Tag Archive: Heat Gun

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!


These mini glass art collages look like they are actually embedded in real glass! The scans really do not do them justice.

They are perfect left just as they are as mini objects d’art!

Or you can use them as pins, in your AB pages or mount them onto cards.

I started the glass art collages you see on this page using the same directions as described on the Family Heritage Collage page also featured in this issue.

I created several larger collages, then once they were complete I used a paper trimmer to cut off small sections to make into mini collages.

Once I had the min collages I embedded them under glass, please refer to the directions below on how to create these wonderful faux glass embellishments!

I hope you have as much fun creating these as I did!

Supplies Used

* Card Stock
* Modge Podge Glue (Plaid)
* Paint Brush
* Victorian Memory Book Paper (HOTP)
* White Glossy Card Stock

* Musical Background Paper
* Cheap Brush Marker Pens
* Scissors
* Shipping Tag For Template
* Mount Board (or thick card board suitable for enamel embossing on)
* Scissors
* Marvy Le Plume Pen In Rosewood (Tombow)
* Permanent Memories Inkpad: Black (Stewart Superior)
* Permanent Dye Ink Pad: Burgundy (Anitas)
* Gold Letters, Words, Borders And Corner Stickers (Stampendous)
* Victorian Decoupage Scraps (Mamelok)
* Images Cut And Torn From Gift Wrap And Past Times Catalogue
* Paper Lace Doileys
* Victorian Stickers (Colorblok)
* Clear Embossing Powder (Stamps N Stuff)
* Gold Embossing Powder (Stamps N Stuff)
* 2 Plastic Containers For Holding Embossing Powders In
* Non Stick Baking Parchment (Or Teflon or Heat Sheet)
* Clear Versamark Inkpad
* Embossing Heat Gun
* Gold Accent Beads
* Gold Brass Charms
* Pressed Flowers

All Rubber Stamps Used By: Hearts In Touch


1. Take your small mini collages, using modge podge glue; glue them to a sheet of mountboard. Let glue dry.

2. Once glue is dry; cut around all of your collages, set to one side.

3. Pour the gold embossing powder in one container and the clear in another.

4. Tear off a strip of non stick baking parchment and place on your work surface.

5. Take on the min collages you have just glued onto the mount board, and gently press the entire surface with the versamark inkpad.

6. Tap the collage upside down into the clear embossing powder container to adhere powder. Heat to melt.

7. Working quickly place collage back into the clear embossing powder container to adhere another layer of powder. Heat to melt.

8. Repeat step 8 until you have approx 4 layers of clear embossing powder on your collage tile.

9. At this step you can now add embellishments into the hot embossing powder, you can sprinkle on mini beads while the embossing powder is still hot, or pressing brass charms or pressed flowers into the enameling.

Let Cool, your glass collages are complete.

You are probably wondering what the gold embossing powder is for in the supplies list! If you wish to add a gold frame to your glass art collage, before the clear embossing powder has cooled; dip the collage edges into the gold embossing powder container so that a thin strip of gold powder sticks to all 4 edges. Heat set for a lovely midas edge.

Ive been playing around with the Spray Starch background technique tonight after finally getting my hot sticky paws on a can of Dylon aerosol spray starch 🙂

The background technique is surprisingly easy and straight forward; all you have to do is spray the starch liberally onto dark card stock, then tap on various colours of pearl ex pigments on top. Spray again with more starch and if it looks ok leave it to dry…..easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Heres how I did my backgrounds, I took the liberty of taking a couple of shots of the steps so you can play along if this background tickles your fancy…

Note – Remember to click on all pictures if you want close ups.

Supply List

All the supplies you need are in the picture below:

  • Dark Colour Card Stock
  • Spray Starch
  • Soft Paint Brush
  • Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments (or any powdered mica)
  • Newspaper to protect your work area

Steps 1 & 2: Place a sheet of card onto your work area and spray a good layer of spray starch over the top like so:

3. Using the soft brush, tap and dab slodges of pearl ex all over the card stock:

4. Spray over the top with another layer of Starch:

5. Optional – Add more pearl ex if you think it needs it (you can never have enough colour) and rub the pearl ex in a bit using the brush to help the colours to blend together in the starch.

6. This is my favourite step 🙂 Place a sheet of card exactly the same size over the top of the pearl ex background and rub along the back with your fingertips.

7. Peel the backgrounds apart to reveal the magic!

8. You can use a sheet of colour card stock to blot with over the background to distribute the colour even further and create interesting vein like textures:

9. Finally heat set (or leave to air dry) Your background is complete.

Notes: This background technique works well with both matt and gloss card, try them both to achieve different finishes. The backgrounds in this tutorial were created upon gloss card stock.

More Spray Starch Background Fun:

1.2. 3.

Results in…..

Spray Starch Background Gallery:

Spray Starch Background Art Technique Tutorials:





As you can see Ive been having some fun creating new styles of backgrounds for this issue! The card on the right comprises of several layers to create a wonderful textured mixed media card. The 2 main ingredients to create this vintage olde worlde look are walnut crystals and floor wax! I love to play around with mediums and see what I can come up with and had a lot of fun creating this card!

Walnut Inks and Crystals are a favourite medium of mine to use as I love how you can get an instant old fashioned background effect using little effort! Theres so many different ways you can use walnut inks and crystals out there that there are new ways being invented all the time! This is my current favourite background technique which I came up with while playing around with the floor wax recently.

These backgrounds would also work well with collages and altered books too! Why not have a go and see what you can come up with?

