Thursday, May 21, 2015

Acrylic School Work Display DIY

I have this long hallway in my house where I display my kids schoolwork and artwork. It was always a mess, and kind of made me itch every time I walked past it. This is the before picture.

I wanted to do something fresh and clean of that spot, and acrylic boards were just the key! They are sleek and clean, and create great visual interest, while making a small impact on the space.

First, decide the size you want your boards to be. For mine, I wanted each board to be 2 feet by 3 feet. I asked Regional Suppply to cut the boards for me, which they did, perfectly! Regional Supply is awesome, and the prices are almost half of what you would pay at the home improvement store. They donated the acrylic for these display boards. Thank you, Regional Supply!

The next thing you need to do, is drill holes in your acrylic on each corner. We drilled through all three pieces at the same time. If you use a forester bit to do this, you will end up with clean and beautiful holes. Just remember to go slow! Also, drilling will create, "saw dust," because it melts the plastic. Remember to leave it alone until it cools, and then it will break off easily.

Next thing to do is mount the acrylic on the wall, using these standoff mounts. I got these from Regional supply as well, and they have all sorts of colors and sizes.

The plexiglass will be sandwiched between the two pieces of the standoff mount.

Put the anchors in the wall, and then screw the (larger) bottom piece in with the screw that comes with the anchor. After the bottom piece is screwed in, place the plexiglass over the bottom piece, and screw the top piece of the standoff through the hole into the bottom piece. It is easier than it sounds.

Leave the paper covering on the acrylic until you are ready to decorate, because acrylic can scratch, and you want to protect it as long as possible.

After you remove the paper, it's time to decorate!

I used pictures of my kids on the front, scrapbook paper on the back, and these awesome inspirational stickers that come in a pack of eight sheets for $7.99 from Hobby Lobby.

We taped the schoolwork they want to display to the top of the board, over the scrapbook paper.

I might even write on them with a dry erase marker at some point.

They turned out great, and I am loving this space so much more than I did before. My kids like it as well. Every child loves to have a board on display that is all about them!

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

How to Glue Acrylic - Solvent Welding - DYI Bookends

Solvent welding is is the act of using a compound to join two pieces of acrylic together. It is really the coolest thing! You can create all sorts of things with it, including these beautiful bookends!

I added my geode bookends for embellishment, but you can add anything you like, including coral or even spray painted toys.

The first thing you need to do is pick up a piece of plexiglass. I talked about where I like to buy it in this post, where I talk about how to bend acrylic. If you don't have a saw, the same company can even cut it for you! It will just costs little more than using a piece from the scrap bin. I use a thicker piece for these. I think it was 1/2 inch thick. I probably used $1-$2 worth of plexiglass, because the thicker stuff is more expensive.

To glue the pieces together, you will need:

To polish the edges, you will need:

My husband already had one and I didn't know, so I bought one. You never know what you might have lying around. Map gas burns at a higher temperature than regular propane, and is the key to beautifully polished edges on your acrylics.

We got ours from the scrap bin, and my dad cut it down for me on his table saw. You can use any saw. Just make sure to go slow, and use a fine blade.

Once you cut your pieces of acrylic, don't forget to sand the edges! Remember from my last post, that you want to sand all your edges with moistened sand paper?

 The next thing you need to do is cut the paper covering off where you plan to join the pieces. We used a razor blade.

Set the pieces where you want them to be, and add the Acrylic Adhesive. My dad is a pro at this, and he can show you!

It takes a couple minutes for the bond to be completely strong. Here are our results.

It's kind of like instant gratification, and the acrylic bonds are awesome!

The next thing you need to do is flame polish the edges with your bernzomatic torch. This step will make all the difference! I don't have a clip or picture of doing this, because I did it in the rain, but a good video on how to flame polish can be found HERE. I tried to do it with nail polish, and it did alright, but didn't work nearly as well as flame polishing. Plus, I felt way cooler holding a torch than a bottle of nail polish.

I LOVE my bookends, and will be sharing more acrylic projects in the next few days!

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


How to Bend Acrylic and DIY a Shelf!

I love acrylic shelves. I bought one the other day at the Container store, then I thought I might be able to make one myself. I was right. I was actually able to make it with the help of my dad. My dad is a genius when it comes to working with acrylics, and he did very well with an aquarium pump he created out of acrylic and sold. He taught me everything he knows. Lucky me!

I took a piece of 1/8 inch plexiglass that I got from, out of the scrap bin. They charge $1.20 per pound, and it is great deal! You will pay WAY more at the home improvement store. I don't think I even paid a dollar for this shelf.

These are the scrap bins:

They sit kind of by the entrance of the store.

You get the piece of plexiglass, and cut it into the size you want. You can use whatever saw you like, just make sure to use as fine a blade as you can. This will make for smoother cut, and decrease the likelihood of chips. 

You then sand the edges. A tip for sanding plexiglass, is that you need to keep the sand paper moist. I did this project with my cute dad, and we used his belt sander. He just misted the sander as we went to keep it moist. This helps stop the plexiglass from chipping. Next, drill holes where you want them to be. When drilling, you need to use a plastic bit, or a forester bit. You get the plastic bit from Regional Supply, and the Forstner bit from Harbor Freight. Go slow as you drill. A white film will develop. Make sure to wait until it cools to break it off.

Next, I am going to share a clip of how we bent the acrylic. We heated it with a heat gun for about 60-90 seconds before we bent it. Sorry this clip is sideways. I don't know how to turn it.

You can see how easy that was. All I had left to do, was pull the plastic coating off, and hang it on the wall!

It is perfect for displaying the darling robot my grandma made for my son before she passed away.

  I have a couple more acrylic tutorials coming your way, so be sure and check back!

Thanks for stopping by.

Have a Happy and Creative Day!


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