Friendly Plastic Instructions
Friendly plastic sticks are a durable, non-toxic plastic that can be used to create exciting and innovative designs for card-making, scrap-booking, jewellery, pictures together with many more uses. It can be used in conjunction with your favourite crafts, e.g. rubber stamps, beads, wire, and a variety of embellishments. Friendly Plastic can be incorporated into textile designs and needlework's.
The Friendly Plastic sticks are 7" x 1 ½ " and unique designs can be achieved by softening blending different colours together using an embossing heat gun. Free form designs can be achieved by softening the strips at 140-150 f (50-60 centigrade) water and then shaping with our hands or craft tools.
Friendly plastic can be resoftened and reused.
I find that the majority of people prefer to use a heat gun to heat Friendly Plastic as they generally find this the easiest way. I recommend working on a teflon sheet - which is both non-stick and extremely durable. (you can also bend it before cooling to achieve shaped pieces, for example, bracelets. As all heat guns produce an amount of draught (in various strengthens depending on your heat gun) it is often much easier to put a little double sided tape onto the teflon to hold the Friendly Plastic in place. Whatever method you use to heat the Friendly Plastic you must allow it cool totally before removing it from the teflon sheet.
Cut small strips of Friendly Plastic from your choice of colour, lay the Friendly Platic strips in the desired order on a non-stick teflon sheet. These can be laid touching each other or with a small gap between them. (Remember when heating do so on a heat-proof surface). Heat the Friendly Plastic with the heat gun for approximately 45 seconds until soft. Marble the Friendly Plastic together by drawing the marbling comb through the Friendly Plastic one way and then back again. Allow to cool before removing from the teflon.
There is no wastage with Friendly Plastic. Small pieces of Friendly Plastic can be placed on top of larger pieces to " layer" the colours. When using this technique it is easier to soften the base colour before putting the smaller piece on top so it readily fuses to the base. The needle tool is often used with the layering method as it can be used for finer and more detailed work than the marbling comb and be used to highlight individual areas - particularly in abstract designs.
Cutters can be used to make definite shapes. Push into the Friendly Plastic when softened and leave to cool before removing the cutter. I have various cutters available on my Craft Cutter page.
Place the rubber stamp onto the embossing ink pad before pressing into softened Friendly Plastic. Allow to cool before removing.
n.b. because of the use of heat guns we recommend that children are supervised when using friendly plastic.
Hot water method
When Friendly Plastic was first developed heat guns did not exist and the hot water method was used extensively. I use a heat gun except when i want to join 2 worked pieces of Friendly Plastic together (for example joining the sides of a box - when I dip the edges in hot water to join). The easiest way to use hot water is to lay the Friendly Plastic on strong tin foil and float in hot water (just off boiling), let it float for a while and the plastic will adhere to the foil. Then using any metal tool submerge the foil and plastic into the water. Leave and then fish out (with a metal tool). The foil should bend easily with the Friendly Plastic bending with it. To use the hot water method you really need to keep the water hot, otherwise you will be constantly boiling the kettle. You can use a hot water skillet and I know one lady who uses a candle warmer - as the ones used to keep the meals warm in a chinese or indian restaurant.
Heat in a pre heated over (approx 250 degrees f) for approximately 3 minutes. Place the Friendly Plastic on teflon sheet before placing in the oven. Friendly Plastic can also be heated on teflon sheet on an electic griddle.
Friendly Plastic Pellets
Because of the nature of the spherical pellets it is easier to soften the pellets in hot water first (approx 60 c). This will join them together and as they melt they go transparent. You can then transfer them to your Teflon and use your heat gun. They can be moulded into shapes with your hands whilst still warm - or pushed into a mould. As they cool they go opaque. If you want to colour the whole piece through you can mix in alcohol inks whilst it is still warm - though it is more popular to decorate the piece when it has gone cold. It is very easy to make your shaped pieces, or very thin pieces by rolling it (place a teflon sheet over the top), or to make thicker 3D pieces by building it up.
When cold it can be decorated with alcohol inks, perfect pearls (both ideal for colouring the back of jewellery pieces). You can also us acrylic paints & permanent ink markers. Very good are Colourful Thoughts Multi-Surface Paints. If you want to use the Tonertex foils then lay the foil on (whilst the plastic is still warm) with the pattern side up and wait until it goes cold before removing. Pieces can be sealed with acrylic and some clear nail varnishes (experiment with the nail varnish as some makes are better than others).
Friendly Plastic pellets have many other applications other than in the craft industry. They are used in model making, for making moulds and general repair techniques. Like Friendly Plastic strips they are non-toxic.
Please note Friendly Plastic will soften if reheated which is great for reusing scrap pieces but it also means it should not be exposed to direct sunlight and concentrated heat, for example on a window sill or car window.
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