I've put together some easy to follow notes on embossing.  I hope you find them useful. 

Embossing – more ways than one!!

Heat Embossing

What you need is: 
·        A rubber stamp
·        Versamark Ink pad (or similar make)
·        An anti-static bag
·        Embossing powder – they come in all colours and clear
·        Heat gun – some look like hairdryers!
What you do is:
·        Rub the anti-static bag all over your card
·       Ink up your stamp with Versamark – the stamp will look wet
·       Stamp the image onto card
·       Sprinkle liberally with embossing powder – tap it off onto a sheet of paper and then tip back the excess into your pot.

Now, this is the tricky bit….
·       Holding the heat gun in one hand and your card in the other.  Heat the image from underneath, don’t get too close and move the heat gun from side to side or in a circular motion.  You will see the power “cook” and turn glossy. 
·       If your card has curled under then gently heat from the top and it will curl back to flat!

Turn the heat gun off and put it safe, it will be extremely hot.

What you get is:
·     A “raised up” or powder embossed image which you can use directly on your project or colour or distress it to your liking!

Dry Embossing #1

What you need is:
·      An Embossing Folder
·      Card
·      BigShot, or other similar machine & accessories

What you do is:
·        Cut a piece of card to fit the folder
·        Place it inside the folder
·        Sandwich it between the clear plates of your machine
·        Feed it into the machine and turn the handle, that’s it!

What you get is:
·        A raised “embossed” pattern on one side of your card
·        And a “debossed” pattern on the other
If you use card with a coloured centre ie “Coredinations” you can you lightly sand the embossed pattern to reveal the coloured core!

Dry Embossing #2

What you need is:
·        A scoreboard, and diagonal plate & stylus
·        Card

What you do is:
·        Lay your card on your on the board
·        Use your stylus to score lines in your card at equal distances
·        You can do two lines close together
·        Turn the card through 90 deg and score more lines at equal intervals (half inch spacing looks good)

What you get is:
·        Geometric or squared patterned card!

Wet Embossing or Letterpress

What you need is:
·        An Embossing Folder
·        Card
·        Classic Ink pad (waterbased)
·        BigShot, or other similar machine & accessories

What you do is:
·        Cut a piece of card to fit the folder
·        Ink up the inside of the folder on the raised side only
·        Place the card inside the folder
·        Sandwich it between the clear plates of your machine
·        Feed it into the machine and turn the handle, that’s it!

What you get is:
·        A fabulous inked up embossed sheet, ready to use on your project!

Arty Embossing

What you need is:
·        Rubber stamp
·        Embossing paste or thick acrylic paint
·        Cardboard
·        Messy mat to protect your desk surface!

What you do is:
·        Spread the paint/paste thickly all over the cardboard
·        Press stamp into the wet paste/paint lift off, be as random as you like - (now wash your stamp in water)
·        You can leave the paint to air dry or you can use your heat tool to dry it …because you won’t want to wait!!

What you get is:
·        A fabulous knobbly image that you can ink, paint, distress, gild to put on a project or turn it into a wall hanging!

Stampin' Up! Ink Pads

The "new" firm foam Classic Stampin' Pads from Stampin’ Up! have been with us for a few months now so what's the verdict? I can honestly say that I think they are fantastic! They provide excellent ink coverage even on bold stamp images. One of my fellow demonstrators in the USA (Jessica Taylor) has sent me these tips which I know you will find invaluable.

Tips for Using Stampin' Up!'s New Ink Pads:

When you get a new ink pad, flip it over, grab the name sticker and place it on the end of the pad. This is SO helpful when you stack your ink pads - it makes the right colour so much easier to find! You can also use part of the other language stickers to mark the top of your ink refills, the inside edge of your ink pad, the file for your coordinating card stock... or whatever else you can think of!
Tap your stamp onto the pad. These aren't like the old ones where you had to pound and twist to ink up your stamp. Use a light touch and gently tap the stamp against the ink pad then take a peek and see how the ink coverage is. If you press the stamp into the ink pad too firmly then you're probably going to catch the edges of the stamp with ink and nobody wants that mess.

If you are using the ink pad frequently you may need to re-ink your Firm Foam pad more often. I recommend that you purchase a refill at the time of your ink pad purchase. You only need to add a little ink at a time to re-ink your pad. The same ink refills work for the older felt pads and the new firm foam pads.  If you find there is ink pooling or bubbling at the top, just take a paper towel and gently dab it off.


