Monday, November 7, 2011

Make Your Own Monday: Embossing Mats

I said to my husband this morning, how can the first week of November be gone already?  I'm starting to enter pre-panic mode.  That's where I think about panicking but don't actually.  It's one of those internal struggles.  I tell myself, "Get going!  Those Chirstmas presents aren't going to make themselves!" and then I tell myslef, "Self, just be quiet and eat another pumpkin muffin... you know you haven't even decided WHAT you are making for Christmas presents so there's no point in running off to make something!"  At which point I eat another pumpkin muffin and wonder what to make for Christmas presents this year.

Here are some ideas on my short list:

Photo Magnet Boards...  ok, who am I kidding, I did these last year.  BUT I didn't post the instructions on my blog so you know that will be a future Project Wednesday coming your way.

Christmas Countdown Blocks...  I'm pretty serious about making these.  I've even got a set half made.  We did these for our Super Saturday crafty day with the Relief Society ladies at church. Guess I should get those finished up and make three more sets!  I suppose I really only have a couple of weeks to get these done before it will be too late.

Stockings... My girls need christmas stockings!  I made them some when they were babies, but I have never liked them.  I'm thinking something cut out of felt on a felt stocking.  I feel a new cutting file coming on!

There will be something made with heat transfer vinyl on T-Shirts... just don't know what yet.

Re-useable clothes-pin gift tags.  I'll explain later... I'm just tired of buying gift tags every year. Think a set for each of our families would be fun.

Hmmm.... need more ideas!  Help me out here!

So, speaking of ideas... It's time for a very frugal Make Your Own Monday!

Today you will learn to make your own... Embossing Mats

If you have a digital die-cut machine, like a Silhouette, Pazzles, KNK, etc., perhaps you've wondered about trying an embossing tool in your machine.  Well, I'm here to tell you, I've tried it in my KNK Maxx, and it works fantastically!  Perhaps you've considered purchasing a special mat for embossing.  Pazzles has an Embossing Mat you can purchase for around $15.  That's a little pricey for something I might not use that often.

A while back, I decided to try making my own embossing mat and found it quite successful! Here's how I did it:

Materials you'll need:

A piece of chipboard or an old cutting mat.  I used the back of a paper pad.  Free!
A piece of self adhesive craft foam.  You can get this at a craft or discount store for less than $0.50 a sheet.
Krylon Easy-Tack spray adhesive.  This runs about $5-$6 a can.  I have a can anyway to re-spray my mats.  One can lasts you forever.  I consider this Free for this project since most of us with cutters have it around anyway.  {Please don't tell me you've been running out and buying a new mat whenever yours becomes un-sticky.}
 1.  Stick the craft foam sheet down to your cutting mat or chipboard sheet.
2. Spray with Easy Tack and let dry.
3. Stick your material on the mat and an embossing tool {appropriate for your machine} in your cutter and emboss away!

Make sure you run some tests before you go crazy on  your material.  Start with the lightest pressure and work your way up.  That way you won't poke through your material instead of making pretty embossing lines.

Also, if you want a raised "embossed lines" you'll want to mirror your image before cutting it.  If you don't, you'll get "debossed lines" instead.  Which I quite like, so it's your choice.

Here's a project I did a while ago for Samantha's Kindergarten teacher that uses this technique.  I embossed {really debossed} the title on a sheet of metal for the cover.  Nice look, if I do say so myself!
I also used this same method on some swirly ornaments.  I used much lighter pressure on these.

Now, don't you want to give this a try?  Here's a tutorial you can save for later.  Just click on it to open it larger to reading and saving.

Time to get crafty, people!

Linked at:

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Tip Junkie handmade projects


Barbara said...

What a great tip, Jan! I have featured it on the Silhouette Plus forum today! Do you think that an inkless ballpoint pen would work as an embossing stylus? I have a pen holder, but not an embossing tool.

Barbara, aka bdjeepers

Caroline said...

great Tutorial, never thought of using craft foam! what did you use to stick the foam onto the chipboard with ?

Lizzerd said...

2 years later - any chance you could reload the images? I'd really like to give this a try on my Cameo!!

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