The following provides details on a procedure to make a set of breast forms from latex.
I'm open to comment on how to improve the process and also, where appropriate, where alternate materials may be obtained.
This document expands Pudgy Roberts' article several years (Several? More like a couple of decades) ago on a method of creating a pair of breasts forms. I've modified the process somewhat and improved (I hope) on it.
If you intend to embark on such a project you should read the
entire text before starting. Some tactical details mentioned
later may affect your approach.
You'll need the following:
Some additional parts may be necessary depending on your approach.
In addition you'll need one of those sets of plastic boobs that you can find at some novelty, costume, or party supply shops. They need to be of the hard type so that they'll hold their shape while making the plaster mold. Soft ones may be used if you figure a way to give them support. You can find them in different sizes and shapes to suit your own preferences. I wanted to create my own shape using clay or some other sculpting material but I'm not an artist. If you are, you can sculpt your own form. I'll discuss, in a moment, an alternate.
There are at least a couple varieties of latex that can be used to suit your own feeling. The type of latex you find at costume shops is relatively thin. It takes more coats to build up a sufficient thickness with this type. It does have the advantage of being less rigid than some other varieties and usually comes in a white form and a flesh color. The price on this is around $17 per quart. Some hardware stores carry a type of latex intended to create molds. It's also available in many craft shops. This tends to be a bit thicker so it builds up faster. It does tend to be a bit rigid. I've gotten this for around $12 per quart or $40-50 for a gallon. I've taken to mixing the two types to taste, using a cheap mixer I bought at a thrift store (also a good place to look for clothing.) A WARNING on the mold type latex. It generally contains ammonia. You want to keep it out of your eyes.
I also found a form of latex paint that helps to color latex.
This was discovered at a costume shop. It seems that a
little goes a long way in coloring.
A few quick notes about latex. If you get it in the carpet,
start flushing with water immediately and then sop it up.
Otherwise you'll never get it out. Work with a covering over
anything that could suffer from spills. Even your filler
could create some difficulties if you get it on the carpet or
a table cloth.
When latex has dried you can continue to make more liquid latex stick to it for a while. But once it's set for a long time (weeks? months?) you'll have difficulty getting more latex to stick to it. Don't set it aside if it will be a while before you can return to a project that requires fitting/gluing two latex parts together. I have a number of these that I can't complete now.
Latex build up on a brush is a pain to deal with. Between
uses you either need to flush/wash it out or store it in
soapy water. The former may end up clogging your plumming
and the latter tends to thin the latex a bit since you can't
get all the moisture out. I've found foam brushes at
hardware stores that are designed to be disposable. But I've
found a technique for using them over again more times than
their intended use. Between brushing on layers scrape the
latex of the brush on the edge of your container. Keep
the brush wrapped in cellophane wrap or a plastic bag. This
keeps the moisture and ammonia from evaporating.
Setting up a form
If you're using the storebought boobs to create your negative
mold place the plastic boobs with the nipples up on a flat,
clean surface that you can afford to pour plaster on. If
there are any major gaps between the edge of the boobs and
the flat surface you may want to use some clay or tape to
fill the gaps. Minor openings don't matter with a
sufficiently thick plaster. If practical, you may want to
construct a dam around the form to keep plaster from
spreading over the edge of your working surface.
The major disadvantage of using storeboughts is that they are
very frequently rather comical in size. The shape is often
inappropriate for our purposes. One pair I found was raised
between the two breasts and this caused a bit of deformity in
the finshed product after they were separated and, if kept
together as one piece, lifted from the chest too much. If
you want some control of the shape and size you may wish to
attempt the following.
|This mold was created from a set of stiff plastic boobs. Notice the exagerated size of the nipples. This set was a bit large for most usage so it was relegated to use with the plastic fishing lure material. Since the rise between the two halves doesn't come to the same level as the back of the mold I only filled it wil plastic a little above the rise. See the section on the fishing lure material for a set made from this mold.|
You'll need a medium size balloon and some stiff, thin surface that you can cut up. For this purpose I found something at a craft store that looked like two layers of poster paper sandwiching some soft material between them. It cuts relatively easily with an X-acto knife.
