Friday, May 23, 2008

selective embossing with texture plates

Since I just touched on this yesterday, I thought I'd go into more detail about selective embossing, particularly selectively embossing only part of the texture plates that are made by Sizzix and by Fiskars. These may not produce as deep an impression as the embossing made using the Cuttlebug embossing folders, but they can certainly be distinct enough, and they have the advantage of being bigger than the folders.

Here's a card that I made using a Sizzix texture plate, specifically, Spring Vine. The stamped area had been left unembossed.

The stamped images are all by Inkadinkado and stamped with Memento dye inks. The flowers are Primas with a Robin's Nest Dew Drop center. I made the embossed lines with my Scor-it.

I know that some folks out there like to roll their embossing folders in partway and then back out to do their partial embossing. That won't work here. You could do the top and bottom, but there's no way to do the sides because the texture plate is too wide to fit through the opening of the Big Shot or the Cuttlebug sideways.

So, here's how I went about selectively embossing my texture plate.

First, go to your stash of stuff that you keep because it might come in handy one day. Pull out some of that chipboard that you've been hoarding. It'll look like this....

Now take about three of those, and cut them to the width of a texture plate. Might as well take advantage of the fact that these are so big. This also will eliminate those unembossed edges for people who don't like the fact that the CB embossing folders won't go all the way to the edge of an A2 sized cardfront. The width is 5 7/8", by the way. Here are my three. The length doesn't really matter so long as it's at least as long as the texture plate. You can always trim it later.

I decided that I wanted to make a rectangular opening so that my unembossed area would be a rectangle. I pulled out my biggest rectangle Nestabilities die and cut out my rectangle, like this....

I like these dies because you can place them anywhere to make your cut. The disadvantage is that you can only cut through so much thickness. So, I made a pass for each piece of chipboard, placing the die in roughly the same spot each time, and I had these....

I glued the three layers together using my ATG. I lined up the openings and edges for both the die cuts and the cutouts. You can set the die cuts aside for the moment, but they might be useful later if you decide to turn these into embossing folders, as I mentioned yesterday. Here is how it looked before I put mine aside. I wanted to show the thickness.

Stroke of genius or pure luck? I'll let you decide. ;-) But look! One of the clear plates with my triple layer cutout on top of it is roughly the same thickness as my Impressions pad. Doesn't that work out nicely.

Okay, so here's the stack or sandwich that I'll put through my Big Shot. Essentially you follow the directions on the multipurpose platform. So, from the bottom up: platform, texture plate with the desired design facing up (these are two-sided, eh?), cardstock face down, silicone embossing pad (black or tan, doesn't matter), chipboard cutout that I made, clear cutting plate. I'm using the clear cutting plate here instead of the black Impressions pad because of the added thickness of the chipboard.

Here is my stack all nice and neat and ready to put through the machine. Let me just note here that I do occasionally listen to my own advice. I decided to start thinner, so I did not leave my multipurpose platform open to Tab 1 as I normally would. I used no tabs.

And here's how that turned out. This is Sizzix Formal Fanfare.

And here's another, just for fun. This time it's Sizzix Spring Vine.

And yeah, I can already hear the question, can this be done with the Cuttlebug? I could probably have tweaked my stack a bit more, but the answer is yes. This was made with the Sizzix Diamonds texture plate.

Now these texture plates are less forgiving than the embossing folders. Too little shimming and you won't get a good impression. Too much and you risk breaking your machine. The sandwich needs a good squeeze to give the best impression though. You definitely have to be more patient here finding the right combo for you and your particular machine, because even CB's differ somewhat from each other with respect to how much the rollers squeeze the sandwich. Once you hit on the right combo, make a note of it so you'll know just what you need next time.

For the above, I used plate A, texture plate with design facing up, cardstock facing down, silicone pad, chipboard cutout, and about 4 more layers of chipboard. I tried plate B instead of all of the chipboard layers at first, but it was too thick to put through. I think I could have added another layer of cardstock to the chipboard combo to get an even better impression, but at least you get the idea and can see that it works. Misting the cardstock before embossing might have helped a bit, too.

So, if you live some place where you get to enjoy a three day weekend this weekend, then this is a fairly simple project that you can try. With a little effort you can get more use out of those nifty texture plates, and I have to say that some of the designs I've seen recently are really pretty!

Hope this helps get some wheels turning and some weekends off to an inspiring start! :-)


  1. Another wonderful tutorial. Thanks for the inspiration. I have the Fiskars Texture Plates and a Cuttlebug. I've had some success but the impression was faint. I probably just need to add another shim.

    Also, I'm going to try to make the chipboard frame - only I have the Nestie Ovals. I tried your sandwich w/a magnetic frame - again the impress was faint; could not clearly determine where the embossing started and stopped.

    Thanks again.

  2. Thisw is a stroke of genius!! I have these things but not had time to play much- and thought their application was rather limited--but this is such a great idea. Thank you for sharing how to do this.

  3. love the instuctions, only thing is my sizzix diamond texture plate looks different than yours, i have mine about 3 mths, maybe yours are older and they have changed the design

  4. any clue where i could get that diamond texture plate like yours


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