Right after Denver Pop Culture Con, I was approached about obtaining thermoplastics from Polly Plastics to work with and review. Me, being me, I had to get a variety pack from their site here to test out the different forms of thermoplastics that Polly Plastics offers! To properly do this review, however, I decided to do this in two parts, as I’m still deciding what to make with the other bits of the variety pack that I haven’t worked with.
I started working with the thermal beads, which came in clear or a huge variety of colors, like gold, silver, red, green, etc. They also sent a card to help with mixing colors if you’re attempting to a get specific hue. The beads are put into hot water until they become clear and can then be worked with and sculpted. If something isn’t hardening in the shape you desire, you can just drop it right back in and work with the plastic again until you get the desired result. They’re super easy to work with and are just kind of fun to play around and figure out.
I ended up taking some resin gems that the girls at Starlit Creations had sent me and making the gold and silver edging around them to see if plastics would work instead of extra resin for the setting. I think with a mold or more practice, I could get it to look fairly nice and smooth without odd lumps and fingerprints. The gold was my first attempt at playing with the beads to do what I wanted, with the silver being my second attempt, which I felt came out better. I plan on messing with the thermal beads more in the future to get it looking smoother, but it’s really easy to work with.
After doing that, I moved on and mixed some of the clear and red beads to create individual rose petals to sculpt a miniature rose for part of a scepter I plan to make. It worked super well for what I planned to sculpt and shape, and any time I didn’t like how it was working out, I tossed it back into the hot water and reworked the petal piece. Now, once it hardened, some of the areas on the petals didn’t mix fully with the red and clear thermal beads. It’s not super noticeable unless you’re up close, but the plastic can be easily painted to match. I want to add a little bit more to the bottom of the rose, but I overall really like how it turned out and I had fun working with the beads.
Clean-up is stupid easy. I worked on wax paper to make sure nothing stuck to my surface I was working on, and I just reheated a mug full of water that I dumped out after I was done. I do think wearing latex gloves would have been a good idea to get smoother surfaces, as my fingerprints are visible in the plastic. But it was a learning experience that I did figure out silly things like that for next time!
Next time I will be working with the thermal plastic sheets and strips from Polly Plastics! I’m hoping to come up with something neat and be able to do another full review of their products! I have a few ideas, so hopefully I can get those going and photographed for the next half of this tutorial!