Monday, September 21, 2015

5 Fun Techniques for Embossing Paste

Hello Friends!  One of the products I’ve discovered in the past year is embossing paste.  I’m no mixed-media girl by any stretch of the imagination, but I have found that this simple product mixed with a stencil can really add that touch of texture and interest that significantly steps-up your card creation.  I’ve been getting more questions about how I use it, so today I thought I’d bring you 5 fun ways you can use embossing paste in your Power Poppy projects.  

What you’ll need to start with is a pot of embossing paste.  There are a ton of varieties of embossing paste, ones with colour, shimmer, or glimmer or can experiment with whatever you like, but because I like to add other effects to the embossing paste, I like the plain white variety.  Then you’ll need some type of palette knife (I’m just using a basic kids smooth silverware knife with no teeth), and some type of tool to scrape your embossing paste over your stencil (I’m using an old credit card type of plastic).  You can get the nicer varieties of these tools, but I’m all about using what I have on hand.  Then you’ll need some stencils of your choosing.  There are a ton of varieties of stencils from many companies that work well.  

Basic Embossing Paste

To do a basic stencilling technique with embossing paste I started a piece of scrap paper, my red card stock, and then this Tim Holtz Arrows stencil tacked onto the cardstock with tape.  You want your stencil to hold in place on your card stock, and not move around.  

Next, using your knife, pick up some embossing paste from your jar and “spackle” it onto your stencil covering all the areas you want to emboss.  If you’ve ever taped and mudded drywall it has the same feel to it, just a lighter product :).  You want to make sure it gets into the areas in the stencil, but you don’t have to press it down yet.  

Next take your “credit card” and scrape over the stencil to push all the embossing paste in the areas you want, and to even out the texture.  You can still add more embossing paste or go over areas more than once to get the coverage you like.  What’s great about embossing paste is that you can get a really even clean style of embossing if you apply nice even pressure, or even a more loose edgy look depending on how you use the scraper.  It’s all about the look you want to achieve.  I wanted a more loose, imperfect look to this one.  

Then, lift off the stencil from your card stock.  You’ll want to take your stencil to the sink and scrub it off, or use a good wet rag to clean off all your tools promptly.  The embossing paste dries quickly when it’s thin, and you don’t want to have that dry on your tools or stencils.  Trust me :)

Here’s what the embossing paste looks like on the card stock.  You can see it’s a more loose, edgy look, which I think works for the arrows.   

I leave my embossing paste to dry for at least an hour or two to make sure it’s well hardened before I finish up my cards.  

And here’s the finished card with our Good Thinking: Love Notes stamp set.  I thought the arrows were a perfect match to the sentiment and it becomes a sweet CAS design for my beloved.  On the bottom of the design I added a couple of wood veneer pieces to match as accents.  

Here are a few other cards I created with embossing paste used in this simple style.  Dancing with Daffodils, Amazing Azaleas, Happy Crabapples, Hello and Life is a Journey.   As you can tell, I really like this style!

Shimmery Embossing Paste

For another way of using the embossing paste with a touch of pizzazz, you can also add glitter to the damp embossing paste.  It is a subtle but lovely effect.  

For this design, I took a Falling Heart stencil from Simon Says that I had used embossing paste in, and while my kraft cardstock was still in the stencil and the embossing paste was still damp, I sprinkled glitter all over the stencil gently pressing it into the hearts.  You could also take off the stencil and add the glitter while it’s wet  as well.    When paired with this beautiful scene from O Holy Night on this tag, it gives it the effect of glittery snow falling.  

Of course when you want the glittery to doesn’t cooperate, but trust me that this little tag shimmers and shines beautifully.  Paired with the prismacolouring of the snow in the scene, it’s a lovely effect.  

Metallic Embossing Paste

I’ve recently discovered that you can add metallic effects to your embossing paste that look so cool!  Here’s how you do it.   

Add embossing paste as you normally would onto a stencil.  Here I’ve used a light gray cardstock and a honeycomb stencil.  Scrape off the excess and lift off your stencil (make sure you go clean your tools and stencil!).  

Again, I’ve used a “rough” style for my scraping to give it a more edgy look.  

Next, pour metallic emossing powder over your embossing paste.  Cover all the areas well. 

