Nail Polish and Friendly Plastic

Over the years I have used nail polish on the back of some of my Friendly Plastic creations to finish them off neatly, and I have tried clear nail polish as a sealant, but Linda Peterson has come up with a lovely technique that takes it much further. It resembles my metal flake with pigment powder technique that only those of you who have come to my classes will have seen.

 Linda has done a video tutorial on her technique and you can see it on her blog. We often bounce ideas off each other and build on each others developments, and it brings us both joy to discover new things to do and new ways of working with Friendly Plastic, and it is more than a little inconvenient to have the Atlantic Ocean and half a continent between us. However, now that I have my studio back (not that it is in a fit state to be seen), Linda and I plan for me to join her in doing some Craft Tech U on line classes which I am looking forward to developing with her.

 In the mean time I will show you my take on Linda’s nail polish technique.

Firstly go and rob your daughters/ grandaughters (or possibly your own) collection of lurid nail polish colours. If, like me you only have sons, then get down to the market or Asda and search out cheap brightly coloured nail varnish – shell pink will simply not do! If the lady on the check out looks at you oddly, recite to her a verse of “When I am old I shall wear purple” by Jenny Joseph, and mumble things about making up for the sobriety of your youth.

Next, grab a stick of Friendly Plastic, preferably your least favourite colour, and start painting it boldly with nail varnish. I let a layer dry and then went back in with some more to create streaky overlays without contaminating the brushes in the pots.


Allow it to dry fully, whilst revelling in the brash and colourful clash of colours. Then heat the coated plastic (use a non stick surface) until it is soft and use your needle tool to ease up the edges until you can pick the plastic up from the work surface. I used my nails to just nick the surface a little as I pulled the coloured layer apart to reveal the black backing. This did prove to be a bit sticky in places but unless the plastic is reasonably warm it simply stretches and does not crack in the pleasing way that Linda achieves.


Heat it again until the black showing through the cracks is glossy and apply transfer foils – they stick to the black plastic but not the nail varnish (now that it is dry).


I used my vibrant piece to wrap around a shape I have made out of air dried clay (more of this in another post), and then I sealed it with a glossy coating of varnish before wrapping with wiggly wire and the odd bead.


Below is another example from the same coloured strip shown above, you can see both sides of the wrapped shape.

Although I love the technique, I am not 100% happy yet with my finish, but I think this technique has some mileage in it, and I am sure you could get some really subtle effects.  I will try it out using pigment powders instead of foils next time.

Now you have seen this, go and check out Linda’s innovations too.