Tag Archive: Friendly Plastic


I signed up for a swap over on our swap board where we have to use Friendly Plastic. Its been YEARS since I last played with friendly plastic and I was itching to have another go so this swap was the perfect excuse to actually USE the friendly plastic strips Id recently purchased 🙂

I’d forgotten just how addictive friendly plastic can be!

For this swap I wanted to make my friendly plastic resemble a kind of metallic patchwork quilt using different colours and shapes of plastic strips. I also wanted to incorporate hearts into the project as Im addicted to using them, at this point I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to create it. I just had a picture in my head of a metallic quilt with a heart in the middle. With that vision in my mind I set about experimenting and this is what I came up with 🙂

The only tools I used were:

  • A heat gun (for rubber stamp embossing)
  • Non stick cooking liner (baking parchment)
  • A cup of cold water
  • Metal embossing tool (the type used in dry paper embossing)
  • Friendly Plastic Marbling Comb (you could use a metal comb or a fork)
  • Strong scissors (for cutting a heart shape)

Before I started I collected up some different colours of friendly plastic strips and using the scissors I chipped at the strips creating random abstract pieces, I didnt think too carefully about this and I wasnt neat and tidy about it as I wanted the pieces to look as if they were scraps and chippings. If you’ve got a stash of friendly plastic offcuts they would be perfect for this!

Once Id collected a stash of friendly plastic chips and shapes, I layed them down onto a sheet of baking parchment leaving a slight gap inbetween each piece like below:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP1-C

Next using the heat tool, I heated the friendly plastic from the top until I could see the physical change in its texture, once that change happened I knew it was melted and ready for ‘playtime’ 🙂

I took the marbling comb and dragged it through the edges of the plastic to create a frilly lace type edge. I didnt want to merge the colours together too much at this point.

Next using the metal embossing tool I first dipped it into water so that it wouldnt stick in the plastic,and added little holes into the friendly plastic to add texture. The embossing tool can also be used to add dents and drag the friendly plastic around to add interest.

It was by doing this I discovered that you can use the embossing tool to make the plastic to ‘sew’ itself together by dragging seperate pieces of friendly plastic together to make them form one complete faux patchwork piece.

It almost feels as if you are stiching with the friendly plastic itself!

I love doing this method as you cant completely control how it is going to turn out as the friendly plastic has a mind of its own 🙂

Heres an example of how it looked at the next step:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP2-C

Next using a strong pair of scissors I cut out a random heart shape from a red metallic sheet of friendly plastic, I could have used a cookie cutter for this but I wanted a ‘non perfect’ looking heart shape for this project.

While the friendly plastic was still warm I placed the heart shape right into it like below:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP3-C

I decided it needed something else so I broke off some little chips of friendly plastic in mauve and pressed them into the friendly plastic on the left hand side to create a border:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP4-C

Next, I heated the friendly plastic again; but just enough to melt the red heart in the middle and the mauve chips, then using the embossing tool dipped into water I pressed it into the heart all around the edge so that it would meld together with the previous layers of friendly plastic and also it adds texture to the heart at the same time:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP5-C

While the friendly plastic cooled down, I used the embossing tool to add holes and dents all over the patchwork until I decided it was finished:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP6-C

Another photo of the above quilt on a black background for contrast:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 7-C

Heres some other friendly plastic patchwork quilts I did below, Ive added the before and after photos so that you can see how I layered the friendly plastic before applying heat and adding texture:

Step 1: Various strips of friendly plastic layered onto baking parchment.
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 1
Step 2: Heat was applied to the friendly plastic using heat gun; once melted I pressed the heart into the friendly plastic
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 2
Step 3: The finished piece after Id forced myself to STOP prodding it with the embossing tool (its addictive)
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 3

Another Friendly Plastic Patchwork Quilt:

Step 1:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 1

Step 2: I decided it was a little bare so added some more bits to add interest:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 2

Step 3: Finished quilt
FRIENDLY PLASTIC STEP 3

More Friendly Plastic Quilts:

FRIENDLY PLASTIC

FRIENDLY PLASTIC

This is just a piece what I used before making the quilts above, I wanted to practise using the metal embossing tool to add holes and manipulate the friendly plastic to add movement:
FRIENDLY PLASTIC

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I’ve had several pieces of this stuff stashed away in one of my many drawers for the past couple of years all with the intention of using them….ONE DAY! You know how it is! Well that day finally arrived and I told myself I WAS going to use them and write an article on them!

At first before I tried using Friendly Plastic I told myself I wasn’t going to like it! I’d heard so many reports on how ‘hard it was to handle’ which is what had put me off using it so far! But after a little play time and experimenting I found myself hooked!

