Saturday, April 26, 2008

70's Craft Making A Comeback?

It's called vitriflore or liquid plastic. Victoria and I spotted a majestic bloom at the local ribbon shop and asked about the bottles and bottles of coloured resin right below it. This coloured resin is in liquid form and in a variety of colours, and when you dip a wired form into it, you make a bubble film that dries completely in less than 10 minutes. There were lots of colourful wires packed individually for you to match the liquids as well. It smells exactly like nail polish and I suppose acts as one too, chemically that is. Liquid thinners and strengtheners were sold together too. The thing with this craft is quite mystical, I googled 'crystal flowers' and none came up. But I gave it a long shot and googled 'wired plastic flower craft' and voila! I found Vitriflore. And Here you'll find simple instructions to this classic craft. I found the flowers a little tacky and old school, fragile pieces and too many of them make the whole bouquet too plasticky. So, what I did was, I printed out an outlined of a victorian motif and worked on a dramatic piece. LOL! I must have been mad to begin something so ambitious as a victorian motif. Read on....

I only bought 1 can of colour (RED RUBY) and the store owner advised me to get the thinner as well. I used it to liquify the thick solution. No instructions came with the bottle and all I have is some notion of how it should be done.
Shaping the floral wire to the desired shape. Mental note 1 - Don't make the motif too big to be dipped into the can of resin.
I didn't have any polystyrene at hand to poke the wires for it to air dry. So the tissue paper box looks like the next best thing. I started with some smaller motifs. See the thick liquid gathering at the tip? Well, I thinned the solution after with the thinner. Sorry, no picture of the dipping, but do go to the site I've recommended, there are tutorials there too. This is just my process. With the quick drying solution at hand, I couldn't possibly take any photos while dipping.
The bigger pieces of the victorian motif. I had to improvise since too big a piece the bubble film seems to just not attach to the wire and bursts. Mental note 2 - think bubble wand. The bigger it is, the easier it will burst before the film dries. I figured if you need to do mass production of the same motif, you'll need to pin the printed motif to a styrofoam block, lots of pins in strategic curves and bends and do the wire-curving more consistently.
The last piece set to dry. I bundled up the pieces as I wait for the other pieces to dry.
The completed motif. A dramatic piece, isn't it? I'm now thinking about a masquerade - phantom of the opera mask to make. There is a strengthener you need to buy to coat the films if you want to spray some glitter onto the pieces when drying. I can imagine a lot of cool projects with this classic craft.
And here's Nigel with his first cartoon doodle. We got this really cute sketch pad with easy ideas to doodling. It comes complete with markers and googly eyes too.


Barbara said...

Can't say I've come across it in the 70's and interesting craft nevertheless.

Starfish, darling! said...

I loved this stuff! I spent every penny I could scratch up to make these flowers! I have to find some, now!

Amanda said...

Oh those are fun to make! I remember making flowers at Girl Scout camp and we called it Whimsy dip. That was like 12 years ago or so.

Anonymous said...

I totally played with this in the 70s, and I've been looking for it lately in craft stores. I remember that it smelled deliciously toxic and I was beginning to think it was one of those things (like lawn darts!) that turned out to be far too dangerous to be put in the hands of children.

Thanks for finding this!

Arlette said...

Hi! I love your blog. I made flowers from this liquid plastic in the 60's. Two years ago, I tried to locate this product and found out that it is unavailable in the U.S. due to it's toxicity level. I found a U.K. company who sold this product. When I inquired whether they could ship it to the U.S., their answer was no as it was banned in the U.S. Hopefully they can revamp the formula so that I can get my hands on this stuff again. It was so much fun to create things from this product. I'm glad at least you can have fun!

Stacy Alexander said...

Hi there,

I would love to share this tutorial on my own blog. Would you mind?


cheekie said...

wow!I totally remember doing these in the 70's, as soon as I saw your post I was transported immediately back! I can remember the smell as well...would love to find the stuff!!!
Thanks for the 'trip'!

Ciyou said...

where did u got the liquid plastic?? you know what I try before is I use nails polisher to do some small stuff only. wanted to find this as I saw them introduce in those japanese books

Zuleika said...

I've never heard of this craft, it cames out beautifully. Looks like your son has your creative streak. :-)

Harisaran said...

Hello, can I find Vitroflora in USA?

my e-mail: practical108 at yahoo dot com.


Creative Touch said...

hi..i'm izzah frm malaysia..i'm doing this vitriflore..wanna share my craft works?

we are doing all this vitriflore for wedding such as hand bouque etc. come visit us

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BEST said...

This is great...I would love to try one, but can you tell us where we can find those resin? What is the brand name, would you mind if you also tell us the address of the manufacturer? Btw what kind of thinner that you are using?


Cheryl said...

I used to make these in Girl Scouts... boy were they fun! I did find a company that sells a kit called Pretty Petals. I think it is similar, but claims to be non-toxic... here is the site: