Introduction: [spilled Coffee Prank/prop]

Happy April Fools Day!  This is a pretty authentic way of making it look like you (or someone else) spilled their coffee. Works well on someones desk, workstation, or even good on a hard floor. Simply follow the steps below and in less than an hour and around $6 you can have a great and authentic looking prop/prank that won't break the bank, and will pass the test of time.

UPDATE: I set this near my workstation at work and 99% of people that saw it said something, then just rolled their eyes when I moved it out of the way.

Step 1: [materials and Cost]

This is a very simple prop to make and the ingredients and methods can be extrapilated and used for other applications. You only need three ingredients and two tools. My cost was around $6.50 total.

Materials
1. A coffee cup you can "destroy" FREE or CHEAP
    (from goodwill or one you don't like)
2. Hot Gun glue $1.50 at Hobby Lobby
    (I used jewelery glue because the package said it adhered well to glass)
3. Liquitex professional acrylic ink -transparent raw umber color  $5.00
    (I found this next to acrylic paints and water colors at Hobby Lobby)

Tools
1.  Microwave or oven to melt your hot gun glue sticks
2. Stirring, mixing tool (I used a bamboo chinese Chopstick from carryout)

Step 2: [the Process]

Please keep in mind that you will be handling HOT objects and take the proper safety precautions before proceeding. This includes adequate ventilation and using safety glasses where applicable.


This is pretty easy. All I did was microwave the coffee cup with three glue sticks in it. The coffee cup got HOT and that is what ultimately ended up melting the glue in the cup. I started out with one glue stick in the cup, and added sticks (3 total) until I got the amount of "spilled coffee" that I wanted.

I don't have any specific timetable here because depending on the temp that your glue melts, the thickness of the stick, and your microwave wattage, times will vary. I checked the melting glue each minute that it was in the micro until it was a puddle in the bottom of my cup. Once it starts melting you can mix it or push the stick against the side of the cup for more contact with the HOT ceramic.

If you come across brown colored hot gun glue sticks you can melt those and skip the rest of this page.

The only relatively tricky part of the process was adding the coloring. I added mine in stages because I wasn't sure how dark I wanted it to get. When I added the coloring it tended to boil on contact due to the high melting point of the hot glue being around 400*f (according to the package). So after i added my coloring (about a dropperfull for each glue stick) I mixed it immediately. Lots of bubbles formed in the glue due to the liquid coloring boiling on contact. After that I put it in the micro for a minute and cooked it some more. If you do this a couple times the bubbles should be mostly gone.

Don't worry about getting the glue bubble free, most coffee with cream has tiny bubbles that form on the top layer. Besides, unless you have giant bubbles nobody will notice them until they realize that it's fake.

Step 3: [set in Its Final Resting Position]

After getting the color and quantity of "Coffee" that you want to spill out of your cup right, tip it on it's side. Please keep in mind that this is HOT GLUE designed to PERMENANTLY ADHERE to GLASS, METAL, PLASTIC, CEMENT, MICROWAVES AND OVENS. So please take appropriate steps to protect the bottom of your microwave or oven from being permenantly bonded to a coffee mug. I used waxed paper, but  a silicone baking sheet, or old silicone pan that you don't plan on using for baking again could possibly work. Let me know if you try this.

So, just tip the coffee mug on it's side with the "coffee" still inside and microwave for a couple minutes monitoring it closely. The coffee should automatically start running out slowly onto your microwave or oven protective element. If it needs some encouragement you can pull it out a little with your chopstick. My coffee has lots of little bubbles in it, but that 's really not that off from real coffee with cream having those little bubbles in it.

Step 4: [wreak Havoc]

I suggest letting your masterpiece cool in the microwave or oven (wherever you made it really) slowly. Mine started to curl up at the edges when I took it out to set it on a cooler surface.

