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How to Bend Popsicle Sticks
In case you read the title of this tutorial and are wondering why you would want to bend a popsicle stick (or lollipop stick), let me point you towards this page on Pinterest. This is a collection of all the many popsicle stick bracelets which are currently pinned there. Once you have learned how to bend popsicle sticks, you can make wonderful DIY popsicle stick bracelets, napkin rings (see these on Pinterest for inspiration) or decorations. Add a rubber stamped decoration or two and you have a... fab accessory which cost next to nothing to make.
What's the Big Deal? Surely You Just Take Two Ends and Bend...
If you try to take a popsicle stick and bend it, the result will simply be that the stick cracks along the wood grain. Or, if you can get it to bend without cracking it is unlikely to retain it's shape, therefore it will be pretty useless for stamping on.
A popsicle stick (also known as a lollipop stick or wooden craft stick) is made of wood. Therefore in order to bend the stick into a circular shape, you need to soak the wood first in order to soften the fibers if the wod. This will help you bend the stick and, with a bit of luck, you will be able to bend the stick until it forms a shape suitable for making a bangle.
How To Keep the Bent Shape of the Popsicle Stick
Once the stick has been bent the next challenge it to get it to stay that way. If you bend a popsicle stick into shape and then simply let it go, it will spring back flat (or at least flat-ish). Therefore in order to get your shape to 'fix' you must force the bent stick into position while it dries and the grains 'set' into their new position.Continue to 2 of 3 below.
02 of 03
How to Bend a Popsicle Stick Instructions
Here's the instructions explaining how to bend a popsicle stick into a bangle:
- Take the popsicle sticks and put them into a saucepan with a dash of washing-up detergent (this will act as a softener, reducing the surface tension of the water and helping it to soak into the grains of the wood). Put the saucepan onto a heat source until the water is boiling and then leave the sticks in the water to cool (you won't harm the sticks by leaving them longer, in fact this might help, so leaving... the sticks overnight to soak can be a good idea).
- Take one stick from the water. Carefully start gently bending the stick into a circular shape. At this stage you are simply flexing the wood.
Tip: just work on one stick at a time and leave the remaining sticks covered in water. This will stop them from drying out before you have time to work on them.Continue to 3 of 3 below.
03 of 03
Bend the Popsicle Stick into Shape
- Take a glass, mug or other receptacle which is the correct size and carefully push the popsicle stick inside. You may need to exert pressure to get the stick into the glass. Leave to one side for the popsicle stick to dry (depending on your weather conditions this could be from a few hours to 24 hours).
- When the popsicle stick is dry it will retain its shape and can be removed from the glass. You can then decorate this in a whole variety of ways, including stamping, painting or wrapping with... fabric to create an attractive bracelet, bangle or napkin ring.