Monday, August 9, 2010


I FINALLY figured out what to do with the bow! The answer: PVC pipe. I found a terrific website on how to bend PVC: The trick is to not only heat it thoroughly, but also to fill the pipe with sand so that the heat is distributed evenly and the pipe is supported so that it doesn't kink.

I started out with a five foot length of 3/4" diameter PVC pipe, but it was just a little too wide. But, I used it as my practice piece. I nailed nails into a board in the shape that I wanted, took out the heat gun, and got to work. It took about a minute to get the plastic soft enough to shape, and it has to be heated in no more than about a 2-inch width, so this was a bit time-consuming. But, it worked perfectly!

Once I was done, I decided which end I liked best, flipped over the board, and drew an outline of that side of the bow. Then I flipped the bow over and outlined it on the other side so that the outline would be exactly symmetrical. Because the middle of the bow is straight, you can also lengthen or shorten the bow length, determined by where you place the bow for drawing the outline (I shortened the bow a few inches.)

I went back to Home Depot today and got another five foot length of 1/2" diameter piping, and it is the right size. So I set about shaping it again. An observation - when the heat gun is on, it smells like the popcorn air popper. And if you get too close to the plastic, it browns to a nice golden color, like a toasted marshmallow!

But now I have the bow in the right shape. I'm going to cut off the ends and shape it with some kind of putty or clay to get the nice pointed ends of Susan's bow. I'm very excited - the rest should go pretty smoothly. This was definitely the biggest obstacle in making the bow! And it cost $2!

And here's the original for comparison - mine might be a tad too big, but I don't care - it's freaking cool!

Also, I ordered my shoes today! They're the ones third from the left. They're not quite that color, but they're the closest I could get.

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