Hard Plastic Bracelet Upcycled From A Styrofoam Take Out Container

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

Did you know you could make hard plastic shapes from styrofoam? Well that’s what we are doing today in the lab. It’s part fun science part silly craft project. To start we need to make a mold for our project.

I used some scrap cardboard and my glue gun to make a bracelet mold. For the inner circle I traced around a bangle bracelet and then matched the cardboard strip to the line I had drawn. I used the glue gun to hold the ring in place. Then I glued a second ring about a quarter of an inch away from the first ring to make a trough.

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet -

Note: You want to make sure the glue is on the outside of the mold so it doesn’t change the shape of what you are making.

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

Now comes the fun science part. Cut up your foam container and add a small amount of Acetone to a glass bowl. I tried using this plastic cup in the picture and the Acetone ate right through it. 🙂 The lesson there is to follow the instructions and precautions on the Acetone it is some pretty strong stuff.

Place the foam piece by piece into the Acetone and watch as it dissolves into a gooey glob. Once all the Acetone is absorbed put the foam into the mold and allow it to dry out and harden. My shape took a couple of days to harden.

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

Once the “plastic” has harden it is time to remove the card board. Carefully remove as much of the cardboard as possible without disturbing the foam shape. Some of the cardboard will stick to your shape but can be removed by soaking the shape in warm water and scrubbing with a toothbrush to clean off the remaining paper. You may also want to sand the shape to make it smoother.

Here is my shape after the cardboard was removed.

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

I decided to paint it with some shiny fingernail polish and a little silver paint.

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

You can see the whole process in this video.

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

Happy Upcycling,

Foam Takeout Box Bracelet

6 Replies to “Hard Plastic Bracelet Upcycled From A Styrofoam Take Out Container”

  1. Hello! I have to say that this idea is a great find that i didn’t think was possible.

    I was wondering if i had a glass mold would pouring the acetone in it itself and letting Styrofoam pieces dissolve directly in it work? Im hoping if it would help even out the mixture into the mold.

    Also, Would a a bit of ‘liquidish’ dissolved-Styrofoam-and-acetone mix take longer to dry but still hold firm?

    I am totally starting on trying this out this weekend!

  2. making a mold — rather than hot glue- perhaps duct tape ? did you use tools ( chop sticks, etc ) to put Styrofoam goop into the mold ? Mash to remove air bubbles?? I’m thinking making Coasters — light weight, could be ‘molded’ to fit the bottom of cups, glasses, etc with a slight lip edge ? I’m definitely going to ‘spearmint with this project!

    1. I did use a wooden skewer to put the goop in the mold. I was worried that I might get some air bubbles so I did try to press the substance into the mold but I think that it might just level itself out on its own. As far as the tape goes I did try it out on a different project but I don’t recommend using it as the acetone eats right through the adhesive. Thanks for your comments and ideas let me know how your project turns out.

  3. What would happen if you coated the inside of the cardboard mold with Vaseline [ so it would not stick to the Styrofoam] ? Lots of things could be made w/ this process – but good ventilation would be wise.

    1. I like that idea. I just started another project and wish I had read your comment before. Maybe I can try it on the next project.

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