New Techniques

During my time off from work, I've had a chance to try some new papercrafting techniques. The first is heat embossing. I have a small collection of rubber stamps. Mostly made by Hero Arts with geometric patterns like this one I bought at Michael's for 40% off.

On a trip to see my friend Jenny at Impressive Ideas, I asked her what I could do with these stamps. She immediately suggested embossing. It's something I've never seen done. I found it intimidating simply because of the messy powders and heat guns that are known to set paper on fire!

On the left is an example she did with a crosshatch border stamp. On the right is my first attempt with my newly acquired embossing heat gun and basic Stampendous black opaque embossing powder. Mine is a little difficult to see because of the dark paper and dark powder. I purchased a Tim Holtz Distress embossing powder in Antique Linen today. It's very light and I'm curious to see the "distress" effect.

I think heat embossing opens up a whole new dimension in the world of stamping. I have a difficult time finding ways to incorporate stamped images and patterns into my 12x12 scrapbooking work. I think I will have more opportunities to apply stamped images that are heat embossed in my altered, ATC and mini book projects. Time will tell.

Overall this is a relatively inexpensive tool/technique to pick up especially if you already own some rubber stamps. I'm told it works just as well with clear acrylic. If you use a 40-50% off coupon on the heat gun it will run you about $10-12. The embossing powders range from $3.50-6 depending on brand and typically follow sales for other stamping products. The last item you'll need is an embossing or watermark ink pad. I bought one a Hobby Lobby for $1.50, but Versamark Watermark Ink is recommended. Regular price is $7-8.

I tried another technique today with pleasing results. Eyelet setting. I've never really understood the appeal and attraction of these metal embellishments. The Crop-a-Dile is billed as a tool made for easy eyelet setting. Up until now, I've used it exclusively to punch holes in my chipboard album pages. It does that incredibly well cutting through 1/8" thick chipboard like it's loose-leaf paper.

Today I needed the Crop-a-Dile because I wanted to punch holes through chipboard already covered on both sides with patterned paper. The chipboard page is from this Maya Road album. The papers are 7 Gypsies' new Venice line. Back to the point....I attempted to punch the holes blindly and did not get very clean results. Now I had to find a way to cover up my shredded paper edges inside the holes. I pulled out the little bags of eyelets that came with my Crop-a-Dile set, gave the directions a glance and tried it out.

I've only done the top 2 and bottom 2. I may leave the rest of the holes covered. However this little project turns out, I've overcome my fear of eyelets. Not sure if you'll see them in my 12x12 layouts in the near future, but definitely in some altered things and mini books.

This is another very low-cost technique. I bought my Crop-a-Dile for $10 at Walmart during their scrapbooking clearance. I think they are readily available at craft stores. If you use a coupon the final price should be about $10-15. Mine was a kit so it included a case and a variety of eyelets. Eyelets are similar to brads and can be purchased in sets for a few dollars. Just like 100 brads, 100 eyelets will go a long way when you're only using a handful at a time.

Let this be a lesson, don't be afraid to try new things! I promise new projects and layouts next week. Happy New Year!


Jenny Gropp said...

Welcome to the world of embossing! And don't worry it would take a lot to set the paper on fire, LOL! I've over cooked it sometimes to the point of smoke -- but never actually seen flames!
The crop-a-dial is a great tool for punching thru chipcoard and the easiest way to set eyelets that I'm aware of! The eyelets look great edging your page!