Posts Tagged ‘embossing’

Embossed Christmas Ornaments

Monday, December 20th, 2010

embossed-Christmas-ornamentsembossed-Christmas-ornaments2Ever since I saw a random YouTube video about embossing, I became intrigued with the idea. I love doing crafts with earthy materials like leather, wood, or metal. I don’t particularly like crafts made out of paper (because they look like trash to me), although I sometimes do those with my kids because they love it so much. So when I ordered a roll of copper sheeting, I was excited to get started. Well, my first attempt at embossing was a failure. It just didn’t look right. I was expecting it to be spectacular, and my expectations were way off base. It’s just thin metal with grooves in it, after all.

embossed-Christmas-ornaments4embossed-Christmas-ornaments3Well, this time I tried making embossed Christmas ornaments. I went to a local craft supply store and got a box of 6 metal sheets. (The box is called “Metal Art,” and it cost me $12.99. It had a picture of metal sheets with a pattern of holes in them, like a design. It included a mallet that I never used.) Anyway, I realized that in my Play Doh supplies, I had some cheap plastic sculpting tools. So I grabbed one of those to make the grooves this time, instead of a ballpoint pen. The embossing sheets were thinner, so it was easier to make the grooves. I think the pen actually gave me more controembossed-Christmas-ornaments5l over the drawing than the sculpting tool did, so I recommend the pen after all. Except that you need the sculpting tool to puff out the lines on the other side, by going over the lines (beside the lines) to accentuate the lines. Just look at the YouTube video or my previous blog entry about embossing to give instructions on how to do it. Then we cut out the design and pierced a hole through it with an ornament hanger. It looked okay on the tree, I guess.

The silver-colored sheeting looks particularly bad, because it looks like you just put up some crumpled foil on the tree. So do I recommend this? Sort of. It was not until I did the star ornament that I truly thought it looked good, and even though I didn’t glembossed-Christmas-ornaments6ue it to velvet cardboard, that would have looked a lot better, because it would have given the ornament more substance. So, yes, you can make a professional, great-looking ornament if you have some black velvet cardboard to glue it to. I didn’t have the money to buy everything in the YouTube video, so I tried to made do with what I had.

Then it occurred to me that the sheet was thin enough for a bookmark. So my children made bookmarks with it. That was fun and actually looked good. So thumbs up for bookmarks with embossed metal! I wonder what else I can make with it?

Embossing: Ancient Egypt Craft

Monday, November 22nd, 2010


Embossing is harder than it looks. Of course, the copper sheeting from a craft supply store is probably much thinner than the stuff I ordered over the internet. First I used kitchen shears to cut the metal sheeting to the size I wanted, since it was in a roll. Then I taped the copper sheet to a piece of craft foam. You can use anything, even a stack of papers, to make it soft on the other side.


Then I used a ball-point pen to draw an Egyptian design onto the copper. I drew a large bird with wings, similar to many Egyptian necklaces. I chose the design because of the feathers, because I thought raised feathers would be a cool effect.


When I was finished drawing with a ball-point pen, I took the tape off and turned it over. I used the edge of the cap of the pen (attached to the pen) to press down on both sides of each line. Basically, you’re helping the embossing to be more pronounced. When I was finished, I took black paint and brushed it over the whole thing. I was expecting something spectacular, but it was ho-hum. In fact, none of the ink remained in the grooves. So that effect didn’t work at all. Maybe I used the wrong paint. The YouTube videos say to use black ink, but I don’t have any, and I don’t want to buy any because I have no use for it. Embossing equipment was also recommended in those videos. Given my negative experience, I have no desire to shell out money for something that is frustrating.


I recommend using a washed-out pie tin from the store for your first attempt at embossing. That way you will be more familiar with the process and decide whether it’s worth it to spend money on it. I found many how-to videos on YouTube, many of which spoke about making embossed metal into Christmas ornaments. That would be another idea to explore. Also, it seems like if you got an embossing kit from the craft store, it might be super easy to do after all. (The cap of the pen, for example, was way too fat to puff out the other side of the metal like I was trying to do.) But for now, I give the whole experience a thumbs down.

Update: We tried it again with an embossing craft kit, and we loved it! It was way better than this thicker copper sheeting. You can see our new embossed crafts here: Embossed Christmas Ornaments.