What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Easy Embossing for Srapbooking, Crafts and More

The holiday season is drawing near so I thought I would share an easy and low cost way of doing embossing. Embossing is an elegant way of accenting scrapbooking pages or elements, creating custom picture frames and so much more. The main problem with embossing is if you check the craft stores you can spend a lot of money on embossing equipment. If you don't do a lot of embossing there is absolutely no need to spend a lot. Let me show you how.


For this project you will need a sheet of cardstock that will make two greeting cards. The method I'm using does work better for lighter colours although I have had success with dark colours as well using a stronger light source. You will need a stencil of choice. For best results choose one that is not too delicate. One of the cheapest places to find stencils is a dollar store. If you can't find a stencil you like then find a picture online and create a stencil by printing on a sheet of acetate then cut out the pattern. You will also need painters or scotch tape and a ball point stick pen with the lid. Optional materials are make-up applicators and acid free artist's chalk.


A paper cutter is one of those things every crafter needs. It comes in handy for so many things. I have a Fiskars® flatbed rotary cutter with three cutting blades and a scoring blade. The scale makes it easy to cut the paper to the right size. In this case I cut the 8.5" x 11" sheet of cardstock in half as pictured forming two 8.5" x 5.5" pieces. To score I took one of the smaller rectangles then placed it against the guide with the 8.5" side facing me then used the scoring blade to form the score.


When you score the paper there will be an indent. Tape your stencil onto a light source like a window using the painter's or scotch tape. Place the cardstock you just cut over the stencil with the indent facing you and centre align as desired. In this case I decided to use a solar border along the edge of the card. At this point you are working on the inside of the card or inside of whatever you are embossing. Before starting to emboss be sure the good side that you want is facing away from you. Leave one bottom corner loose so you can lift up a bit to see how the embossing is going.

Take the ball point pen with the lid on and carefully use the end to trace the stencil. Pay attention to the lines as you want to make a good indent. Use a bit of pressure but a lot of pressure is not needed. Go over the stencil markings a couple of times to get a good indent. Carefully lift up the lower corner and you will see what embossing will look like. Check for any missing parts and go over the stencil again if necessary. Remember the back of the work is facing you. Once you are happy with the embossing, remove the cardstock from the light source.


The embossed finish can be left as is for a subtle yet elegant look. This is a really pretty effect for greeting cards and scrapbooking embellishments. Use it along edgings or around frames. What I like doing is using a sponge make-up applicator to highlight the embossing using chalking. Chalking is a very subtle effect that highlights the embossed surfaces by adding a hint of colour while deepening the shadows. To apply the chalk rub a sponge applicator over the chalk then use a tight circular motion to rub over the embossing. Continue applying chalk in this fashion until you get the desired effect.

Pictured is the finished card with embossing and calking in a pale blue. Versing can be added inside prior to embossing or you can hand write it in after embossing. Similarly the front of the card can be detailed more if desired. Just be sure when you are embossing to work with the inside facing you.

Garden Gnome