Handmade Jewelry Using Friendly Plastic: Mold Stunning Pieces With Ease

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Handmade Jewelry Using Friendly Plastic: Mold Stunning Pieces With Ease


Friendly Plastic is a moldable thermoplastic that opens up endless creative possibilities for handmade jewelry. Once you learn how to work with this versatile material, you can easily craft beautiful pendants, beads, buttons, and other components for jewelry making.

The magic of Friendly Plastic lies in its ability to be shaped by hand without any special tools. Simply warm it up in water until pliable, mold it into desired forms, then cool to set the plastic.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about making jewelry with Friendly Plastic. Let’s dive into supplies, techniques, project ideas, and expert tips to inspire your DIY jewelry creations!

What is Friendly Plastic?

Friendly Plastic is the brand name for a thermoplastic polymer clay that consists of tiny plastic pellets fused together. It’s made of a non-toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material and contains no BPA, lead, or phthalates.

The plastic has the unique ability to become pliable when heated but then hardens as it cools. Simply submerging Friendly Plastic pellets in hot water softens them so they can be molded by hand into jewelry components or art pieces.

Once cooled and set, the plastic retains the molded shape. It can be reheated and remolded multiple times, making it perfect for jewelry prototyping and experimentation. Friendly Plastic is available in many colors.

Benefits of Using Friendly Plastic for Jewelry

Here are some key reasons jewelry makers love Friendly Plastic:

Reusable & Recyclable

Scraps and mistakes can be rewarmed and recycled into new pieces without wasting material.

Hand Moldable

It can easily be shaped by hand without molds or special tools when warmed.

Durable Material

Friendly Plastic holds its shape well over time and doesn’t chip or crack under normal wear and tear.

Takes Colorants

Plastic remains workable even when mixed with oil paints, chalk pastels, or alcohol inks for custom colors.


Finished jewelry pieces are lightweight enough for comfortable all-day wear.

Quick Technique

Jewelry components can be molded, embellished, and attached faster than many other methods.

Getting Started – Friendly Plastic Supplies

Friendly Plastic jewelry making doesn’t require a vast array of specialty supplies. Here’s an overview of the basics you need:

Friendly Plastic

Purchase pellet-form Friendly Plastic in an assortment of colors to experiment with. Opt for the original over knock-off brands for ease of molding.


Have heat-resistant containers like glass jam jars on hand to heat the plastic in. Avoid thin plastics that could warp.


Get creative adding beads, charms, glitter, ribbon, and found objects. Glue embellishments on after molding.

Epoxy Glue

Use strong two-part epoxy adhesives to firmly adhere Friendly Plastic components together or onto pendant backings.

Jump Rings & Chain

Incorporate jump rings, head pins, and chain to turn Friendly Plastic elements into finished jewelry. Pliers help shape metal pieces.


Keep a dedicated water source close at hand to reheat and smooth Friendly Plastic as needed while molding.

How to Work With Friendly Plastic

Follow this basic process when working with Friendly Plastic to turn it into jewelry components:

Step 1: Heat the Plastic

Place pellets in a heat-safe container and cover with hot tap water. Let soak 1-2 minutes until pliable.

Step 2: Knead the Plastic

Drain excess water and knead the plastic by hand like dough until smooth and malleable.

Step 3: Shape the Plastic

Form the softened plastic by hand into desired beads, focal shapes, buttons, etc. Work quickly before it starts to cool and harden.

Step 4: Refine the Shape

Add details and refinements to molds while the plastic remains pliable. Heat and reshape areas as needed.

Step 5: Set the Plastic

When happy with the shape, set aside to cool and cure fully. This takes 10-20 minutes.

Step 6: Smooth Seams

Use fine grit sandpaper or an emery board to smooth any seam lines on molded plastic.

Step 7: Prepare for Assembly

Drill holes for stringing, attach findings, add embellishments, etc. to prepare pieces for assembling into jewelry.

