Monday, December 15, 2008

embossing only, with Nestabilities

The other day I received an email from Alicia who asked if I could post a tutorial about doing embossing only with the Big Shot. This question had to do with this card, in which I'd used a rectangular Nestabilities die to emboss a shape, but not cut it out.

Embossing only is pretty simple. Here's what I do....

Pictured above are my Big Shot, a piece of Die Cuts with a View cardstock, a pinking circle Nestabilities die by Spellbinders, the Sizzix Impressions pad, the black silicone rubber sheet from Sizzix (virtually the same as the tan pad by Spellbinders), and the multipurpose platform open to Tab 1.

My stack from the bottom up is as follows: multipurpose platform open to Tab 1, clear cutting plate, die with cutting side up, cardstock face down, silicone rubber, Impressions pad.

This is the front side of the embossing. Because of the silicone sheet, the die does not cut through the cardstock. It just leaves the embossed impression of the die and its details.

This is that same piece of cardstock from the back. Originally I wanted to show that the die really didn't cut through, but I like the look of this side, too. This shows the raised embossing rather than the debossing that I used in the card and in the first example in this post.

So, since I have the Big Impressions kit by Sizzix, those are the materials that I use--the kit came with the Impressions pad, silicone rubber, and some texture plates. I don't think that you absolutely have to have this kit to make this technique work. In fact, I know that you don't. You can use a thin sheet of fun foam in place of the silicone rubber. All you need is a softer surface that isn't a good cutting surface for the die. In place of the Impressions pad, which is a little bit thicker than the clear cutting pad, you can use the clear cutting pad and two or three Cuttlebug backing shims--you know, the backing from the Cuttlebug embossing folders and dies that I seem to have so many of. :-) I tried this combo and it works. The embossing with the silicone rubber was more crisp and defined though, and that's what I'd recommend using if you've got it. It's just softer and more pliable than fun foam and really brings out the finer details, just like when using it to emboss brass stencils etc.

Hope that answers your question, Alicia. :-)


  1. Yep it does! I used the wizard Pads with my nesties but it's nice to see the silicone rubber and impressions pad used here!

    Thanks again!
    Hugs and Blessings

  2. Thank you for sharing that. "santa" is getting me a BigShot for x-mas and I love seeing all the variations that I will be able to do.

  3. This is great - thanks so much. I am just wondering what i would do as i dont have a tabbed platform, mine is just the one on its own - one of the original ones i would say. any ideas on using this for embossing?

  4. Tania, I pulled out my old untabbed platform for the Big Shot. It looks like it's very close to the same thickness as the multipurpose platform open to Tab 1 so I think you're good to go. Just remember that machines vary in how pressure each exerts, so you may need to shim to get the effect that you're looking for. Just go slowly and never try to force anything through so that you don't end up with a broken machine.

    Thanks, everyone, for stopping by!


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