This second project section concerns decoration of the plain, fused plastic. There isn’t a lot of technique here, so I’ll run through a summary of things I tried.
This is what the samples started off like.
Plain, fused plastic – made from the unprinted sections of Target bags.
A variety of inks. At the top we have solvent inks, under that Sharpies, Faber Castell Gelatos (pigment in a kind of creamy medium) and at the bottom, Ranger alcohol inks. All of these looked good going on, but all these failed the “rub hard with a paper towel” test. The best of the failures was the solvent ink and alcohol ink. These could be used in a protected area, I think.
Next is more alcohol ink, but this time applied to raw plastic and THEN fused. I used Pinata alcohol inks this time, which were more concentrated, and they were brighter before fusing, darker and more vibrant after they were condensed with the plastic. They didn’t blend well, at all, so this is a good solution if you want only one color or highlights. This method mostly passed the “rub hard with a paper towel” test, but failed the fingernail scratch test.
Acrylic paint, Golden heavy body. It went on like a dream, but after drying you could rub and scratch it right back off. Cool if you want to make a scratch-off toy, but no good for permanence.
Colored plastic bags fused onto already fused plastic. Not bad, but limited to what colorful bags you have. You can tell I don’t have many. If you have lots, this is great. As now-fused plastic, they were impervious to rub or scratch tests. Good durability.
Colored plastic bags fused onto already fused plastic with a clear plastic layer on top. This is part Ziploc bag and part protective shipping bag – it was all the clear I had. Looks pretty good and I think the clear top layer would give you good collage options. Excellent durability. Shiny, too.
Since the clear layer looked so nice, I thought I’d try it again. I was out of proper plastic bags, so I grabbed my Saran wrap, having no idea what sort of plastic it was made from. I tossed down glitter and mica flakes, put the wrap on top and ironed. It was a crunchy disaster! The wrap shrunk around the bits and only fused in other places. Also, the plastic was either the wrong kind, or way too thin, because after fusing it rubbed right back off, leaving glittery plastic flotsam all over. If I get some better clear plastic, I might try it again, but this piece was a total failure of durability and the glitter looked like crap under plastic. The flakes were pretty though.
Spray paint can be a miracle, so I tried some. This is, in L to R order, blue paint that claims it sticks to plastic, purple paint that claims it sticks to plastic, red paint that has no plastic-friendly attributes on top of a plastic spray primer and the same purple plastic-friendly atop plastic spray primer. You can see the rub and scratch test results in this photo – all failed. Although, the red did the best and could possibly be of use.
Finally, the odd ball. This is a black plastic garbage bag, fused to itself. I was tired of looking at the dull white bags. This looks good, like a pleather. Definitely useable for me.
Fast summary there. The next section is seams and closures, which will take some time to work up. Stay tuned!