Monday, 20 April 2015

Silver Bullet Embossing Card Basics With Sure Cuts A Lot 4

There are many advantages to having a Silver Bullet cutting machine, one of them is the force that can be used, it's higher than other machines.  Not only does this allow cutting of more materials but embossing and engraving too.

Today I am looking at embossing or de-bossing, depending on which way you choose to use the material!
Embossing can give some very pretty effects for both backgrounds and lettering but there are some basics you need to know before you start. Real time video here  On thin white card a force of 150 (higher than that would break through -

and here on a thicker grey card at a force of 200

I could have made it deeper by repeating the process.

First things first, you need some sort of padding under your card in order to emboss it. It is perfectly ok to use craft foam.
TIP  Did you know that if you have indents in your craft foam, that heating it gently with a hairdryer or heat embossing tool will allow it to 'repair' itself? Just like magic!

So put your foam on the mat and your card on that, making sure to secure it well.

If you are planning on cutting around the edge, make sure you arrange things so that you can remove the foam before you cut, without moving the design.

Don't have an embossing tool?  Don't worry. As long as you have a pen holder that fits, and an old pen, you'll be ok for basic stuff. Clean out the pen, remove the ink tube and re assemble it. I used an old Sakura one in a Silhouette pen holder. I had to wrap some tape around the pen, it was an in-between size but I got it to work. If you are going to be super fussy, then cut the pen down so that it will fit under the hood of the machine!

Set the lines to 'pen' and make sure you have the machine in charge of the pressure, not the software. That way you can more easily adjust it.
The effect you get will depend on the size of the nib and the force you apply. 
Too high a force  and it will tear through the card, too little and you won't see much of a result. The heavier the card the more force will be needed. Practice on some scraps to get the desired effect. The sample below was done at a force of 150 on relatively thin card. It's easy to repeat the section, not so easy to repair it if you mess it up.
Don't forget to set up the tool using your gap guide!

 If doing a design such as lettering, you must flip it if you want the raised pattern. Embossing is fun for monograms or sentiments but not if it is backwards!
For larger elements you can also use 'line fill' effect, play around with the gaps between lines to get the coverage you want.

If you want to have a cut line around your completed design, make sure you don't use 'Origin point' in the cut settings panel. You are better off using WYSIWYG (and setting the origin to the corner of your mat or paper.) Using origin point for cutting will most likely cause you to have the cut line in the wrong place.  Been there, done that, got the T shirt.

If you think you will do much embossing, you will probably want to buy the proper embossing tool for the Silver Bullet but this works well enough to try it out, or if you are only likely to emboss occasionally.


  1. can i cut a colour picture without scanning it with silver bullet... please help

    1. Yes, you can. It is a process called 'Print and cut'. You import your image into Sure Cuts a Lot, go through the process of adding cut lines (possibly by auto tracing), send it to the printer and then put it to cut with the Silver Bullet. If you search here and on my Youtube channel you should find some help on Print and Cut.

  2. Please notify me when you answer,

  3. I have a 13in Silver Bullet and would never be without it. I make a lot of cards. I got mine for my birthday two years the past, have used Craftrobo,that broke out of too much use. Up-graded to a Eclips and then broke as well, consequently they are both in the loft.

    My Fella had been looking for something robust and would last . We both watched the Silver Bullet on Youtbe and couldn't quite believe what it does

    It is by far the most Awesome Machine I have ever used. I have recently learned how to weld and make shadows effects with text and shapes !

    Had a nasty accident with Masking tape, a year go, Just read your blog. Thank you for the tip, abut mending foam.I often view your tutorials on you tube as well. Thank you for all your tips and help

    1. Thank you Beth! I don't know what software you use, but I have lots of videos on Sure Cuts a Lot, Totally agree, the SB is an awesome machine, designed to keep on going long after others give up! If you want more SB help, the UK forum is VERY good (and you don't have to be in the UK to go on it). I'm on there a lot, always keeping an eye out for anyone who needs help. This blog is pretty much archival now, since I found more people were interested in the videos!