Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Ways to Work with Metal

Earlier this month we shared some ideas about working with recycled metal. You can see that post here. Today we are going to share some more ideas for working with metals. In this project we'll be embossing and writing on metal.

Let's gather our tools. We'll need a foam mat to work on, a sheet of metal, a paper stump, embossing plate or folder, a stylus for writing on the metal and a light sanding block.

You can cut the metal to the size you would like (using your paper trimmer), then layer it with an embossing plate or folder the way you would sandwich paper to run it through your Cuttlebug or Sizzix. In this example I am using an embossing mold from Ten Second Studios. I sandwiched the metal on top of the embossing mold, then a rubber embossing mat on top of the metal. This will help to really press the metal into the crevices of the embossing mold. If you are using a Cuttlebug or Sizzix embossing folder, you will not need the rubber mat, the folder will do this work for you. The picture above shows the mold and rubber mat that I used as well as the end result after being run through my Cuttlebug.

To bring out the details in the designs even more, you can lightly sand them. This sanding block really makes this part of the job quite easy.

Writing on the metal is easy, but requires a little planning. You can "deboss" your writing meaning to press the metal down. But more likely you will want to "emboss" meaning to raise the metal for your writing. To do this, I mirror printed what I wanted to write and draw on to a piece of paper. Some printers have a setting for "iron-on" this will give the same effect, the text and images will be printed backwards. Working on your foam mat, place the metal face down. Place the paper on top of the metal (the wrong side of the metal) and use your stylus to press down your reversed text. When you flip the metal over, your text will be raised on the "good" side of the metal and in the correct direction. You can then use a paper stump to edge around your text (or drawing) to enhance the embossing effect. Lightly sanding will help show the details.

Here is a project with drawing and writing on the metal. I even used some alcohol inks on silver metal to create the red Mickey. This is going to be the opening page to a mini album about our visit to "Star Wars Weekend" at Disney World.

In this project I used an embossing mold to create the embellished square of copper.

I'm still fairly new to working with metal. I just started getting into it a few months ago. I have 3 boys and no girls, so I'm always looking for ways to help make my scrap pages a bit more masculine. But I've also seen some beautiful feminine metal creations too. If you are interested in working with metal, check out the Ten Seconds Studio web site. They have great products and ideas. Their videos called Taco Tuesday, are awesome! They are not just educational, but they are some of the most hilarious videos! They are well worth the watch even if you don't work with metal!


  1. I really like the results of the metal work. Have you seen the Cuttlebug Diamond Plate folder? I can see where that may be useful to you.

  2. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [20 Jul 12:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  3. Marlene - Thanks for your comment!! I *just* got that diamond plate folder. I plan to use it on a layout about/for my dh. He is in the fire service.

  4. Oh WOW Cathy! This was an amazing tutorial! I'll definitely be running metal through my Cuttlebug soon. LOL