Do you like experimenting with different craft techniques and upcycling ideas? We sure do, and we love the fact that we’ve received international recognition for being one of the best recycling blogs in the world!!. Those experiments don’t always work out as planned, but I’m happy to report that this polystyrene casting mold, using a repurposed takeaway dish, sure did. And this is the result, a gorgeous Celtic cross full of texture and interest.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

Both the hubby and I have Scottish blood flowing through our veins. Mine’s diluted with a bit of Germanic blood, while he’s a 50/50 mix of skirt-wearing ruggedness and little green leprechauns—one of the many reasons I love him so much.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

Anyhoos, this bloody marvelous mixture of Celtic blood has crept into our décor, and you’ll find Pictish art and Leprechaun-inspired crafts scattered throughout our home. So this homemade cross fits right in.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

This is a super easy repurposing idea, and you can use pretty much any stencil to make a work of art. Plus, you get to use something most people toss in the bin. Talking about throwing stuff out, our International Blogger’s Club (IBC) challenge this month is “Don’t Scrap It.” I think the Celtic cross qualifies 😉 If you want to see more “saved from the scrap heap” ideas, I’ll share what my IBC friends did towards the end of the post. 

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

Okay, before I share the tutorial, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!

What you need

You’ll need a large, repurposed polystyrene takeaway dish/plate for this craft. I’m not a big fan of polystyrene or Styrofoam, as it’s known in some countries. It’s a great insulator as we proved when we made this chilled beer caddy, but it’s horrible for the environment. Sadly, we get lots of load shedding here in South Africa, and when there’s no power, we order takeaways. And takeaways are usually served in a polystyrene dish. So instead of chucking them out, we save them for cool crafts like this one. Wash the takeout dish in warm soapy water before using.

Polystyrene takeaway dish

You’ll also need the following:

What you need to make a polystyrene casting mold

If you don’t want to bother with cutting machines or a craft knife, you can also use a store-bought stencil for the polystyrene casting mold.

Polystyrene mold casting – how to

Making the mold

Cut the Celtic cross pattern using your cutting machine or sharp craft knife. If you’ve never used a cutting machine, this awesome resource will help a lot. Transfer the vinyl cross to the clean polystyrene takeaway dish.

Cut and weed the vinyl before sticking it down on the polystyrene

Make sure to smooth the vinyl down and remove any bubbles. They’ll cause havoc later. If you’re using a stencil, use spray adhesive to stick it down.

Smooth out any air bubbles

Spray paint the vinyl……

Once the sticky vinyl is stuck down, spray with leftover spray paint

……And watch it start eating away at the exposed polystyrene.

Watch as the spray paint chews away at the polystyrene

Leave to dry completely.

Once the sticky vinyl is stuck down, spray with leftover spray paint and leave to dry

Carefully remove the vinyl.

Remove the sticky vinyl

And that’s it. You’ll be left with a polystyrene casting mold that can be used over and over again.

A view of the polystyrene mold after the paint has dried

If you want the mold to be deeper, you can scour it with the back end of a paintbrush.

You can touch up and "deepen" the mold afterwards with a paint brush

BTW, did you know you can use cardboard to make molds too.

Casting the mold

We poured casting stone into ours. Plaster of Paris and concrete will work too. The mold is not suitable for resin. Resin heats up as it cures and will melt the polystyrene.

Mix up a batch of casting stone or plaster of Paris

The polystyrene mold is rigid enough to withstand the weight of freshly poured concrete or casting stone…..

Pour the casting stone or plaster of Paris onto the mold

…..and flexible enough to easily remove after the concrete or casting stone has set.

Peel the polystyrene away once the plaster of Paris dries

The polystyrene mold is reusable. Here’s the first Celtic cross I made after staining it a beautifully rich, golden brown.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

It almost looks like leather.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

And this is the second one, using the same mold.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

I used brown, green, and blue craft paint to highlight the peaks.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

The finished piece has been mounted on Yakisugi scrap wood.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

Doesn’t it look so cool?

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

It kinda reminds me of a fossil.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

Or perhaps an artifact that’s tarnished over time.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

What do you think? Will you be repurposing your takeout dishes to experiment with polystyrene mold casting?

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

If you like the idea of making this easy polystyrene casting mold, don’t forget to pin it for later.

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

Sharing is caring

Get ready to be amazed by this experimental craft idea using a repurposed takeaway dish to make a polystyrene casting mold.. This unique technique involves two things that normally don’t play well together, and the result is a beautiful work of art that's full of texture and detail. Who knew this everyday material could be transformed into art? Full tutorial #ACraftyMix

More “Don’t Scrap It” ideas

Whether it’s upcycling furniture, repurposing glass jars for storage, or transforming scraps into crafts, reusing throw-away stuff fosters a sense of sustainability and mindful consumption. Something all of us at the International Bloggers Club are passionate about. Click the links below to see what else can be saved from the scrap heap.

International Bloggers Club (IBC) Challenge - Don't scrap it
  1. Rachel gave scrap plywood a complete makeover that’s both functional and curvaceously gorgeous.
  2. Kristin took all kinds of scraps to create an eye-catching display of things that make her happy.
  3. Sara and her hubby rescue old sewing machines and give them a new lease on life, even when they can’t be fixed.

Oh, and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered. Disclosure: Clicking on the links below means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉

Stock Your Home 9x6 Clamshell Take Out Boxes (25 Pack) Large 1-Compartment Foam Food Containers Disposable Lunch Container, Restaurant Togo Trays with Hinged Lids for Takeout, Carryout, and Meal-Prep
Cricut Premium Removable Vinyl (12 in × 15 ft), No-Residue Easy Removal up to 2 Years, Perfect for Indoor-Outdoor DIY Projects & Removable Decals, Compatible with Cricut Machines, Black
PCS Industries 1 Pound of Plaster of Paris (Made in America)

Awesome stencils if you don’t want to make your own Celtic cross.

12 Pcs Paint Stencils Mandala Stencil Template Reusable Plastic Stencil Drawing Stencil for Painting on Wood Wall DIY Craft Project Home Decor (8.3×11.5 inch) A4 Size
16 Pcs (6 x 6 Inch) Reusable Stencils, Mandala Stencils Mandala Dot Painting Templates Stencil for Painting Art Scrapbook (white-16pcs)
Rose Stencil for Painting DIY Decorative Stencil Paint Stencil Reusable Paint Stencil for Painting on Walls Furniture Crafts Wood Wall Home Decoration (Rose Pattern)

And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.

Sale Deco 79 Wood Floral Handmade Home Wall Decor Intricately Carved Mandala Wall Sculpture with Brown Distressing, Wall Art 36' x 1' x 36', White
Wall decor,Carved Wood Wall Art,Wood Wall Art,Wood Wall Decor,Wood Wall Panel,Wooden Wall Panel,Decorative Wall Panel,Wall Sculpture,Wooden Wall Plaques Set of 4-16x16 Inch - Antique White
Kvintes Wood Wall Panel Hanging Decor, Medallion Wall Décor Art, 12' Heart-shaped Decorative Carved Floral-Patterned Distressed White MDF Sculpture Wall Panel for Your Room or Office

And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix