While this project uses an MDF letter the real aim of this Instructable is to show you how you can chemically fuse acrylic together for all sorts of projects.
The solvent cement used for this project was FloPlast SC250. However many different brands exist. It is not glue but instead works by softening the plastic which can then be fused with another piece to form a very strong bond.
Step 1: What You Need
- Item for decoration (in this case an MDF letter sponge painted to look like a summer sky)
- Acrylic shapes
- Multipurpose contact adhesive (clear)
- Solvent cement
- Disposable gloves
- Small, old flat paintbrush
- Baking tray
- Oven gloves
Step 2: Glue Your Anchor Points Onto Your Letter
Using the contact adhesive glue some of the acrylic shapes onto your letter. These will act as the anchor points for the rest of the decoration. Use a small amount of glue making sure it cannot be seen on the finished project
Note: When you design your project please be aware that if you add weight to only one side of a freestanding letter you will need to support the finished letter. If you wish it to be freestanding you need to consider the weight distribution in your design
Step 3: Mould Your Acrylic Shapes
- Preheat the oven to about 180C or 355F
- Put a few shapes at a time onto a baking tray and heat for 2-3 mins or until pliable
- Mould your shapes. To mould the butterflies we pressed them onto a rolling pin.
- Allow to cool while you repeat the process with the remaining shapes
- Once cool they will retain their shape. If you want to start again just place back into the oven
Note: The acrylic becomes very hot so it is advisable to use oven gloves or similar to handle them
Step 4: Fuse Together Your Shapes and Build Up Your Design
- For the stage it is advisable to work in a well ventilated area and wear disposable gloves.
- Using the small paintbrush apply a small amount of solvent cement to each surface and immediately press together as hard as you can for about 10 seconds. The solvent tends to damage the brush which is why using an old one is recommended
- Join the shapes in sections. The bond takes about 10mins before it can take any weight and therefore the design needs to be built up slowly so as not to damage the existing bonds.
- Once finished allow bonds to fully strengthen over 24hrs before applying any further pressure to it.
- Sit back and enjoy!