Design Idea C781 Brooch
by Leslie Anger, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Our in-house jewelry designers adore Friendly Plastic®. If you haven't fallen in love with this heat-to-use medium yet, we have the top four reasons why you should try this versatile material.

#1. The Vivid Colors

Friendly Plastic has some of the brightest colors you could possibly want for jewelry, home décor and more. With white and intense, opaque metallic hues including red, purple, blue and more, add some stand-out energetic color to designs.

Friendly Plastic Color Veriation

#2. It's Easy to Use and Reusable

Soften it up and play.

This material doesn't need to get super-hot in order to make your 2D or 3D designs. Common ways to warm Friendly Plastic include candle warmers, electric griddles, toaster ovens, heat guns or even warm water. The water should be too warm to comfortably leave your fingers in, but not so hot it will burn. Friendly Plastic does not retain the water, so it won't stick to wet surfaces or hands. Dip the Friendly Plastic sticks into the water using your fingers or tongs until it feels pliable enough to mold.

When putting Friendly Plastic in a toaster oven, place it on a Teflon® sheet, silicone glue gun pad or no-slip baking sheet. The plastic won't stick to smooth metal or glass, so you don't have to worry about it not coming up. If it does begin to harden on a surface you don't want, simply wait for it to cool and pop the plastic off. Reheat it and voila! You're ready to mold this reusable material again. Did you end up not liking a section you made? Heat it with a heat gun and rework the area. If you prefer to sculpt, simply heat the product until slightly melted, and form it like clay.
Craft Oven, Silcon Pad and Tongs

#3. Design Possibilities Are Endless

Layer it, cut it, punch holes, stick components in it, stamp it for textures, put it in silicone or metal molds, personalize it with fingerprints, add Magic-Glos® or ICE Resin® for a glossy seal, paint it, apply Gilders Paste®, mica powders or add glitter. The possibilities are endless! A favorite way to incorporate other components is to place the bright colors behind Lazer Lace™ or filigree focals, charms, links and more so the color shows through the fancy cutout sections. Go freeform when designing like Boryana Kolf did in her glamorous Midnight Lights bracelet, incorporate in settings, add cord ends for linking to more design elements, etc.

Four Reasons to Love Friendly Plastic® Four Reasons to Love Friendly Plastic®

When cutting, ordinary scissors work, or if you prefer more detailed cuts use a jeweler's saw. Make sure to cut slowly or the friction from the saw teeth can melt the edge. While heated and in the ''melty'' stage, drag an awl across to blend, draw or create interesting effects. Or stick other colors against each other for a one-of-a-kind mosaic.

Four Reasons to Love Friendly Plastic®

#4. It's Lightweight

Big is good, and bigger is better. Popular jewelry, including earrings, has seen no size limitation lately. But, large pieces can often be uncomfortably heavy. Friendly Plastic is lightweight even in large quantities for over-sized jewelry that looks large and expensive, while remaining light and cost-effective. This material is ideal for replicating heavier glass or more costly Lucite®, too.

Four Reasons to Love Friendly Plastic®

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