March 26, 2008

Fun with embossing powder

I worked some more on those little journaling booklets for my road trip album tonight. I liked the buttons, but it still needed a little something. I have to admit that I was pretty much snooping around for travel-related scrapbook supplies as soon as I knew the trip was definite. I'm generally not one to buy embellishments, though, unless it's something that I can use for multiple things. Like I got some letter rubber stamps in a font I really liked, but thought would be versatile enough for use for multiple things. I guess I prefer to invest my money in things I can get a lot of use out of, like tools, and I'd rather make my own embellishments out of stuff that I already have when I can. (Which is why things generally take me so long, but it does save me money. Except when I blow it all on patterned paper, which is my scrapbook kryptonite.)



Anyway, one of the other items I got was a compass rubber stamp, which I am hoping could also be used for multiple applications. So I figured this would be a good one to use it for. I wanted something subtle, so I decided to do the stamping with watermark ink (it's clear, just leaves a slightly darker mark on paper) and clear embossing powder. And the blue thing is my heat gun, since I found it on sale at Joann's once and all my previous attempts to do stuff like this had been with a hairdryer. Which works, sort of, but it takes forever and it doesn't always actually work. This makes it soooooo much easier! Even though I sort of melted part of my bedroom carpet the first time I tried it. (I didn't think it was that hot! Even so, I went to the ceramic-tiled kitchen this time.)



This stuff is really easy to use, actually. You just stamp your paper as desired with ink that doesn't dry terribly quickly (feline supervision optional)...











Pour on the embossing powder, thickly enough to make sure the whole design is coated....



...and shake off the excess (make sure you shake it good, because any powder left on there will melt!) I liked doing this over the cardboard-- the crease where it had been bent into a box made it really easy to pour the leftovers back into the embossing powder container.



Then you take your heat gun (or hairdryer turned to high, in a pinch) and hold it a few inches over the design.


(The feline supervisor wasn't sure what to make of this part.)


See that dark blotch in the middle of the compass? That's the heat gun melting the powder. It's really cool to watch, actually-- you hold it there for a couple seconds and nothing happens, and then suddenly it all starts melting at once, and if you move it around, it just spreads out. It happens pretty quickly with the heat gun, not so much with a hairdryer. But you only want to hold it there just until it melts, because it is possible to overdo it.
And voila! A subtle touch to these little booklets.
They're going to need a slight bit of work when the time comes to actually put them in the album, perhaps... the Perfect Pearls writing was starting to smear a little already, so I went over those with a gold metallic marker, as well as wrote the days on the rest of them with that. But that's not as visible (or as nice a color gold) as the Perfect Pearls stuff, so what I'll probably end up doing is going over the pen with the Perfect Pearls just before putting them in.
A slightly funny story about the rubber stamp embossing...my introduction to this was back in junior high. One of my friend's moms was hosting a rubber stamp party, and she invited me along with my mom-- I think partially so Kristy would have someone to hang out with, but also because I already had a reputation as a crafty girl. So we got to play around with embossing ink and powders with the stamps, which was fun. Then at the end of the night, the woman who was selling the rubber stamp supplies asked if we had any questions about the technique. Knowing my dad wasn't going to let me use his heat gun all the time (his stuff is hard to find anyway), I guess I was either trying to think outside the box, or just thinking out loud (which can be dangerous, since my mouth doesn't always quite get the "shut up" signal from my brain in time), but I asked her if the embossing could be done in the microwave. She was a bit taken aback by that, but supposed that it was possible. Kristy thought that was hilarious, enough so to write "Can you microwave that?" to me several years later in her senior blurb in our yearbooks (since I went to a small school, all of the seniors got a "blurb" in which they could write whatever they wanted, usually consisting of inside jokes with friends or favorite quotes, along with their picture.) I never tested the microwave thing out, though.

1 comment:

  1. I've wanted to play with embossing powders and the like since my high school art teacher pulled out her collection and had us make Christmas cards the last day before winter break. Unfortunately, I'm trying to pare down on crafts and craft supplies right now, not get more. I'll just live vicariously through yours, okay? :D

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