One of my favorite things to do in my artwork is fool the eye into thinking that it's something...when it isnt! When you can combine that with inexpensive craft materials, that's all the better!
In this project tutorial, I will show you how to create the look of abalone with Friendly Plastic and design your jewelry frame from thin brass rods.
While this project is a tiny bit more complex, I am confident that once you get the feel for it, you'll be designing your own frames and really exploring all the possibilities to create unique jewelry with Friendly Plastic.
Just take it slow and follow the step by step instructions :)
It helps to have a basic knowledge of soldering, but isn't necessary. You could also use this abalone technique and simply cut out a circle or oval cabachon to incorporate into commonly found jewelry pendants and pendant blanks.
How to create Faux Abalone with Friendly PlasticDesigned by Linda Peterson
Skill level: Intermediate - Some soldering knowledge helpful.
- Friendly Plastic: Metallic Print Pearl, metallic gold, metallic silver, avocado, floral garden blue/black
- Friendly Plastic Comb
- WireForm® Thin Brass Rods (1 tube)
- 4 brass jump rings
- Brass craft wire 20 gauge
- 6 Clear crystal glass cube beads (or beads of choice)
- Clear nail varnish
- Petroleum jelly or lotion
- Soldering Iron
- Hobby/Jewelry vise (purchased at Harbor Freight) (optional)
- Round nose jewelry pliers
- Metal file (purchased at a hardware store)
- Small circle cutters (Kemper cutters 1/8” and 1/4”)
- Aluminum foil
- Non-stick cookie sheet (fits inside griddle)
- Oven mits
- Bowl of cold water
You may want to practice with a few scrap pieces of metal rods first. Any lumpy solder points can be sanded smooth with metal file.
Create the brass frame first.
Place in vise with loops facing up. Sand contact points with metal file. Add flux to the joints. Solder.
Repeat this with smaller coil. (note: rod is soldered to the back of the base leaf shape.)
To touch up areas, simply heat with a heat gun for a few seconds to soften the plastic.
Keep discarded plastic as it can re-heated and used in several other projects. Nothing goes to waste.
Place the brass frame onto the softened plastic and allow it to ooze upwards filling the frame. Don’t worry about some of the plastic going into unwanted areas. Cool in water.
Gently remove the plastic from the frame and trim excess away with scissors.
Remove strips from heat.
With the marbeling comb bristles flat against the work surface gently drag thru design to create a marbelized pattern.
If necessary heat again to slightly soften.
Press frame work into this pattern and allow to cool Remove, cut out shape and trim with scissors.
You now have a white shape to fit one side of the frame and a marbelized pattern to fit the opposite side.
Pop both pieces back into place inside the frame.
Soften gold plastic and press to back gold side up to finish back. Trim as desired.
Slightly bend frame to the shape of your wrist.
Allow to dry and repeat if desired.
Add a coil to bottom and an “s” loop for the hook.
For your convenience, I've put together a kit of supplies for this project. I do appologize in advance for the international shipping being so high - unfortunately, this is a direct charge from the US Postal Service as they have had a significant rate increase to international addresses.
We've got lots more techniques and Ideas for you to try - Here are some of our favorites!!!
Linda Peterson is compensated and endorsed by AMACO. The guests features may or may not have any affiliation with AMACO.