As soon as I saw the Spellbinders Love Block Stamp Set, which was just released in April 2021, I knew I needed it for a few spring and summer anniversary cards, as well as for something special for the Hubs.
Ya’ll know that there’s always a bit of experimentation going on in my craft room. Sometimes, I am successful after a few tries. Sometimes….not. For a while now, I have been wanting to try doing an emboss resist AND and emboss iron off using one stamped image. You’ll see what I mean by this if you keep reading. This stamp set was perfect for the technique. It has large solid areas, as well as some swirly line detail that would make the technique interesting.
By the way, here’s my usual full disclosure on how long winded I’m going to get in explaining the process. I’m trying to anticipate any questions you may have. Please feel free to just check out the pictures. I won’t be offended. I certainly would do the same on your blog! Anyhow, the technique actually doesn’t take very long….there is just quite a bit of waiting time in between steps.
Oh, one more thing…the stuff in italics…that’s my self commentary on my own writing. If you find it annoying, just skip it! I don’t mind.
First Card: Rainbow Wash | Emboss Resist | Emboss Iron Off
For my first card, I started with a piece of watercolor paper that I had rainbow washed (that’s my verb for painting a wash using tons of water and some watercolors in rainbow colors), using Distress Reinkers in Picked Raspberry, Mustard Seed, and Salty Ocean, allowing the 3 colors to blend enough to create some green, orange, and purple as well. I let the piece dry overnight, since my technique involves embossing powder and even more ink! I wanted to be doubly sure that the paper is not only dry enough to not attract stray embossing powder in unwanted places, but also dry enough to be able to accept even more ink.
When I returned to the project, I prepped the entirety of the rainbow wash with an antistatic powder tool, stamped the Love Block onto the most colorful section of the rainbow using Versamark ink, added Wow Clear Embossing Powder to the inked image, and heated the powder until it melted. I was really careful not to overheat the embossing powder, since this technique gets messy with overheating (the embossing powder gets puffy and fat and doesn’t give me a crisp line).
I waited a minute or two for the embossing powder to cool down before proceeding with the emboss resist part of the process. That is, I blended Distress Oxide Chipped Sapphire over the entire area where the Love Block had been stamped and heat embossed. The embossing on the Love Block acts as a mask for the image. Once the blending was completed, I again waited for it to dry. Here’s another “by-the-way.” The Chipped Sapphire looks different in various sections of the image, because the colors underneath (my rainbow wash) were different in each area.
Once the Distress Oxide completely dried, I heated up my small crafting iron (any iron will work, as long as you don’t use the steam function), sandwiched my project inside a folded piece of clean printer paper with the embossed image facing up inside the sandwich, and ironed. The heat from the iron remelts the embossing powder and the powder, as well as any stray ink that is embedded atop the powder (did I really just use “atop” in a sentence?!), will stick to the typing-paper sandwich. Given that, I simply ironed until I could see the entire melted image appear on the typing paper.
I know I could have had a similar effect with just the emboss resist; however, it is really difficult to clean off all of the dark ink that had pooled inside the dips and pools in the embossing powder, as you can see from all of the blue that is on the printer paper. Going with the additional step of ironing off the embossing powder gives me a crisper image. And, the added bonus of a non-cardmaking recipient saying, “oh, how did you do that?!” is always fun!
To finish the card, I outlined the letters with a white gel pen. And a white paint pen. And a white gel pen. And again. I’m telling ya – getting the white to cover the heavy-handed ink blending of such a dark color is not easy! Once the outlines finally looked white, I decided not to add an additional sentiment nor any embellishments. What I had was already quite busy, so I opted for a more modern look of simply trimming the piece down to size and foam mounting it on a white cardbase.
Second Card: My Lazy Way
My second card was similar, since I needed two anniversary cards. It took even less time to make, since I started with a pretty piece of patterned paper that I had in my stash. I was able to skip doing the rainbow wash and proceed straight to the stamping, heat embossing, ink blending, and ironing. Here is the resulting card:
Third Card: For the Hubs
My husband’s birthday is coming up. It’s something that he denies and is usually unwilling to celebrate. It’s also the same day as one of our anniversaries, so I usually opt for a loving theme rather than a birthday theme.
For his hard, I wanted to create a slimline card for a different look, so I cut apart the Love Block stamp. I lined up the letters horizontally and white heat embossed the message using my stamping platform onto a piece of silver vellum, a light gray cardstock, as well as a darker gray cardstock. Yeah, I think my colorfulness (is that a word?) is all that he can handle. He doesn’t like colors. Just grays. 🙄
I then used one of the rhomboid dies from the Spellbinders Nestabilities Ritz Labels Dies to cut out 2 alternating letters from each of the light gray and dark gray cardstocks.
I really couldn’t stand the lack of color on this project, so I colored the little hearts with a bright red colored pencil! I then lined up each of the rhomboids with the corresponding letter on the vellum & foam mounted them. Oh, and lest he be unclear as to who gave him this card 😉, I added a black and a silver glitter strip to the back of the rhomboids! I added a double foam-mounted “YOU” from the same stamp set that I had white heat embossed on some red card stock (take that, Mister!) to complete the Love You message.
Since I had forgotten to trim the vellum piece to be the proper size for a slimline card, I decided to just fold the excess vellum over the back of a slimline-sized piece of black cardstock & create an infinity shaker! Once the infinity shaker was filled & closed, I mounted the entire piece onto a slimline-sized white cardbase.
The Hubs did happen to wander into my craft room while I was making this card. When I started ranting and freaking out, he mentioned that he’s sure he would love it, including all of the glitter and shiny bits, when he actually receives it. And that, my crafty friends, is why we’ve been together forever and a day!! 🥰