Using friendly plastic

These instructions and pics were all created by Sara aka Silky Chicken on the forum - my thanks for all her hard work.

Friendly plastic is a heat activated mouldable material which comes in many colours; primary flat colours, metallics & metallic print patterned. It can be heated in water, with a craft gun or in a conventional oven.

You will need the following items before you get started with Friendly Plastic (FP):-

  • Oven/heat gun
  • Needle tool (or cocktail stick)
  • Scissors
  • Non-stick tray or cake tin
  • Oven Glove
  • Rub & Buff
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Varnish
Project 1 – Strip Blending
You will need FP in Gold, gold spectra & dark teal cut into strips approx. 1cm wide.

Oven Method
If you are using the oven, just place all of the strips together and place in a pre-heated oven at approx. 2-250 degrees, this will only take a couple of minutes so watch carefully and remove from the oven as soon as you see the strips have melded to each other – watch the FP’s surface as it goes from shiny to crackled. Remove from the oven using your oven glove and then using a needle tool or cocktail stick drag the needle tool toward you, then move across a little and drag the needle tool away from you, alternate until you reach the end of your piece.

Heat Tool Method
Heat the back of your first strip of FP a little, just enough so the back goes slightly shiny (careful not to burn your fingers!), then place this piece on your non-stick tray, this will stop the FP from flying around the tray when you use your heat tool. Heat the FP until the surface changes from shiny to crackled, then get your next piece of FP and put it as close as you can get it to the first piece, heat again so that the surface changes a little and repeat until all your pieces have been used. Next heat the whole piece for 5-10 seconds and then using a needle tool or cocktail stick drag the needle tool toward you, then move across a little and drag the needle tool away from you, alternate until you reach the end of your piece. This is called the ‘Chevron’.

Alternative strip blending includes the Cascade, Diagonal Chevron & Wavy Chevron (see pictures below).
Leave your piece to cool – if you can’t wait, pour cold water into your tray or pan and leave it for approx. 30 seconds, using your needle tool prise the piece away from the tray, if it doesn’t come away easily, give it a few more seconds and then try again. Usually the piece will just flick off.

Cut your piece into sections and tidy the edges with scissors. Cut a larger piece of gold, enough so that you have a visible border around your finished FP.

Heat the back of the gold piece until slightly shiny and then place down onto the tray and heat. When the surface area changes from shiny, place your first piece of FP on top and continue to heat until both pieces have melded together – if you over-heat the FP will just sink into the gold and look a bit blurry.

Here is the finished piece:

Project 2 – Stamping
Heat a piece of FP either using the oven, heat tool or by heating in hot water. Do not over-heat as when you press the stamp into the FP it will just squelch everywhere.

Place the stamp on the surface of the FP, but only press lightly, not too hard as the FP backing colour will just come straight through and will look messy. Leave the stamp where it is and allow to cool or plunge into cold water. When cooled, remove the stamp from the FP – it should come away easily if the piece is cooled completely. You should now have your stamped impression on the FP. Using either silver or gold Rub & Buff or a similar antiquing medium, rub this over the stamped piece. If you are going to wear this item, then coat with varnish to protect it.

You can use other objects to stamp into FP such as lace, hessian or anything that has some texture to it.

FP can be cut using cutters (when it’s warm, but this can be a little difficult), scissors or a die cutter (only Accu-cut or Ellison die cutters will do this as they have strong enough blades).

To obtain a twisted appearance, a softened strip of FP can be wound round a bamboo stick – best to heat in water first and it’s a bit fiddly, so practice this one!

 © Crafts by Carolyn 2006