Introduction: How to Make a Heat Moulded Acrylic Mobile

About: Hi! We are Inifinite Crafts, a small craft company with a big range of manufacturing equipment, including lasers, routers, and die casters. We specialise in manufacturing craft items, in particular letters an…

In this Instructable you will see how to heat mould acrylic butterflies to give them a natural shape and how to paint them with glass paints to create a fantastic and original mobile

Step 1: What You Need

  1. A selection of acrylic shapes of your choice. We used 10 x 3cm pearl pink daisies, 10 x 4cm pink mirror daisies, 5 x 5cm pink mirror daisies, 5 x 5cm pearl pink daisies (all with 2 holes one either side) 10 x 4cm transparent clear butterflies, 5 x 5cm transparent clear butterflies and 5 x 6cm transparent clear butterflies. (for the butterflies we requested that one hole be cut into one wing in the notes section)
  2. 2 dry sticks and some dogwood stems
  3. Invisible thread
  4. Glass paints
  5. Oven gloves
  6. Oven
  7. Baking tray
  8. Heat mat

Step 2: Prepare Your Acrylic Shapes

Acrylic is easily scratched so shapes are laser cut with a protective film still in situ. This film can be difficult to spot and may just make your shapes look dirty or burnt. When, and only when, you are ready to use your shapes ensure that all film is removed. Acyrlic mirror has a film on it top side. Other acrylic will have film top and bottom. For this project we are only heat moulding the butterflies. It may be worth leaving all other film on until you are ready to use the shapes.

Step 3: Heat Mould Your Acrylic Butterflies

  1. Place about 4 or 5 butterflies onto the baking tray
  2. Heat in a hot oven for about 30 seconds. Using oven gloves check to see if they are pliable and reheat if necessary
  3. Using gloves bend the wings of the butterflies and allow to cool on a heat proof surface
  4. Continue in batches until all your butterflies have been moulded

Step 4: Paint Your Acrylic

Using glass paints paint the flowers and butterflies to suit your colour scheme. You may require more than one coat to get an even surface but they ony require a couple of minutes drying time between coats

Step 5: Make the Supports

You can use simple dowels for the butterflies to hang from. However for a more rustic look we used some dry sticks from the garden and wound them round with dogwood stems. Invisible thread was used to secure them into a cross shape

Step 6: Work Out Your Design

Lay out the shapes onto a flat surface so that you can choose how to arrange the different shapes. We had 8 lengths; four longer ones in the centre of the mobile surrounded by four shorter lengths. We aimed to arrange the flowers and butterflies into a random design

Step 7: Attach the Lengths Together With Invisible Thread

Using invisible thread tie each butterfly and flower together as in the design. Ensure they are secure using the holes in the shapes.

Step 8: Hang Up Your Mobile

And enjoy a bit of summer indoors!