Cut the stiff surface to a reasonable size if necessary. How large it should be can be determined after reading what we're going to do with it. Cut a teardrop shape in the board about the size of where a breast would meet with the flatter surface of the chest, possibly slightly smaller. I used one large round disk to trace a curve for the bottom part of the teardrop and a smaller disk to trace the top end. I then drew connecting tangents to complete the shape and cut out the teardrop. The size of the overall surface should be at least a couple of inches out from the edge of the teardrop shape.
Blow up the balloon to an appropriate size, tie it off and wedge it sideways into the teardrop. Adjust the position of the balloon to give you the size and shape you desire. You might want to partially blow up the balloon before inserting it and then blowing it up the remainder of the way. Over inflating may give you that tantilizing undercut on the bottom end.
Creating a nipple can be accomplished by gluing a large button in the desired location to produce the areola and some smaller item on the button to make the protruding part of the nipple. Be sure to cover any holes in the button to prevent plaster from seeping in.
The reason for needing a fairly stiff supporing material is that we're going to have to elevate the assembly to keep the underside of the balloon from resting on our work surface so we can keep it level. Put some sort of blocking under each end or under the corners.
The balloon method only produces one breast. You might want to try to make two such so you can make two forms at one time. Getting a matching size is problematical. I think the best method is to create the mold, then use it to create a single boob from the fishing lure material described in another article. Then use that boob to create another mold. The second mold should be fairly close to the first.
|This is a single mold. When making this mold I made it to what I considered to be a reasonable size. But it came out larger than I thought. It's still useable though, as nothing says that you have to fill it all the way with plastic (see other article.) For a latex form you need to use the full mold. As you can see, this one needs a little cleaning up. The slight rise on the upper edge would need to be cleaned up for a latex form.|
Note: Two other materials, similar to plaster, called hydrocal and hydrostone can be used to make the cast. I've only recently come across these materials and haven't worked much with them yet. You can mix them just like plaster. They're supposed to set up harder than plaster and be more durable. I'm also considering using this because it should be more heat resistant. Although heat isn't a consideration for this project I'm working at using some other substances for creating a form that can get over 300 degrees.
Put a measured amount of water into the mixing tub. Don't over do it. You can always add more water later. Add plaster of paris to the water a little at a time. Sprinkle it into the water until it forms islands in the water. You can throw in a large amount early on. Using your fingers, mix the plaster in the water. Never whip the plaster, it tends to create bubbles. Add more plaster as necessary until you get a creamy consistency. You're going to ladle the plaster over the plastic boobs. Experience has shown that it's best to let the plaster set partially before ladling it over the form. This is necessary to allow it to be thick enough. You might have to scoop plaster from around the edges and dump it back on top. Use your own judgement. Try to get a uniform thickness. Don't leave any thin spots.
The plaster will turn warm while setting. Once it cools it should be safe to gently lift the plaster off the working surface and then pull the plastic boobs out of the mold. If you're using the balloon method a pin is the quickest method of getting rid of the support. If you use plastic breasts purchased at a costume shop they may have rather large nipples for comical effect. If the nipples on the breasts are too large you can mix a very small amount of plaster and use it to fill in the nipples. Once the plaster mold has dried you can sculpt out the nipples to suit your concept of perfection. Drying can be hastened by having a fan directed at the mold.
Rough edges can be scraped off by a using a suitable tool.
A fine abrasive cloth, steel wool or Scotch-brite may be used
to correct fine details. Now you need to apply the spray
plastic to the inside of the mold. Some plastics will
actually be absorbed into the plaster and are essentially
useless. You need to use a plastic that will leave a smooth
surface. This helps to smooth out the imperfections caused
by sculpting, prevents the latex from sticking to the plaster
and helps keep the plaster from feathering over extended use.
Note: The above paragraph remains as it was in the original release of this paper. Since then another school of thought has been expressed that the plaster cast should be left raw, that it provides a more natural surface texture in the latex. I've since done this and actually prefer it. However, the issue of imperfections still holds. Spray plastic or paint can help to smooth out the surface.)