I LOVE Friendly Plastic, the colours alone are so striking and bold; they are not for the faint hearted! I have always loved using strong colours in my artwork; these kind of rich colours make a bold statement. So naturally Friendly Plastic is the perfect medium for someone like me to use!

Friendly Plastic is a LOT easier to use than you might think! Most stampers tend to shy away from using Friendly Plastic as they don’t want to mess around melting it with water or they don’t have a crafters heat pan. In actual fact your humble embossing heat tool is the PERFECT tool for melting the Friendly Plastic with!

Basic Equipment For Creating With Friendly Plastic:

Friendly Plastic Strips (Amaco) in assorted colours – I find it best to have an even balance of dark and light colours and also metallic and patterns in the Friendly Plastic. That way when you come to create with Friendly Plastic you can create a perfectly balanced contrast using different types of colours and textures.

Non Stick Baking Parchment – You can find this with the tinfoil in the supermarkets. If you can’t get hold of it; you can use Teflon liner or the non stick craft sheet. You use this to heat the Friendly Plastic onto as the paper is non stick your embellishments will lift off easily once they have cooled down.

Sharp Scissors – These are for cutting and trimming the Friendly Plastic pieces with before and after heating.

Embossing Heat Tool – Any brand will do, I use the white ‘hairdryer’ type model by Heat It.

Marbling Comb (Amaco) – This is a plastic comb with metal teeth to enable you to drag the hot Friendly Plastic and create Marbled backgrounds. I really recommended purchasing one of these combs as Friendly Plastic Marbling is out of this world!!

Glossy Accents (Ranger) – I use Glossy Accents to affix my Friendly Plastic embellishments to my cards after they have cooled down. If you don’t have Glossy Accents you could substitute using either Plaid Dimensional Magic or Judikins Diamond Glaze.

Getting Started With Friendly Plastic

First of all if you’ve never created with Friendly Plastic before I find it best to cut off several pieces and strips of Friendly Plastic using scissors:

I like to cut right across the long Friendly Plastic strips to create smaller 2 – 5mm thick bars; also I like to cut small triangular shapes, and also more abstract shapes. Any shape will do as you will not waste any, it can all be put to good use.

Friendly Plastic Marbling

First of all for this you will need several small strips of Friendly Plastic cut from the larger strips.

1. Line them all up onto a sheet of Non Stick Baking Parchment; see below for example of how to lay them onto the sheet:

2. Next turn on your heat gun and blast the row of Friendly Plastic strips, as you heat it up you will notice the texture of the Friendly Plastic changes a little; it goes crinkly; this is normal. Continue heating until the entire surface areas of all the strips has changed in the same way.

3. Next take up the marbling comb, and starting at the top of the strips, gently drag the comb through the Friendly Plastic. As you do this the Friendly Plastic will move and flow in the direction of the comb.

4. Remove excess pieces of Friendly Plastic from the comb teeth.

5. Turn the piece of baking parchment around, and comb through the Friendly Plastic again, this time in the opposite direction. Position the comb so the teeth line up with the centers of the patterns you just created.

6. Clean off excess Friendly Plastic from the comb teeth.

7. Set aside to one side to cool off, one it has cooled you can use the marbled piece in your artwork.

For an example of how the finished marbled Friendly Plastic embellishment looks see below:

You can use these marbled pieces as embellishments just as they are, or you can cut them up with scissors once they are cooled to make them into borders or photo corners like I have done in the samples on this page.

Another thing you can do is, instead of layering the strips of Friendly Plastic right next to one another on the baking parchment as before; instead leave a slight gap between them. Then heat and comb as usual; the finished marbled embellishment will have holes and gaps in it which I think look rather arty!!

You could use these gaps to thread fibers or yarns through them.

See below for example:

As well as marbling with strips of Friendly Plastic you can also create marbling with 2 triangular pieces of Friendly Plastic:

1. Cut 2 triangles from the corners of 2 different strips of Friendly Plastic.

2. Place them side by side onto a sheet of non stick baking parchment so that they form a square like shape.

3. Heat as before and then drag your comb through the molten plastic to create a smaller marbled square like below:

Another thing I like about Friendly Plastic Marbling is that while it is still warm you can embed items into the molten plastic. For example UTEE embellishments or Faux gems.


Abstract Friendly Plastic Embellishments

The cards seen below were both created using what I call Abstract Friendly Plastic embellishments. For this I both cut and broke off pieces of Friendly Plastic, next I placed them onto the baking parchment. Heated with a heat tool, once melted I used a cocktail stick to press the pieces together to make them bond together. While the plastic was still warm I pressed a faux pearl gem into the plastic, then I set it aside to cool.

That’s how easy it is to use Friendly Plastic in your art!

I hope that you will also give it a try as it is really easy to use once you get over your phobias with it!! Trust me you’ll be hooked like I was and will LOVE experimenting and using it!