What is nice about the Hot Glue is that it is still got enough flexibility so even if it doesnt dry perfectly flat, you can still bend it enough that it should still look good. It can also be used for years to come because it's durable as well.

Don't worry about it not being perfect either, it's more the shock factor that you're looking for. The fine details will only be noticed upon further examination.

Comments

author
RMP2003 (author)2016-03-19

XD

author
emeroth (author)2013-10-20

:(

author
soggymushrooms (author)2012-08-10

I'm gonna do this without the coffee cup and with yellow ink...

author
gtoal (author)2011-12-27

JB Weld is also pretty shiny and wet-looking when hardened. May have some potential for similar pranks...

author
becky5364 (author)2011-03-27

this prank also works with nail polish, just spill some on wax paper, then wait for it to dry, and you can peel it off and stick it anywhere, like on an important essay, college paper, or work document of a family member or friend

author
overblast (author)becky53642011-04-03

That's a great idea! (my wife will beat me for using her Lancome stuff). Will it actually "stick" to stuff, as in adhesive? I don't want to ruin anything or transfer chemicals etc.

author
nerd12 (author)overblast2011-10-06

you could also use white glue like fevicol for this effect. add color though

author
lunius (author)overblast2011-04-04

Not at all. it is almost like plastic or rubber once dry (The hot glue is, i dunno about nail polish..)

author
becky5364 (author)lunius2011-04-05

yes, that's right the nail polish is the same.

author
VinZent777 (author)2011-09-12

the easiest way to melt the glue sticks is putting the cup whit the glu sticks in a pot with water in the fire, you can see how much the glu sticks melts and add the color at the same time

author
saransaleen (author)2011-04-30

god i fell down seein ma das face when i put this on his laptop!!!!! rofl xd lol !!omg

author
rbbiggs (author)2011-04-03

lay it top of some important papers

author
HardwareMa.am (author)2011-03-28

Wonder if the hot glue with ink composition would work on the running sock instructable. I was just thinking when I read that one that I would like to try it with a color that Plasti Dip doesn't come in. Like a brown or beige.

author

Can you post a link to this instructable? My attempt to search for it was lazy and I didn't find it on the first page that met my search criteria.

author

https://www.instructables.com/id/Barefoot-Running-Plasti-Socks/

author
legless (author)2011-03-28

I shoud have added that you might want to tip the mug over on a piece of greaseproof oven paper that is very lightly oiled or your mug might end up stuck to the bench.

author
legless (author)2011-03-28

You can do this with an epoxy resin as well. Mix the resin and colouring in the cup/mug then just tip it over and let the epoxy run out. Most quick setting epoxies will start to set before the puddle can spread too far so it works pretty well.

author
wycohibito (author)2011-03-28

LOL!! I might just have to try this.

73

author
maslo (author)2010-04-05

Not really sure about using microwave oven for this - at least you should add a glass of water inside to prevent overloading the magnetron. Probably not totally necessary, though good to be aware of.

Instead of microwave oven, I would use hot air gun - if there's one available.

author
foothillfrontier (author)maslo2010-04-05

I wouldn't suggest using the kitcen microwave for this use if it was your only and best appliance. This being said I'm also the child that destroyed my moms flatware when I was 8 to make a windchime, but I digress...

You bring up a good point using water,  you could make use of heating this water and do a double boiler technique like you would for chocolate.

Personally, I used a microwave that is soon going to be replaced with a new over the range/vent/microwave combo so I wasn't too concerned about killing it.

author

I am not sure a double boiler would work in this instance. Boiled water only gets to 212 degrees, but you said you need 400 degrees to melt the glue.

author

I don't actually know what the melting temp of the glue is, Seemed reasonable that 400* would be a good temp to melt glue though.

author
aaronbot3000 (author)2011-03-27

If the hot glue does get stuck onto things, rubbing alcohol is really good at removing it.

