I’ve always thought perspex (the same material as plexiglas or lucite) was a great material to work with. I remember back in school we made protective handles for plastic carrier bags — cutting, sanding and melting the sheets until they formed smooth, glass-like curves. Light, strong and elegant. I’ve been a fan ever since, but didn’t realize I could be creating simple structures in perspex from my own home with just a few inexpensive tools. This mirrored box is a great example of taking a cheap product and making it look much more expensive, and it’s much easier than it looks! —Fran
- Mirrored perspex, plexiglas or lucite sheet
- Perspex cutting tool or flat edged craft knife
- Protective gloves and glasses
- Strong adhesive
- Metal ruler
- Masking tape
- Tools for spreading/using glue (cotton buds, wood cut-off, plastic sheet)
1. Measure out the dimensions for your box. You will need:
3 – 3″ x 1.5″
2 – 1.5″ x 1.5″
1 – 3″ x 1.4″
I find it easiest to measure 3″ along the longest side of perspex to start with. Mark the top and bottom of the sheet, line up your ruler and gently use the sharp point of the craft knife to score a line. Go over this line four or five times, then take the ruler away. Wearing the gloves, take your perspex cutter or flat craft knife and find the right angle point. Hold this in the score line at an angle so your knife is making a V shape. Carefully drag it along the score line. It should make a squeaking noise and once you reach the edge of the perspex there will be residue left on the knife. Repeat this step up to 10 times.
2. Hold the perspex on the edge of a sturdy table.Wearing the gloves and glasses line the score line up with the table edge and firmly push down on the sheet. It should make a clean break. If you’re finding it difficult to break, go back and score a few more times.
3. Once you have this piece you can mark, score and break off the remaining pieces.
4. Take the two smaller squares and one of the three larger rectangles and lay them lengthways along a plastic sheet. Spread the glue down one of the squares right along the edge.
5. Press it into place along the edge of the rectangle.
6. Repeat this on the other side, leave until secure and turn onto its side.
7. Now spread glue along the opposite side of both squares (on the back of the perspex) and slot another large rectangle of perspex into place.
8. Spread adhesive along the longer lengths of the rectangles and place the remaining 3″ x 1.5″ rectangle on the top of the box. Then leave this to dry overnight.
9. Once it’s secure and dry, cut a piece of felt 3″ x 1″ and spread a strip of glue down both long edges of one side. Hold the remaining piece of perspex against the open box and press the felt strip in place. Half covering the last piece of perspex and half covering one side of the open box.
10. Once the adhesive is dry, cover the inside of the box with felt and glue into place. Peel off the protective coating and the box is ready!