Google+ The Art of Friendly Plastic: Easy to make Friendly Plastic Beads + Free tutorial

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Easy to make Friendly Plastic Beads + Free tutorial

Friendy Plastic bead making, Mylene Hillam

In a recent post, I shared a video to show you how to create beads by hand.  This is a great technique if you are not concerned about the beads being uniform.

Here Mylene Hillam shares her technique of creating beads with the Tri-Bead roller from Amaco using easy to follow instructions for success.

About Mylene:  She is a mixed media artist residing in Australia.  Mylene's jewelry has been featured in a variety of magazines.  She loves to work with resin, paper, stamping and of course Friendly Plastic.  Visit her blog and let her know how much you appreciate her sharing her work.

(Be sure to scroll down to the end of this post for even more ideas!)

Bead Making With Friendly Plastic® and AMACO® Bead Rollers

Craft Project - Bead Making with Friendly Plastic® and AMACO® Bead Rollers
Craft Project - Bead Making with Friendly Plastic® and AMACO® Bead Rollers
AMACO® Friendly Plastic® Designer Sticks in the colors of your choice
AMACO® Bead Roller – Tri-Bead Roller was used in this project
AMACO® Work Mat
AMACO® Needle tool
Tim Holtz Tonic Scissors
Cooking oil
Paper towel
Heat gun
Water and a small bowl
Long Pins
Foam block
Disposable paint brush
Step 1
Place the paper towel over the mouth of the bottle of cooking oil and allow it to absorb a little oil. Wipe this all over the inner surface of both halves of the bead roller so that there is a very thin coating. Take care not to apply too much oil or the beads will slide – too little and they might stick.
Step 2
Using the ruler and needle tool, measure the required length (according to your bead roller) and cut a line across the width of the Friendly Plastic® then cut with scissors. You will need to play around with this a little until you work out the correct amount for your bead roller. For the Tri-Bead Roller used in this project, the width required is 13mm (a fraction more than ½ inch).
Step 3
Sprinkle a few drops of water on the rubber mat and place the Friendly Plastic® strip on it (the water will prevent the Friendly Plastic® from sticking to the mat). Soften with the heat gun. If you are using one of the red or blue backed sticks, you will notice the plastic becomes translucent when it is ready. The pink, black and white backed sticks will take a little longer to soften. Take care not to overheat or the Friendly Plastic® will be too sticky to handle.
Photo of Step 4 - AMACO Bead Making
Step 4
Gently lift the softened plastic from the mat using the needle tool to help release the edge. Doing this with moistened fingers will prevent the Friendly Plastic® from sticking to you. Begin rolling from one end until the strip is rolled into a cylinder and then place it on the mat in the water. Gently roll back and forth to smooth the seam.
Step 5
Pick the roll up again and using the index finger and thumb, gently squeeze the ends while turning the roll with your other hand until you compress it into a squat cylinder. Form the cylinder into a ball in the palms of your hands. You will feel the heat leave the ball as you roll and once it is no longer hot it is ready for rolling.
Place the ball in the bead roller and lock the top half in place. Using very light pressure, slowly roll back and forth. As the bead begins to take on the shape of the roller you can apply more pressure. If you find the bead has cooled too much to roll, place it back on the mat (in the water) and give it another short burst of heat on all sides before trying again.
Remove the bead from the roller and drop into the bowl of water so the outside of the bead cools quickly and retains its shape. Remove the bead after a few seconds and use the needle tool to pierce the bead.
Step 6
Optional step – For more durable beads, coat the beads with resin.
Mix the resin according to the package instructions. Place each bead on a pin and paint with a thin layer of resin. A thin coat will reduce the risk of drips forming which would permanently secure the bead to the pin shaft. Stand the pins in the foam for support until the resin cures. Check the beads for drips periodically and wipe them away with paper towel. Apply a second coat if desired.
Shown here is a completed necklace with findings using the beads made in this project.

The tri-bead roller happens to be one of my favorites. Why? Because I've found a way to create up to 10 different shapes with this one tool. I share how in this video.

We love Mylene's work in Friendly Plastic and are please to share some of her other tutorials. Click on the photos's.

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