Canopy Step 3.jpg

These are the component instructions for the assembly and construction of the Poly Pod designed by Team Apple Skins.The solution consists of windows, two awnings, planters, a door, and a canopy. Instructions for each component are below.

How to Build[edit | edit source]

Before beginning construction on any component of the Poly Pod, we recommend first watching this online tutorial that demonstrates how to iron plastic bags together. This tutorial answers questions regarding iron heat, length of application, number of bags to use, and more.

Windows[edit | edit source]

Produce Bags! (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

To make one window panel, assemble nine clear plastic bags and two rectangular pieces of bubble wrap. The bubble wrap should be approximately the same size as the clear bags you are using. We found that produce bags from the grocery store work well.

Bubble Wrap! (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Iron a single plastic bag onto each side of both pieces of bubble wrap. When ironing, do not hold the iron in one place for more than two seconds at a time, as that will cause the bubble wrap to pop. To iron the two pieces of encased bubble wrap together, use the iron to crimp three edges of the two panels together. This will help keep the two pieces of bubble wrap together while you are ironing them together. Leaving one side open allows for air to escape from that fourth side.

Take advantage of the heat needed to iron the bubble wrap together to attach more plastic bags to the bubble wrap. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Iron another clear bag on each side of the panel.

Crimp edges for a nice look. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

When both pieces of bubble wrap are securely attached to each other, crimp shut the fourth side. This makes the resulting panel stronger.

Window, produce bag, bubble wrap. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Iron two to four more clear bags to either side of your window panel depending on how rigid you want it.

Iron window panels together by overlapping the crimped edges with the main panels to create larger windows.

Awning Style A[edit | edit source]

Carefully cut the fabric from the frame. (Photo by Cristina Olivares)

Detach the umbrella fabric from an umbrella frame. Fold the umbrella fabric in half around an arched piece of polypropylene pipe and sew in place. Attach the polypropylene pipe and attached fabric to the top of a window opening with screws and weather-stripping. The wooden frame represents the top of the window opening.

Cut this arch to fit how far out your awning will reach. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Attach a second arched piece of polypropylene pipe to the window opening. Use pins to attach the pipe in order to let the arched piece articulate up and down in the window frame.

This will keep the arch from sagging. (Photo by Kellie Brown)

Attach a vertical rib made from polypropylene pipe to keep the awning from sagging. Make this piece removable so that the awning can still articulate.

We used elastic. (Photo by Camille Penny)

Secure the umbrella fabric to the arched piece from Step 2. The vertical piece from Step 3 should hold the umbrella in a dome-like shape.

This is a difficult approach to awning making.

Awning Style B[edit | edit source]

Leave enough fabric to wrap under the ribs when cutting the umbrella. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Cut an umbrella in half leaving the umbrella fabric attached to the frame. The handle should still be attached to one of the halves. Leave enough fabric to wrap under the ribs when cutting the umbrella.

A thin piece of wood is a good backing for the rain fly. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Remove the hardware from the umbrella half that does not have the handle attached. Use the umbrella half with the hardware removed as a rain-fly and attach this to the window opening. Sandwich the umbrella fabric for the rain-fly between an arched piece of wood and some weather-stripping. Attach this with screws to the window opening with the weather stripping facing the structure. A second arched piece of wood is representing the top of the window opening in this picture.

These should fit well as they are from the same umbrella. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Secure the other half of the umbrella to the window frame under the rain-fly with small hooks. The hook attachment allows for the awning to be removed so that more air or sunlight can be allowed through the window when desired.

Hooks are a simple and effective way to secure the umbrella to the wall. (Photo by Camille Penny)

Finished awning secured to window opening

This style of awning may be removed completely and stored as a regular umbrella.

Planters[edit | edit source]

Thin string is used as strengthening fiber. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Gather nine plastic bags of any color along with pieces of string that are approximately the same length of the bags.

