How to Make an Acrylic Plastic Candle Screen

Try this original technique to create a decorative screen that softens the glow of your candles.

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Materials and Tools:

2 pieces of acrylic
fresh flowers
computer scanner
computer printer
image editing program
light tissue
spray mount
heavy bond paper
craft knife
white nontoxic glue
light box
nontoxic wood sealer
sandpaper
foam brushes
nontoxic polyurethane
steel frames (pre-cut from local metal fabricators)*
water
gas torch
double-sided tape
wax cotton cord
acrylic clear coat spray

*A couple days prior to working on this project, place metal frames into a vat of water.

Steps:

1. Place fresh flowers onto computer scanner bed and scan an image. Alter the image to your liking and print two copies onto tissue paper. Spray mount the tissue to heavy bond paper so it can run through a computer printer.

2. Print two more images of the fresh flowers, but this time print the reverse of the image. Note: Create the image's reverse using an image editing program.

3. Cut out the tissue images.

4. Cover the first side of the acrylic panel with white, nontoxic glue. Quickly put the acrylic glue side down on top of the tissue. Moving rapidly, turn it over and smooth out the creases with a piece of scrap tissue paper. This helps prevent tearing. Repeat for the second piece of acrylic.

5. When both pieces of acrylic have tissue on one side, coat with the sealer and allow to dry thoroughly.

6. When dry, repeat steps 3 to 5 on the opposite side of both pieces. Use a light box to make sure that the registration of the two images is perfect.

7. Coat this side with the sealer. Each side should have about two coats of the sealer. Allow to dry.

8. Sand each panel on each side.

9. Apply a final coat of polyurethane to both sides of the sanded panels.

10. To make the metal frames: Remove the frames from the water and wipe clean, making sure they are thoroughly dry.

11. Use a gas torch to slowly fire the frames, making sure the metal doesn't get too hot or turn color.

12. Once the frames have cooled, spray with a clear acrylic coating for protection.

13. Attach the frames using the double-sided tape. Use a drill press to drill four holes into each panel.

14. Lace wax cotton through each set of holes and tie into a neat knot.

15. Set the acrylic panels into the frames.

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