- Keep band saw in top condition. Blow out saw dust and dirt, remove a dull blade, oil when needed, and always follow safety instructions from manufacturer.
- Create templates or stencils for frequently used patterns. Use heavy weight paper and use a light touch with your pencil. For added mileage from template, cover paper template or stencil with clear laminate.
- Select a wood board with few or no knots and trace pattern(s) on it. No waste.
- Nail a second board under the first. The nails should NOT stick up above the surface of the top board or go through to the bottom of the second board. Be aware of where the nails are hammered at all times. It is best to not double cut on a scroll saw.
- Cut boards into manageable size pieces. Then cut out the shapes.
- Experiment with different blades for different woods. An 1/8 skip tooth is best and quickest for pine.
- Karate schools are great sources for free wood. Also check at new home sites and ask if you may take the scrap wood.
- There is very little difference between different brands of embossing powders except that the finer the powder the better the detailing for the finished embossed design will be. Available are: detail, regular and super enamel (sometimes referred to as UTEE) types of embossing colors in a rainbow of colors.
- Before starting always wash your hands well, oil from your hands can make the embossing powder stick in places you do not want it to stick.
- You can emboss on paper, wood, terra cotta, glass, mirrors, and other media so experiment. You can emboss brads and nail heads! Dip glass mirrors into ink and emboss, you have sea glass.
- Highly detailed stamps are not best for beginners. Select a word or deeply etched stamp to start.
- Experiment with mixing small amounts of different colors of embossing powder for fun effects.
- Make your own embossing ink by mixing 1 part water and 1 part glycerin. Most ink pens will work as embossing pens.
- Use dark inks with opaque powders and non-tinted embossing ink with others powders, but never use gold pigment ink with gold embossing powder… this combo dulls the gold in finished design.
- Fill in a design with markers and sprinkle with clear embossing powder and heat. The result looks like stained glass.
- Sprinkle clear embossing powder over a small print/picture and heat…acts like a lacquer.
- Practice, practice, and practice. Practice is the only way to get really good at embossing.
- Use a small paint brush to remove powder that is clinging to an area you do not want embossed.
- If a surface is giving you trouble with clinging embossing powder (in the wrong spots) just lightly rub a dryer sheet over the surface and your hands.
This type of embossing creates a raised surface by heating embossing
powder on a surface like paper. It’s an elegant effect on
scrapbooking pages. Embossing powder comes in every color
of the rainbow including wonderful metallics like gold, silver and brass.
This type of embossing is archival as long as the embossing
or pigment ink you use is acid-free.
Rubberstamp: Any rubberstamp will do, but extremely detailed or etched stamps don’t emboss well.
Pigment Ink or Embossing Ink: This is a slow drying ink that will hold embossing powder until you are ready to heat it with a heat gun.
Embossing Powder: Looks like glitter, but this is a special powder that will melt and rise when heated.
Heat Gun: Gently blows very hot air that will melt embossing powder. Be careful not to touch any metal tips of heat guns.
Paper: Almost any type of paper is a good surface to wet emboss upon even vellum.
Paper Plate: Or other tool to catch excess power.
- Tap stamp on the embossing pad or on pigment ink. Make sure entire surface of the stamp is covered with the ink.
- Stamp image onto surface and immediately cover with embossing powder. Tap off excess onto a scrap piece of paper or paper plate and pour back into the powder container.
- Use your heat source to melt the embossing powder. The heat tool is used from the top of the design. All other heat sources will be placed under the surface. Thick surfaces will be difficult to emboss without a heat tool.
- The powder will go from a dull finish to a very glossy one signaling you that your embossing is done.
- You can overheat the embossing. If your embossed image is cracking use less time to heat. If your embossing is uneven or still powdery you need to apply more heat to melt.
- This type of pencil can be used in two basic ways. The first is as a dry pencil and the second is to lightly go over your dry pencil markings with a wet brush creating a watercolor effect.
- Use cotton swabs, paintbrush, sponge or water brush to wet your pencil marks to create the watercolor effect on dry paper. No matter what you use to apply the water make sure the item is damp and not dripping. Too much water and you lose control of the color.
- You can wet the paper you will use as your surface and then draw with pencils.
- To remove color from an area use a dry brush or sponge to dab away color.
- Another method of using the pencils is to shave pencil color onto paper and add water. To create your own customized colors just mix different shavings together
- To achieve blending, layer colors on your paper/surface and then add touches of water to blend into watercolor effect. Shading is achieved in this same manner.
- Flicking a wet brush over pencil tip onto your paper creates splatter effects.
- To add variety to color and to add texture stroke pencils in crosshatches.
- To even tones or smooth texture rub finished work with cotton swab or cone.
- Keep a drawing pad or drawing journal handy. Practice strokes and pressure with pencils. Keep a color chart at the front or back of this book for your handy reference.
- 140lb watercolor paper is recommended for watercoloring, but experiment with all weights and textures of paper.
- If using ink with your watercolor pencils, the ink is used first and must be permanent ink. Don’t forget to seal the finished design with a spray sealer to protect it.