The strings are placed approximately and inch apart. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Start with three bags. Lay one bag flat and place pieces of string vertically on the bag an inch to an inch and a half apart. Then place another flattened bag on top of the string and add another layer of string on top of that bag as before. Lastly, place the third plastic bag on top and iron them all together making a rigid panel.

Iron together the bags and string. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Create two more panels using the descriptions from the previous steps. Iron all three panels together, one on top of the other, to create one rigid panel.

A rolled cone. (Photo by Kellie Brown)

Roll the panel from step 3 into a cone shape and iron the overlapping edges together creating a cone shaped planter.

Making a braided planter holder. (Photo by Kellie Brown)

To make the planter holders begin by taking three strips of cut plastic bag and braid the strips as tightly as you can. After braiding the desired length crimp the end with an iron to stop the braid from unraveling.

A finished planter with plants. (Photo by Camille Penny)

Secure the planter holders to the frame or window panels and place the planters in the holders. The planter holders here are secured to the window panels.

You may want to weight the bottom of the planters with rock so they do not become top-heavy.

Door[edit | edit source]

Items assembled to make a door panel. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Gather nine plastic bags. These nine bags will create a single door panel.

A single panel. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Lay three plastic bags on top of each other. Iron these three bags together to form one panel. Do this two more times to make three identical panels.

Several door panels together. (Photo by Cristina Olivares)

Iron the three panels from Step 2 together to create a rigid door panel that is a total of nine bags thick.

This door is flexible yet sturdy. (Photo by Camille Penny)

Repeat steps 1-3 until you have enough panels to fully cover the door frame.

A door panel slat. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

To strengthen the door, create a thick plastic strip that is about two inches wide. To do this, simply take one plastic bag and fold it in half until it is about two inches wide and iron. Leaving the handles of the bag un-ironed. Do this to a second bag and place the bottom end of the second bag in between the un-ironed handles of the first bag. Iron the handles of the first bag to create a longer strip. Repeat this until this two inch strip is the same length as the height of the door.

Attaching door panels to the plastic strip. (Photo by Cristina Olivares)

Place two panels over the two inch strip side by side at the bottom of the strip, with each panel covering half the thickness of the strip. The panels should not overlap each other. Rivet the plastic panels to the plastic strip. Place two more panels side by side slightly overlapping the top of the first row to create a shingle effect so that water will run down the door. Do this for the length of the strip.

A completed door. (Photo by Camille Penny)

When the full area of the door is completed, attach the completed door to the frame with hinges. Cut the edges of the door to fit to the frame.

Strong scissors are suitable for shaping the door.

Canopy[edit | edit source]

Target bags are quite easy to work with. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

It is recommended to use thicker plastic bags for the canopy to add to the rigidity of the panels. Gather nine plastic bags in order to create a single panel.

Ironing bags together. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Place three bags on top of each other and iron them together between parchment paper. Repeat this process two more times to create three panels. Each panel should be three bags thick.

. Canopy panels laid out in place. (Photo by Erilynn Helliwell)

Iron the three panels together to create a rigid panel, totaling nine bags thick. Repeat Steps 1&2 until there are enough panels to cover the top portion of the door.

. Canopy cut to shape. (Photo by Camille Penny)

Lay the panels over the top of the door frame. Arrange the panels to overlap creating a shingled effect to allow water to run off. Rivet the panels to the frame, and to each other for reinforcement.

. Completed canopy with door. (Photo by Camille Penny)

Cut the canopy to the shape and dimensions required.

Make sure your canopy does not interfere with the ability of the door to open and close.

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

The level of maintenance required for the Poly Pod varies depending on how rigorously it is used. The windows are the most susceptible component to damage as they are the most fragile. The most likely damage to these panes will be tearing. This can be repaired by ironing patches directly onto the window with the same technique used to create the panes. The door and canopy are less likely to need repair as they are sturdier panels. These panels are repaired in the same way the windows are. Alternately, any component could be replaced entirely or in sections. The awnings are designed to require very little maintenance. In the event of a severe storm the awnings will probably need repair.

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