Supplies Used:

* White Gloss Card Stock
* Black Permanent Inkpad (Memories Stewart Superior)
* Walnut Crystals
* Future Floor Wax or Johnsons Klear Wax (or suitable alternative)Paint Brush
* White Tissue Paper
* Embossing Heat Gun
* Clear Embossing Powder
* Interferance Violet UTTEE or similar embossing powders (optional)
* Gold Pearl Ex (or colour of choice – you can use ANY powdered pigments for this i.e. perfect pearls, moonglow, fairie dust etc)
* Forest Green Card Blank
* Double Sided Tape
* Scissors
* London Map Scrapbook Paper Sheet (Kay and Company Lifes Journey Range)
* Rulers Scrapbook Paper Sheet (Kay and Company Lifes Journey Range)
* Journey Dictionary Defination Taken From Scrapbook Paper Sheet (Kay and Company Lifes Journey Range)
* Burgundy Card Stock

Travel Background Rubber Stamp Used CARDSNSTAMPS.COM

Creating The Background:

Always protect your work surface before working with these backgrounds as they can be messy. I use a sheet of card board for this purpose.

1. Take the sheet of gloss card stock and stamp the travel background all over the surface of the sheet with black ink. Let dry.

2. Next paint over the entire surface of the gloss card using floor wax and a paint brush – dont skimp with the wax!

3. Now take the same brush and dip it directly into the tub of walnut crystals – you dont mix then before hand you want to use the actual crystals themselves!

Use the brush dipped in walnut crystals and tap and stipple the brush over the surface of the card – the wax will act as a blending agent and the walnut will stain the card itself. Continue until the entire surface is covered with walnut ink.

4. While the wax is still wet; tear off strips of tissue paper and tap them over the wax randomly. You dont want to cover the entire surface of the card; just different sections to create a texture. You get more of a texture if you tear the tissue up first then open it up and tap it down on the card.

5. Paint another layer of floor wax over the tissue paper you have just laid down to make it go transparent.

6. Dip your brush back into the walnut crystals and paint the tissue paper different shades of brown.

7. Now take a pinch of walnut crystals with your fingers and sprinkle them over the surface of the background.

The wax will dissolve the sprinkled crystals a little but not too much and create ‘age spots’ on the background.

8. Allow the background to dry – you can hurry it along with a heat gun.

This step is completely optional:

9. Once dry take the clear embossing powder and sprinkle it over your background – you do not want an even layer just a rough sprinkling of powder so dont over think this step. Heat powder to melt.

10. Apply more clear powder and heat, then add a final layer of interferance UTEE to the hot clear powder (not too much) and heat again.

Your background is complete.

Making The Card:

To make the card shown, I tore around the Walnut Wax Media Background, then layered it onto my card blank with a strip of London Map Scrapbook paper. Next I cut out a ruler from the ruler printed paper and affixed it over the top of the layers. To finish the card I cut out the ‘Journey’ dictionary definition from the dictionary sheet and layered it onto a sheet of burgundy card stock.

Textured Glue Background ATC

It had to happen! Another background technique from yours truly!

Seems all I do lately is play around with background techniques; I cant help it if Im addicted to experimenting and playing around with different mediums to see what kind of interesting handmade background effects I can get!

This technique uses cheap and cheerful PVA Glue – for the benefit of readers who dont live in the UK;

PVA glue is cheap white school glue which dries clear. I use the cheapest glue I can find; I get mine from pound shops (dollar stores) – dont bother with expensive glues as cheap glue works!

The glue once dried creates an unique texture for your background which you can then smoosh over with pigment inks. Because the glue itself is glossy the pigment inks wont dry on it; so therefore you wipe off the ink to remove it and create an interesting resist type background with a textured twist! Its really easy and the effects can look very different!

Read on for the step by step details….

What You Need

* Cheap PVA Glue
* White Matt Card Stock
* Paint Brush or Sponge (for applying glue)
* Heat Gun
* Pigment Ink Pads in various colours (I use Colorbox Paint Pads)
* Kitchen Towel Wipe (or toilet paper)
* Black Memories Inkpad (or any permanent pad)
* Rubber Stamps Of Your Choice (I used Hero Arts Retro Borders)


First of all before you begin please remember because you are working with pigment inks you need to use matt card.

1. Squirt the pva glue onto your card stock – dont worry about being messy at this point – the messier the better; let the glue gloop onto the card. Use a brush or sponge to spread the glue across the card. Dont completely cover the card area – you want the card to be mainly glue free – think of the glue as an ‘accent’.

2. Using your heat gun quickly blast your card to dry the glue; you’ll notice in the areas where the glue is thicker that the glue will bubble up – this is normal. Once the glue has dried you can press the glue bubbles with your fingertips to pop them and flatten them down – or leave them as they are depending on how you want your background to look.

3. Now to stamp your background; I used black memories inkpad to stamp a background using the Hero Arts Retro Borders Set. Once stamped you must heat set your stamped images before continuing to the next step – it is important your ink is dry!

4. Now for the fun part! Start smooshing those pigment inks all over your card stock – you can use several colours or just one or two. I like to use complementary colours for example greens, oranges and yellows.

5. Pick up a dry kitchen towel or toilet tissue and swipe this over your background colour. As you do this you lift up some (but not all) of the colour from the glue drizzles on your card stock. Thus creating a cool textured resist background!

Your background is complete and will look a little like these:

Textured Glue Resist BackgroundTextured Glue Resist Background

Now you can use your backgrounds to create some wonderful creations! I used mine to create an ATC and a card which can be seen on this page!

Textured Glue Background Card

Hope you have as much fun with your backgrounds as I did!