- Store your watercolor pencils dry.
There are lots of options when selecting ink to rubberstamp or scrapbook.
Here are your choices and which inks work best on specific surfaces.
- Dye Ink: Water-based and solvent-based. Dye ink dries quickly and not to be used with embossing powders. Works well on coated papers and porous surfaces but tends to run or bleed on highly absorbent papers. Dye inks are transparent and will fade over time.
- Chalk or “Fresco” Ink: A dye ink that appears chalky when dry; must be heat set.
- Pigment Ink: Water-based and solvent-based. This ink is thicker than most dye inks. Very slow to dry and excellent for embossing. Works best on uncoated paper. Fade resistant and won’t fade if embossed. Pigment inks are opaque.
- Embossing Ink: Clear or slightly tinted. This ink is used specifically with embossing powders. It has the consistency of pigment ink.
- Fabric Inks: Designed to help create a permanent image on fabrics. Some fading may be experienced.
- Disappearing Inks: This ink is tinted with a pink or blue hue. The image is stamped as a guide or pattern, and then can be embellished. The ink will “disappear” when water is used to dampen the fabric or some disappearing inks fade out over time as the ink evaporates. The most common usage is on fabrics.
- Permanent Inks: Water-soluble or solvent-based. This ink dries by evaporation not by absorption like dye or pigment ink. Stamps must be cleaned immediately with solvent when using solvent-based permanent inks. Once dry this ink will not smear.
- Archival Quality Ink: Acid free and photo safe. This is the ink to use in memory albums and scrapbooks.
- Kid’s Inks: Made to be washable and non-toxic for extra safety when stamping with children.
- Other Inks: There are some other “inks” used in stamping. Acrylic paints formulated for the large foam or sponge stamps and labeled as stamp paint. Paint glazes can also be used for this type of sponge stamp.
|Surface||Best Type of Ink To Use|
|Leather||Dye ink w/compatible sealer, solvent-based pigment ink w/compatible sealer or fabric ink|
|Glass||Embossed pigment ink, glass paint/glaze, etched glass, permanent ink|
|Tile||Treat like glass|
|Paper||Any dye or pigment that meets the project needs|
|Coated or Glossy Paper||Dye ink or pigment ink (must be embossed to avoid smearing)|
|Walls or Furniture||Water-based fabric ink or stamping paint|
|Sealed wood||Dye or Pigment|
|Fabric||Fabric ink or fabric paint|
|Shrink Plastic||Dye or permanent|
|Clays||Dye if light colored, pigment on darker color|
Basic Tools You’ll Need Check List!
Plain and decorative acid-free papers
Photo albums, mini-scrapbooks, or journals
Circle or shape cutters
Acid-free inks and inkpads
Acid-free markers and pens
Templates and Stencils
Coloring Tools—pastels, chalks, watercolors, gel pens
Fibers, yarns or floss
Wire or metal
Memorabilia and ephemera
Glues and Adhesives
- Different glues do different jobs. Select the best glue for your needs. If you project needs to be washed (a wearable for example) then select a fabric glue. Glue formulas do vary. Read the label of the glue to see if it meets your needs.
- If possible snip the glue bottle tip at a 45-degree angle. This gives you the best control and makes keeping the tip clean an easier task.
- Remove the bottle top of Aleene’s Tacky Glue and allow air to circulate for about an hour for extra tack!
- Keep bottle on its side while crafting. This makes the glue flow smoother while crafting.
- Remove excess glue with toothpicks, cotton swabs, and small old brushes for the perfect finish. Make sure to clean any old paintbrushes for the next use.
Glue Guns and Glue
- Although there is no difference between the bonding of a hot and low temperature glue sticks, there is a difference in the glue’s temperature. If you switch back and forth between Hot and Low temperature glues, please remember when you are using the HOT glues that they can burn.
- Keeping a bowl of ice water near your work area is a great idea. When working your fingers near the glue, dip fingers into the water to prevent scalding.
- A dryer sheet will clean up even the messiest of glue guns. Just carefully rub over the gun to clean it up. Rub down the gun every once in a while to keep it clean. Dryer sheets are also great to keep glues and paints from sticking to your hands!
- Don’t think of glue as just an adhesive. Use glue as a medium. You can paint on it! Add glitter to it! And the only real limit is your imagination!
- Glue strings are caused by many different things. Heat, humidity, and other situations in your environment can cause strings. Put glue sticks in freezer to cut down on strings and keep the glue gun tips clean to prevent strings.
- Buy a glue gun that matches your hand size for maximum comfort.
- Slick, smooth surfaces are the hardest to bond. Make sure surface is clean (wipe with rubbing alcohol) and score (cut or sand) surface if possible.
- Low temp is best for delicate materials. It will not melt or burn delicate materials like Mylar, nylon, laces, etc.
- Low temp can be used with molds. Use a release agent like soap when casting.
- Always use the stand to keep your glue gun up right when not in use. Never force glue through the gun. Glue guns take at least 10 minutes to heat up. Forcing glue through the glue gun can break the glue feeder that pushes glue through the machine.