Last month, for our Build Night, the Dover Public Library got to play with a fabulous mold-able concrete mix... ShapeCrete. Coincidentally, we were in the middle of a large(ish) re-shelving effort and, as mentioned previously, we're huge nerds. The result? Star Wars themed book ends.
We have a soft spot for Boba Fett and decided our project would be a relief of his helmet. After we completed the project we realized it was also sturdy enough to be a doorstop. So we present instructions for a Boba Fett bookend of doorstop....
You Will Need:
- Shapecrete (about two cups worth)
- 1 - "L" Bracket
- Box Cutter
- Duct Tape
- Hot Glue Gun
- Saran Wrap
Step 1: Create the Hollow Cavity of Mold
The first step will be to create the hollow cavity that will hold the shape of the design until the ShapeCrete solidifies. To do this:
- Cut the outline of your mold shape.
- Place the image on the Styrofoam and trace the outline.
- Using the box cutter, cut along the edges. Discard the inside piece of Styrofoam.
- The wall edges may be a uneven and a little flakey - Styrofoam does tend to get everywhere. Take duct tape and run it along the inner edge of your mold. This will keep the ShapeCrete from adhering to the Styrofoam, and will make it easier for you to remove the completed bookend/doorstop from the mold.
Step 2: Prepare the Mold Relief
Next it is time to create the pieces which will create the relief. To do this:
- Cut out the outline of Boba Fett's helmet.
- Trace the pieces on cardboard.
- Using the box cutter, cut out the helmet.
***Note, we felt one layer of cardboard would not give the relief enough depth. We cut out two copies of the helmet and glued the matching pieces together with the glue gun. This made the relief thick enough for the project.***
- Completely wrap the helmet pieces in duct tape. This will keep the ShapeCrete from wicking moisture from the cardboard, which could potentially discolor the final product.
Step 3: Assemble the Mold
- Take a piece of cardboard, larger than the size of Styrofoam mold, and cover it with duct tape. Again, this prevents the ShapeCrete from possibly wicking the moisture from the cardboard and discoloring the final product.
- Using the hot glue gun, glue the wall of the mold to the cardboard backing you just created.
- Next apply hot glue to the Boba Fett helmet pieces and glue them down to the cardboard backing. Be sure to center it.
***Note, this is a relief so remember to mirror the helmet so the image is correct when removed from the mold.***
Step 4: Pour the Mold
- Slowly add water to the Shapecrete and mix until you get the desired consistency.
- Pour the concrete into the mold, but only about half way.
- Smooth the concrete down and put the L bracket in place -middle of the lower wall.
- Pour the remaining Shapecrete into the mold
- Smooth the Shapecrete down
- Cover with Saran Wrap and allow at least 24 hours for the Shapecrete to cure.
***Note: Shapecrete recommends a 4:1 (shapecrete to water) ratio in order to a clay like mix, and a 3:1 ratio to have the consistency appropriate for casting. We wanted something in between. Liquid enough to fill the crevices but firm enough to hold the L bracket in place.***
Step 5: Remove You Object From the Mold
You should really wait 24-48 hours to give the ShapeCrete the opportunity to set completely. That being said, we were really impatient, didn't wait the full day, and our object still came out well. To remove the object from the mold:
- Begin by peeling off the cardboard backing. Because we used duct tape, it was very easy to separate.
- Next remove the helmet pieces we used to create the relief. These might be slightly harder to pull separate from the concrete, but we were able to help it along with the assistance of the box cutter.
- Remove the side walls. It should come off easily.
- Some of the edges may be a little rough so grab a piece of sand paper and sand it down.
Step 6: Create a Felt Base
To protect the shelves from scratches and abrasions, it's a good idea to cover the bottom of the metal.
- Cut a piece of felt slightly smaller than the bottom of the "L" bracket.
- Using hot glue attach the piece of felt to the bottom of the "L" bracket.
Enjoy your lovely new perfectly wonderful Star Wars themed bookend/doorstop!
PS: Yes, we did notice that if you look at it from a certain angle... it kind of looks like a giraffe. Who knew?