Shaving your head, eyebrows and facial hair to instantly apply a putty to your face when the time calls for it is an important skill nowadays, especially considering the joy you’ll bring with various candies added to the outer layer. There are a few options, but frankly, decoupage and papier-mâché is just so messy. Silicone is the way to go. Sugru is the magical ‘self setting rubber’ that allows you to mold, shape and sculpt for a variety of applications. You can get a 5-color multi-pack for $18, but if you have a larger head, requiring larger amounts or would like a different color, there’s another option, a DIY Sugru substitute called Ooogoo and it’s likely you have all the ingredients to make it in your cupboards.
Color and Mold Your Own Silicone Rubber
If you’re a fan of the Jude Pullen projects we’ve published, you will want to add a batch of DIY silicone rubber to your mix of skills as well. This substance will turn to a clay-like material once it begins to set up and it’s extremely simple to make using only two simple ingredients: silicone caulk and corn starch. Instructables users mikey77 shared his method for creating the DIY silicone/Corn starch mix he calls Oogoo.
For years I have been looking for an inexpensive way to create a flexible skin covering for robots and electronic circuits. I have tried several kinds of casting urethane rubber and silicone rubber. They all have their difficulties and either set up to fast or too slow. They are too thin or they are too thick. They are also very expensive in small quantities. Added to that is the problem that they have a very limited shelf life and usually must be used within six months. Sugru is great, but it is not affordable for making larger structures.
True, at $10 for 15 grams of Sugru, covering an entire robot would be rather cost prohibitive. Making your own not only gives you control over the quantity, but over the workability and color as well.
It turns out that corn starch is highly absorbent and when sitting around in an open box it will absorb moisture from the air. It is an extremely fine powder that diffuses evenly in mixtures. By adding the right amount of corn starch, the sticky silicone is somewhat stiffened and very quickly starts to set up from the inside out. While it still sets up faster on the surface than in the middle, the whole thing will set up in five minutes to 2 hours no matter what the thickness. The actual curing time depends on the temperature, the humidity, the amount of corn starch added, and the speed at which it was mixed.
- 100% Silicone Caulk
- 100% Corn Starch
- Linseed based oil paints (optional for color)
- Caulking gun
- Mixing cups
- Popsicle sticks
- Gorilla instant glue
- Gorilla tape
The more corn starch that is used, the faster the Ooogoo will set up. For example, 1 part corn starch to 1 part silicone gives you about 5-10 minutes working time. Small batches tend to work better and getting it to the appearance of cake frosting is about the consistency you want. Also, if you’ve worked with silicone before, you know it’s not any less messy than decoupage or papier-mâché (sorry), so you’ll find this process is a bit messy/sticky on the mixing, but once it starts setting up, it’s easier to form and work with. To help smooth out or keep from sticking on certain areas, a little Vaseline goes a long way.
View all the steps to make your own Oogoo DIY silicone clay here. If you’re interested in some tutorials and example applications, you can find one for creating a mold with Ooogoo, a two-part mold tutorial, an Oogoo casting tutorial and even how to create pourable Oogoo. There are also a TON of Oogoo projects on Instructables.