Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Art Journaling: Heat-embossing rehab

Hello, hello.

The 2nd of my 'Art Journey' art journaling tutorials is available, for download, from the UK Scrappers forum from today:  
click to visit the Art Journey section of the UKS forum
And it's all about using numbers as prompts for journal pages, so I took my own advice and created a Month in Numbers page, which was a first for me as I don't usually do anything with my numbers after I blog them each month:
But the tutorial is not only concerned with Month in Numbers style prompts, so do check out the full Numbers PDF file if you're interested.
But, for here and now, I thought I'd share a few techniques - which I used for the numbers on this page -which I've been meaning to blog for a while as the might be news to some people. [OK, so I obviously don't mean you, just, y'know, the other people ...].

And it involves embossing powders ...

Heat-embossing gets a makeover: a few messy, grungy, arty-type embossing powder techniques
So, embossing powders:
  • Do you have them?
  • And, more importantly: do you use them?
Or are they:
  • something you bought when you first began crafting because you thought that's what you needed to buy? OR
  • something you bought because that's what they were always using on QVC? OR
  • something you bought because secretly you thought you'd look cool weilding a heat-gun?
And, be honest, are they now just languishing in the bottom of that drawer ... behind that box of 3000 multi-coloured eyelets? Are they?

If they are ... [and I know they are] you might want to rummage around for them, dust them off and consider using them in the more arty, messy, free style of crafting which many of us have been turning to in recent times.

I think the first [and maybe the only] thing to know for this is ...

You can use embossing powders without using ink pads.
I remember this coming as quite a revelation when I first heard about it.[You may not be as impressed ... I could be just easily pleased!]

But yes, for the purposes of fun, creative, messy end results, you really can use embossing powders with mediums other than the usual Versamark, watermark or specialist embossing ink pad. Or in fact any ink pads. 

All you need is something wet enough for the powder to stick to while you heat it, which means you can:
With coloured paint you can get an interesting combination if you then use a different coloured powder over the top.

Along with paint, you can also test out any adhesives you already have - even the humble glue stick:
  • Just spread glue from a glue stick on as thickly of thinly as you like on whatever surface you're using, sprinkle with powder and emboss as normal;
  • It works great on chipboard shapes, like on this page of mine from 2009: 
His + Hers bruising_detail
So, you can use a glue stick [even if it's getting gloopy and beyond its regular usefulness] or ...

Most of the examples above show where I've spread the medium through a stencil, but it works equally as well freehand or over masks  ... or anything else you care to try it with. It's by no means a perfect science and you'll never get the exact same finish every time ... but that's the fun part!

I'm going to be here again tomorrow [Thurs 7th] to share another new journal page which uses both:
  • a number as a prompt - to coincide with my Art Journey tutorial;
  • and the messy embossing powder techniques we've looked at today.
And if you try it out for yourself I'd love to hear how you got on [if you can tear yourself away from your experiments long enough to let me know!].

See you tomorrow.



  1. Very funky - goodbye to gold-embossed outlines :D

  2. My embossing powders have definitely been languishing in a box.

    Now I'll be taking them sure!

    Thank you for the great tips, Julie.

  3. I'm rubbish at heat embossing, I always end up with curled paper, might give one of these methods a try to see if it makes a difference. I received my candy today, thank you!!! I've sent you an email, just letting you know incase it's gone on any long haul flights again lol! x

  4. I'm so glad you posted this--definitely going to take you up on these tips. Also, I'm pretty sure probably everyone knows this, but I've used a watermark pen which works really beautifully for embossing. It's really nice because then I'm not dependent on stamps for my designs, and I can emboss my own handwriting as well.


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