14 July 2010

Dry Embossing: The Basics

As you know, I have some young girls over every week for a summer "craft club" where we learn different techniques experiment with different mediums each meeting. Our first project was dry embossing. It is such a simple thing to do and yeilds such fantastic results! We ended up keeping the light box up all week and everyone that came over wanted to give it a try; It was really fun! To do some basic embossing, first gather your supplies: Brass stencils, a lightbox, cardstock, stylus and tape.

One of the great things about this technique is that if you do not have the exact tools, you can make do with regular, household items. Here's the same list using alternative materials: plastic stencils or ones you make yourself with a craft knife and cereal box, a sunny window, paper, a dry, ball point pen that no longer writes at all, and tape (okay, so that one stays the same, but everyone has tape, right?). For the rest of the tutorial, just substitute materials for the ones you are using.

To begin, tape your brass stencil to your lightbox or window.
Then, tape your cardstock over the stencil.
Using your stylus, trace around the details of your stencil applying a medium-firm pressure depending on the strength, thickness and quality of your paper. You may want to play around with some scraps first so you do not end up poking through and ruining your image. (Give props to my lovely model- aka sister's old college roomate- Sarah!)
When you are done tracing the image, you should have something that looks like this:
It really doesn't matter if it looks a little messy because the magic happens when you turn it over! Ta-da!! Doesn't it look great? You can color it or leave it as it is. Now trim it up and embellish whatever paper project you are working on! Important but obvious note: Remember that you are working on a mirror image of your finished product. That means if you are working on words, be sure to trace them backwards and from right to left if you want it to read correctly when you turn it over. I forget this rule nearly every time I do this and have to start over!

Now for another method! Here is my daughter using some alternative materials. Oh, here's a tip- it is especially helpful if you are using a dried-up ball point pen: Your stylus (pen) will glide over the paper more smoothly if you rub it with wax paper first.
Here, the stencil and paper are taped to the window and she is tracing the stencil details with the dry pen. Do you like my little window washer? She can't reach very high, but she works cheap and does a pretty good job!
Here's her finished product! See how it looks pretty much as good as the first project? How cute is that little ladybug?
I definitely recommend trying this if you haven't before or if you like easy projects that turn out great every time! You can get brass stencils at many craft stores but they can be a bit pricey. I recommend checking out E-bay. There are a ton of them and you will get a much better deal. Fiskars also has a dry embossing system that negates the need for a light source. Happy crafting!

1 comment:

  1. You have the sweetest little window washer in the world!!

    The craft is sweet too. ;)


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