Craft Concierge at your service!
GRASONVILLE, MD – Tuesday morning – We receive emails all the time asking about how to use various products. We love helping you find answers to your crafting questions. It’s the Craft Concierge service brought to you by the Creativity Sisters! Today’s email comes to us from Anne R. asking the following:
I have about 20 bottles of pellets in assorted colors that I purchased in 1994 from a hobby shop going out of business. I never got around to obtaining a book showing projects using this material. I currently teach crafts to folks at an assisted living center and wondered if there’s any way to get project sheets for using Aleene’s Fantastic Plastic Pellets. I’d like to be able to use this material since we have a VERY limited budget and I don’t know much about the material and it’s potential. Do you have anything about making beads or barrettes?
Well Anne, we had to dig a bit in our Aleene’s archives to find our notes from Aleene’s Fantastic Plastic. Here you go! >>Tiffany & Heidi
To use Fantastic Plastic, you will need the following supplies: Fantastic Plastic “pellets”, candy [or clay] molds, electric skillet or frying pan filled with 1” of water heated to 120º (near boiling), a fork, a scrap of cotton fabric, and a container of cold water.
Pour the pellets by the capful into the water. If it is too cool, the pellets will not stick together, but will float in the water.
The pellets should begin to melt together immediately. Using a fork, lift the pile of melted plastic out of the water, picking up any stray pellets. Blot the plastic with the scrap of cotton fabric to remove the water. (Do not use paper towels because they will stick to the melted plastic.) The melted plastic will be warm but not hot.
To marbleize the colors, roll the plastic between your hands into a snake shape. Twist the rolled plastic to swirl the colors. If the plastic cools and becomes difficult to work with, use the fork to dip it into the hot water for a moment. Remove the plastic from the hot water and blot as before.
Continue twisting and rolling the plastic until you get the desired effect. Do not overwork the plastic because the colors will become muddy. To mold the plastic, roll the plastic into a ball and press the ball of marbleized plastic into a mold, working from the center to the edges. If you prefer, shape the plastic as desired using your hands. Place the filled mold or shaped plastic into the container of cold water. After about 30 seconds, remove the mold or shape from the water. Remove the plastic from the mold and use the shape to embellish your crafting projects or glue on findings for jewelry.
For beads, you will need to shape the plastic around either an upholstery needle or a straw works great too. When the plastic just starts to cool, you should be able to slide it off the needle or straw and then immerse it into the cool water. For barrettes, just press your softened plastic right onto the metal barrette and work the plastic around to catch on the sides of the barrette. Immerse into the cool water and the plastic should then be secure onto the barrette. If that doesn’t work for you, you can always shape the plastic, cool it and then glue it on the metal finding.