author
wmkcross (author)2011-03-26

A non heat method would be to use white glue (Elmers) and a Styrofoam cup.
Have to experiment with the coloring tho. Add white food color for milk and use a baby bottle. (white coloring available from cake decorator supply)

FYI... there are also "low temp" glue sticks on the market as well.

author
TheRocker71 (author)2011-02-04

I live in az and all i have to do to melt the glue is stick it out in the sun for 15 30 mins hhaha

author
Callum Snowden (author)2010-12-04

You should smash the cup with a hammer so the bottom half is still intact then put it on the floor so it looked like it fell over, spilt and smashed :)

author
spictacular (author)2010-08-30

I would like to try it in a wine glass and try and use some coloring to make the wine a dark bright red

author
prankmaster109 (author)2010-08-28

won

author
gothcat (author)2010-06-08

GREAT TRICK :o) I have being using a trick almost the same to this but i have been using PVA glue and food colouring / paint Gives a nice wet look effect and does not kill microwaves. The only diffeance is you may need to make a small dam out of modeling clay to stop it spreading too far. It works great in the IT offices where i work and have even done a large random shaped pool in the server farm Luckily my co-worker saw the funny side after panicing :o)

author
mimekiller17 (author)2010-04-16

 thats so awesome i can homemake theese and i did this before so anyways i did something that has to do with urs this april fools
i did last year obvio8usly he didnt fall for it he picked it up, i am gonna say oh no i spilled coffe all over your desk, itll look realistic but he knows better hell pick it up and itll fly all over and ill say APRIL FOOLS IT WAS CHOCOLATE MILK!!! i laughed so hard

author
GEOGECO (author)2010-04-12

iv'e tried it  and it works i mixed red food coloring to make raspberry cordial

author
foothillfrontier (author)GEOGECO2010-04-13

post a picture!

author
arjay1491 (author)2010-04-13

 hahaha.... i just cant stop smiling from the things i could imagine if i do it with my friends :D

author
deephidden (author)2010-04-12

I work at a TV station, and it would be hilarious to see an IT guy or engineer freak out seeing this on the control board.  Priceless.

author
cybergod (author)2010-04-11

HE he he..... gotta try this one on the wife.

author
abusalem (author)2010-04-06

Excellent prank. Nice Job

author

Thanks! I don't know what to do with it since April Fools day is over, so I've left it on the kitchen counter and still have visitors falling for it. I'll probably end up sticking it on a shelf till next year though.

author
bowser82 (author)2010-04-06

Good stuff! Recently received (won) a hiddeous coffee-mug. This will be a good idea to put it to use :-)

author
katie j (author)bowser822010-04-06


(won)

author
falcotheimpaler (author)2010-04-03

 This is terrific. And is that the Dummy phone from "the Shack"? (I work there, it says 298 minutes from cake)

author

I can neither confirm nor deny these allegations.

author
JaredsProjects (author)2010-04-03

I might do this with a heat gun, because I don't want to get hot glue all over in the microwave.

author

you could also heat your oven up to around 400*F, but I didn't use this method and suspect that the hot glue may start to smoke. I used secondary microwave that is typically abused, but did not notice any glue exploding in the microwave. Like I mentioned, it was ultimately the heating of the ceramic that melted the glue.

author
nail face (author)2010-04-03

 would black paint work in place of the ink?

author

The short answer is that I do not know if black paint will work. One thing that I did not mention in my instructable is that the milkey color of the glue aided in the effect because when it dried it naturally turned my colored glue into a lighter brown color when it cooled.

If you use paint itself, I would try and use something that is acrylic and try mixing it well.

author
zascecs (author)2010-04-04

I really have to try this...
 

author
MadBricoleur (author)2010-04-03

Niceee....

author
Fizzxwizz (author)2010-04-03

I've been wondering how to do this for a long time after I saw this at a computer fixing store a couple of years ago! Good job.

author
Kaiven (author)2010-04-03

That is an awesome technique! Good job!

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