Building up the latex
Once you've gotten the plastic spray dry you're ready to
start spreading the latex. I've found that the best brush to
use is the foam type. Standard bristle brushes are difficult
to get clean for re-use. The foam brushes are pretty
expendable at less than forty cents apiece. If you keep up
with when each coating is dry enough and immediately apply
the next coat you can use the brush over and over. Covering
the brush between coats also prevents drying. Scrape as much
latex off the brush as possible.
Apply however many coats it requires to build up the thickness you need. In the area of the areola/nipple you'll want to build it up a little thicker than the rest of the form, especially if you want it to stand out under clothing. I've sometimes placed somewhat harder material inside the nipple to make it stand out more. Brush the latex over the lip of the mold. You'll need some flat area on which to attach the back. It doesn't need to be quite as thick away from the edges but you want some thickness at the edges where the main bulk of the form meets with the back for strength. Just how thick you make it is a matter of experience. If you make it too thin the slightest provocation may burst the form and spill out everything. Too thick and it loses that natural feel and bounce. Only experience will give you a feel.
Note: Despite perceptions, latex is porous to some extent and can let the volatile contents of our filler evaporate over time. Sufficient thickness is a must.
I've sometimes used face powder sparingly every few coats to control color. This isn't necessary and it't difficult to guage how much. But if you're artisticallly inclined you might be able to get a better look by distributing color more realistically.
You're now ready to add the back to the form. This is where the gauze comes in. The original method was to paint the gauze with latex on a smooth, flat surface, such as a mirror, then use more latex to glue it to the form. However, this didn't really form a good bond between the two pieces.
The type of gauze you need is obtained from the type of pad that's about 2 inches square. By unfolding the gauze and removing the internal padding you get a larger surface. You may actually want to paint the first layer of latex on the gauze on a flat surface. You don't have to get all the space between the fibers of the gauze filled but you want to get the gauze wet. When the gauze gets wet it tends to stretch, something you want to control.
While the gauze is still wet with latex place it over one (if your form has two sides) of the latex breasts in the mold, stretching it across the edges. Using a brush dipped in liquid latex brush the edges of the gauze against the edges of the latex in the mold, always brushing outward, pulling the gauze with it. This helps to keep the gauze taut across the back of the form. If you don't paint the gauze before applying it and you wet the gauze after the edges have bonded you run the risk of stretching the center of the gauze when you do apply latex to it. It may help to brush the edges of the form with latex where the gauze will contact it before attaching the gauze. When brushing the edges of the gauze try to saturate the space between the gauze fibers to make a firm bond.
Repeat the gauze operation on the other side of the bust form (again, if your form has two sides. There will be some overlap in the center.) Allow the first coating to dry thoroughly on the mold. If the gauze was completely saturated it shouldn't stretch much after the first coat dries. Continue to apply coats of latex to the gauze until it builds up a thickness you think will allow the form to hold a viscous liquid. Be sure that all the spaces between the gauze fibers get filled to prevent leaking. The gauze helps add some strength to the latex backing.
At this time you may want to remove the form from the mold.
Peel it out carefully. Use baby powder, or perhaps
face/theatrical powder for color, on the outside, curved
surface of the form. This keeps the latex from sticking to
itself, something you want to avoid. Pulling stuck latex
apart, especially when it isn't set, tends to distort the
surface. Strive to keep the latex from touching itself until
you've dusted the surfaces. The powder will not prevent you
from adding more later if necessary.
|This is the latex form before being filled. Normally you want to leave it in the mold while filling it to support the work. Notice the fringe around the form. It will need to be trimmed off and the form cut down the middle to permit adjustment when put in place.|
You may want to use this opportunity to test the form for air
leaks and seal them up by applying more latex. Squeeze the
form gently to see if it will collapse. When building the
front portion in the mold you want to be sure that you've
built up enough thickness because touching up weak spots on
the outside mars the smoothness of the visible portion.
Thickness is difficult to judge while in the mold however.
