Friendly Plastic Pellets – Two Ways

Despite only receiving my kits to work on just  4 days before the Designer Inspiration show on Jewellery Maker TV, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to launch Friendly Plastic Pellets on the show.  Sadly it was not enough time to make an enormous amount of samples to show you, but below are two examples of different colouring techniques for the Pellets.  As I am sure you know, they come as little milky white beads that soften in hot water.

Friendly Plastic Pellets

Friendly Plastic Pellets

As they melt in the hot water (60 – 70 deg C), they become transparent.  You can swirl them together with a Needle Tool and pick them all up in one sticky bundle as hot Friendly Plastic sticks to itself.  In its softened state pinch off small amounts and make vaguely petal shaped pieces arranging them on a non stick Project Sheet to form a flower shape. Press in a Texture mat and peel off the Project Sheet; if you are quick you can press another Texture Mat to the other side so that both surfaces have texture.  The textured squished flower can be peeled off the mats and gently shaped in your cupped hand before plunging into cold water to harden.  3 flowers are necessary, decreasing in size, and only the largest needs to have texture on both sides.


Friendly Plastic Pellets and Alcohol Inks

Drop tiny amounts of alcohol inks onto the surface of the flowers and spread with a paint brush.  I like to use Blending Solution to move the colour around.  More than one layer of ink builds the intensity of colour.  Gleams rubbed on to the texture finish the effect and bring the flowers together.


For the centres I wired some gemstone nuggets and pushed them through a hole made with the Needle Tool, and I also secured the three flowers together using a soldering iron.

The second project involves colouring Friendly Plastic Pellets with Mica Powders.  Squish out the  softened pellets and add a small scoop of Mica Powders.  Fold the softened Pellets over the powders and seal them in before squishing, pressing, rolling and mixing the plastic to incorporate the powders. sometimes it is helpful to put it all back in the hot water if the Pellets start to get a little stiff.  When you have a nice little sheet of smoothly coloured Pellets about 3 – 4 mm thick, cut it into approximate squares.


Heat the edges with the heat gun and add Transfer Foils, then warm the square again in hot water and holding it by two opposite corners give it a twist (twist in opposite directions), then plunge into cold water to keep the shape.  Pierce the hole whilst it is still slightly soft.sneekpeek2

These little Scribbly Beady Beads are very simple to make – create little beads of Friendly Plastic and Friendly Plastic pellets directly onto a piece of 0.6mm wire (30 – 40cm long depending on the size of the bead you want). Twist one end a few times around a kebab stick, then wrap the wire whilst placing the beads so they form a pleasing shape, finishing with a few more wraps around the kebab stick at the end to make a good threading point for your beady bead.Peak District Easter 2013

Don’t forget to varnish your jewellery to protect the foil surface of Friendly Plastic and keep it looking fabulous for as long as possible.  I personally love Duraclear Satin, Matte or Gloss varnish for this purpose, but sometimes I use a spray acrylic varnish instead.

The mask below is a good example of an excellent use of Friendly Plastic Pellets.  It was easy to create the shapes from the Pellets by applying softened plastic to line drawings on aluminium foil.  Once the shape was sorted, colouring could begin, and it took a number of layers of Alcohol Inks to build up the depth of colour.  The flowers were all made separately and applied to the mask, and the curly bits of wire are Alcohol Ink painted white craft wire. The whole mask is laminated to some black organza.  I made this mask for an exhibition with DOT (Designs On Textiles). We are a handful of like minded folk who enjoy using the computer to help us design our textiles and mixed media work.

Masks imade with  Friendly Plastic Pellets and Alcohol Inks

Masks imade with Friendly Plastic Pellets and Alcohol Inks

I will post the pictures of the other project using absolutely gorgeous autumn colours tomorrow for you, but in the mean time, here are a few dates for your diary:

1st October my next Designer Inspiration show on Jewellery Maker TV 1pm – 5pm

3rd October Beginners Friendly Plastic class at Jewellery Maker  (book via the JM website)

15th November – Festive Friendly Plastic – class at Jewellery Maker – projects that can be jewellery or scaled up to be Christmas decorations  (book via the JM website)

22nd November  – Ideal Home at Christmas (Earls Court) – I will be doing two demonstrations in their craft theatre – Jewellery and Christmas decorations