Google+ The Art of Friendly Plastic: If you DO SOMETHING AT ONCE...why not make it Friendly Plastic?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If you DO SOMETHING AT ONCE...why not make it Friendly Plastic?

Congratulations to Marilyn Cooper for being the winner of our Friendly Plastic challenge!!!
I wanted to feature another of her pieces of Friendly Plastic and experiences - so enjoy!

So, the sewing wasn't going well yesterday. And when I turned on the machine today, it still wasn't happy. Hmmm... Well, I'll get out Daughter's machine and go from there.
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In the meantime, I had a Friendly Plastic idea I wanted to try. An idea for an ornament that just hit me, and I'd been mulling over. Pics were taken along the way. And when the final product was actually close to what I envisioned, I first had to pick my jaw up off the ground, and then I second had to share with you! It isn't often that the first crack at any idea works reasonably well.
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(All pics will go bigger if clicked)
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Below: I started with a package of ornaments from Hobby Lobby. But (for what it's worth), ornaments are out in a lotta stores. These are white glitter. Just do not buy styrofoam. Make sure its something else. Ornaments are on sale this week at HL, so that's why I went there. I'd say these are 2.5" in diameter, or so. Not huge. Not teeny.

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Below: Next, I melted 3 pieces of white Friendly Plastic (FP) together, side by side. The pieces were about 4" long. The size was determined by the cookie cutter I wanted to use (you'll see that later). Once the white was melted, I started randomly laying on misc bits of FP. Some were scraps. Some were cut to fit the situation. But I didn't get real uptight about it. So long as it went down and covered the area. Once the whole area was basically covered, I let it sit and get all melted together. (Sorry... the camera read the colors weird because I have red non-stick sheets. But you get the idea, I hope.)

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Below: Using a drinking straw, I poked a hole in the middle of the FP. Dipping the straw into water first helps. Then, using the cookie cutter, I cut out the shape I wanted. Note to self: Plastic cutters do not work super well because I forgot to put oil in the water first. So it was really stuck in the FP. But it did come out. Eventually. (I will not be beat by a plastic cookie cutter. Just sayin...)


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Below: Once (pried) out of the cookie cutter, I stuck the whole thing back on the heat for just enough to let the edges get nice and smoothed over, etc. This is what it looked like when all the way done. Beautiful, isn't it? *grin*


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Below: Using scissors, I cut slits into the FP at even increments all the way around. (It helped this time that the cookie cutter had the scallops to use.) I cut 75-80% of the way to the middle, without going all the way up to the middle. This is the back of the piece. You couldn't see the cuts from the front, so I flipped it over to better show you what I meant.

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Below: I took the hanger part off one of the ornaments. I set the ornament on a round cookie cutter just to hold in in place. A cup would also have worked, or something similar.
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A small length of a drinking straw was stuck into the hole of the ornament. It had to be bent in on itself lengthwise a little bit to fit in the hole. But it doesn't matter. And I got out my heat gun.

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Below: The FP piece was put onto the ornament thru the hole in the middle. That bit of straw is going to keep the FP piece basically in place.


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Below: Now, using the heat gun, as well as my little spatula to help balance, I just started heating up the FP piece. Because the FP was really thick (due to being built on the white base), it took a bit. I kept the gun moving so no one spot got hotter than everywhere else. Pretty soon, the FP piece started to droop and form to the ornament. This is when you will see the point of cutting the slits. For the most part, that allows the pieces to lay down without big creases. In this pic, the FP has drooped maybe halfway. With time and patience, and continued heat, the FP piece finally laid down all the way.
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Working quickly --- and being very careful not to get fingers or anything into the warm FP --- I pulled out the bit of straw and then stuck the hanger back into the top of the ornament, pushing the cap into the FP. The cap got bent slightly, but that doesn't really matter. If it bothered me, I could always tie a ribbon around it or something.


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Below: All done! Here's a shot directly down on the top. You can see where the FP has slight ridges from drooping down and overlapping the next section. But I really like the way that looks. Not sure you could get it to lay down perfectly anyway. I was happy with the results.


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Below Four: Shots of the"sides" of the ornament, giving it a quarter turn each time.


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I love it! Woo hoo! And the fact that this worked out nearly to what I had imagined in my head... well, that was a pretty cool thing. After the frustration of sewing yesterday (an activity that I have a lot of experience at), it was really rewarding to have this project go well today (an idea I just decided to try and had no clue if it would work).
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What a great way to use up scraps and so forth. I don't know if you'd really-really have to build the FP on a base, like I did with the white. But it just gave a guide for the overall shape, as well as made so that there were absolutely no gaps between colored pieces... cuz the white would always be there, if nothing else.
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I think this would look wonderful in a color-scheme (such as metals, or pink/red, or blue/green, etc). The mosaic/patchwork feel of this piece really appealed to me.
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If you try something similar, I'd love to see it!
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A good day with Friendly Plastic!



Be sure to check out Marilyn's blog: DoSomethingAtOnce

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