Filling the form
Now place the form back in the mold. This will keep it stable for the process of filling it. What you use to fill it is up to you and your imagination. The original material I used was the gel that comes in those packs that you place in the freezer to keep things in your picnic coolers cold on outings. Some are clear, some are blue. The nice thing about this material is that it reacts to heat and will eventually warm up to something close to your body temperature. But it can be chilly against your chest for a while. :-) The manner in which you place the material inside is up to you. With gel material you will almost certainly have to open up an inch or so long slot on the back of the form and spoon the material in. The gel is slippery and you'll probably end up using your fingers to direct it into the slot. Use as small a slot as possible. The smaller it is the easier it is to seal. Patience is needed here. Fill the form up so that the back lies flat or slightly depressed to allow for the curve of your chest.
To seal the gap you will need to clean up the area around it and make sure it's dry. To protect the area around the slit I've often put a piece of adhesive tape over the area where the slot is to go before cutting the slot. This helps to keep the back of the form free of contaminents that might keep the final patch from sticking. Remove the adhesive tape before this next step.
Paint the area around the slit with a bit of latex and lay a small patch of gauze over it. Paint more latex over the patch. Several more layers of latex should seal it up. Before sealing up the gap you need to make sure that as much air is squeezed out as possible. Tactically you will probably want to cut your opening near the top of the form so that you can stand the form upright, forcing the air into the narrower space at the top. This makes it easier to force the air out without slopping the filler.
Let's talk about alternate substances for filing the form. I've tried a number of things with varied success. One thing I tried was the "Alien Blood" glop that's used in those Mad Scientist kits, or Ooze under some other packages. It may be the same thing as Gak. However, all this is moot. First, it's rather heavy and second, it tends to dry out, even in the sealed form. This makes me think that the latex is porous to water or at least allows it to vaporize though the membrane.
I tried mineral oil (baby oil) but it appears to attack the latex chemically (petroleum product, don'tcha know) and left me with a gooey mess. I had better success using glycerine. With glycerine, or anything that viscous, you can get away with making a smaller insertion hole for injecting. But it does take a bit of effort on your part. I got a hold of a juice injector at an epicurean shop. This is a large, syringe-like device. I made a very sharp point on the needle portion by cutting it at an angle. This makes it easier to poke a small hole in the back of the form. The cylinder portion is then repeatedly filled with the glycerine, the plunger is inserted and the glycerine is forced into the form. Although the needle has a wider orifice than a medical syringe, the viscous nature of the glycerine still requires a lot of effort to move through the needle.
Another fluid that comes to mind is clear dishwashing detergent. You want to keep in mind that the forms may spring a leak due to abuse and you need to consider the mess it would make if sprung. This shouldn't happen with good construction and normal use. But I stepped on one once and my weight is not inconsiderable.
I've also used hair styling gel. But it's turned out to be the most unusual. Considering how thick this substance is it's strange that it seems to seep through the latex faster than other substances.
I've recently started working with other methods of injecting the filler. One such device is a small pump that's designed to transfer oil out of your car's engine. It attachs to a power drill. I've also found a hand-pumped siphoning device that seems to work well. The main consideration is, how viscous is the filler material? The thicker the substance the harder it is to pump. The blue ice material would be nearly impossible to suck through either device.
I would like to hear of some other ideas for substances that have the right weight and feel for a breast. If anyone knows where someone can readily obtain or create the silicone gel used in breast implants, external breast enhancers, or something similar, I'd like to hear it. Medical grade is not a necessity.
Once you've sealed your work you'll want to trim the edges
with scissors. Don't get too close to the line where the
back meets the front. You need to leave a fairly good lip
around the form. You'd be a better judge of how secure the
seal is between the two. Depending on the size and design of
the breasts and the area you to which you intend to apply
them you may need to separate them up the middle. Now, just
place them inside your favorite bra. Of course, a bra with
elastic straps and thin cup material gives you a better
This is not the end of the story though. I decided to extend this process to make a body suit. I'll be as brief on this as possible. The process is not perfect at this point. I don't know the proper term for the body covering I bought on which to build. I believe it's referred to as a body briefer. Basically it's one of those thin nylon body coverings with the snaps at the crotch that comes up over the stomach and becomes a bra. The thinner, more flexible the material the better. However you may need something with more holding power for waist control. Certainly it needs to be white or beige. The fewer frills the better too. If you're going for a smooth look you need to apply enough latex to even out the decorative parts that can't be removed. Too thick and it doesnt' feel right.
