Monday, March 22, 2010

Embossing/Cutting Tutorial

I have had a few people ask how I do the embossing and what tools are need so rather than keep replying to emails with the same info I thought I would do a short tutorial here.

The first thing you need are the tools. These are the few tools you will need:

1. Double sided removable tape to hold your stencil securely to the paper.

2. A mechanical pencil with the finest lead you can find. A pencil with .05 lead can be found in the art dept. If you can find one with .03 lead even better!

3. A ball stylus. If you can find one with a double ball with a small ball on one end and a medium ball on the other so much the better.

4. I prefer a knife with a swivel blade as the blade is smaller and also finer but some people use a regular craft knife. A swivel blade knife can be found where the craft knives are.

5. Magic Rub eraser. Magic Rub is a brand name but it erases the pencil marks without scuffing up the paper.

6. You can use any kind of paper or card stock that is light enough to
see through. The heavier the cardstock the more pressure needed. Light weight papers need a gentler touch or they will tear.Waxed paper rubbed over the paper where you are going to emboss will help the stylus to glide over the paper more easily.

7. You will need stencils. Most of the stencils I use are from Marianne Designs, a Dutch company.
There are a few places online that carry them. Some in England and some in the US. I am in the US but I order stencils from England HERE as they work out to be cheaper for the same thing even with the rate of exchange and the shipping. They also arrive faster most of the time!

You can also find some at A Touch of Grace - Paper Boutique but the
best selection is at Kamya Craft Supplies

8. You will also need a light source. after taping the stencil to the
paper you could then tape your paper to a window. Another
way is to put a lamp under a glass topped table....or you can buy
a light box. There are many light boxes on the market but the one I recommend is the one on the right. There is a small one that you can find in craft stores for around $10 but the light is a small incandescent light bulb that gives off uneven light and also gets very hot. The light box pictures has a retail price of $47.99. At Sam's Club it is $44.13 but at Madison Art Shop you can get it for $29.99


Using the repositional double sided tape, tape the stencil to your paper. Make sure that the tape is not where you want to trace your cut-outs. With a mechanical pencil trace around the spaces you will be cutting out later. (The pencil marks will be on the right side of the paper).

Turn the paper over on the light box so that the stencil is underneath the paper. With the stylus trace the embossing spaces. Use light pressure at first to break down the fibers in the paper and then gradually use more pressure. I usually go over each space about a dozen times to get a good impression but it will depend on the thickness of your paper.

Remove the stencil and tape from your paper and with a knife cut on the lines you traced earlier. It does take practice so be patient! Start by pushing the point of the blade into the paper and then slowly and steadily follow the lines like you are tracing with a pencil. Turn your paper if you need to!

Use the Magic Rub eraser to remove any pencil marks. It is a good idea to erase around all the cut outs to make sure all the pencil marks are removed.

I have been asked if the stencils can be used in a Cuttlebug or other embossing machine. They can...but there are some buts. My Cuttlebug bends the stencils. It might just be my machine so you can try it at your own risk I guess. The other but is that when you use an embossing machine you will get all the outlines of the stencil...the edges, which you might not want. Also you will be embossing the spaces you want to cut out and if you don't cut perfectly you will have a bend around your cutting.

I hope this answers some of the questions you may have but please feel free to email me if you have other questions and I will be glad to answer them if I can.


JD said...

Jennie, Thank you so much for taking the time to do this...this is great...I have the stencils and have tried using them, but Mine NEVER look as nice as yours...this has been very helpful...Hopefully, my stenciling will look nicer using your helpful hints...

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on in the Printables category today [23 Mar 10:16am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

JD said...

Jennie...You won my first give-away please see my comment under the give away post on my blog...