Add Colour to Your Garden – With Acrylic

Category: coloured acrylic, Gardening

Choose Coloured Acrylic To Brighten A  Low Maintenance Garden 

If you’re looking to add a splash of colour that requires very little maintenance in your garden, check out this customer idea and image courtesy of plastic experts,  The Plastic People. It doesn’t get much more low maintenance that this…

acrylic adds a pop of colour to any outdoor space wand requires very little maintenance

A green garden has been transformed with the addition of coloured acrylic sheets.  Translucent red acrylic sheets have been combined with translucent amber and translucent blue acrylic sheets.  The acrylic has been cut to varying sizes to create visual interest and suspended from wooden frame.

What a great way to inject some structure and colour into a low maintenance garden.

Read more details about this project here and learn more about coloured acrylic at The Plastic People.

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Affordable Kitchen Makeover

Category: coloured acrylic, Home Improvements, Splashbacks

If a new kitchen is the stuff of your daydreams but funding and implementing it the stuff of your nightmares, you might be interested in the easy and affordable update that acrylic kitchen splashbacks can bring, uplifting your kitchen (and possibly your mood when you’re in it!?).

grey acrylic adds stylish punch to a modern kitchen

For many, acrylic splashbacks have made a great choice because of the amazing colour options, for others it’s the variety of finishes; the more practical minded rate their easy DIY installation and the hygiene freaks amongst us love the sheer ease of cleaning and cleanliness offered by a seam-free splashback.

Acrylic splashbacks are perfect for kitchens…

Top of the makeover wish list is for new improvements to look the same as they did on day one and this is where acrylic kitchen splashbacks score highly.  Because they are cut from one acrylic sheet there are no joins or grout to clean or discolour over time.  Effective cleaning couldn’t be easier: acrylic kitchen splashbacks  simply wash clean with warm soapy water and a soft cotton cloth.

pistachio green freshens up a white kitchen

….and very easy to install yourself

Acrylic splashbacks are so light to handle that fitting them yourself is easy.  Solid colour splashbacks can be fixed to kitchen walls using adhesive Strong Stuff. Translucent or tinted acrylic splashbacks can be screwed to kitchen walls to avoid any adhesive showing through.

Acrylic splashback experts, The Plastic People have many pictures of customer projects showing acrylic splashbacks in customer kitchens  - take a look for inspiration.  More details, including prices,  about having acrylic splashbacks cut to the sizes or shape you need are also on their site.  If you have any questions about measuring up for an acrylic splashback contact the friendly team at The Plastic People.

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Create An Outdoor Room on a Budget

Category: Recycle

We’re officially in British summertime and entertaining and dining outdoors are two popular reasons which draw us into our gardens.   Follow these ideas from The Plastic People team to create a livable, usable space in your garden without overwhelming cost or time commitment.

Defining Your Outdoor Room

Outdoor dining rooms can be created anywhere in your garden.  Whether your dining room will be in an independent area (a gazebo for example) or will begin immediately outside your home (for example a porch or patio area) a good idea is to connect it visually to your home with flooring or planting.  Structural yet unobtrusive definition can also be achieved with clear acrylic screens.  Clear acrylic is a great material to use to frame and protect your room as well as give it structure without spoiling any views.

clear acrylic adds structure and protection to an outdoor garden without damaging the views


Use flooring to define your room – decking and stone flooring make better choices than grass to make your space feel more like a room.


Use plants to soften any hard edges around your flooring. Choose plants which evoke the feelings and colours you want for your room. Strategically placed acrylic mirrors can also be used to cover wall areas and reflect planting, providing a softer more ambient feel.

acrylic mirror covers wall areas and reflects planting for a nicer view


Water is recognised as one of the important elements to create an outdoor room. Table top water fountains and container water gardens are more budget friendly, easier options than ponds and waterfalls.  Any water feature can be further enhanced with a surrounding of acrylic mirror which will reflect the feature and add to its effect by magnifying its scale.

acrylic mirror by pond reflects light and water

Acrylic mirrors are a great way to make your outdoor room appear more spacious.

They’re also an excellent way to bring into your outdoor room (via reflection) planting you especially like from other areas of your garden.

Other features which will help to define your outdoor room are firepits,  flowers and lighting.

For more details about acrylic mirrors and clear acrylic for creating screens and balconies contact the friendly team at The Plastic People.

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Bending Perspex

Category: Working with acrylic

Bending Perspex or acrylic can be done if the acrylic is warm.  Once acrylic is cool, it will hold its shape.

