If you’ve ever use Friendly Plastic, Thermomorph is a bit like that, with the advantage that you can achieve a larger piece and that you can colour it yourself. It has many applications outside of crafting and I’ll talk about them in a later review.
The LARGE tub of Thermomorph will provide you with many, many play sessions. For the pieces I made today I used a small scoop that holds maybe two tablespoons. Best of all, if you mess up a piece or have leftover bits, so long as you haven’t coloured them you can simply pop the hardened piece of Thermomorph back into the pot to reheat and reuse at a later date!
Turning the pellets of Thermomorph into a moldable wad is simple – it only needs a suitable container and a kettle of boiling water. I use an old plastic food storage container – I would mark this as your Thermomorph tub (some bits stuck to the bottom) or use a glass bowl.
Let’s go thru it step by step.
My first technique is rolling the Thermomorph out thinly and first embossing it with an embossing folder then cutting it, either with scissors or with a deep cut die.
What you need:
- tub of Thermomorph
- hard brayer
- craft mat – or in my case two silicone cooking sheets from the £1 store
- suitable container
- kettle of boiling water
- tongs – ideally silicone tipped ones
- embossing folders
- die cut or embossing machine
1. Select your embossing folder. The ones I really liked and the ones that are best if you don’t have a deep cut diecut machine and the thick, heavy dies, are the ones that divide the design into identifiable pieces, or ones where part of the pattern can be used. Here are some good examples:
2. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the Thermomorph pellets into the container and cover with boiling water.
Let them sit for about 2 minutes, till you can see the pellets go clear and clump together.
Fish the wad of Thermomorph out with the tongs – I didn’t have trouble handling it immediately but you might, so poke it with your finger to make sure it isn’t too hot before committing to grabbing the whole wad!
3. Gently stretch then press the wad of Thermomorph onto the craft mat.
4. Cover with the other craft mat – and if you don’t have two you can either put the wad on half and fold the other half over it. I also had success using freezer paper and the peeled away contact paper liner.
Brayer firmly over the Thermomorph. You want to get it fairly thin and flat.
DO NOT try to brayer over the Thermomorph with a rubber brayer without a protective layer between. Trust me – it will take you HOURS to get the brayer anywhere approaching clean of it – ask me how I know…..
See the folded over bit at the left? The Thermomorph turns milk as it cools and hardens. In order to get it thin you can refresh your tub with a bit more boiling water and carefully slip the piece back thru the hot water again to soften it and repeat, till you get it thin enough. I didn’t measure it but it was thinner that the thickness of the embossing folder side.
5. While the piece is milky but still slight pliable, pop it into the embossing folder – there is no right or wrong side so just get it in there and run it thru your machine.
Now, a bit about that – I only have the Grand Calibur. I found that the best sandwich was the raspberry plate and the pink embossing or the grey base plate. Depending on the thickness of the Thermomorph, maybe adding a shim or two. I took the tub to the WOYWW crop, where Julia had a Big Shot and that worked too. The problem is that the thickness of the piece is going to vary from one play to another, so a few warnings:
- start it thru YOUR machine, but as soon as you hit what you worry might be risky resistance STOP. Your Thermomorph can be reheated and reworked, you aren’t going to “waste” it
- have some shims handy so you can add them if you find you need them
With the Big Shot I did emboss a piece when it was harder than I would have done in the Grand Calibur and it worked fine.
6. Once your piece is embossed you can cut it. I had no trouble, with it rolled thin, using scissors or a scalpel style craft knife, and thicker pieces cut with a box cutter. You can’t see it here but that thinner piece is a circle. My camera didn’t seem to have saved the straight shot of it but you’ll see it again later.
You can cut the embossed piece with a deep cut die, but even a very thin piece won’t cut with thin dies, like Nesties. You can run them thru to mark the shape then trim with scissors, if the shape is a simple one (I did a circle) but with the Big Shot (or similar) and deep cut dies you can get a fair bit of detail. I did this piece at the crop last week but can’t recreate it at home since I don’t have that sort of machine! Here is the photo from last week – the leaf was embossed then die cut on the Big Shot and the other pieces cut with a box cutter (they were pretty thick)
and here are some from today’s play, which I cut with plain old scissors, albeit big ones
You can choose either the EMbossed or the DEbossed side, as you prefer.
You can see from the sample above a couple of your colouring options, including a swipe over the raised areas with an ink pad, pounced on alcohol ink with metal mixatives added, and a swipe with Versamark then Pearl-ex. I’ll be doing more on that next, and give some guidance on the type of inks that I think work best and WHEN to colour (pre- or post-melt) and how that differs.
I thought it was just the most fun! Although I was asked to do the review, and provided the product, I hope you know from past reviews that I wouldn’t give it a positive review if I didn’t like it. And I DO like Thermomorph, quite a lot.
Let me repeat those links for you here at the bottom of this LONG review:
Product Name: Thermomorph
Size: 500 grams
Material: Polymorph granules
Just to tip you off, once I test out a few colouring ideas I will get to the obvious – molding Thermomorph pieces with molds (homemade and commercial) – and show you a real-world application that I know will save us a fortune and that we will use over and over again. Stay tuned….