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.
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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.
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)
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.
Runner Up in the
April Fools Day Project: Prank Contest