Google+ The Art of Friendly Plastic: Friendly Plastic gets a product review by ScrapFriends

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Friendly Plastic gets a product review by ScrapFriends

Thank you to the all the girls at ScrapFriends for writing about your Friendly Plastic experience.

While I can sit here all day long and put out blog post after blog post about how wonderful this medium really is...... you would probably just say.... Blah Blah Blah, She's addicted.

Soooooo......in researching websites for more interesting friendly stuff to share, I stumbled upon a product review by a group of ladies who are papercrafting engineers. They were each given a sampling of FP to experiment with....and better than I can say it myself...here's what April says:


Review by April



Friendly Plastic has been around for a number of years and has recently been re-gaining popularity with jewelry and paper crafting designers. Amaco (American Art Clay Company), is the ingenious producer of this product, and has been in the business of creating American modeling clays, lesson plans for art teachers, servicing to the arts and so much more for over 90 years now. I am very familiar with several of Amaco's products, but their Fantastic Plastic was new to me and made for an exciting adventure!

For this review I received 8 Friendly Plastic Craft Sticks, one craft marbling comb, one craft needle tool, and Design Originals Friendly Plastic 101 Idea book. The plastic craft sticks came in a variety of beautiful metallic colors and all seemed to coordinate perfectly with each other. There was a rich purple and a lighter lavender, a shiny Christmas green and lighter yellow green to match, a dark hot pink stick with a paler pink version, and also a deep bright blue and light blue. Each plastic stick was approximately seven inches in length and one and half inches in width. They are durable, non-toxic, and can be used to create two dimensional designs by softening them with heat and then manipulating them in a variety of ways. You can blend different colors together, stamp images into them, shape them as desired, create a variety of beads with them, and even create faux dichroic glass pieces with them. The Friendly Plastic sticks can be softened in hot water, in the oven, on a non-stick griddle, or with a heat gun. After softening them you can model, marble, or mold them and Amaco currently offers the Friendly Plastic in 34 uniquely stunning colors. The craft needle tool is approximately 5 5/16" long, has a 1 1/4" long needle, and is in cased in a hardwood handle. You can drag it through Friendly Plastic to create swirl patterns or use it for piercing holes. The craft marbling comb can be used to create marbled patterns in not only the Friendly Plastic, but also in polymer class, thick paint, and FIMO Decorating Gel. It is very similar to the needle tool, but is 3 1/2" in length and has nine teeth which allow you to make multiple, evenly spaced swirls at the same time. The Design Originals Friendly Plastic 101 Idea book by Jana Ewy contains 35 pages including the inspiring cover that offer easy how to steps on using Friendly Plastic. Each project is shown in a variety of color pictures, along with supply lists and complete instructions. There are a ton of project ideas offered in the Friendly Plastic 101 book, and you can also reference the Amaco website: http://www.amaco.com for a wealth of information on Friendly Plastic. Amaco even offers a link to a blog devoted to Friendly Plastic, an offer to join the Friendly Plastic yahoo and face book groups, and a variety of Friendly Plastic videos.




Before I started my first official project, I cut a couple of small pieces from two of my Friendly Plastic sticks and placed them on a non stick craft sheet. I then placed the craft sheet on top of a cookie sheet and then onto a pre-heated griddle. It took less the 15 seconds for the plastic to start warming and then I experimented by using the needle and craft marbling tool to create designs in the soft plastic. I took my first experiment off the griddle and pressed a rubber stamp into it. After cooling I removed the stamp and had a unique little piece that I plan on using as a page embellishment later. At this point I felt a lot more comfortable with the melting process so I decided to create a plastic frame to use on a scrapbook layout. On page 15 of the Friendly Plastic 101 book, I found instructions for a plastic/mesh frame and I basically just followed the same instructions except I decided I liked the look of the plastic without swirling the colors together. I cut up four different plastic sticks and laid them side by side on the griddle so they would warm and meld together. I then added a few more small pieces on top to give the frame a cool layered and abstract effect. I removed the frame from the griddle and while it was cooling I used the craft marbling and craft needle tool to create different designs on the frame. I also pressed small rhinestones into the warm plastic and was delighted with the effect. The entire frame cooled in less than 10 minutes, remained very light in weight, and ended up making a super cool scrapbook page embellishment.









Title: Can You Spot Grumpy?

Products used:

Friendly Plastic Sticks (Amaco)

Inspirational Reference (Design Originals: Friendly Plastic 101 Book)

Craft Needle Took (Amaco)

Craft Marbling Comb (Amaco)

Kraft Cardstock (Hobby Lobby)

Metal Repair Tape (Lowes)

Stickers (Making Memories, American Crafts, Jenni Bowlin)

Jewels (Daisy D's)

Glitter Glue (Ranger Stickles)

Metal Clip (7gypsies)

Pens (Sharpie, & American Crafts)

Adhesive (Adhesive Tech, Permanent Bond Glue Runner)




