Making your own buttons has a particular appeal to those of us in the portablizing community because it allows for more versatility when deciding on a color scheme. Why settle for colors Nintendo made when you can create your very own? Things you'll need: Oomoo 30 Silicone - $25-30 Art 'N Glow epoxy resin - $25 (Recommended) Lighter or small torch - $5 (Optional) Mann Ease Release 200 - $25 (Optional) Plastalina clay - $10 Clear plastic cups Toothpicks or plastic cutlery for mixing Painters tape Double sided tape Cheap acrylic paint or food coloring Buttons you want to make a mold of This guide will be going over epoxy resin rather than polyurethane type resin. It is nontoxic and approved for home use, whereas polyurethane resins can cause serious health issues and require a special ventilation setup. It is still recommended that you do this in an area with airflow that you aren't in, like your garage. You should also wear goggles AND rubber gloves while working. The fumes can cause eye irritation, and it's very hard to get off your hands. If you do get some on your hands, wash them in a bucket or outside with a hose as there will be problems if you wash uncured resin down your sink. I have used two epoxy resins with varying results. I am a huge fan of Art 'N Glow brand resin ($25 for 16oz). It is easy to use, easy to remove bubbles from, takes all kinds of dye and pigments, and most importantly, dries relatively hard. Easycast brand ($25 for 32oz) is similar, but the bubbles are harder to deal with and it cures noticeably softer. I definitely recommend Art 'N Glow over Easycast, but you can get decent results with either. Neither of these epoxy resins will cure as hard as the urethane type resins, but they are safer (and cheaper) to work with. Step 1. Preparing your workspace I strongly recommend putting something down as a sort of "placemat" to work on. In this picture I used painters tape, but the best thing I've found is plastic bubble mailers from USPS. They're free, a good size, and bendy so the resin just peels right off. You will need a fair bit of space to do everything, and epoxy is messy. You should have a stack of plastic cups, stirrers, paints and dyes, as well as a roll of paper towels and a trash bag nearby for spills and droplets. I also made a small separate mat for my bottles of resin and silicone because they can get sticky. Step 2: Making a Mold Just about any kind of button we might use can be made with either a one or two-part mold. A one part mold is a single piece of silicone that you pour resin into. To use a one part mold, one side of your button must be flat, such as a 3ds A button. A two part mold consists of two pieces of silicone that come together to form a more complex shape, such as a 3ds dpad. Note: See bottom of guide for a list of what type of mold your buttons will need. Here is an example of a one part and a two part mold next to eachother. On the left is a set of gameboy micro buttons, and on the right is a set of joy con buttons. Since the joycon buttons have one side entirely flat, they can be used in a one part mold. The gameboy micro buttons have intentations under them and the dpad has a post that sticks out, so you need a two part mold for them. If you plan to use a two part mold, you will need some Mann Ease Release 200 and some Plastalina clay. This clay acts like playdough, except it will never dry. The Ease Release spray is necessary to make a two part mold. You cannot make a two part mold with a general mold release spray. To make a one part mold, you will need a small container (I used one of my mixing cups) and some double sided tape. You put the tape in the bottom of the container and place your buttons flat side down on the tape. Then you just pour the silicone over it, easy as that. To avoid bubbles, let the silicone sit for about 30 seconds after mixing, then pour very slowly from high up above the cup. Don't pour directly onto your object, pour it slowly in a corner and let the silicone ooze over the buttons. This is what it should look like. After the molds have dried, they will look like the one on the right in the picture below. Notice that the silicone has formed a layer around the edges. Using your fingernail, scrape off the excess silicone. Do NOT remove the buttons from the mold until your mold looks like the one on the left, or it will be much more difficult. To make a two part mold, put a layer of Plastalina in the bottom of your cup, and press your button into it. Imagine that the part that sticks up is going to one half of the mold, and the part in the clay is the other part of the mold, with the place where they meet being a seam. You don't want the seam somewhere obvious, so try to put it somewhere not visible. Once you pour your silicone over the part and let it dry, remove it and take the clay off. Leaving the button inside the mold, spray your release spray all over the silicone. Put it back in the cup and pour a layer of silicone over the other side of your button. Once it is fully dry, you can gently pry apart the two pieces of silicone and remove your button. You now have a successful two part mold! For two part molds, sometimes there are "towers" of silicons that went deep down into the button that aren't necessary. You can cut those off if it helps get the resin down in there, just make sure they aren't the part you need. Step 3: Casting your buttons Now that you have a succcessful mold, it's time to start casting. Before getting in to your resin, be sure to set out all of the molds you will be using as well as a few extras. Since it's better to make too much resin than not enough, it's a good idea to pour any extra resin into other molds. Free buttons! Also make sure you have lined up the colors you plan on using. I have found that I can do up to five colors in one setting before the resin starts to become gooey, but it's better to start with one or two so you get a good feel of how long you have to work with it. Start by measuring equal parts of resin and hardener into two cups, and then pour them into a third cup and mix thoroughly. You know it's mixed well when the resin is no longer cloudy at all but completely clear. Don't worry about creating bubbles, they come out easily. A lighter or torch like the one shown lit near the surface of the resin pops all the bubbles on the top (don't try to burn the resin, just heat it). Next you can put in your coloring. While they do sell special pigments online for resin, I have found that the brands listed above can take both food coloring and cheap acrylic paint as pigments. Food coloring creates beautiful clear colors that look like candy, while acrylic paint creates either translucent or solid colors, depending how much you mix in. No matter which you're using, use it sparingly. A little goes a very long way and you can't take it back if you add too much. I do one drop at a time, mix well, and then decide if I need more. For reference, this cup of red resin had one single drop of acrylic paint mixed in, and it will create a bright solid red color. Adding way too much acrylic will make your cast soft so don't go crazy with it. To minimize bubbles, the best thing to do is let the resin sit for a minute or so after mixing. The bubbles will almost all rise to the top and pop. For the ones that are left, I angle the cup like in the picture of the red resin and use the torch to remove the bubbles from the thin layer of resin closest to me a couple times (be careful not to burn the cup). Then I take my stirrer and pick up a few drops at a time from that same place and put them into my mold. Pouring makes a mess unless you are doing large buttons like n64, so I just drop individual drops in until the mold is full. After about 12 hours, you can safely remove your cast from the mold. If all went well, you have a perfect button in the color of your choice. If you are having problems with bubbles, I recommend learning with food coloring so you can see the bubbles on the inside of the cast. That will let you get the hang of getting rid of them before moving on to solid colored resin. With clear colors like the one shown above, I have found that a layer of silver aluminum tape under the button really helps show off the color. Silver paint would probably achieve the same result, but it might wear down. Adding other things: I have been able to successfully add LEDs inside of the resin buttons on single part mold casts. I have also added glitter (don't put a lot, as it all sinks to the bottom), but there are other things you can add. You could add pictures and graphics or small objects, anything you can think of. If you make something really cool with resin please post it here for others to see! Buttons that can be cast in single part molds: 3ds ABXY and power buttons Nintendo switch joycon ABXY and dpad buttons Gamecube ABXY and start buttons (either don't fill the mold full or shorten the button before making the mold) Please note that the Gamecube controller and Wavebird have different start buttons. Buttons that need two part molds: N64 (all) Virtual boy (all) Gameboy Micro (all) 3ds dpad Gamecube dpad DS Lite (all) Gameboy advance (all) Gameboy Advance SP (All) Thanks for reading!