Looking for a way to add dimension and sparkle to your stenciled designs? Join Angela as she combines stencils, ink blending and heat embossing to make a fun, sparkly birthday card.
Hi friends! Angela here, and today I’ve got a project to share that will help you get more out of your stencils. Perhaps you, like me, often forget about the stencils in your crafty stash because you stamp and die cut more frequently. But to their credit, stencils are such versatile supplies with a huge range of applications, so they really do deserve to be used more!
For today’s card, I’ve incorporated ink blending and heat embossing with the same layering stencil set, Seamless Starburst Circles from Pinkfresh Studio. Know however, that even if you don’t have this set, you can absolutely apply the same tips to whatever stencils you have on hand.
There are 6 stencils in this set, so I began by using my ink blending brushes and a palette of Catherine Pooler inks in Daydream, Skylight and Sugared Lavender to color them in. The stencils have guides on the corners for alignment, but lately I’ve just been using the corner of my MISTI to ensure that the edge of my stencils are aligned with the edge of my cardstock, as you’ll see in the photos above.
Once the ink blending portion was done and my stencils were clean, I went back in with the last 2 stencils in the set to add some sparkly heat embossing. Again, using the corner of my MISTI as my alignment guide, I applied clear Versamark ink with a small sponge dauber, poured on some holographic glitter embossing powder, and heat set it. While this created a really pretty effect and is far more noticeable in real life than in these photos, I wanted a bit more texture. To do this, I repeated the process again once more, layering the embossing over the first pass.
9 Tips for Ink Blending and Heat Embossing with Stencils
- Start with a panel bigger than what you need for your A2 card so that you have extra space around the edges to hold on to while you heat emboss. Your fingers will thank you for this, and you can trim down the edges later.
- Use the corner of your stamp positioning platform to align the edge of your stencils with the edge of your cardstock.
- Low-tack tape, Post-It tape, or masking paper makes it easy to cover up open areas of your stencils, allowing you to apply more colors without mixing them together. This is especially helpful if you’re using larger blending brushes.
- There’s no need to have light, medium and dark shades of the same color of ink if your stash is on the smaller side. Simply start your first layer of blending with a light hand, do the second with a slightly heavier hand, and do the final layer with the most pressure. If you have trouble doing this, practice by holding the brush further up the handle for the light applications, and closer to the brush head for the darkest ones.
- Ensure your stencils are completely clean and dry before using them to emboss. It’s important to get any ink from the blending done previously off so that it doesn’t transfer into areas where it isn’t wanted!
- Wait until the ink blended part of the stenciling is dry before moving on to the embossed part, especially when using an embossing glitters which often stick a bit more. And on that note, don’t forget to use an anti-static powder tool to wipe your stenciled surface before applying any embossing ink!
- Be generous with the application of Versamark embossing ink. I like to use a small foam dauber to apply it when I have smaller areas, but for bigger stencils you could go direct to paper with the Versamark pad.
- If you realize after heat embossing that you’ve missed a spot, or if you’d like to create even more embossed dimension, simply heat set the first layer of embossing powder and repeat the process again to get a 2nd layer directly on top.
- When embossing, keep your heat gun moving to minimize warping of your paper. This will make it easier to do that 2nd layer of embossing ink with your stencil.
Once the embossing was finished, it was nearly time for assembly. I trimmed down the background panel to 3.5″ x 4.75″, then used an Essential Rectangle to cut a central rectangle and border, just for a bit of subtle visual interest. I popped both forward on my A2 card base with foam tape, and since this was a celebration card, I used the Essentials by Ellen Happy Birthday hot foil stamp and die to create a large, focal sentiment. The foil I used is technically Rose Gold in color, but it really looks more purple when positioned in front of the Sugared Lavender starbursts.
I hope this project and the tips above have inspired you to revisit your stencils, and use them to ink blend, heat emboss, or both. If you share a card inspired by this post on Instagram, be sure to tag me, @mycraftyperspective, as well as @ellenhutsonllc. Thank you so much for stopping by today, and I’ll see you back here soon. – Angela