Next I wanted to try using cookie cutters on the softened plastic as referenced on page 5 in the Friendly Plastic 101 book. I placed an entire hot pink plastic stick onto my griddle to warm and then pressed round cookie cutters into it. Although the end result was not quite what I expected, I have no doubt that if I had had a bit more practice with the cookie cutter technique everything would have come out perfectly. On the other hand, if it had come out perfectly the first time, I would not have ended up with the pieces I needed to create my Royalty Broach and my castle flag as seen in the next few pictures below. What I call a happy mistake, ended up leading me into a completely different direction which worked out great! After realizing my cookie cutter shapes were not going to come out perfectly, I used the craft needle and marbling tools to etch different designs into the altered hot pink plastic strip and then I just set it aside and thought...well it still looks cool so surely I can figure out something to do with it. Sure enough, I came back to the funky pink plastic piece, made some trims here and there and then added some of it to another pink plastic shape I had cut up. I used the griddle to warm the plastic, bond the pieces together, and then I took the piece off to let it cool. While it was still warm, I used the craft tools to blend the colors a little, and then I defined some of the lines where the different pieces had melted together. I also pressed a jewel like bead into the center of the pin and added a few smaller rhinestones to the top of the crown.





Title: Royalty Broach

Products used:

Friendly Plastic Sticks (Amaco)

Inspirational Reference (Design Originals: Friendly Plastic 101 Book)

Craft Needle Took (Amaco)

Craft Marbling Comb (Amaco)

Patterned Paper (mfg)

Mini Rhinestones (Kaiser Craft)

Heart Bead Charm (Maya Road)




I still had a few pieces of the original melted hot pink stick left, so I used them along with a few other colors to create the flag embellishment for my scrapbook page. Did it start out as a flag for a castle? Well not exactly, I sort of just started adding plastic pieces that I thought looked good together and thought maybe it would make a cool bookmark or something. After decorating the piece and allowing it to cool, I picked it up and thought hey...that would make a great page embellishment! I think this is what I ended up liking the most about working with the fantastic plastic. The fact that I could mix and match leftover pieces and end up creating one of kind works of art.









Title: Princess Bride

Products used: Cardstock (Core'dinations, & Bazzill)

Friendly Plastic Sticks (Amaco)

Inspirational Reference (Design Originals: Friendly Plastic 101 Book)

Craft Needle Took (Amaco)

Craft Marbling Comb (Amaco)

Stickers (Making Memories, Heidi Swapp, & Making Memories)

Jewels (Daisy D's)

Glitter Glue (Ranger Stickles)

Pearl Pebbles (Kaiser Craft)

Pens (Sakura Gelly Roll, & Sharpie)

Rub on (October Afternoon)

Adhesive (Adhesive Tech, Permanent Bond Glue Runner)


The last project I tried was inspired by the bracelet featured on page 33 in the Friendly Plastic 101 book. I started by creating my own full length plastic strip after melting a couple of colors together, swirling them, and then adding a scrap of my hot pink stick from earlier and a large rhinestone on top to bond. Next, I placed a dark purple plastic stick face down to warm on the griddle and then placed the new one I had just designed on top of it face up so they would bond together. I then removed the hot sheet and wrapped it around a glass to help mold the shape of the bracelet. I slipped the bracelet off the hot sheet and glass and dropped it into a bowl of cold water which hardened it. Unfortunately the glass I used was a little larger than I realized, so instead of making a bracelet, it ended up being an arm bracelet for my daughter. Of course she was thrilled with it and I am already anxious to try my hand at designing more bracelets!





Title: Fashionable Arm Bracelet

Products used:

Friendly Plastic Sticks (Amaco)

Inspirational Reference (Design Originals: Friendly Plastic 101 Book)

Craft Needle Took (Amaco)

Craft Marbling Comb (Amaco)

Large Rhinestone (Personal Stash)




This is the first time I have used friendly plastic and considering that I am truly a beginner, I have to say I was thrilled with the results of all my little projects. I feel like I have only touched the surface of friendly plastic designing and already I am a big fan. My five year old daughter and seven year old son even jumped in on the fun of creating little plastic masterpieces and we had a wonderful time.

The plastic sticks come in beautiful colors, are easy for beginners to manipulate, and allow the more advanced or practiced designers to create simply stunning jewelry, altered pieces, and so much more. The Friendly Plastic 101 book by Original Designs offers several great project ideas, has easy to follow instructions, and is very inspiring. Both the craft needle tool and the craft marbling comb were fun and easy to use and my projects would not have been the same without them. I would recommend friendly plastic to all types of crafters looking for a new and exciting way to add stunning creative touches to their projects.

How exciting is this??? YES! We've created another addict (I say with a devilish grin....)!
We've highlighted lots of ways - mostly jewelry - in which Friendly Plastic can be used, unfortunately we've only touched the surface when it comes to scrapbooking embellishments.

Thanks to Scrapfriends and April for such a lovely product review! We're so sorry for the addiction.....(NOT! lol) :o)

2 comments:

Jana Ewy said...

I am so glad to see that the Friendly Plastic 101 book is still a very useful source of reference for any one just starting out with Friendly Plastic. I had forgotten just how many techniques and project ideas I put into this book. I am so happy to see it being put to such good use. Keep creating... I love all the scrapbook page ideas.

Discount Codes said...

I checked out your source and you have some wonderful products. Thanks for sharing this info. Those are amazing ideas.It's very useful for me.

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