Author: raykong

Darth Vader Concrete Planter

This project began when I found a halloween basket of Darth Vader on sale after Halloween – $2.50.  I’ve been looking for project to learn/practice/experiment with silicone molds, so I chopped up the mask to make a two part mold.

original mask

I wanted the cavity to remain hollow so it could serve as a planter, so I built a box out of foam core and hot glue and placed the mask face up.  I placed one edge of the foam core right up against the top of the mask to block out the cavity – lots of hot glue on the underside to keep the silicone out.

Despite having watched a variety of videos on youtube, i tried a different process to make the two piece mold in two separate boxes.  Big mistake!

darth vader mask mold – smooth on Oomoo 30

The mold had great detail, but the two pieces didnt match up.  I tried to patch and fill, and it probably can be done, but i was in a rush to get on a plane and try to cast one of these for x-mas.  The result was some unevenness in the bottom, and spalling out of the sides which could be cleaned up better.

darth vader concrete planter


I also didn’t pour it up high enough to the top, in part because my solution for the cavity was a failure due to lack of proper materials and time.  The details came out pretty well despite taking it out too soon.

I also experimented with some concrete coloring agent and made this death star paper weight.  I prepared too much material so I poured a bit of Darth’s mask to see how the color would be.

death star paper weight
darth vader concrete with color

Its hard to see the color in the death star due to the lighting, but the mask shows the much darker charcoal color than the planter.   I think with some added colorant, it would be a nice deep black.



The mold required ALOT of material.  The stock we had at AMT was expired and hard when I opened the bottle, and it ended up taking 3.5 bottles, so essentially $100.

It was like taking a class for $100, which I’d have paid anyway, and I’ve got a half decent mold that can be used.  Im not sure how I would try making it again so that the molds could better align due to the cavity I want to keep.  If it were a solid head, you could build the box and just pour the material over the entire bust, and maybe that will still work if I figure out a way to cover the cavity.

Sorry for the sideways pics, I couldn’t rotate them for some reason.

dragon egg made of thumbtacks

Dragon Scale Egg

Materials Needed:

  • Styrofoam egg
  • Approx 550 thumbtacks
  • Cardboard to hold thumbtacks
  • Choice of nail polish or spraypaint
  • Clear coat
  • Glue
thumbtacks on cardboard
lots of thumbtacks
dragon egg made of thumbtacks
finished dragon scale egg made of thumbtacks and a styrofoam egg

The most tedious part of this project is sticking approx.. 550 thumbtacks onto a piece of cardboard. This step, however, makes the painting of the thumbtacks much easier, especially if you plan to use spraypaint.

Painting the thumbtacks

Paint each thumbtack – two coats may be needed if you want to eliminate any marks on the top side of the thumbtack. A much quicker method is to use spraypaint. You will want to use spray paint that is suitable for automobiles. If you want some of the shininess of the thumbtacks to come through the paint, you can start by spraying a clear adhesion promotor first. This can be found at any car parts store, along with a wide selection of spray paint suitable for metal.

Once the thumbtacks are dry, take one and place it in the top center of the styrafoam egg. Put the next thumbtack beneath the first, with it barely overlapping. Now follow a pattern like a swirl, around the egg, with each thumbtack barely overlapping the one above it and the one right next to it. By overlapping the thumbtacks, you lock them in place without the need for any glue.

When you get to the last tack at the bottom of the egg, place some glue on the bottom of the head before sticking it in. The glue is needed because there are no more tacks to lock it into place.

Now spray the egg with several coats of clear coat, which will give the egg a glossy sheen as well as help bind the thumbtacks to each other. I have also heard that some folks use mod podge as a final clear coat, which would also cause the tacks to better adhere to each other.