Sticky back plastic is a staple crafting material – it’s simple, versatile and can be used to transform almost anything. The new range of Fablon at Hobbycraft is great for trying out sticky back plastic craft techniques. Stuck for ideas? Here’s some I made earlier…
Fun Fablon Craft Ideas
On A Roll
These are just some of the many colours and designs available:
Fablon comes in a variety of thicknesses and textures, depending on the particular design of the roll. Some have a light, crinkled vinyl feel, while others are glossy and smooth. But despite these differences, each variety of Fablon remains easy to handle, and if you’re not happy with its placement you can usually peel back and reposition it without causing any ugly creases. It is also surprisingly resistant to forming air bubbles.
When you unwrap and unroll your pack of Fablon, you’ll find that the backing sheets are printed with some useful information including a handy grid to help you measure and cut.
All Bases Covered
I began my Fablon adventures by covering a box.
Surprisingly, this was an extremely easy process – the stickyness was easy to handle and very forgiving. I could lift and reposition the plastic with no problems. At this early stage in my Fablon journey I had expected to be tormented by air bubbles, but in fact these were barely an issue – all it took to remove them was a smooth swipe from the bubble to the edge of the box.
The resulting box as you can see above, looks fairly sensational. The thickness of the Fablon coating caused the lid to have a much snugger fit than before, but not enough to get in the way. All in all, this was a very good way make use of both the Fablon and a box.
Buoyed by my leopard print creation, I used some spare cardboard from a pack of biscuits to make a pen holder for my desk. The comic-print design comes in black and white, but I was pleased to discover it could be coloured in using Promarkers…
Cutting A Fine Figure
Having proved that Fablon is perfect for covering boxes, I set out to try some more intricate designs…
…such as this flourescent yellow caterpillar for my diary! I cut out the caterpillar shape using a Cricut Mini machine. If you don’t happen to have a Cricut machine lying around, you can get great results with just about any cutting implement.
The caterpillar was quickly joined by a herd of sea zebras on my kitchen cupboard. I cut the golden air bubbles using a standard hole punch.
I also used a papercraft punch to created an intricate floral pattern for the back cover of the same diary.
You Can Chalk!
So, cutting and covering. These are the two basic ways to craft with sticky back plastic, and there are a huge range of colours and designs here to do it with. However, Fablon still has a few tricks up its (rolled up) sleeves.
A special variety is available which will let you convert any smooth surface into a chalkboard. I found that it takes the chalk well enough – but not quite as well as black card. I expect you could get better results on the Fablon if you write with liquid chalk pens. If you want your words to be clearly visible from a distance, black card might still be the way to go. However, the chalkboard Fablon has two clear advantages: it can stick to almost any smooth surface, and it can be wiped clean and rewritten on as many times as you like.
Labels for jars: an instant upgrade to my coffee cupboard.
A to-do list for my fridge so I’ll never forget anything important again, as long as I remember to write it down first.
And this garland of chalkboard bunting, with a message that can be wiped clean and changed when the time is right: PARTY can become GO HOME within a few moments.
Through the Mists of Time
The other special variety of Fablon is ‘frosted glass’. You can stick this to your windows for some extra privacy, as it closely emulates the not-quite-fully-transparent effect of bathroom windows. Just like the other varieties, you can also cut shapes into it to create patterned glass panels or mirrors.
For my final Fablon project, I used a box frame to create a ‘cloudy memories’ display. I like the idea of a memory frame you can’t see clearly through – the contents obscured like an imperfectly remembered event from your distant past.
In this particular example of a promising new genre, I created a design based around my home town of Bournemouth. The background map comes from a tourism leaflet, and I filled the bottom of the frame with shells from the beach. I used a Cricut Mini to cut the words ‘no place like home’ into a piece of frosted Fablon, and then fixed this onto the glass front of the frame.