So what the heck are Mod Melts? Made by Plaid (the makers of Mod Podge), Mod Melts are meltable sticks to use in your hot glue gun and melt into small-sized corresponding silicone molds. These make resin-style embellishments for to use in various crafts, scrapbooking, jewelry, hair accessories, etc. They started making the rounds on many a craft blog this year as a hot new crafting product.
I had to wait until they finally came to my local craft store to buy some (I don't have the spare money or time to fly myself cross country to the big craft supply shows to get preview access to stuff like this). I'd wanted to get the sea glass clear sticks, but all that was left was the white. There were a few cute molds to choose from, but still kind of limited.
They started turning out better (although nearly impossible to get completely bubble free), but I noticed I went through a lot of the material pretty quick. 16 mini sticks cost about $6.99 and each mold was $5.99. 4 sticks made about 2 dozen pieces, but obviously not all turned out useable, so it does add up.
The big surprise for me was that they weren't super hard like resin shapes, more rubbery, like dried hot glue. And that got me thinking...why not try that?
So I did. And guess what? It worked just as well, if not better. I just used my high temperature sticks & glue gun. First plus was that the glue took a little longer to start to set, so it was easier to fill in the shapes and knock out any air bubbles. Second was that it didn't take a full 10 minutes before it could be popped out - I did about 5 minutes, so I could get painting right away.
|Left: Mod Melt nest, Right: hot glue nest|
And they painted up great - I actually noticed the paint coverage seemed better on the hot glue shapes. Can you spot a major difference between them?
|Left: Mod Melt material, Right: Plain Old Hot Glue|
Here's plain matte acrylic paint on Mod Melts from a Mod Melts mold. Ok results, but not quite as nice a finish:
I also noticed the molds weren't all that different than any other shallow silicone molds. The point of being able to make your own custom embellishments seems kind of negated when everyone is using the same 4 molds to make shapes, so I tried using different silicone molds too. I used this folk design fondant mold, which had a bigger assortment of shapes and more varying sizes:
The results were just as good with the glue.
|Hot glue molded leaf|
I made a bunch from this mold with the Mod Melts sticks too:
|Mod Melts material with a Wholeport silicone mold|
Of course there's probably some proprietary ingredients in the Mod Melts that makes them last longer or maybe their molds have slightly more details, but so far I'm just as happy with my hot glue & favorite mold combos. And price-wise, the regular glue sticks work out to be about 1/4 of the cost, so I can go crazy making embellishments and still keep it cheap. I thought this little discovery was worth sharing, so you can go DIY Mod Melts too!
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