Fun with {old} Friendly Plastic!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! We had a sweet morning before work and school exchanging valentines goodies and cards:) The kids are looking forward to the valentine party at school and as a classroom treat we cut hearts out of watermelon (cut the rind off a watermelon and slice it 3/4″ thick and use a cookie cutter to cut hearts or other shapes) and made a fruit plate that I will bring to school in a bit. Here is the valentine card I made my husband. Stamps are by About Art Accents.

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I used Friendly Plastic to make the charm  I was given a bunch of old friendly plastic sticks last year. Friendly plastic has a shelf life, after a couple of years it becomes brittle and snappy, not bendy and pliant, so you can’t use it for all techniques. Luckily I discovered ways to use the old stuff so if you have some friendly plastic from long ago or if you bought some recently and discovered that it breaks rather than bends here are some techniques you can try. Get a cuppa coffee folks, this is a long, but hopefully entertaining and informative video. You can do any of these techniques with new Friendly Plastic as well!

And, yes, I found something else to use my coffee cup warmer for! Yay, it earns a place on my worktable:) So to recap the following techniques will work with old FP: Marbleizing, inlay or crazy quilt technique, ooze technique (pressing metal mesh or wire into the melted plastic so it oozes up around it) and breaking up and melting in molds.

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Tips: Snap off bit of plastic (like I did in the video.) Cutting the old stuff with scissors will make it shatter (the new stuff should cut just fine.) If you are buying new Friendly plastic, check it in the store to make sure it bends, if it snaps it is old.  Don’t buy more than you can use up in a year, short shelf life, remember.

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A word of caution: The charms made with old friendly plastic should probably be used for card or scrapbook embellishments as they are not the most rugged unless you use several layers and re-enforce with wire or if the pieces are small (earring size.)  I tried snapping some of the larger pieces and they did snap with a bit of pressure so not ideal for long lasting jewelry. I have not used new FP so I am not sure how jewelry would last after it was a few years old, weather it would become brittle with age. There are a ton of fun tutorials on the Friendly Plastic blog to give you an idea of what artists are doing with the new pliant sticks. I highly recommend you have a look and if you have any question on the new Friendly Plastic they would be the ones to ask and they have beginner kits at a reasonable price.

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That’s all for today! I hope if you have some old sticks of Friendly Plastic around you will give this a try rather than becoming frustrated and throwing them away, til next time happy crafting!

6 thoughts on “Fun with {old} Friendly Plastic!

  1. I do have some old plastic. I have wondered what to do with it because heaven forbid I those anything away! Can’t wait to try it out. Thanks!

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  2. Nice to know how many things you can do with old FP. I’ve had some for ages and not used it.

    I love the valentine card you made! My poor hubby didn’t get one this year because I’d started packing up my ARTHaven in preparation for moving, and I can’t get to the shops so he didn’t even get a bought card. Instead, we went out for a special dinner which included a Murder Mystery evening which was soooo much fun!!

    Shoshi

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  3. Hi! I loved your presentation (I bought some old sticks, not realizing they were old) I am intrigued by what you said about the NEW FB…I haven’t been able to find any, only in pellet form. Has it been re-named? Is it still available in sticks, and if so WHERE? I have searched for days, and the only ones i found were the old brittle ones…Thanks!

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    1. the people that used to manufacture the stick from them retired so no one is making it now but there are tutorials on how to make sticks from the pellets.

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  4. Thanks for your video. I bought a big basket of old FP at a craft store and it is colorful but very brittle. Thinking of making a large abstract wall painting. The reinforcing with wire is a good idea. Also I once bought some cute FP jewelry at the big Pink Palace Crafts Fair in Memphis and now it is brittle and breaks easily. Thanks for the good tips on using the old stuff, I have a LOT of it !

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  5. I was sooo glad to find out that FP has a shelf life as I was gettin g so frustrated trying to cut it into strips and getting only shattered pieces. I’m very interested in how exactly you made the star shape from the pieces. I can imagine all sorts of shapes, but am at a loss as to how to achieve it. Thanks in advance

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