Sunday, January 30, 2011

Technique book pages - metal embossing

So here is what I created while playing at embossing metal!! I have done this several times before and found it such a cool way to add interest and personality to a project!!
This one features metal tape over cardstock and embossing in an embossing folder to which transparent acrylic paint has been added. The heart is die cut and hand tooled with a design and letters which have to be inscribed on the back - backwards - to be right reading on the front. It is attached with 3D foam tape.

These are my pages featuring embossed metal. Top row - metal tape over cardstock and embossed with an embossing folder, four different metals (yogurt, applesauce and nut can seals) embossed using texture plates using silicone mat in a die cutting machine, metal tape over cardstock and embossed with an embossing folder with a hand tooled foil pie plate heart diecut. Row two - flower aluminum can die cuts embossed in embossing folder and layered, flower aluminum can die cuts embossed in embossing folder, aluminum foil pie plate hand tooled through a stencil. Row three - aluminum can die cut flower embossed with embossing folder and a hand tooled applesauce foil seal, hand cut aluminum can seal hand tooled, yogurt container seal hand tooled with a circular design. The colour was added to all using transparent acrylic paint.
You can buy metal for tooling but I find there quite a few options for reusing foil that is readily available such as seals from yogurt, applesauce, cans of nuts and tea. Certainly, foil bakeware can be purchased locally and provides a heavier metal for working with. Aluminum drink cans are yet a little heavier and also readily available though I would caution being careful of sharp edges when cutting cans apart. The metal foil tape can be purchased at hardware stores and depending on the weight may need to be supported by cardstock. Be on the look out for metal items that can be embossed such as copper plant tags, etc.
I have used a pencil for tooling my designs. Consider a pen, knitting needle, crochet hook, blunted skewer, paper or wood stump. Almost any object with a blunt rounded end will do the job. Of course, embossing folders, texture plates and crimpers do the job in a heart beat. Consider using a rubber mallet to emboss the metal in the embossing folders.
You will need a soft surface for embossing - I use just a small stack of newspapers. You want something with just a little give so you don't pierce your metal. A foam placemat, mouse pad or stiff fun foam would also work.
I used a homemade acrylic paint for adding colour. You could consider any of the transparent window paints recommended for suncatchers. Alcohol inks, glass paint, Sharpie markers, acrylic inks, fluid acrylics and thinned acrylic paints would also do the job.
If you would prefer not to tool your own design onto the metal consider using printed clipart, a stamped image or a stencil. Stained glass designs work well to start because of their bold style.
To get started, place your metal right side down on your soft surface and use your tool to create a design. Turn it over to see how it is coming along. There is no such thing as an eraser per se but I have used a wooden spoon or wood handle from a spatula for removing all the embossing and started over. You will see that there is an embossed and debossed side to each piece. You can choose the one that you like best. You can create backgrounds, embellishments and focal elements using metal!!
There are coloured foils which can be embossed and then sanded for a great look. Check out this video for a really cool project!!
So save a few pieces of metal from your daily life and see what you can create using what you have on hand - a newspaper and pencil at the very least - a put a little more of yourself in your next project!!


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