I volunteered to work on a sort of stage set “Harry Potter fireplace” for a neighbor (!), but was stumped as how best to accomplish this mission. My goal was to re-use a pile of styrofoam packing blocks that I have stored for years, just knowing these would come in handy for a project. Now, many months later, the project is almost complete. I fear the neighbor has outgrown this enthusiasm, but that is OK; I am guessing someone in Port Townsend will want a fireplace… :-).
This ultra lightweight “fireplace” is about 30″ wide, 25″ high, and 13″ deep with the hearth included. The back and interior is not final yet, and will be customizable! The hollow core and styrofoam is just painted, so the whole thing is rather fragile. I had imagined using plaster on gauze to create a hard shell over the foam, but that would be a lot of work, and the result would be much heavier!
I have found things to do with clear flexible cutting mats! I have made lamp shades, but there are many other options.
Clear translucent flexible cutting mats are readily available and affordable. You can apply paint, acrylic medium, art papers, and digital transparencies on this material. With a little care and planning, the cutting mat can be transformed into a great lamp shade, and the design will glow when lit. If you want to feature a design, photo, or artwork, use translucent paint or print to a transparency. Or apply opaque papers or paint if you just want to see the artwork when the lamp is unlit.
The lamps above are not new, but I don’t think I have ever featured them in my blog. It is an interesting functional way to display my work, although it does take some trial and error to get the translucency and color saturation to work. I wanted to enjoy the designs when the lamp was unlit and when lit, because I am greedy that way :-)!
I applied my art to clear flexible cutting mats to make the shades. The lamp bases came from thrift stores, and are probably bases from broken lava lamps.
I have used this technique to create wall sconce shades that feature photo portraits of community members; these are installed in our community common house.
I was limited by the mat sizes, but 18″x24″ and 20″x30″ mats are available now, which provides me with more options. I am currently working on a different home improvement project that will also feature my art over flexible cutting board material. I found larger sizes available from ChopChop Food Service and from Norpro.
This is a really handy material: stiff but flexible and easy to cut. It is very durable, the sconce shades have been in place for about 10 years.
It was a surprise to me that I did not find anything when I Googled “things to do with flexible cutting mats” or “things to do with flexible cutting boards”! Nothing on YouTube either. Someone else must have found a creative use for these affordable & readily available mats.