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.
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.
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.
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.
I decided to paint it with some shiny fingernail polish and a little silver paint.
You can see the whole process in this video.