Technique Tips 101

This card project highlights one of my favorite techniques for using glitter–but with a color twist. While I believe this technique will work with most craft brand glitters, I should tell you that my favorite to use–and the one that I believe gives the best results–is Stampin’ Up!’s Dazzling Diamonds Stampin’ Glitter (#102023, $ 4.50). The main obstacle with this method is that you want to make sure that your glitter is adhered to your project very firmly because of the friction and rubbing involved in the technique. If your glitter is not well-adhered, obviously you’ll have glitter falling off left and right (and a giant mess to boot). You will have some glitter loss, but your adhesive is key. For me, the best results are obtained using Stampin’ Up!’s Heat & Stick Powder (#100625, $ 4.50). The heat setting provides for a melt that grips your glitter to maximum effect.

For this project, I used a 5 1/2″ x 8″ piece of Stampin’ Up! cardstock in Cajun Craze (which was scored at 4 1/4″). The card mat is a 4″ x 5″ of Stampin’ Up Whisper White cardstock. The ink I chose to use is Stampin’ Up! Poppy Parade applied with a sponge dauber.

Using a 3″ x 3″ square of Whisper White cardstock, I stamped the floral image (Stampin’ Up! “Fabulous Flowers”, #109343; now retired) with a VersaMark pad and then coated it with a layer of Heat & Stick powder. Using my heat gun, I melted the layer of Heat & Stick powder until it reaches a clear, shiny finish. Then I poured a layer of Dazzling Diamonds glitter over the heated adhesive. At this point, you want to re-heat the image to ensure that the Heat & Stick powder and the glitter make a full bond and then allow your image to cool.

Once your stamped and glittered image is cooled, choose an ink color that coordinates with the papers your are using in your project. In my case, I chose Poppy Parade. Using a sponge dauber, I applied two to three coats of ink over the entire surface of the image–both on the glitter and the paper. You want to make sure you have fully saturated the color to an even layered application. I then used my Tim Holtz serrated scissors to cut around the image following the petal patterns as a guideline. Once you’ve cut your image, lay a craft mat or scrap paper out and place your image on it. Taking several pieces of Kleenex tissue and balling them up, vigorously rub in a circular motion across your glittered image. The friction with the tissue causes the excess ink to be absorbed and leaves behind a glittered surface with a slight hint of color. Don’t be alarmed that the tissue starts to tear and “ball up”. The jagged texture of the glitter will do this. It is a bit of a messy procedure, but the final results are definitely worth the effort. (I should add that it is very hard to do this technique justice with photographs. I promise you in person that your images will sparkle and shine like a vintage jewel.)

Next, I took the 4″ x 5″ card mat and used the sponge dauber to create a spotted effect for the card background using the same Poppy Parade ink. For the final touches on this card, I used one of the new Stampin’ Up! sets, “Curly Cute” (#120510, $ 14.95), for the sentiment. I stamped it with VersaMark and heat embossed it with white embossing powder. I added a piece of 1/4″ Stampin’ Up! grosgrain ribbon in Real Red.

I hope you’ll experiment, play and modify this technique to use with some of your own projects. It really is a fun technique and creates some very eye-catching results. Happy Wednesday Crafters!


Celebrate Today!

I, like many a crafter, have to admit that I am in love with bling. If it shines, sparkles, glitters, I’m worse than a blackbird. In part, I think my fascination with bling stems from my true interest in jewelry design and collecting. I love Russian history and fell in love with the work of Carl Gustavich Fabergé. Most known for the magnificent jeweled Easter eggs that he created for Czar Nicholas II, Fabergé actually created wonderful jewelry and carved stone pieces. With that as a backdrop, I became fascinated with the jewels of Bulgari, Chanel, and other famous design houses. Over the years, I’ve collected many books, jewelry pieces and artifacts. I’ve even sketched some of my own jewelry designs–and replicated a few of them.

To translate my love of all things jeweled into some of my paper crafting designs, I love to experiment with new techniques. Some of my ideas crash and burn, but last night I had a real success with an experiment using to Stampin’ Up! products I highly recommend you try if you haven’t already done so–Dazzling Diamonds Stampin’ Glitter and Stampin’ Up! Heat & Stick Powder.

