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Plaster Casted Tiki - 1st Attempt

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I finally picked up a bucket of plaster while at Wally World earlier, and decided to try out my new eBay Tiki Mold. Only a couple of air bubbles, but I think it came out pretty good for my first venture into plaster.

Tomorrow I'll see how it comes out after painting. Is this something you think might sell if I decided to delve a little deeper into it? As far as the other molds available, there's only a couple even worth trying, so we're looking at 3, maybe 4 styles to choose from.

Wow...that's pretty nice. I was wondering where did you get the molds?

The Monitors


On 2003-05-14 22:30, The Monitors wrote:
I was wondering where did you get the molds?

eBay. Just do a search for "tiki mold" and you'll find like 8. Like I said, most are crap. This one, the "angry tiki"., is the best one. The "frankenstein" and "sad" ones aren't toooo bad, but the others are god awful!


I just finished casting 40 of those same tikis!

That's right FORTY!!

Cast them all one at a time, and each one came out perfect - I've got this plaster-thing down pat! I'm taking them to class tomorrow so my 5th graders can paint them. We're going to decorate our booth for the school carnival with them. (Tikifish made us the COOLEST poster for the booth, too! I'll post pix next week!)

I've found that just simple watercolors look really good, especially if you spray it with a clear, matte sealer afterwards.

Coupla tips: be sure you firmly tap the mold on a hard surface for about 30 seconds to get rid of the airbubbles, and I've found that a large paperclip (bent open) placed about behind the eyes makes for the perfect hanger. Oh, and no matter what the instructions say, always use a 2-to-1 plaster/water ratio...

Thanks for the tip, I just got one of those molds from eBay. These will be perfect for hidng around my yard. As a side note, if anyone makes candles, there is a cool Moai candle mold on eBay as well.

You might try adding concrete or mortar colorant. That way if it chips you won't get a big white mark. Also try Quick-Crete or plasticized concrete for outdoor applications if the mold will support the weight.

Those are cool! What might be cool to try is spraying them with glue and throwin a bunch of sand on them.
Hey Dr Z, I bet the kids will love painting those dudes. What kind of booth you runnin at the carnival? Can you win one of those things or are you selling them?
If either of you guys have any xtras to part with I do cash and trade.

If you want to try heavier mold material like quick-crete or plasticized concrete, and are concerned about the mold not supporting the weight, you can make a "mother mold" to support it by planting the mold face down in a bed of plaster and letting it dry to make a supporting structure. (You may want to use a thin coat of dish detergent on the side planted in plaster as a mold-release agent to make sure you can get it back out).

I got my mold from eBay, and picked up some Plaster of Paris. Do I need some sort of release agent, or will it come right out of the plastic mold? Is Plaster of Paris okay, or is there something better for this type of thing?


Patrick McNeal

[ Edited by: Biotron2000 on 2003-05-21 17:10 ]


Our carnival booth was a big success, thanks to our hand painted "Ku" masks! (Well, our custom made sign (hand-crafted by the one-and-only Tikifish), some carvings by Bosko and Loonatiki, and a few vintage beachcomber floats helped too!).

Our school selected "Around the World" as our carnival theme; my class picked Tahiti as our country and the old carnival standby 'the goldfish toss' (y'know, toss a ping-pong ball into a bowl, win a goldfish) as our game. (Hence the tiki/fish connection, and Tikifish's involvement). We ended up with a more 'humane' version of the game, with stuffed plush fish instead of live goldfish, but had a line of customers nearly the entire time, nonetheless.

As far as the actual painting of the tikis went, the kids had an absolute blast - the watercolors worked perfectly! No mess at all, despite the none-too-neat nature of my 5th graders. Interestingly, we had no brown paint, so they had to improvise - we ended up with some VERY creative paint jobs! In the booth itself, many folks asked if they were for sale and NONE of my kids wanted to part with theirs!

Even after making all of the castings for my class, I had a bit of leftover plaster, so I made a few more. That makes more than 50 that I've made from the same mold (the same mold in Badmojo's pix - Biotron, is that the same one you have?) without the mold cracking or creasing or whatever - the last looks just as good as the first and the mold still looks brand new! I never applied anything to the mold before casting - the mold itself is very flexible and kind of 'slick' already and the castings basically just popped out when I flipped them over. I used just standard plaster of Paris that I bought at Michael's (a crafts store), for about 6 bucks for an 8 pound bucket. However, Bax sez to use 'casting plaster' available at building supply stores - about 15 bucks for 90 POUNDS - and you'll get the same results for a lot less!

At some point, I'm going to have a little "arts & crafts" night and have some TC folks over to paint the rest (Velour's, Sabu's - this means YOU! Anyone else?)

(Chongolio - e-mail me 'Offline' if you're interested in one!)

Same one, it's the best looking one of the bunch. And you may have answered my question to Baxdog about his large tikis cast from party store masks. Thanks!


I want to see some pix of the booth!



Biotron-- As far as those big 'party store' masks (they're not actually molds per se...), Bax says he uses a combo of casting plaster, concrete and sand. Those mask/molds are also really thin and flimsy and they need additional support, so he built some sort of frame for them. Additionally, unlike the little plaster molds, they also need a 'release agent'. I think he said he actually uses motor oil! Hopefully Bax will read this post and correct any errors I've made - he's the construction whiz!

Martiki - as soon as I get my pix developed from my cheapo disposable camera, I'll be posting 'em!

Here we go kiddies
Right, the so called molds I have used are party decorations and are very flim-Z.
So first I turned them over in the garage built a frame to hold them down and poured what I would call a positive, so that the mold fits into it for support.
Casting plaster is my cheaper way to go and I do mix in all kind of stuff left over from jobs. I have been so flippen busy at home and work I have not poured in like 6 or 9 months.
Never I say NEVER mix in any kind of drywall product, I have lost over 20 masks that just crack up and fall off the wall.
I have used all kinds of release agents
Pam, soap, diesel, but right now I am using the goo that electricians use to pull wire through conduit. When the mold comes out I just rinse with water and it comes off.
Now for molds with a little negative edge, you know that corner that always pulls off when you pull the mold off, WELL tip of the day.
Clean the mold with Laq. thinner (just lightly cause it melts some plastics) and not the whole mold just the area that's a problem. Then use pure silicon caulking in the low spot. Keep some thinner in a little cup next to you to dip your finger into for smoothing. this should fill the low spot and make the mold release easy-er. The silicon done right should last 10 or more pours.
I have tried pure silicon spray as a release also but it works about med.
At Home Depot you can get cement colors to mix in and rub on later. then after all is dry for a couple of days we cover them with a product called The Wet Look.
Casting plaster is hard to find in the big bags, you need to call places that sell rock and block and cement and (oh gosh I am getting all wet) big contractor stuff.
I mix all materials together dry first in a clean bucket then transfer to a mixing bucket and use a big drill and masonry paddle mixer (insert gorilla noise and thump chest at this point)
Hope this helps, E-mail for any more of my bullshit

On 2003-05-21 22:39, Doctor Z wrote:
As far as the actual painting of the tikis went, the kids had an absolute blast - the watercolors worked perfectly! No mess at all, despite the none-too-neat nature of my 5th graders.

Doc Z,
Coincidentally, I was planning on doing the same thing at my Daughter's Birthday Bash this August. I have recently purchased 3 different styles of molds and have yet to pour them. I'll touch base with you off-board for some pointers. How long did it take you to pour 40 masks?

**Poly-Pop ***

[ Edited by: PolynesianPop on 2003-05-22 08:17 ]

Thanks for the tips!

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