25.10.10

Fiberglass Lightning Bolt

My awesome friend Alex has been teaching me how to work with fiberglass. I used this method to make an oversized belt buckle on a pirate costume, and about 30 seconds later realized I could apply it to some Rocky costumes. I can't wait to attempt the space suit buckle out of it.

The materials are pretty easy to come by - but the smell is vile. Worse than walking into an acrylic nail salon. You should probably wear a mask, protective gloves and eyewear. And you should probably do this outside or someplace well ventilated. The fiberglass resin is from the hardware store - and it comes with a tube of hardener. By itself, the resin will never harden.

I also added some pearl black jacquard pigment from the art supply store - you should see some of the metallic colors it comes in! Anyhow, you mix that right in with the resin. Once you add the hardener you have maybe 10 minutes to work with it. Sponge brushes are ideal, but a soft brush will work, too. For the most part, the mixture is self-leveling.

I applied it onto pre-cut shapes of 1/8" foam from the craft store (a.k.a. "Foamies"). I actually used the foam with an adhesive backing so the bolt would stay flat during the process - the fiberglass has a tendency to make the foam shape curl. It was dry to the touch in about an hour and then I did a second coat. I did the same on the back side and stuck a pin-back into the wet fiberglass.

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