Thursday, June 9, 2011

DT Special Assignment Day!

Thursday is here again and that means another tutorial from our fabulous Design Team.  Today's is brough to you by Michele.


Double Embossing-Resist Ink Technique

Preamble for beginners:

Embossing makes all your projects look professional and believe it or not, it’s very easy to do. Every step is amazing, each one has you in awe, that’s certainly how it was for me when I began, and it still is!! Embossing looks so great: I will go as far as saying that if you are too clean, too neat, in your work; your end result might look machine made!! Embossing is that fancy. So if you are a serious, committed scrapbooker or cardmaker (or both); a heat gun is a must at the very least. With the heat gun, you need one colour of embossing powder (get the regular or super fine, any brand is OK) and one colour of a Cat’s Eye pigment ink, any pigment ink is OK but I like that one because it comes in a tiny oval-shaped little sponge, it’s inexpensive and it lasts and lasts. That’s all you need to get started. You’re looking at an investment of under $50 for everything and you will be impressed at how far that goes.

After that, I strongly recommend that you pile up your money or even better: do as I did; tell everyone you want a press machine really badly and so they can put their efforts together to spoil you on your birthday!! I’m talking about my Big Shot machine that is pink and black on the pictures below... but there are several brands out there, they’re all good machines and they all do the same two things: They cut with cutting dies (like the QK and the Spellbinders) and cold-emboss with the same dies and embossing folders... talk to the gals at the store!!! For my part, when it comes to tools, I can say that my press machine is the best investment I made after my Crop-A-Dile!! So easy to use and again, the results look quite professional.

OK, let’s begin.

I suggest you read until the end before you start. It looks lengthy because I tried giving you as many hints as possible... You will know everything about embossing after this!

Today we will Double Emboss. This is one way to do it, because there are many different techniques with double embossing, all it means is that you emboss twice, imagine the possibilities! ... I love this technique because it encompasses both cold embossing (no heat gun, just a plastic embossing folder run through the press in this case) and heat-embossing (with the heat gun obviously, the embossing powder and pigment ink to make the powder stick) together with the metallic look of the sprays, I simply love the rustic results.


A press machine and a heat gun.
A plastic embossing folder (anyone will do, they’re all beautiful)
An embossing medium. (I used a clear pigment type glue here (the Top Boss) but any PIGMENT ink does the job and any colour will do as well for this project. The key to the pigment ink is that it doesn’t dry fast and the powder will stick to it.)
Embossing powder (any colour will do).
Alcohol Spray ink (any brand and any colour will do).
Card stock, not too thin; the textured Bazzills are perfect for this.
Something to wipe (I’m using a paper towel here), it will stain.

A Tim Horton’s coffee... Can you spot mine on the photos?

And I guess, because I’m a pest, you’ll want Chalk ink to ink the edges at the end of your project, although I didn’t show that part because it goes without saying!!!!

First, cut your cardstock to fit inside your plastic embossing folder. I’m not giving you dimensions because plastic folders come in many different sizes, so match the size of yours.

Then gather the press machine, the plastic folder, the embossing medium (Top Boss or pigment ink) and the powder to have them at hand because you can’t stop in between the next steps (until you have the powder onto your piece(s))... No need to run but no time to take a break either... I even open my little jar of powder at this point... Just don’t hit it by accident, put it in a safe spot at hand!!! Imagine the mess... OK, no panic, this is FUN!!!

Now, grab the folder and the medium (Cat's Eye pigment ink or Top Boss or anything pigment you have):

Ink delicately. Don't wipe, it will not spread the ink, it will remove it... Also don’t press hard, you only want the sticky stuff on top of the lines, not in the grooves of the pattern as much as possible and take your time, it won’t dry on the plastic (that’s why I like doing it this way. Because you could cold emboss first with only the folder and card stock and apply the medium afterwards, it works just as well but you need to work fast because the paper absorbs the ink and it can dry: so it’s hard to make the powder stick on larger projects...) so yes, ink inside your folder delicately but put lots of it.

Place your cardstock inside the folder.  Be sure that the textured side touches your pigment ink (face down in this case)

Now run it through your press machine.

Remove the card stock from the folder and quickly spread embossing powder over it.

Put LOTS of it, you need to cover the whole thing. Don’t worry, you might pour the entire jar of powder over your piece but you will recuperate it all afterwards. That’s a stunning part of embossing actually, you realise how little powder it took in the end, and your jar will make many many projects before it goes empty!

Now, gently lift your cardstock, the excess powder will fall, tap your paper gently to get rid of the excess. As you can see here, I put embossing pigment ink a bit past the lines (some went in the grooves of the folder) but that’s ok, it will give it that distressed look in the end.


Set your project aside; don’t sneeze on your pile of powder!!!   Instead, put your powder back in the jar.

Now you can take a breather. You can go wash your plastic folder with warm water and a little dish soap if you want... You can go to the bathroom, and let the cat out!

OK, time to heat with your heat gun, don’t stay in one spot (a bit like ironing clothes), move back and forth and watch closely, it will start to melt and will become shiny. Be sure you get all of it to do that. But once it’s shiny, don‘t overheat or you will lose the shine.

