For those of you who have never tried the magic of embossing then you are missing out big time! Embossing provides a fabulous depth and texture to your paper LO’s, but I have taken it one step further and introduced embossing to fabric. These fabric pieces can be used in traditional LO’s or even decorate the front of your fave tee shirt!
Embossing means to create a raised or lowered image on the surface of your paper (or fabric).
DRY embossing means to PUSH a design into paper with a special tool – you lay the paper over a patterned plate and then rub all over the paper with the tool in order to gently push the paper into the pattern. When you have finished you have a raised pattern on one side of the paper and a lowered pattern on the other.
WET embossing means we are going to be using INK in order to make a design on the paper. This process is a bit more complex, but certainly not hard and the results are awesome!
We are going to be doing wet embossing today. You can do this embossing on either paper or fabric – today we are doing it on fabric.
Pigment Ink (I used Versamagic Black but the colour doesn’t matter as long as it’s pigment ink. Your little cubes of Versacolour are pigment ink).
Heat Gun (I use a Ryobi from Bunnings but you can get smaller models).
Various stamps and acrylic stamp pad.
Spare piece of paper.
Piece of NATURAL fabric – like thick cotton, thick linen or calico. You need a fabric that is not going to be burned/shrink/warp with applying the heat gun to it.
NB: Even though Pigment ink does not dry very fast on paper, it does dry fast on fabric. You need to have everything set up before you start.
Gather everything in one place. Have the heat gun plugged in and turned on ready to go. Have the pigment ink open. Have the fabric lying flat on the table (please don’t do this on a surface that is precious – accidents happen!). You need to have your embossing powder container open but with the lid resting on top. You need to have the spare piece of paper FOLDED in HALF (and then opened again so there is a crease down the middle) and sitting beside the fabric.
Apply ink to stamp as per normal and stamp on to the fabric in several places (three at most per time). Lay the stamp off to one side and then sprinkle each stamped image liberally with embossing powder. PUT THE EMBOSSING POWDER away to one side, away from the heat gun.
Let the powder have a chance to stick to the stamped image (about 10 seconds will do) and then carefully tip the excess embossing powder on to the middle of the folded spare piece of paper. Put the fabric back down and hold the folded paper up on it;s end, allowing the excess powder to tip back into the powder jar using the folded crack in the paper as a guide. That way it won’t fly everywhere, just go straight into the pot.
Cover all the stamped images with the powder and tip off the excess. The reason we only do three at a time is that the ink will dry and the powder won’t stick if we leave it too long.
Use your heat gun on it’s highest heat to gently run over the now powdered image. Don’t wave it around like a hairdryer, but it gently circles so that the heat doesn’t concentrate in one spot. That way it won’t burn the paper/ fabric. Keep the heat gun about one foot (30cms) away from the fabric surface to keep the heat even and not too hot.
You will start to see the embossing powder change colour and seem to melt, and then you will see it go like a bright liquid metal. In this case I have used gold embossing powder. On paper it would look like gold metal. On fabric it looks like a more antique brassy colour/effect.
This is what is looks like on paper (as an examplpe):
And this is what my image looks like when finished:
So get out there and have a go with this technique girls. It is PERFECT for creating fancy stamped cards or invitations (KK? Thought about this for yours?). You can get embossing powder in a huge range od colours, both matte and shiny, metallic or plain. They cost about $6 a small tub but they last FOREVER. A good heat gun should cost around $50 – $60 but maybe you could chip in with some friends and share the cost.
Take care with hot objects and have fun!