Making rolled roses

Here´s a great technique I´ve picked up along the way.... I have often used this on my projects and cards.  You can use up your small scraps of card and paper!

So, all you have to do is cut a piece of card or paper approx 2"x2" and trim off the corners to form a rough circle.  Alternatively die cut or punch a circle of a similar size. 

Start to cut inwards in a spiral.

You should leave about a circle in the middle to use to glue it all together.

Begin to roll up the spiral until you reach the middle (I have been told you can use a quilling tool to help here!).   When its all rolled up let it go and it will spring out.

You may have to tease it into shape and when you are happy put a generous blob of Tombow adhesive on the base and hold the "rose" between your fingers to set for a few seconds.

You can ink the edges of the flower or spritz with shimmer spray and then add to your project.

 (The origin of photo examples are unknown but many thanks for sharing)

I put a small amount of water in my aqua-painter as I have found filling it up too much can flood and mess up your work.  I press my ink pads down onto an old acrylic block - and mix the colours to get a unique colour blend!  I also do this with my marker pens too.  I've also seen the ink pressed onto one of those plastic sheets used for distressing although anything non-porous will work fine!

Bleach loves to "eat" your lovely bristle paintbrushes, one minute you have a perfect painting tool and the next minute the bristles have disintegrated to a stubble!  So my advice to myself and to others is to invest in an aqua-painter or similar with synthetic bristles.  They do cost just a bit more but its worth it in the end.

Also try to buy the really cheap household bleach thats runny and not gel-like.  However, if thats the only sort you can get then just add a few drops of water to thin it down.

Make yourself a swatch of all of your plain card stock and paint a small area on each one with bleach - the colour changes are quite dramatic!  This will make a good reference guide for the future.

Here's the scene (we've all been there)....You've just bought a fabulous new set and eager to use it.... you've got your new card in mind, you ink it up and STAMP ... ready for the big reveal ... and ....OMG its a mess... all blotchy!

The answer?  Before you stamp with a new set give them a spray with stamp cleaner, and then give each stamp a good scrub on the Stampin' Scrub - which is a dual-sided tray with a wet side and a dry side..  Its one of the best tools in my kit. You will find that after preparing your stamps in this way, when you ink up you will get a good ink distribution and, unless you wobble, the image will be crisp and sharp!

Because Stampin’ Up! focuses on providing quality products, your tools - like punches and scissors - are things that you’ll have and use for a long time to come. A little bit of care can help you get the best use and longevity from them.

Stampin’ Up! PunchesStampin’ Up! punches can punch out hundreds and hundreds of shapes for you without any special care. Over time, you may notice that the edges or part of a shape isn’t punching as cleanly as it did before or it seems to stick a bit. No worries! To sharpen the punch, get some standard kitchen tin foil. Any kind will work, but the heavy duty kind is easier to use. Use the punch to punch the tin foil about 15-20 times. Test the punch on some scrap paper and repeat punching the foil another time if necessary. If your punch seems to stick a bit, punch through standard waxed paper 5-10 times to lubricate the punch.

Stampin’ Up! scissors are useful for so many projects and can be used to cut many different types of materials. You’ll get the best results if you use the scissors for their intended purpose.

 •   Use the Paper Snips for detailed paper cutting.
 •   Get clean cuts on ribbon, paper, fabric, and card stock with the Craft and Paper Scissors.
 •   Use the Craft & Rubber Scissors for more heavy-duty cutting like twine, rubber, wood sheets, wire, and more.

Here are few tips to keep your scissors in tiptop condition. If any of the scissors get gummed up or dirty, clean them with hand soap and dry thoroughly. Paper SnipsThe Craft & Rubber scissors can get really gummed up when you use them to trim rubber stamps, so keep them clean with rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball. StazOn cleaner also works really well!

If you’re cutting wire with the Craft & Rubber Scissors, cut the wire at the back of the blade, near the hinge, for greater leverage and to keep the tips of the blade sharper. If, over time, you find your scissors have become a bit dull, you can cut through tin foil to sharpen them. If your scissors need more sharpening, they can usually be sharpened professionally because they are high quality.
With a little care, your punches and scissors will be around to help you create projects of all types for a long time! If you have questions about caring for other Stampin’ Up! products, stamps, or tools, please let me know.

Images © Stampin' Up!