The materials list for this card project includes:

  • PAPERS: Papertrey Ink Paper Basics Kraft Cardstock (cut to 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and scored at 4 1/4″), Stardream Fuse Mica cardstock in Bronze;
  • INKS: SEI Chalk Ink in Cocoa;
  • STAMPS: Papertrey Ink ‘Dot Spot’ clear acrylic stamp set (#2204), Papertrey Ink ‘Mega Mixed Messages’ clear acrylic stamp set (#2126);
  • EMBOSSING SUPPLIES: Tsukineko VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad, Dazzling Diamonds Stampin’ Glitter (#102023), Stampin’ Up! Heat & Stick Powder (#100625), Stampin’ Up! Embossing Buddy (#103083), heat gun;
  • TOOLS: Stampin’ Up! Scallop Oval punch (#114889), Stampin’ Up! Large Oval punch (#107305), Stampin’ Up! Stampin’ Dimensionals (#104430), Zig Two-Way Glue pen;
  • To begin, I took my plain Kraft cardstock and rubbed the card front with the Embossing Buddy. I then stamped two of the images from the ‘Dot Spot’ stamp set with VersaMark in a random pattern. I purposely left space in the lower right hand corner to add my sentiment later. Next, I completely covered the VersaMark-ed images with the Heat & Stick Powder and tapped off all the excess powder. Heat & Stick is a very fine granulated white powder that when heated turns into a glossy adhesive. I used my heat to give the card front several passes until the white powder had completely liquified on all of my stamped images. At this juncture, I sprinkled the images with a heavy coating of Dazzling Diamonds glitter. You want to get your glitter onto the melted Heat & Stick powder as soon as possible to allow for complete adherence. After tapping off the excess glitter and placing it back into the jar, you want to use your heat gun again to help set the glitter completely. (The second heating helps to reliquify the Heat & Stick powder and fuse the glitter so none of it will rub off on repeated touch.)

    At this point, you want to let your project set for a bit and completely cool. While the Dazzling Diamonds glitter is very sparkly, it does not show up well on Kraft cardstock. Here’s where I experimented with an idea I had be toying with in head for a while now. I think for this next step a chalk-based ink works best (as it allows you to rub-off the excess and it will not complete saturate the glitter. I took a 1″ cube of SEI chalk ink in Cocoa and completely covered the front of my card quite heavily–paper and embossed images. The trick is that the paper really soaks up the chalk ink, while the glitter provides an interesting resist effect. After the front was completely covered, I took several Kleenex tissues and began to rub in circular motions across the entire card face, starting at the top and working across and down in rows. You will need several tissues as the ink will definitely come up and can be a bit messy. You’ll want to make sure you have your work surface covered with scrap paper or other working mat.

    When you rub on the embossed glitter images, do not be delicate. The Heat & Stick powder has completely adhered the glitter. You may see a few loose flakes, but don’t worry. You really want to get as much of the ink off as you can with the tissue. (Note: The rough texture of the embossed glitter will tear up your tissues and create odd little inked balls of debris. Just shake them off and continue the process until your happy with your color gradient results.)

    Once I was happy with the color depth of my cardstock and the glittered images, I created the sentiment by layering an oval punched piece of Kraft cardstock on a scallop punched piece of Mica cardstock. I glued them together using a Zig Two-Way pen. I then used the Stampin’ Dimensionals to lift the scalloped sentiment medallion up off the card front.

    The end result was a card full of sparkle and shine. It is very reminiscent of exploding fireworks high overhead. Every tilt in the light source give off a different shades of brown, yellow, citrine, bronze, blue, and white light reflection. It’s very hard to show the true beauty of this card in photographs because it sparkles so much. But, I hope you’ll get the effect in these shots.

    Thanks for stopping by today! Don’t forget to check out Giveaway #4 (if you have not already done so). I hope your weekend ahead is full celebrations and explosions of color. As always, Keep Crafting!