once you’ve pulled out the master, apply a coat of releasing agent to the silicone mold so the silicone does not stick to it.
Assemble your silicone MP3 case. After you’ve made your positive mold, it is now time to make the negative mold, or your actual case. If you’ve positioned your master to the master plate with a screw, you already have a hole made to pour more silicone into the mold. Mix another batch of silicone with a 1:1 ratio and pour into the already-made mold. Let it set for another 24 hours before pulling apart the mold. You should now have your MP3 case.
Cut out the holes. Using your scalpel, cut out holes accordingly to match the on and off buttons and the screen on your MP3 player. You can decorate your silicone MP3 case any way you want.
Things You'll Need
- MP3 player
- Cutting pliers
- Mixing beakers
- Contact paper
- Paper towels
- Masking tape
- Super glue
Mix the silicone gently, so you do not introduce extra air into the mixture. If you see bubbles in the mixture, use your screwdriver to pop them.
When pouring your mixture, it may be helpful to tilt the master plate slightly.
Once the mix is made, you have about 20 minutes before the silicone starts to harden, so work quickly.
- Mix the silicone gently, so you do not introduce extra air into the mixture. If you see bubbles in the mixture, use your screwdriver to pop them. When pouring your mixture, it may be helpful to tilt the master plate slightly.
- Once the mix is made, you have about 20 minutes before the silicone starts to harden, so work quickly.
Chad Hagy is based in southern California and he has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in writing from the University of Michigan and his articles have been published on several prominent websites including eHow and others.