Remove the snaps or hooks at the crotch, including the bulky assemblies used to hold them. Sew the parts of the crotch together, without overlapping them, with a wide stitch.
Now put on a pair of expendable cotton panties. For cleaner lines you may want to do a tuck. Now put on the body briefer. Coat your breast forms liberally with latex and insert them into the body brief in the logical place. Now brush the outside of the bra portion with latex, trying to force as much as possible through the fabric so that it melds with the latex on the bust form. Standing or lying in front of a fan helps to speed up the drying. A hair dryer might be helpful too.
When you've got several layers on the bust you can start applying latex to the body portions, blending it into the bust area. Hopefully your body has no hair on it as the latex tends to soak through and stick to hair. Covering the back is problematical and may require help from an understanding confederate. I had to deal with as much of the front as I could and painted the back separately, off-body. The results were less than favorable. The latex will feel cool on the body, but body heat will help the latex dry faster.
You'll need to trim off some of the elastic areas around the crotch, usually to follow the line where the torso meets the legs. This method also leaves the straps on the body brief, which may be desirable as it helps to pull the suit taut at the crotch. Speaking of the crotch, if you're a stickler for realism you can go one step further. It's not difficult to build a plasticine form of a vagina and make a plaster mold out of it. Using latex you can create a set of rubber lips and blend it into the suit. Using crepe hair available at most costume shops you can cut short pieces of it and latex it into the crotch. I've tried to use a very thick single layer of latex and carefully scattering the short crepe hair into it.
Consider that the above body suit tends to ruin the nipple definition of the form. With difficulty I've tried another approach. I've removed the straps and bra cup, put on a top of a thin material and overlapped the body briefer. I then placed the breast forms between the two so that the top lay under the breast forms and the body briefer comes up around the outline of the forms. I then apply latex in such a manner as to bond it all together. This isn't easy and leaves much to be desired. The edges tend to be un-even and you have to be very still (usually laying on your back) while you apply enough latex layers, with drying, to bond it. You need to apply latex to the top, covering the upper chest area and up over the shoulders. The back, along with further bonding to the body briefer and breat forms can be done off-body, but be careful removing the body suit. After everything is set and dry you may want to trim the chest so that a V' is formed. Clothing should take care of covering the shoulder straps.
I don't have the facilities but I think that creating the body suit on a form (mannikin?) that fits the brief without stretching it would help the process. This would make the suit fit tighter once the latex sets.
This body suit serves serveral purposes. One is that it
helps to smooth out my shape. I also don't have to keep my
stomach shaved to wear fashions with open sides. That's not
to say that it looks like real flesh, but to a camera it
probably looks okay. It also feels more like its part of me.
I'll admit to something that I do that may not be medically sound. When I wear the suit I always wear a pair of cotton panties that fit fairly tight so that I can do a tuck. But before I tuck I use an anesthetic spray to reduce the external feeling of that offending organ. (Actually, to quote a wise old man, "I love my dinghy!") I first spray then use a cotton ball to spread it over the entire crotch area. I then tuck it into the panties and squeeze into the body suit. So far I've had no ill effects and it feels quite pleasant. The anesthetic is basically 20% benzocaine. I stay away from the type that has other medicinal ingredients. BTW, benzocaine is the active ingredient in some of those liquids that are supposed to give you staying power.
I want to try to create something that will hold the bust form on my torso like a tight shirt without the need for straps. This is difficult because, as I see it, it must fit tightly. It might be possible to get it on by putting your arms directly over your head and wiggling into it, but getting it off would be impossible without either distoring it, having to cut it, or have someone help to remove it.. I don't want to deal with back closures. However, a side closure might be acceptable.
An addendum here. I've toyed with the idea of putting something inside the breast form before putting putting the back on. One item could be a Nerf ball cut to fit. This would help to take up space before dumping in the filling fluid. I'm just not sure if the Nerf material would absorb either the gel or the fluid too much.
I've also considered using that material found inside of those little cloth covered balls. It's a sticky feeling gel and has the right feel but doesn't have the right shape and bunching several of them inside the form still won't cut it. But a few of them would serve to take up room. I've done work with some plastics and would like to know if anyone knows how to make this type of material at home.