Plastic Spoon Flower

4 Posted by - April 22, 2013 - DIY & Crafts

You guys have been asking me to do this one for over a year now, I think, but it involves fire, and I am scared of fire (among many other things), so I put it off… until now. Yes, it’s the plastic spoon flower.

Image from Duitang.com

Image from Duitang.com

What makes it even scarier? The directions are in a language I cannot even begin to comprehend, except that “DIY” is apparently the same in all languages…

Problem number one occurred fairly quickly. I couldn’t figure out how the hell to cut the handles off the spoons, since my only idea of using a box cutter did not work at all. Husband saved the day with a pair of wire cutters that he just happened to have on his person when I just happened to ask what he might theoretically use to cut plastic spoon handles. (Boys are weird.) But it worked.

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Spoons thus de-handled, I began.

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Tip #1: Plastic spoons can get scorch marks. (Perhaps this is why they spray-painted the rose black in the original pin…)

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Tip #2: Plastic spoons can also burst into flame.

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Tip #3: When you are the Pintester, screaming swear words at the top of your lungs does not bring anyone running into the room to help. Even the dog just assumes you’re testing something, and you haven’t died yet if you’re still making noise, and everything’s probably fine.

This is usually true. In this case, I just blew out the flame and continued on putting together the center of my rose.

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I don’t even want to think about what kind of disgusting fucking cancer plastic spoons cause, because when you melt them, they get pleasingly gooey, but not all that hot, and you can squish them together and then they harden almost immediately back into plastic-spoon hardness. It’s not right.

Not right, but addictively fun.

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The first 2 sections of the flower came together with relatively little fuss (and/or screaming/swearing).

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It took me until about the seventh or eighth spoon to realize that the technique of actually holding the whole bowl over the flame instead of just running the edges around the flame is faster and produces more petal-like results.

And then it took me until the eighth or ninth spoon to realize you can burn a hole in them.

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Oops.

And here’s also where things started going all to shit. While the first two layers came together, no problem, I began to realize that the bottom layer and the middle layer were not going to cooperate. No amount of holding pieces of plastic over flame and sticking them together was producing any sort of satisfying result. As soon as I’d get one petal to stick, another one would snap right the fuck off. And they kept catching on fire.

I tried everything. I melted a few together and tried to attach 2 or 3 at once.

I tried attaching them one at a time.

I tried holding them together while torching them with my lighter.

I even tried sticking them together using one of the discarded spoon handles. Yeah. No.

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I tried to make this damn thing work for probably an hour or so, inhaling carcinogenic plastic fumes all the while.

When I finally gave up and pushed away from the table, stood up, and went to open a window, I was dizzy and felt awful.

(Side note: There are several possibilities besides spoon fumes as to the cause of my general feeling of grossness. I had also eaten a really old egg for breakfast and drank lots of Diet Coke for lunch, both of which can cause a general horky feeling. Add to that the fact that I had a little wine hangover, and the spoon fumes may only have been one factor in an ill cocktail.)

I thought I was going to hurl, but I’m sort of glad I didn’t. If I’m going to puke from a pin test, I would rather it be from drinking heavily or eating something really, really gross. Not from inhaling plastic spoon fumes.

Anyway, the results were unsatisfactory all around. I ended up with a dumbass-looking scorched-all-to-hell not-flower thing and a lingering nausea. Maybe “DIY” in this case really means, “Don’t Inhale. Yech.”

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  • http://twitter.com/HoneyM0nster Honey Laura Clark

    Okay, when I do my melty spoon things I’ll do them outside. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.baker.927758 Lisa Baker

    too funny. thanks for the morning laugh!

  • Lissa

    I’m so glad you didn’t waste a hurl on plastic spoon fumes too!

  • Ashley Chesson

    i’ve always wondered what they actually look like in person. i’m assuming that no matter what, in real non photoshop/photoshoot life, it will look like you are wearing some burnt plastic smooshed together.

  • Elizabeth Wedward

    Well, after reading about the fumes I felt like I was going to hurl. HA! I’m “anti melting shit” so I’d stay far away from that DIY. Thanks for proving to me that merging flames and plastic spoons is a bad idea!

  • http://www.facebook.com/katherine.horejsi.1 Katherine Horejsi

    Good on you for persevering, are you testing old Jillee’s essential oil headache and nausea remedies next?!

  • Grace Castellanos

    I believe you actually gave this the “old college try” – which is a dumb phrase in my opinion. My only desire is for you to actually model the end result. Well, not my only desire, but it may cause a giggle-snort or two.

    • Sarah Walters

      I agree Grace! “The old college try” is deceiving. Whenever I hear it I imagine a person chugging a case of beer, sleeping through class, and showing up everywhere in yoga pants and a sweatshirt.

      • http://twitter.com/shmcmullin Sarah McMullin

        And eaten ramen for every meal.

  • Breenah

    I wanna know how many times the original had to try it before they actually got something pretty.

  • ChickieD

    To me this is another one of those WTF? crafts – after hours of painstaking work you have an ugly plastic flower you could buy much nicer versions of at the dollar store. Again, and I know some people hate on me for this, but my idea of a good craft is: take inexpensive materials and make something WAY COOL that looks like it would cost a ton of money to buy from an artist. Not, take some plastic spoons and turn them into something you will throw away even faster than a plastic spoon.

  • Emmnemms

    I’ve really wanted to try this (I love fire and melting things… blame my brothers) but I just can’t imagine that it’s a good thing to inhale potentially toxic fumes…

  • http://www.facebook.com/joy.l.vasquez Joy Lu Vasquez

    so the little tiny picture thumbnail thing you have to click on to read the post was the picture of the spoon being held over a flame, and my first thought was “holy crap pintester’s teaching us how to do crack today” of course I failed to read the title, once again…
    Go Effort though!

