See that gorgeous mod kinetic sculpture right there? No one will ever believe that it's made from cut up plastic pipes and hot glue, but that's really all you need to get the look. We'll show you how to pull it off in just four simple steps. (Oh, and if you like the wood wall hanging seen in that pic, you can make that, too!)
Things You'll Need
(3) 1/2-inch-by-24-inch PVC risers in a dark gray finish (check with your local hardware store)
Heavy-duty pipe cutter
Hot glue sticks
Cut the plastic pipes down into various lengths ranging from 4 to 9 inches using a heavy-duty pipe cutter. Cut off and discard the threaded ends.
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One note to start: there's really no right or wrong way to build this sculpture. Play around with the design and have fun making it your own. But for some basic building tips ...
Start by gluing three of the pipe sections together to form a standing X-like shape at the base, almost like you would when building a pyramid of logs for a campfire. Then hold the next pipe up against the bottom pipes until it feels like it's in the right spot (remember, this is all subjective). Once you're satisfied with the placement, glue the pipe to the nearest one below it, and repeat with the next pipe. Make sure you hold the glued pipe in place for 10 to 20 seconds to allow the hot glue to firm up before moving on to the next one.
Step back often to look at the sculpture as a whole. You'll want to shoot for an asymmetrical shape that feels balanced yet interesting to look at. There is no right or wrong way to do this — try not to overthink it!
Let the finished sculpture dry for an hour, then place it upright on a piece of scrap cardboard in a well-ventilated area. Spray paint it black, making sure to use multiple thin and even coats to completely cover the sides and ends of each pipe.
The reason we suggest using dark gray plastic pipes to start out with is that you'll save time and paint in the end because you won't have to worry so much about painting the interior of each pipe — the dark gray finish will blend in easily with the black painted exterior of the sculpture.
Let the painted sculpture dry completely overnight, then display it on your favorite console table or bookshelf. The cool thing about this type of asymmetrical sculpture is that it looks beautiful from any angle, so feel free to play around with different arrangements until it looks just right!