Helpful Techniques for DIY Jewelry Using Friendly Plastic

Once you get the hang of the basics, try out these techniques for taking your Friendly Plastic jewelry making up a notch:

Adding Color

Stir oil paint, mica powder, eyeshadow, or chalk pastel into the plastic while warm to tint it. Alcohol inks can add marbling effects.

Layering Colors

Mold a base layer of one color, let cool, then overlap and blend other colors while warm for visual depth.

Embedding Items

Press items like coins, seashells, or rhinestones into the plastic while warm, then mold plastic overtop to encase them.

Making Molds

Press warm Friendly Plastic into a found object or jewelry mold to pick up detail. Cool, unmold, then clean up details.

Cutting Shapes

Roll out slabs of conditioned Friendly Plastic and use cookie cutters or craft punches to cut out shapes.

Blending Scraps

Reheat plastic scraps in water to combine colors and recycle them into new mixed-media blanks to mold.

Jewelry Design Inspiration Using Friendly Plastic

Looking for ideas to fire up your creativity? Here are some gorgeous ways to transform Friendly Plastic into one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces:

Molded Flowers

Use cutters or molds to shape flowers, then detail veins and petals by hand. Group into floral pendants, rings, or earrings.

Faux Stone Jewelry

Mold organic shapes and use alcohol inks, mica powders, or glitter to mimic semi-precious stones like jasper or agate.

Ocean Jewelry

Capture the colors of sea glass or coral reefs in your molded plastic designs. Add touches like pearl beads or shell fragments.

Friendly Plastic Buttons

Texture the front of molded discs with stitch marks, patterns, or words. Use buttons for focal pendants, cloak clasps, or embellishments.

Picture Frame Jewelry

Frame out photos, art, or quotes between two thin layers of flattened Friendly Plastic discs. Craft into necklace pendants to display images.

Faux Bone Jewelry

Achieve carved bone effects by texturing white or cream Friendly Plastic with veining tools, then adding stain. Antique for jewelry with global style.

Faux Clay Beads

Shape organic domed discs and teardrop beads from Friendly Plastic. Use rollers and cutters to mimic handmade polymer clay. String into necklaces.

Troubleshooting Common Friendly Plastic Problems

Like any material, Friendly Plastic comes with a learning curve. Here’s how to overcome common issues:

Plastic Won’t Soften

If the plastic doesn’t become pliable enough to mold, the water isn’t hot enough. Heat a pot of water on the stove and use it instead of just hot tap water.

Bubbling When Heating

Vigorous bubbling occurs if the plastic gets too hot. Keep the temperature under 140°F and stir gently to avoid air pockets forming.

Cracks When Cooling

Cooling the plastic too quickly can cause cracks. Let it cure slowly at room temperature away from water, AC vents, or the freezer.

Won’t Harden Completely

If thick pieces stay gummy, allow a longer curing time before handling. Use fans to circulate air to help sections fully cool and set.


Plastic may yellow over time if exposed to too much heat or UV rays. Keep finished pieces out of direct sunlight.

Safety Tips for Working With Friendly Plastic

While non-toxic, there are still some safety measures to take when handling Friendly Plastic:

  • Work in a well-ventilated area, as the plastic may give off fumes when heated. Open windows and avoid breathing vapors.
  • Always heat plastic in a glass or metal container, not plastic which could leach chemicals.
  • Wear gloves when kneading hot plastic to protect hands from burns.
  • Supervise children closely and remind them the material is very hot after heating.
  • Avoid microwaving Friendly Plastic, as it can overheat and damage microwave ovens.
  • Allow all plastic pieces to fully cool and harden before use near eyes or as jewelry, to prevent contact with any residual heat-softened areas.


Friendly Plastic opens up a world of possibilities for imaginative jewelry makers. With just water and your hands, you can mold stunning pendants, beads, and components to create one-of-a-kind designs. The ability to continuously rewarm and recycle plastic gives endless room for experimentation and refinement.

Take your jewelry making to the next level by mastering how to manipulate this versatile thermoplastic. Whether aiming to mimic fine metals, complex shapes, or natural elements, Friendly Plastic is an easy-to-use material that brings handmade jewelry visions to life.

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