Making your own moulds at home with 'Brush On' Liquid Latex.
I stumbled upon this Australian site http://www.plasform.com.au/ where you can learn about making 'Liquid Latex' moulds which are both suitable for using in soap making. Merv Edmunds is the site owner, a very friendly chap, with a wealth of knowledge he eagerly shares with others.
I purchased two 1 litre containers of liquid latex. I was successful with more intricate patterns the latex was a winner for me.
I found a couple of plastic shapes which I thought would make a nice looking soap, I have no idea where they came from, they were with some items my wife bought home from a 'garage sale' but you will get an idea from the photographs below.
All you do is place the shape onto a smooth surface and begin to paint the layers of liquid latex onto it. Building the layers up to about 8 - 10 layers and thoroughly drying between each layer. You can see when the layer is dry as it turns from milky white to a light milk coffee colour. This is the most time consuming part of it and mine took three days to build up the layers and dry out.
After drying you just peel the mould off the shape and cutout a piece of cardboard to hold the mould level and place it over a wide necked container or box to keep it off the surface while pouring the soap. I have used the moulds four times now and they show so signs of deterioration or effected by the caustic soda (lye).
Just be careful you don't break any copyright laws when moulding your shapes. Especially if you are to sell them.
Before painting on the latex coat your brush with detergent then lightly squeeze off the excess, this inhibits the liquid latex from clogging up the bristles on the brush and wash the brush immediately after using. The detergent inside the bristles will help to clean up.
The liquid latex is quite thick and you don't necessarily 'paint' it on your more or less just push the latex over the surface of the shaper you are moulding. Try and avoid making too many air bubbles especially with the first coat. The latex will continue to level itself after brushing and let it pool at the base as it will form a lip around the outside of the shape which you use for support when pouring in the soap.
Keep the first layer thin as you will be able to see any bubbles forming and the first layer needs to be as free of any imperfections as possible.
Click on a photo to enlarge.
This is the container of liquid latex as I used. I purchased this in Australia but I believe it is easily available in most countries. Coating the shape with the latex, more like pushing it around rather than painting it on. Keep this first layer thin so you can see any bubbles forming. An example of the first coat of latex, notice the milk coffee colour as it is drying. Cardboard cutout to cradle the latex mould in. Sitting on two pieces of wood. CP soap poured into the mould and set. Leave it overnight or until firm then remove. Here are the 3 stages. The 'original', the latex mould and the finished moulded soap. This is the mould after all the coats have dried and it has been peeled off the 'master' shape. A finished sample of the squirrel.