Glowing Autumn Colours in Friendly Plastic – Jewellery Maker TV show.

Pip is the chap responsible for putting together the Guest Designers kits for the Designer Inspiration shows on JM, and he does a fantastic job.  he has a great eye for colour and he put together a luscious kit redolent of glowing autumn days.  In the short time I had, I made the pieces below to tempt you into trying something different with your Friendly Plastic.  The first piece is very contemporary, and involves a bit of construction, but is basically simple to do, but very effective.  It is a bit like building mini boxes without bases or lids – just a question of cutting squares and joining them with hot water to make a cube bead.  I love the very wearable and contemporary feel to this piece, it is extremely lightweight, and the black linen threads I used to make the necklace are matte and complement the shiny Friendly Plastic quite well. Transfer foils finish the edges.

Friendly Plastic Cube "beads"

Friendly Plastic Cube “beads”

Travelling back 100 years to the period regarded in art terms as Art Nouveau, this more organic necklace is straightforward to make. Using a Transfer Foil backed piece of Friendly Plastic (also foiled the edges) heated in hot water, the sides are drawn up and the ends are pressed together to form the petals.  Each petal can be shaped to give a slight wave appearance.  They are all attached together using Barbara Lees’ camping fire lighter gadget which gives a very precise spot of heat wherever the flame is pointed.  This makes it easy to quickly heat both pieces to be joined and touch them together to make the shape you want.


You can see the pendant in more detail below.  the Opals are glued in place after adding a head pin to each one and trimming the back.  I used Hypo Cement for this, but Glass Metal and More glue would work well too.  I used Deep Rose Friendly Plastic and Mother of Pearl Black with gold Transfer Foils.DSC_8625

A fun variation on the leafy flower shape is the pea pod below made from Mother of Pearl Black Friendly Plastic.  The wire was just free formed, but you could use a jig if you wanted to.DSC_8629

Instead of using Transfer Foils in the pendant below, I used Mica Powders on the reverse and edges; it seemed to make the Friendly Plastic look more like leather.


To my mind this necklace is a more contemporary twist on the Art Nouveau theme, but you might disagree!DSC_8658

In the kits were some lovely cabochon, and it gave me the opportunity to finally show, after many requests, how to make a bezel for the cabochon using Friendly Plastic.DSC_8631

You need to make a base to fit the cabochon, either use a cutter or score around the stone into the back of some Friendly Plastic.  Cut it out and cut a strip that is long enough to go round the stone. This needs to between 0.5 and 1cm wide depending on the dome-iness of the stone. Foil one edge.  Heat the strip in hot water until just soft and pliable whilst at the same time heating the base until soft. Place the cabochon on the base, then carefully wrap the edging strip around so that it touches the base and comes to a neat finish.  You may need to trim this with scissors to remove any excess.  The aim is to hold the cabochon safely without covering it up too much, so gently ease the edge down onto the stone until you get the fit you need and there are no baggy bits.

When it is cold, you can add the head pin.  Wrap a small square of soft Friendly Plastic around the head of the head pin and shape as you wish.  Cool it, and then heat the base of it briefly and heat the top of the bezel of the cabochon so both bits are slightly soft.  Touch them together  and cool.  This makes a very strong bond.

The top cabochon has head pins attached both top and bottom.


As this was designed as a lariat style necklace, I  made a twisted ring of Friendly Plastic through which the cabochons could be threaded.  Foil both edges of a piece of Friendly Plastic (the exact length depends on how big you need the ring to be), then soften it in hot water.  Draw up the two long edges so they touch and then twist the ends in opposite directions.  Snip off the tips and heat briefly to join the two ends together.  Wrapping with wire enhances the strength of the ring.

Twisted Friendly Plastic ring for lariat style  necklace

Twisted Friendly Plastic ring for lariat style necklace


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