Tap off the excess embossing powder, and now ...the most important step SET IT ASIDE TO DRY for about an hour or more.  This allows the embossing paste to set so you won’t get bubbling in your finished design.  

After your paste is dry, heat set it with a heat tool, just like you would regular heat embossing.  You’ll have this gorgeous raised metallic image.  You can see by the bottom right corner in the embossing paste that I was not patient enough to let it dry longer and the embossing paste bubbled a bit....but hey - that’s an opportunity for embellishment right?  

Here’s the finished design with our awesome Best Day Ever set.  I totally love that camera, and the silver embossing is such a nice pairing with the design.  

Here’s a closeup.  Doesn’t the metallic embossing paste look cool?  

Here’s another example of where I’ve used the metallic embossing paste in copper on this card  Olive and Oak.  

Adding Colour into Embossing Paste

You can also add colour to your embossing paste in a variety of ways, re-inkers, ink pads, acrylic paint...the possibilities are endless.  I’ll show you how I did it with ink pads.  

On a craft mat or heavy piece of plastic, take your ink pad and press it down onto the plastic surface.  Grab a bit of embossing paste from your jar and mix it into the paste till you get the colour you like.  I wanted a bit of an ombre look, so I did this three times with teal, turquoise and green ink pads.  

Next add it to your stencil.  Because I wanted to have that ombre look, I added it in rows to this bubble stencil.  Scrape off your layers and let it dry.  

Here are the finished ombre bubbles paired with the lovely Big Scripts set.  Doesn’t that look fun?  

I love the sense of texture embossing paste gives!  

Sponging Colour onto Embossing Paste

Another fantastic way to add colour to your embossing paste is to sponge it on.  It’s extremely effective in giving all over colour and perfectly matching to your design.  

Use the embossing paste as shown in the first step and allow to completely dry.  For this technique I’d give it at least a couple of hours of drying time.  Just enough time to colour up your image.  Here I’ve used Power Poppy’s So Grateful set, and one of my favourite stencils, Gothic from Tim Holtz.  

I pulled out some pumpkin pie ink, razzleberry ink and a sponge, and using round motions scrubbed the ink into the paper and the embossing paste. 

When the colour is sponged in, it takes on almost a patina look. The more you sponge, the deeper the colour you’ll achieve.    

And here is the finished design.  These colours really seem to give it a glow.  

A gorgeous autumn sunset for this design!  

Here is another sample of this technique where I used sponging and glimmer spritz:  Soothing Lavender.  

So now you have all sorts of ideas for using this fun product!  I hope you’ll try them out, it adds a whole new dimension to your card making!  

Thanks so much for joining me today!  


CherylQuilts said...

Oh, Christine, what a fabulous Inspire Me Monday post! I've not dared into mixed media much, but I so want to and have some supplies. I just needed this inspiration today. I love all the various techniques you've shared, and I love your cards...each one is amazing! Hugs and a big thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love all of these ideas!! I just ordered some embossing paste and now I have great ideas in how to use it!! Thank so much for the inspiration!! Love all of your work!!! Joleen

Allison Cope said...

Amazing ideas Christine! So many beautiful examples too! Fabulous tutorial! <3

Donna Ellis said...

How beautiful and fun! Christine, thank you for taking time to show so many wonderful techniques (coupled with your beautiful shading and colors!)

Sue L. said...

Thank you so much for showing us your different techniques along w fabulous designed cards. :) I was one of those who really wanted to know the "hows." You r so awesome to respond to all of yr followers.

Conniecrafter said...

Thanks for sharing I didn't know about getting that great metallic look that is so neat!! They are all fabulous creations with these techniques!

Cheryl O said...

What a great post showing the versatility of embossing paste!!! Love it; you have me thinking of lots of possibilities now! Thank you........ :)

Patti Willey said...

Great tips! Every project looks fabulous! How great this stuff is so versatile we all like a change!

Elaine said...

Fabulous Tips! I have just put embossing paste on my "must have" shopping list! Thank you for sharing the many ways embossing paste can create texture on our cards! said...

Thank you Christine - this is great!

Unknown said...

I've been considering purchasing embossing paste. I really enjoyed and found your tutorials easy to follow so, now I'm convinced! I MUST get some.
Thank you for sharing.