How to Mold Acrylic With Heat

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Did you know you can mold acrylic with heat? That might not be of that much of a shock to you, but how about the fact that you can do it with a heat gun or even your own oven? Yep! Acrylic starts to soften at only 320F, which means you can heat it in your oven or with a heat gun and mold it into various shapes! Naturally I had to play around with this technique and my Glowforge. So I cut out a few scalloped pieces and got to work turning them into jewelry dishes, fruit bowls, and mini planters! So many possibilities!

How To Mold Acrylic With Heat

How To Mold Acrylic With Heat

Materials to make heat formed acrylic bowls:

  • Cut Acrylic in your desired shapes (I used a scallop shape)
  • Heat gun or oven
  • Heat proof bowl (something that won’t crack when it gets hot)
  • Pot holder
  • Gold paint pen for rim (optional)

How To Mold Acrylic With Heat

I tried my hand at a few small bowls using acrylic cut to about 6″ in diameter, and it worked great with the heat gun. This larger piece, althrough photographed with the heat gun, required a little oven action to get uniformly hot and pliable.

Begin by placing your acrylic piece over a bowl that you want to use as your mold. Then either slowly run your heat gun over the surface for a few minutes until it starts to heat up and become pliable. You will just need to test it every few minutes to see if it has heated up enough by pressing down on the acrylic using the pot holder (don’t burn yourself!).

For the larger acrylic piece, place the bowl and acrylic in the oven and heat for 5-10 minutes (checking every few minutes) until it starts to get soft. Once the acrylic is pliable, remove the bowl from the oven. Then use the pot holder to press down into the center of the acrylic to mold it into the bowl shape.

How To Mold Acrylic With Heat

You may need to stick it back in the oven to heat again if you aren’t able to fully mold it in one pass. As the acrylic will harden again as it cools. Once you have it molded to your liking, remove the acrylic from the bowl. You can now paint the rim gold or (as I did on this clear bowl) paint the back with acrylic paint.

How To Mold Acrylic With Heat

How To Mold Acrylic With Heat

It’s almost like adult shrinky dinks! Now I am trying to think up other ways I can mold the acrylic! Maybe a cake server? Give me all your ideas for how you would mold acrylic with heat!

How to Mold Acrylic with Heat

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  1. Kari

    February 21st, 2019 at 10:40 am

    This is so cool! My big question is–how did you cut the acrylic?? Thank you!!


    February 25th, 2019 at 9:00 am

    I used my glowforge to cut the acrylic. It is a laser cutter for home use.

  3. Dianne

    February 23rd, 2019 at 6:17 am

    Where do you get your acrylic and what is it called. Get project for the older grandchildren


    February 25th, 2019 at 9:05 am

    I buy sheets and then cut it with my laser cutter. You can sometimes find cut acrylic shapes on etsy. Or if you have a laser cutter or someone with one, you can cut your own shapes. I buy my acrylic from a bunch of different places, but has the best selection.

  5. keLLy aNN

    February 23rd, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    That’s a really great looking bowl. What kind of acrylic sheet did you use? There’s so many out there. Love it.


    February 25th, 2019 at 9:04 am

    I just used a 1/8″ frosted acrylic for the green and red bowls and clear acrylic for the painted bowl. If you search 1/8″ acrylic you should be able to find tons of options.



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