The first material we will talk about is cheap plastic utensils. They can be used to make a wide variety of alien looking plants if you use these very simple heating and shaping techniques. We recommend using a pair of thin leather gloves while doing this and never tightly hold anything hot. If you work quickly and keep both the plastic and your hands moving, only a small amount of heat will transfer to your hands. If an uncomfortable amount of heat reaches your hands through the gloves then you are doing something wrong!
We used a stove (set to a low heat) to heat our plastic but even a simple candle will work with some of the methods, assuming you aren’t doing too many plants at a time. A Pyrex dish is generally the best surface to heat the plastic on since it won’t stick and pops off easily. The heating surface will be significantly hotter than the plastic you are heating so always use a spatula to pick up the plastic.
Since we’re only covering utensils this time around, we’ll start with the easiest to work with: the fork. Break off the tines, stick the pointy end into a plastic bead, apply a little heat, and you now have your first utensil plant! This is one of the simplest plants to make, and is good to experiment with before trying others. The leaves can be easily shaped while the plastic is still warm and soft. Use a very low heat on these since you only want to get them warm enough to stick together and droop.
A second method that works well with forks is to keep the tines together and just break off the handle. Warm them up enough to be able to fold the opposite sides in together and form a squid shape. If you want a taller plant then leave the handle attached and role it into a more rounded shape.
Now that you know the basics, you can manipulate any utensil with the same techniques. To create variation, we like to mix in beads with some of our plants. You can paint the beads different colors, or keep them the same. Either way, it makes for an odd plant. A spoon in particular works great with beads. You can heat the beads up with the spoon, or put them in after depending on what look you want.
These were simple plants, made using the knives and extra handles. Unfortunately, knives don’t have the most interesting features for terrain!