Our local makerspace theMakerStation recently participated in an Instructables build night for InstaMorph moldable plastic. We decided to make a Wall Sconce.
Have you walked the lighting sections of hardware stores and been blown away by the extravagant prices for relatively nothing? If so, perhaps you'd like to make your own wall sconce for less than 20 USD. Ours is a rudimentary design, but we like the bashed together brassy look. If this inspires you to make something with more embellishment do tell us about it in the comments!
You can find pics and details of the event at : http://www.meetup.com/Cobb-County-Makers-Meetup/e...
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need:
Instamorph (6 oz. bag will be more than sufficient)
Crock Pot (or other means of maintaining hot water - not boiling)
Extension Cord is helpful (used for added portability of your Crock Pot)
Matte Black Spraypaint
DecoArt Metallic Lustre or RubNBuff
A roller or reasonable facsimile (we used the handle of a ratchet)
Glass to mold Instamorph around
Paintbrush and Paper Towels
Step 2: Melt the Instamorph
It's very useful to use a crockpot or something else to keep the water hot when molding the Instamorph. One of the strengths of Instamorph is that if a mistake is made, you can simply remelt it and try again, however, this is made much more difficult if you have to get up every time in order to heat the water back up. Once you've got the water prepped, simply pour the Instamorph into it. Use a fork or tongs to stir and the Instamorph will bond to itself in the water. The Instamorph will turn nearly transparent when it's ready to be pulled out and molded. BE CAREFUL, there may be hot water caught in between the Instamorph pellets and if you squeeze that together, the hot water may spurt out at you!
Step 3: Moosh It!
The best way we've found to work with this stuff is to mold it into manageable pieces. Pull your chunk of Instamorph from the water and flatten it as best as you can by hand. It will likely cool down and harden, and if necessary, chuck it back into the hot water and then continue to flatten. We used the round handle of a ratchet to roll it into relatively uniformly flat pieces prior to assembly. Once you've gotten it down to about 1/4" thick, use the scissors to create (more-or-less) straight edges.
Step 4: Assembly Begins
So you've got small pieces of Instamorph but need to combine them into larger sections for assembly. This can be done using a lighter, heat gun, or hot water. We chose hot water, as we had it readily available. Take the pieces you are looking to combine and dip the edges you would like to fuse into the hot water. Once the edges turn transparent, moosh them together where you'd like them to meet, while being careful to maintain the thickness across (or not, if that's what you are after!). You may wish to place a book on top of the piece as it hardens to keep it flat, though you'll be molding it during the next step.
Step 5: Assembly Part 2
In order to give structure to our project, we chose to use a glass candle jar to mold around. Instamorph will stick to certain surfaces, like plastic, but will not stick to glass. As in the picture, once the Instamorph piece is softened in the hot water, pull the piece out and mold it around the glass. Once the piece hardens, you can pull it off the glass candle jar and it will retain its shape.
Step 6: Assembly Part 3
At this point, there will be more fusing. We took a flat piece for the backing, a flat piece for the bottom, and the rounded piece pulled off of the glass candle container and fused them together using the method previously described. We put a piece on the back shaped in order to hang on a nail on the wall. After it has hardened, you can begin cutting the bits that don't fit the design off with a pair of scissors.
Step 7: Nearing Completion
We chose to fancy our design up Portlandia-style by putting a bird on it. In the first image, you can see the template we used for the bird. While not pictured, we traced that onto a larger flat, thin piece of Instamorph, and then cut it out. Then, as pictured, we used the same fusing process to connect the bird onto the rest of the sconce.
Step 8: Nearing Completion Part 2
Take the Matte Black Spray paint and cover the sconce with a coat or two all over. This will enhance the false bronzing effect from the DecoArt Mettalic Lustre or Rub N Buff later. Also, in the last picture you can see the small piece on the back used as a hanger.
Step 9: Rub Off Metallic Lustre
Now to apply the metallic effect. We've chosen DecoArt's Mettalic Lustre, though Rub N Buff is a similar product. They are both a wax product with metal bits mixed in that give a very nice effect. We liked using a folded paper towel to apply the stuff. It's best to do a little at a time for the best effect and add more if needed. It dries in just a few minutes and will set permanently. If it gets on a part you don't want it on, we've read that Mineral Spirits will remove it.
Step 10: And There You Have It!
We placed an LED tealight inside due to the possibility of heat deforming the sconce. Hope you've enjoyed this Instructable, and if you make something based on the design, please mention it in the comments!
If you are in the Atlanta area, come check out our makerspace in Marietta two blocks south of the historic Marietta Square.
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