This is what you get:

I am using this folder that has 3 patterns in it, maybe yours is one big piece... So cut if need be:

And trim around the edges to make it nice and straight. Use scissors, not the cutting board because the cutting board might jip some of the embossing powder and also, it will dull your blade fast. I’ll tell you a secret, I never measure anything. But if you are nervous about going straight, trace a line with a pencil and erase it after you cut.

Now you can colour your piece(s). Spray with any alcohol ink spray (Smooch, Glimmer Mist, Perfect Pearl mist, home-made mist, they’re all nice on this project), I started with a faded jeans Glimmer mist:

Then wipe once over the entire piece. The colour will remain on the card stock and will come off the embossed parts, it will make the embossing stand out. This is a type of resist ink technique, and it means that the coloured spray will not stick on the shiny embossing. The embossing resists absorbing the sprayed ink.

This is what you get:

Now let’s spray the next piece, I’m going with a sunflower yellow Glimmer Mist:

Wipe the excess off again here:

And there is your piece. You can add more colours by the way, 2 or 3 more even, have fun with this part!

Now on to the next piece, I chose a vintage photo kind of pinkish brown Glimmer Mist, this colour is great for Vintage or Heritage projects! I sprayed more on one side to give a bit of light effect.

Wipe... You get the idea!

And this is what you get:

Tada!! I added a bit or orange spray on the yellow piece, I thought it was a bit too yellow...

In my mind, if I’m going to take all that stuff out, I won’t do it for only one piece, so I made it worth my while and made 8 pieces for this tutorial:

The green piece on top has a bit of gold Perfect Pearl spray over the green Glimmer Mist, that’s what gives it that gold shiny look, the same goes for the second yellow piece (in between the pink and the purple on the bottom row). The top bigger purple/blue piece has both faded-jeans Glimmer Mist and Purple Smooch, they mixed as I wiped. The beige piece in the middle of the top row is a bit special; I embossed the card stock with a brown powder instead of black to show you that you can easily make lighter coloured pieces, I added a bit of pigment ink of the same light brown colour as the embossing powder here and there (the darker areas) and I sprayed with the faded-jeans Glimmer Mist, wiping it well to mix it all. Again, this step is the most fun, you can blend in colours as you please!

I guess I should add a note here: If you don't use any spray alcohol ink, just the first part of the tutorial and you are neater in your inking job, it's all about the look that you want... You can get a totally different effect as I did with my May embossing LO. Here is a picture of it. I like the clear embossing powders in conjunction with the clear pigment glue because you can get an effect like this.

I made some cards with some of my pieces but you could very well use them on the cover of a mini or on a layout. You could make anything you dream up with them.


1. Sadly, embossing is very hard to show well on a photo. The real thing is much more stunning. I appologise for that. Well, you'll just have to try it and you'll see for yourself.

2. Now, don't worry, I realise that my medium here was clear whereas your Cat's Eye pigment ink is coloured...EEK, what does it do to your plastic folder?? NO WORRIES, it cleans up nice, as mentioned above, with a bit of warm water and a bit of dish soap. And you should know that when it comes to the Cat’s Eye inks: You can easily tell the Chalk and the Pigment inks apart, the Chalks have a WHITE bottom and the Pigments have a BLACK bottom (if you forget, just read the label!!). They are NOT the same at all. The Chalks dry fast and therefore cannot be used for embossing. And if you use a Pigment ink to ink the edges of your projects, you can, but only on paper and give it time to dry. And Pigment ink just won’t dry on non porous surfaces such as plastic or glass or foil. So it's very important to know the difference...

3. It does not matter on what side of the embossing folder you apply your medium. It will either give you a positive or a negative embossed pattern, both are nice, it's a question of taste. But be sure to place your card stock with the textured side touching your medium, it will be nicer in the end.

4. If your pieces curl, nothing to worry about, the sprays always do that. The Bazzill base is strong and you can just manipulate it into place once it's dry. The ones that are curled more on the photos above were not yet dry when I took the photo... And when you will use your pieces on your projects, you will glue them to keep them nice and flat. There's no need to worry about the curling.

5. On an embossing note, DO NOT USE EMBOSSING POWDERS WITH COPICS!! The embossing will ruin your Copics pens' tips. I suppose you could first colour your image and then re-stamp it to then heat emboss. That would work if you had a good eye and if you used a clear gel stamp...

6. There is an anomaly in this tutorial , I thought it was quite funny and if you pay attention, it will hit you in the face!! That’s all I will say... The first person to find it and to give me the right answer will receive a pretty hand-made little ornament in the mail. Just come to the Turtle Soup forum and jot me a line with your answer. The post is here.

Sign up if you’re not already a member, it’s free!!!


Mimita said...

Just to add that if you need help, I'm always around to answer any questions you may have.

Also, I poste a picture of the prize, it's here:

I hope you enjoy my tutorial!

Laura Zinn said...

Pages that curl due to too much alcohol ink (my daughter went a little bananas!) can be smoothed out by ironing them once they're dry. Use a pressing cloth or tea towel on top to make sure you don't transfer any ink to your iron.

Mimita said...

Oh this is very interesting to know! Thank you Laura!!

And sorry for the delay, KATE B is our winner for the anomaly quiz!!! Congratulations Kate!!