Embossing is a great way to add texture and interest to your paper crafts. I use my embossing folders frequently. I am constantly heat embossing images and sentiments. Previous projects have even used wet embossing or embossing paste with stencils. Today I’m going to show you how to use your favorite Thinlit to emboss instead of cut. It’s simple using the Big Shot Embossing Mats. This accessory is available in the Annual catalog. The key is creating your sandwich correctly. I’ll post the Stampin’ Up! video on my Resources page.
My embossed card
You may have seen the Butterfly Beauty Thinlits in the Occasions catalog. There are two dies in the set that are ideal for embossing. Both have five connected butterflies and are large enough to emboss your first layer in one go. For my card, I used Grapefruit Grove on a Very Vanilla base. The embossed butterfly images add subtle, elegant texture.
Next, I die cut a few small butterflies from the Botanical Butterfly designer paper available with Sale-a-Bration credits. I also fussy cut one image from the same DSP. The sentiment is from the Darling Label Punch Box set. The set comes in a gorgeous tin with six stamps, two ink spots, an acrylic block, and the matching punch.
The sentiment was stamped once in Highland Heather and once in Mint Macaron. Then I cut out part of the Mint Macaron image and layered it over the Highland Heather. Underneath the sentiment, I used two layers, one Mint Macaron and one from the Botanical Butterfly DSP cut out with the Pretty Label punch.
Lastly, I added a length of Very Vanilla Polka Dot Tulle and several Artisan pearls. I hope this card inspires you to use your dies in creative ways. For more details on embossing with dies, go to my Resources.
To get your Big Shot Embossing Mats or any of the other product mentioned, shop with me.
The Winter Woods bundle in the Holiday catalog is super versatile. It’s only available as a bundle (save 10%) for a few more days. No matter what type of crafter you are, a Zen Beginner, a Paper Princess or a Stash Queen – this set will give you stunning results. I did three cards with this set and no matter the approach I took, from simple to advanced, I was thrilled.
The simple card used three elements, the Winter Woods stamps, Early Espresso ink, and a Delightfully Detailed notecard. These notecards already have the watercolor wash, so I stamped the cluster of trees with two images of the ground texture to anchor them. For the sentiment, I used a sticky note to mask off the part of the message I didn’t want to use (this Season), inked the stamp, removed the sticky (don’t forget this part) and then stamped the Thinking of you in the lower corner. Done. Doesn’t get easier than that.
For the second card, I started with a card base of Mossy Meadow. Instead of adding a texture layer or DSP, I used watercolor paper and Moss Green Brusho Crystal Colour powder. This stuff is cool. The results are a bit random. I misted my paper lightly with a Stampin Spritzer. Then I sprinkled the ink powder over the paper. Finally, I spritzed it again to activate the crystals even more. Then let it dry. Because the background was so dramatic, I stamped the tree cluster three times, right over each previous image, but slightly off. It gave the image thicker tree trunks and denser branches. I added a piece of burlap ribbon. I used two punches, the Leaf punch and some scrap I had in Old Olive and the Tailored Tag punch to cut out the sentiment. It came from the Beautiful Bouquet set and I stamped it in Early Espresso. For a final bit of flash, I added a nest of Copper Metallic Thread under the sentiment tag.
I like the mixed media effect. It is perfect for a masculine birthday.
For the final card, I CASEd a stunning card by Wendy Lee. You can see her card here. I can’t resist a collage of layers. I started with a base of Thick Very Vanilla. I was going to be adding a lot to the card and I needed a sturdy base. On top of that, I added a layer of Soft Suede embossed with the Woodland embossing folder. This is a very versatile folder that I use constantly.
Next, I added the graphic layer. I used Very Vanilla stamped with Early Espresso. The repeating tree branches echo the embossing but are a bold repetition that really pops from all the layers. I anchored that on a piece of Cajun Craze to echo the copper elements I planned to add. But first, I added a 2″x 3-1/4″ piece of vellum. This was directly from Wendy’s card and the contrasting material helped anchor the diecut/embellishment grouping.
The grouping was fun to create. First I spread out some Copper Trim. When pulled apart it becomes a netting. But, it gets shorter when you open it, so spread it and then cut it off the roll. Next, I got out the big shot and used the dies in the bundle to cut the Mossy Meadow leaves and the Copper Foil branches. I used the Tailored Tag punch to cut a Copper foil base for the sentiment. I tucked two wood leaf clusters from the Framed Elements embellishment back for even more texture. Lastly, I used the soon to be released, in the Occasions catalog, Well Written Framelits (148534) and Early Espresso paper. The card couldn’t hold one more thing, so I stopped and lined a Very Vanilla envelope. I used some retired scrap (5-5.8″ x 5-3/4″ scored 1-3/8″ in). A card that special deserves a nice envelope.
I hope I’ve shown you that no matter where your crafting comfort zone is, you can make a beautiful card. Happy Crafting!
Embossing is a great way to add texture to a card. The traditional Embossing Folders (EF), like the new Climbing Vine EF in the annual catalog, create a uniformly raised image on the paper. You can see this effect on the Soft Sea Foam layer of this card. Without the embossing, the card would lack interest.
The next evolution was embossing with Dynamic Embossing Folders (DEF). I’ve used these on several cards in the past. Including this one. Same Soft Sea Foam cardstock, but this time I used the Ruffled DEF. Dynamic folders create images that vary in height and depth. Some parts of the ruffles are higher than others. This variation ups the interest.
Texture is fundamental for any successful card making project. You can read more about my opinions on texture here. But embossing folders are a little bit limited. You have options to use the embossed side – the raised side–or the debossed side. You can run the cardstock through in different directions or even combine embossing folders such as Softly Falling and Woodland. But the images are limited to what you have in your folders.
Another option to add texture is to layer die cuts onto your card. Die cuts are created using Thinlets and Framelits. The scalloped square above is a Layering Squares Framelit. For this card, I used a Springtime Impressions Thinlet on Garden Impressions DSP and then cut up the image so that I could layer it the way I wanted. It works well and I could have cut it from Blueberry Bushel for a monochromatic look.
But now, we have another option. With the new Big Shot Embossing Mats, you can use any Thinlet you already own to emboss your cardstock. There is a specific way to make the sandwich so that the silicon mat isn’t damaged and you get the best impression. I’ll add the Stampin’ Up! video at the end of this post. If you’re considering using the Embossing Mats it’s a must watch. It is super simple once you get the order correct and the results are Ah-MAZING. I used the same Springtime Impressions Thinlet on the base of this card. Such an elegant way to add texture.
If you don’t have a Big Shot, now is the time to put it on your holiday wish list. This and my Paper Trimmer are essential to my craft room. Okay, I might want my Heat Tool too, but I can make a TON of projects with a trimmer and my Big Shot. The new Embossing Mats just exploded the number of possibilities of what I can make next. What is your can’t-live-without tool?