Saturday, 22 November 2014

Adding some Extra Dimension to your Paper Craft! Manual Embossing.

Sometimes it seems that there is no end to the variety of things we can use to make our projects more interesting. We go in phases of using certain methods for a while and then look to do something different and there is always something new (or old) to try.

Like this card. Sorry the colour is a bit off, artificial lighting!

I'm not talking about the butterfly but about the embossed foil beneath it.
I don't have any kind of embossing machine, no Big Shot or anything else like that. I do however have a silicone mat, a piece of craft foam (2mm) and a ball point pen.

Yes, there are a couple of embossing tools too but I didn't end up using them, the pen was better! Pens are designed to glide and so are made nice and smooth. Smoother than my embossing tools. This is important because I am using BBQ foil, not special metal sheets!

I found that straight foil still needs some extra strength, some support for embossing. Experimentation was the key to success but now that I have done the donkey work, you don't have to!

Plain foil with no backing was too fragile and even a pen left cuts and tears in it. I got good results though by putting a piece of glossy paper over the top before drawing with the pen, it was a big improvement, just put a silicone mat or piece of foam underneath the foil (shiny side down), paper on top and off you go.
There is one problem though with that method. In the process of sticking it on something, there is a high chance that you will damage or flatten it, there is still little substance.

Another method is to stick a sheet of adhesive paper on the back before embossing, that worked well.

You can see there is more depth and it looks more substantial.

Now this does mean you would need to tape it on with something else.

Using double sided tape was another option, good for small pieces. However, it does tend to crinkle a bit when you remove the backing.

See the diagonal striations?

I used a sticky backed vinyl on another bit.

It certainly made it stronger and the impression was good (bad photo though!).

Again, you'd need something to stick it onto your project.

I also tried the silver DIY tape found everywhere. It was great but you'd want to keep the backing on and not remove it. 

If you are not artistic, feel free to trace designs, just remember that any words will need to be reversed!  Decorative initials would be fun for cards.

For Cameo users, adding a backing to the foil means you can cut it easily and emboss afterwards, so leaves and flowers would be a great idea for embellishments.  Just make sure to avoid the rollers and unwanted indentations. A clean mat would be a must as any scraps left on it would leave marks.

 It is also possible to cut out small foam shapes by hand and cover them with embossed foil. If you have any, alcohol inks can be used to add colours for dramatic effect, or even 3D glues.

So there are some ideas to get you started!  No special equipment necessary and even the children can have a go.  If they do a big design, you could put it on a foam tile and hang it on the wall!

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