February 21, 2016

Acrylic Arm Rest Caddy | DIY

After a hiccup in another acrylic project this past week, it hit me I still had the perfect amount of materials to make this arm rest caddy! I first learned about using a heat gun on acrylic from Mandi of Vintage Revivals. After seeing her over-the-tub caddy, I knew an arm rest caddy would be a perfect project using the same technique! Since our couch is so large it can be a hassle to reach for my cup of tea as I’m reading every morning so this is the perfect solution for when my tea is just too far out of reach. 

Acrylic is a huge trend right now from coffee tables to ghost chairs and little home decor trinkets. I like how it doesn’t add bulk to the room like wood has the tendency to do or compete with any other piece of decor. After learning how easy using a heat gun is, the acrylic possibilities are everywhere! I may have to restrain myself from making everything out of acrylic. 

Materials: Piece of acrylic measuring 12″x30″*, 2 pieces of scrap wood with straight edges, Drill, 2 wood screws, painters tape, heat gun, measuring tape

Steps: First measure your couch’s arm rest. Start on the inside measuring from the cushion up to the top and then measure the top. The outside’s length will be the same as the inside. Depending on how wide you want your caddy section to be, take note of this measurement. I used 2 inches wide and 4 inches tall. After taking note of every measurement, tape off each measurement in order on your piece of acrylic- this is where the acrylic will eventually fold. Line your first fold up to the edge of one piece of wood. Make sure it is straight and level. Remove the tape and add the second piece of wood on top being careful to not move the acrylic and screw into the bottom piece of wood. This will work as a vice as the plastic heats up and folds over. Turn on the heat gun and move back and forth along the seam of wood until the acrylic starts to droop. Turn off the gun and fold down, molding it into place. Let the acrylic cool off. Continue this technique on the second line to create a U shape. For the last two folds that will make the caddy, turn the plastic over and heat and fold the opposite direction. This will make an S shape and will complete your caddy.

Extra Tips & Tricks: 

-Every caddy will be different according to your couch so take careful measurements.

Keep in mind acrylic can scratch easily so work carefully.

-If you want a snug fit, move measurements in .25 inches.

-If a fold doesn’t work right you can re-heat the acrylic and re-shape.

-Only heat along the seam of the wood so you don’t wrinkle the rest of the acrylic.

-If you don’t want a caddy for magazines and books, stop at the U shape!

-If you need to cut your acrylic, you can do it by scoring and snapping. Like this tutorial

What do you think? Want to tackle an acrylic project now? I’m thinking next I’ll be making some hanging vases or planters.