Bending acrylic at home can be done with a heater such as a strip heater.  You will also need some clamps to hold your acrylic into your chosen shape.   A strip heater has a heating element running between two tubes that are water cooled. The tubes hold the acrylic sheet in place and you should be able to adjust them to the thickness of your acrylic sheet.

bending acrylic into a table

Here’s our step by step guide to bending acrylic:

  1. Remove the protective film on your acrylic before heating it. Otherwise,  it will become difficult to remove.
  2. Let your strip heater get hot
  3. Place your acrylic sheet between the tubes of the strip heater so that the tubes are at the place where you want to bend your acrylic sheet.
  4. Slowly bend your acrylic into your desired shape, bending acrylic away from the heated side (this side has more give to it and is less likely to crack).  By going slowly, the acrylic is  less likely to snap.  A 6mm piece of acrylic sheet can usually be completely heated at about 300 degrees for about 8 minutes.
  5. Use clamps and weights to hold your acrylic in the shape you want.  It is important to keep your acrylic in place while it cools.

Bending acrylic takes practice so try some test bends to work out the best settings for your piece.  If you would like help bending acrylic, do let our friendly Plastic People team know. They will be happy to help:


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How To Choose Between Acrylic and Polycarbonate

Category: Recycle

For projects requiring clear see-through plastic, acrylic and polycarbonate are the popular and most obvious choices since they do seem quite like each other.  Often chosen to carry out the same tasks, acrylic and polycarbonate have different properties and cost (with polycarbonate sheets being more expensive).  Read this overview from plastic experts, The Plastic People, to make the most suitable choice between these clear plastics for your project.  Both acrylic and polycarbonate are sold as sheets or as ready cut to the size or shape you need.

Strength – if withstanding damage is important

Both acrylic sheets and polycarbonate sheets have excellent levels of resistance to forceful impacts. Because they are clear plastics, they are often considered as alternatives to glass. Both acrylic and polycarbonate are stronger and lighter than glass and both plastics will withstand an impact that will shatter glass into thousands of shards.   Of the two plastics, polycarbonate is strongest – it is around 200 x stronger than glass; acrylic is around 10 stronger than glass. So, if super strength is your requirement polycarbonate sheeting is the better choice. (Though check out what acrylic is often used for in our list below – it may still be strong enough for your project.)

Colour – if choice is important

If you are looking for a plastic with a choice of colours, acrylic sheeting is your option.  Acrylic comes in a massive array of colours and textures.  The variety includes translucent acrylic, pearlescent acrylic, matt acrylics and high gloss acrylics. Polycarbonate is available in a very limited colour range.

Clarity – if retaining clarity is important

Acrylic provides greater clarity than polycarbonate.  At first use the difference is very minimal but over time (and we’re talking around 10 years) polycarbonate may yellow if exposed to the sun.  Acrylic can also be polished in a way that polycarbonate cannot  and polishing acrylic will regain its clarity –  making acrylic sheets a more suitable choice if continued clarity is important.

Drilling and Cutting – if workability is important

Both acrylic and polycarbonate sheets can be cut and drilled.

Polycarbonate is easiest to drill without breakage. In most cases you can drill anywhere on a polycarbonate sheet without any causing any damage. Acrylic is slightly trickier to drill and the closer you drill to the corners, the more likely it is to break.

On the flip side, acrylic is easier to cut than polycarbonate, especially with electrical tools.

Ongoing Maintenance

While strong options, acrylic and polycarbonate will both scratch.  Of the two plastics, acrylic has the advantage in that minor scratching can easily be buffed out. This can be done by hand or with a suitable scratch remover.  In any event, with either clear plastic the only cleaning regime should be with warm soapy water and a soft cotton cloth.  Abrasive cleaning solutions, chemical cleaners and rough sponges or scourers should be avoided.

In summary, polycarbonate bends and scratches but doesn’t break. Acrylic stays stiff and shiny but cracks and shatters under impact.  While polycarbonate is stronger than acrylic, acrylic is still very strong – as you can see by the projects it is used for in our list below.

Common Uses for Acrylic Sheet

  • Fish tanks / aquariums
  • Retail product displays
  • Picture framing
  • Museum display cases
  • Helicopter windows
  • Splashbacks
  • Animal / reptile enclosures

Common Uses for Polycarbonate Sheet

  • Race car window
  •  Riot shields and visors
  • Greenhouse glass replacement
  • Machine guarding glass
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