You might be wondering what a planetary bouquet is! Well, thanks to Instructables's Instamorph Build Night and the Rabbit Hole, I am now able to show you the artsy side of Instamorph.
It's this neat plastic pellet material that melts into a moldable plastic when you place it into near boiling water. You can use it to make functional items, or in this case, make artsy items.
- Instamorph pellets
- Color pellets (we got some from Radio Shack)
- Wire (thicker gauge)
- Nibbers/wire cutters
- Boiling water
- Small crockpot
The video shows a clip of the final product!
Step 1: Prepare Your Instamorph
For each of the planetary flowers, we will be using the base Instamorph pellets (white), and the color pellets shown in the picture. For this step, you will need to prepare boiling water. The instructions state that the pellets melt/congeal together at a temperature cooler than boiling water, but we found that it was not as reliable as putting boiling water into a crockpot kept at high. Note, the water is therefore HOT! Once the water gets out of the crevices between the pellets, the plastic is a bit cooler to deal with.
When you put the white pellets in, you don't need to put in that many - about 2 tablespoons per flower. Then using a fork, we just gathered the pellets into a cluster as it melted. If you're going to add color, you want to put just 2-3 pellets in, as they can be pretty potent!
Let them sit in the little hot tub for a minute or so before taking out to work them. If you need to rework them, you can stick them back into the water easily.
Step 2: Prepping a Flower
With all of the flowers, this is how I made them:
- Mix in the colors. You don't want it perfectly mixed, since you want some neat striations of color (It's like pulling taffy). This may take a few tries to get the color pellets to mix in appropriately, but you'll eventually get there!
- Stretch it out to be about 3x3" and flat-ish. Put this on a closed fist.
- Use your finger and press the center in. The plastic should be pliable enough that it will have some natural folds start curling in.
- Adjust the folds to how you want the flower to look like.
Take care not to pinch the bottom portion of the flower, it would make the flower base too thick to get the wire through!
Step 3: Put the Wire in for the Stem
The plastic is a bit heavy once all is said and done so we decided to use piano wire as our stem and pistil! You'll want to melt the bottom of the flower a little bit or just force the wire through the bottom if the plastic is thin enough. If you decide to melt the bottom of the flower, it will be quite soft, and you'll want to be careful not to make too large of a hole with the wire. Otherwise when the plastic cools and hardens, you'll have a hole that's too big and the wire will fall through!
And now to run through the different planets!
Step 4: The Planetary Flowers!
Some of these are a bit...interpretive but since I had the colors, I wanted to try to make representative colors for each planet (though Saturn got a bit psychedelic):
Mercury - I thought of this as greyish so I mixed base pellets with 2 black pellets
Venus - Yellowish/orange (toxic gases!) so I mixed base pellets with 2 yellow and 1 red pellet
Earth - Blue, White, Green - So I mixed base bellets with 2 blue, 1 green and tried to keep as much white/striation as possible
Mars - Red and stormy! - So I mixed base pellets with 2 red and tried to keep striations.
Jupiter - Also reddish/orange and stormy - So I made orange base, then added it to as well as 1 red pellet to base pellets.
Saturn - According to the site we were reading, it stated red, orange, and yellow, with some blue at the top. Hence the psychdelic look :) The rainbow streaks could also represent the rings!
Uranus - This is a lighter blue color than Neptune so we mixed base pellets with 1 blue pellet
Neptune - This is a darker blue color than Uranus so we mixed base pellets with 2-3 blue pellets!
We also added Pluto, even though technically it's not a planet :) and that one was done the same way as Mercury!
Step 5: Enjoy!
Here are the flowers as a planetary bouquet :) Of course you are welcome to experiment and try to make them look like actual flowers. I would have liked to try to make them thinner, but the working time (even with boiling water), is relatively short, so rolling them thin will take time.