You can easily make plastic braids using an empty soda plastic bottle. You can make stems for artificial flowers, bracelets, and other jewelry.
Step 1. Cut a plastic bottle into a spiral
The width of the strip in the photo is approximately 4mm.
Step 2. Sit down, and place a hair dryer (or heat gun) between your knees
Pass the plastic strip through the hot air stream and twist it by stretching it with both hands. Note: Polyethylene terephthalate [PET] plastic becomes soft at around 70 ° C.
Step 3. Occasionally remove the plastic strip from the hot air stream to allow it to cool and maintain shape
Step 4. Continue the operation to make as many plastic braids as you want
Example that has been tested
Hot air gun: basic setting: around 300 ° C, calibrated using a digital thermometer. The temperature at the outlet of the hot air gun: at 15 cm> 100 ° C and at 20 cm> at 80 ° C
Hair dryer. The ideal temperature is located as close as possible to the hot air outlet.
- We tried different techniques to braid the plastic. A tight braiding is completely different from a light braiding.
- By pulling on the braid, you make sure that it is straight
- Control the width of the braid by choosing the specific thicknesses of the PETE plastic strip.
- To add resistance, braid several plastic bands together.
Examples of use
- If the temperature is too high, or if you leave the plastic in the hot air stream for too long, it may melt or break. (Read the toxicity warnings).
- The heat gun or hair dryer will get hot. It is advisable to wear pants during the operation to avoid burns. This is not a craft for children.
- Toxic gases can be emitted when plastic melts. Be sure to control the temperature so that the plastic receives only the amount of heat needed to soften. Don't melt it. Consider doing this job outdoors or in good ventilated conditions.