I was noticing a particular bounty of laser-cut acrylic earrings in my feeds recently and, wondered about heat-shaping them. I did a few quick experiments and, they seem pretty good.
I am still playing around making video stories from some projects and, I did one for these (3m):
TL;DW (too long; didn’t watch): put the cut earring in the dish of a dapping block, heat gun on low, moving constantly with the center over the outer edge (to avoid overheating the center), about an inch away, for 30-40 seconds. When the acrylic starts to droop, apply pressure to hold in the desired shape. Then, allow to cool for about 40-60 seconds to re-solidify!
Thanks for the “short” version of how to reshape the acrylic. Will have to try that.
I don’t own a heat gun. Will a blow drier work? Or a brief period in an oven?
I’ve done this successfully - at ~270-300º it is nicely malleable.
Those are really beautiful! I love the colors. I’ve done some things with heat and acrylic…and it’s pretty amazing…and fun. I actually used our outdoor grill to do this one;
I’ve been making a lot of acrylic earrings lately…I should revisit this technique. I did purchase a dapping block, too…so this is a great idea…thank you!
I don’t own a blow dryer but, it might work. Give it a try and let us know!
As @deirdrebeth says, the oven will work. You can even leave it in until it slumps into the depression of it’s own accord.
Note that you can get a small crafting heat gun for ~$11 USD.
Thanks! I had no idea they are so affordable.
Thanks. How long do you leave it in the oven?
This is really cool. Thank you for sharing your process, including your initial attempt at heating the acrylic. I can imagine some situations in which the bubbling is desirable, but does int weaken the integrity of the acrylic?
Possibly. The green ones I did that to seem fine. They don’t feel any more fragile than the others. There is not a huge amount of bubbling there, though. I’m not likely to use that as an intentional technique but, who knows? Sometimes those things are “happy accidents.”
Actually, the opposite is true. Annealing acrylic strengthens it, not the other way around.
…until it’s soft enough? It’s not a solid answer, but the times have varied quite a bit depending on thickness of acrylic - and the number of cut-outs in it. Closer to 5 minutes than 10, I think I’ve pulled after 2 successfully, but mostly I just watch through the window until it starts slumping then I reach in and push at it - if it doesn’t go where I want it to I put it back in for a bit. More an art than a science!
This. When I made the little bowl, I kept watching it too…didn’t seem like it was working at all, so I put the other small bowl on top of it and started pushing it down. It was ready alright, but you couldn’t tell by looking. 1/4" acrylic was no doubt a bit slower to go anywhere, though.
Oh, I love these! Great technique!