Thursday, February 21, 2013

Make your own Jewelry with Friendly Plastic - Easy and Fun Glass Like Effects

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As I wrote this article for the Friendly Plastic blog, the weather outside is "not so delightful".  We're in the middle of a major ice storm.  But, you know me, I'll use anything for inspiration and I'll even make up stories to take me somewhere where it's not so yucky outside.  So the ice reminds me of glass and the not so yucky outside reminded me of my trip to Paris last year.....and combine that together and that's the inspiration for the write up on the Friendly Plastic blog which I thought I'd share with all of you.

It's a nice day to snug up and Craft! So, my peeps, get comfy and CRAFT ON!

In this free jewelry making tutorial, we show you how to make your own jewelry using Friendly Plastic.

Maybe you can sympathize with me a little here.  First of all, I'm not a purist at all in my artwork.  I love to mix and match various art supplies with my jewelry making supplies. I love to make something look like what it really isn't.  I'm also all about achieving gorgeous results without spending a lot of money.  What happens when  you combine all three of those ideas together?  Well, the result may just be this - creating the look of "expensive" dichroic glass with Friendly Plastic.

So with that in mind, imagine this scenario

You're shopping with a friend, and for the sake of upscaling this story and embellishing it just a little, let's say you're strolling through Paris in the springtime, taking in the beauty of the city, stopping for a luscious french pastries and a little tea and shopping along Champs Elysees - the upscale shopping area of Paris.

marie Browning and Linda Peterson

You walk into a boutique, gorgeous clothing and accessories, and then you see it, this stunning piece of jewelry, in your colors, it's artisan made, its gorgeous dichroic glass, blingy and you would just DIE to have it.  And then... you look at the price...... 450 euro's (which is about $580 us). the staff is looking you up and down and watching your every move, you gently set it back on the display....a little bummed...
A - O -K ...way outta your budget.  (a similar story happened to me on Rodeo drive a few years back)

So here are your options, sulk endlessly because you can't buy it or Take a picture of it with your brain and use it as an inspiration piece to create your own designer jewelry.  I say the latter!

Okay so maybe the story is a little far fetched but the reality isn't.  It doesn't matter if the piece of jewelry you like is $10, or $50 or whatever, if it's out of your budget and you want it - you can to make it.

So, with that story spinning around in your mind like a hurricane, here's a great way to make jewelry look like something it's not.  It's jewelry crafts 101!

You'll have fun with this project, because it combines pewter ArtEmboss metal with Wireform Modeling wire, alcohol inks and 3-D crystal laquer for a layered glass-like effect.

The slider pendant is so versatile and interchangeable.  And because I know you're going to go wild with this project you'll be able to change the look of the choker just by sliding on a new pendant.

Contemporary Faux Glass Choker

 By Linda Peterson
Friendly Plastic®–Metallic Gold, Metallic Fuschia, Metallic Mauve
AMACO® ArtEmboss®–Medium Pewter
AMACO® WireForm® Modeling Wire–Aluminum 1/8″
AMACO® Polyblade
3-D Crystal Laquer - Sakura
Double Stick Tape–ThermOWeb (1 sheet and 1/4″ wide roll)
Heavy Cardstock or chipboard
Alcohol based inks (Pinata–Magenta and Orange used in this project)
92% rubbing alcohol
Petroleum Jelly
Inkjet waterslide decals (optional)
Black and White clip art–filigree, scrolls (optional–only if using decals)
Makeup sponges
Bowl of cold water
Ball Peen Hammer
Griddle or electric skillet with thermostat
Heat Gun (optional)
Wooden stylus (comes with ArtEmboss)
Utility knife
Metal Ruler
Non-stick craft sheet
Metal file
Steel Wool
Hints and tips for working with Friendly Plastic®
Prepare the griddle by placing a non-stick baking sheet onto it. You might also want to set a non-stick craft sheet on top of this to make it easy to pick up the piece with pliers and set it in the cold water without touching it. Coat fingers and tools with a light application of petroleum jelly to prevent the plastic from sticking. Repeat as necessary. 
The warmer the plastic gets, the more gooey it gets. You will quickly learn how to use cold water and heat to control the softness of the plastic. You may want to practice first. To touch up areas, simply heat with a heat gun for a few seconds to soften the plastic.
Keep discarded plastic as it can be re-heated and used in several other projects. Nothing goes to waste. Pre-heat griddle to 200-225F. Because of the heat source, this project is not recommended for small children.
Center Stone:
Step 1
Using the utility knife and metal ruler, cut strips of gold, fuchsia, and mauve Friendly Plastic® approximately 1/8″ wide by the width of the plastic (these do not have to be exact).
Step 2
Lay gold strip onto pre-heated craft sheet. Allow it to soften slightly and then add other colors alternating, gold, fuchsia, and mauve. Repeat several times finishing with mauve. Place in water to cool.
Step 3
Cut a strip 1/8″ of the striped plastic. Cut a strip of gold plastic 1″ x 2″. Place a drop of magenta ink onto make up sponge then daub onto plastic. To create a watermarked effect, apply alcohol to clean sponge and lightly daub. Allow to dry for few seconds. Place onto craft sheet and set on griddle to heat. Place gold-fuchsia-mauve strips on each side…gold on top and bottom, fuchsia above and below gold. Allow to fuse together and remove.
Step 4
Coat PolyBlade with petroleum jelly and press into softened plastic to make cuts (see diagram). Slide blade back and forth creating a good solid cut. Place pendant in cold water.

Step 5
Soften a strip of plastic (any color) on griddle. Press cold pendant into center and allow to slightly bond together. Remove and cut off excess with Polyblade. Cool in water. Trim edges if necessary with scissors.
Step 6
Apply a thin layer of 3-D Crystal Lacquer  to top of pendant.  Allow to dry. Repeat two more times.  
Step 7
Print desired pattern onto waterslide decal.Place decal face side down onto pendant. Apply water and remove backing. Remove excess water with a paper towel. Apply several more layers of glossy accents allowing each to dry completely before the next is applied (it’s best to let it dry overnight). (You can also use a rub-on transfer or create your own image transfer according to the manufacturer's directions)
Step 8
Place pendant onto cardstock and trace around with pencil. Cut out design leaving a 1/4″ border. Apply tape to one side. Remove backing and place onto pewter. Cut out leaving a 1/4″ border. Cut corners diagonally and fold metal to back side. Apply tape to back side and remove backing.  
Creating the setting:
Step 9
Cut two strips of ArtEmboss® pewter–1″ x 2″. Fold edges to center. Press flat with wooden stylus. Wrap strips around wooden stylus centering onto back of metal pendant. Place metal pendant onto pewter and cut out flush. Smooth edges with wooden stylus. Apply double stick tape around perimeter of plastic pendant. Cut a strip of pewter 1/4″ wide and wrap around pendant. Smooth edges with wooden stylus. Apply tape to back and center onto top of metal setting.
Metal Choker
Step 10
The standard size is 15 inches however the aluminum will stretch slightly as it is hammered. You may adjust this to fit.
Step 11
Cut a piece of modeling wire 15″ long. Begin hammering flat against the anvil. Hammer ends flatter than rest of choker.  
Step 12
File and shape ends smooth. Hammer with the ball side of the hammer to get hammered effect. Gently massage to create curve. Bend ends down slightly to conform and rest on neck comfortably. Polish with steel wool.

Friendly Plastic also works with blank metal findings for your FREE DOWNLOAD of these gorgeous projects by Marie Browning Click the links below:

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