  • Letitia

    I hope you have good health insurance, sistah. thank you for sacrificing your personal well being, yet again, for our entertainment.

  • http://twitter.com/kittnen Quincy

    The only time flame ever enters my crafting is when I have polyester ribbon that gets the no-fray treatment. But that’s just the tiniest amount of heat applied to make it work. You are a brave, brave soul.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ChunkyMonkeysMommy75 Lynn Steffen

    I’m so glad you’re here to do this, I was going to try, and well, now I’m not, so thank you for saving my 5 year old from inhaling grossness, and possibly watching me catch the house on fire! You’re Disaster Proneness has given me hope, that maybe, one day, I can not mess up a Pin! You Rock!

  • Danielle E

    Lol tried this one too, came out just as terrible

  • Chris McL

    I can’t be the only person left feeling vaguely disappointed that you didn’t manage to also set your paper alight … as soon as I saw the candle, the burning spoon and the carefully placed paper bag protecting the table, I was expecting small spot fires at the very least. But other than that, good job – you can say you’ve tried it, and now I don’t have to :-)

  • http://twitter.com/shmcmullin Sarah McMullin

    I tried one of these and burned the shit out of my fingers, so plus 100 to you for having the brains to not just hold the spoon heads in your fingers. (Insert penis joke here)

  • Cait

    I think this is one of my favourite tests. Absolutely hilarious!

  • Dana

    You never fail to make me laugh! Your flower actually doesn’t look too bad….

  • Meganp1800

    I’ve done this pin!! Mine turned out fairly well, but instead of trying to melt the spoons together, I just used super glue (and hot glue when I ran out of the other stuff). Mine had the ugly scorch marks too, so I used pink and white nail polish to cover them up! Overall it turned out fairly well, except I don’t know how to make it into anything beyond a glorified paperweight. Alas, that is a craft for another day! I loved this test!

  • http://twitter.com/ScienceSpencer Spencer

    If you count the petals in the pin’s flower there are at least 24. The instructions only say to use 17. FLAWS.

  • Tanyajeans

    I got a headache just reading about the fumes! And I agree, wearing melted plastic spoon jewelry isn’t real high on my priority list!

  • http://www.facebook.com/auntiewitch Caroline Burkhart Askew

    You should have left the handles on, melted those until they got all squiggly and skinny, and then you would have had lovely sperm pins. Which are probably just as classy as a plastic spoon flower.

    • Emily

      winner!

  • South

    A couple of tips for anybody who actually wants to try this: The spoons turn black when you hold them too close to the flame. This is actually ash, and it can wipe right off unless you let it melt into the plastic. To prevent this from happening, you need to hold it higher above the flame.

    Also, when it comes to this part:

    “As soon as I’d get one petal to stick, another one would snap right the fuck off. And they kept catching on fire.”

    The plastic is cooled, and when you heat it up in one certain area too quickly (such as sticking a melted spoon end to it) it causes the plastic to combust on a small scale. I am a glassblower, and the same thing happens with soft glass, except for the fact that it will explode all over your face if you let it heat up or cool down too quickly. In order to keep this from happening, you need to keep the spoons warm enough that sticking a hot one to it isn’t a drastic change, but also not so much that they melt again.

    At the same time, you’ve gotta wonder who came up with this. It was destined to be a failed pin.

  • Sunny

    I love your blog and am glad you chose to do this one to show everyone that cheap plastic crap will always be cheap plastic crap. Bad for the environment and of no actual need.

  • http://www.facebook.com/diane.woodard Diane Woodard

    I could almost smell the melting, then scorching, then (ew) burning plastic….

  • LKGirlHPFan

    I don’t think this would really work for anyone, let alone you. (Love ya though.) I can already tell you that I’m actually an artist, and I would end up with something worse than that, and probably burn my hair in the process too.

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  • Jessie

    I have done this one successfully, they actually do look quite cute.

  • Erica

    I know someone that did this and it worked great! =) She painted it with enamels and it was really pretty.

  • Paula Mazzoli

    Can you create the flower petals, let them cool, then glue the petals with something like:hot glue, Krazy glue, craft glue, etc? Then paint over the burned part?

  • Miss Ginger Grant

    How did you find 3 different sized plastic spoons? They come in sizes?! Who knew?

  • Tamarah Dixon

    I tried making this necklace back in November, and aside from a spoon death toll of 50+,it went rather swimmingly until I dropped the whole thing into the candle, effectively ruining any chance for other spoons to stick to it. On the plus side, I have 13/100 spoons to bring as my offering to future potlucks.

  • Kristin Gagliardi

    I did this. It worked pretty well. Took a long time, but I thought mine turned out pretty nicely.

  • Multi2ne

    So funny to read your test! I love your blog! :D

  • Ellie

    I actually did those and it just took practice but after a while, i made a perfect one.

  • Jenn

    +1 for inventing the word “horky”.

  • ThetaSigma

    I’m trying to picture what kind of person willingly sticks a giant glob of semi-melted plastic shit on themselves *ON PURPOSE* (also, let’s assume it’s NOT Halloween). I would either like to get to know that person (they are fucking nuts, and may be amusingly so) or I would want to run like hell from that person (they are fucking nuts, and NOT amusingly so, or are so annoyingly self-assured in their ‘perfect crafting ability’ that I’d go crazy. I would not wanna be friends with Martha Stewart).

  • Kim Pence Butler

    Mine turned out quite well and do look very nice, first you need a bigger candle, I leave the handles on until done and hot glue them together…I do them out on my porch but the smell is not bad… Hold them further from the flame and it prevents that… and I have yet to paint one black. I for one love these and they certainly don’t look cheap….