Sneaky Milk Plastic
By Cy Tymony
Don’t have a 3D printer to make plastic parts?
Use moo juice instead. Ordinary cow’s milk contains
a protein called casein. When separated from milk
by using an acid such as vinegar, casein becomes
a moldable plastic material that can be used to
create everything from glue to fabric to billiard balls.
Make your own custom parts for projects!
YOU WILL NEED
Spoon for stirring
4tsp white vinegar
Small neodymium magnet
1. Cook the milk with vinegar.
Pour 1 cup of milk into the saucepan and warm it to a
simmer, not a boil, on the stove.
Next, add 4 teaspoons of vinegar to the milk and
stir. After a few minutes you should see white clumps
form. When you do, keep stirring a few minutes
longer, then turn off the heat to allow the pan to cool.
2. Strain the casein from the milk.
Pour the milk through a strainer into a bowl to separate all the white clumps (this is the casein plastic
material), and place them on a sheet of wax paper.
3. Dry and mold the casein plastic.
Dry the casein plastic material by blotting it gently
with paper towels until it’s dry.
Mold the plastic material into the shape(s) you
prefer, and let it dry for at least 2 days. Once it hardens, you can color it with acrylic paint if desired.
TIP: If the casein is too runny to shape in your
hands, next time add a pinch of cornstarch to
the milk and vinegar mixture. This will make it
hold together better.
Shape your sneaky milk plastic into a sneaky finger
ring that will attract paper U.S. currency! Just hide
a small, super-strong (neodymium) magnet inside
your ring before it dries and hardens. When the ring
is placed close to a legitimate folded bill, the bill will
move toward the ring because of the iron particles in
the currency’s ink.
Excerpted with permission from Sneaky Uses for
Everyday Things by Cy Tymony (Andrews McMeel
Cy Tymony is the author of the Sneaky Uses for Everyday
Things book series.
116 Make: Volume