Art is subjective. And sometimes art comes in the form of a bowl. I totally get that an abstract, clear plastic, funky fruit bowl is not up everyone’s alley. But I love to mix in unexpected items into my decor. I think it gives the space interest and keeps it from being stale.
I have had this idea swimming around in my head for awhile now and when I saw that HomeRight made a Heat Gun (affiliate link) I knew how I was going to make it happen. And luckily, as an ambassador, I get to try out their products! I also get to GIVEAWAY their products. So scroll down and enter :)
Needle Nose Pliers (optional)
If I am being totally honest here, I was scared this was going to be a total FAIL. I had never tried to manipulate plexiglass and I didn’t know if I could take a square piece of something and turn it into a “round” bowl. But I think everything is worth a try so I gave it a shot.
The plexiglass actually comes as a rectangle. It was cut on my table saw. Make sure you have a blade with smaller teeth so it doesn’t rip the edge up. Or you can use a knife that is meant to cut acrylic. Holed a straight edge up to the line and score it many times. Then snap it off.
Peel the protective film off of both sides.
Place the plastic on top of a metal bowl to use as a mold of sorts.
I will just throw it out there that you really should do this outside if possible. But it has been raining buckets here. BUCKETS. So my dining room gets turned into a workshop when the weather doesn’t cooperate. If you have to do in indoors, please have really good ventilation. I had all my windows and doors open and a fan on. I also wore a mask.
Make sure that the bowl or object you put the plexiglass on is tall enough. I realized as I went to bend the first corner down, that the bowl was not tall enough. I stacked a couple of paint cans under it. I know. Totally jimmy rigged and not very legit. If I were to do this again I would have placed the metal bowl on a metal stool I have. See, I get to make all the mistakes so you can do it better :)
I also found that I needed something heavy on top to keep the plastic in place (centered) so I grabbed a heavy ceramic pitcher from the shelf next to me.
I read the instructions before starting. Then I plugged it in and put it on setting 2 and on high heat. When you are bending the corners down, try to think about where it will need to bend in order to go down. Heat those places really well. Don’t worry about heating the entire space. I did along the top and the sides to allow it to bend down.
Once all of the corners are down, I flipped it right side up.
Sorry I don’t have a lot of in between pictures of the process. Between the gloves, holding a heat gun in one hand, and having no one to take the pictures for me, it was hard to document the process.
This picture up above shows there is one last pointy side that needs bending. In order to do this, you WILL need to heat the whole surface area. Then when the whole area is heated up and soft, turn the heat gun off and set it on a safe surface (ex. concrete or something that won’t burn or melt). With your hands (that have leather gloves on them) squeeze the two side together to create a ripped, or wavy effect. I also went around and heated the first parts I did a bit more to make them more exaggerated. When I was reading about bending plexiglass online before attempting this project, one article said to be careful and not get the gun too close tot he plastic or else it would bubble. Well folks, I LOVE seeded glass so I decided to do it on purpose!
I didn’t go too crazy. I just did random spots here and there. But I love the effect! I loved the experience. I love knowing that even if I did this a thousand times they would all be unique. Now I am think of what else I can melt……
A few of the MANY projects you can do with a heat gun:
*Removing old paint *Removing bumper sticker or stickers on other surfaces *Making Crème brûlée *Embossing *Shrink wrap (gifts, products, windows) *Thaw frozen pipes *Upholstering something in Vinyl *Heating floor adhesive for easier removal
Enter below using the rafflecopter widget. Give it a sec to load. Sometimes the old gal is slow. *Must be 18 years or older and a resident of the USA at the time of the contest. Giveaway will run from August 27, 2014 until September 2, 2014. The winner will be chosen via random.org and notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was compensated for this review post but the project idea, thoughts, and opinions are all my own!