Monday, May 18, 2009

Ten Second Studio molds & Big Shot

Gotta love versatility! This post has to do with Ten Second Studio molds. These are dense plastic molds sort of similar to plastic texture plates but with a lot more heft and more deeply etched designs. They're like texture plates on steroids! These were designed with metal-working in mind, and the Ten Seconds Studio site has a wonderful gallery and great videos for using these molds with metals in very creative and gorgeous ways.

But of course, versatility is the name of the game around here, and I was asked the other day by Alicia if I knew if these could be adapted for use with card stocks and/or paper. Now that I have these in hand, I can answer the question. The simple answer is, yes. If that's all you wanted to know, you can stop reading here, and thanks for stopping by. :-) If you want to see my test runs with these molds using my Big Shot, then read on.

These are some of the molds that I'd ordered by happenstance not too long before I'd received Alicia's note. That's a Making Memories paper trimmer, so the lines denote 1/2" intervals, just to give you an idea of the size of each type of mold. They have several sizes--up above you see the Big Daddy and Kabuka, which are both double-sided, the border mold (hollow on the back, so I need to play with this one before I say more), and the Skinny Minis (there are actually two molds side by side in the packaging). The Big Mama molds aren't pictured here, but they're slightly smaller than the Big Daddy molds and single-sided--at least that's what I gathered from watching the Ten Seconds Studio videos.

The materials that I chose to play with are 36 Ga soft craft aluminum, card stock by Georgia Pacific, and some chipboard--heavier than cereal box weight, more like the back of a sturdy legal pad.

This is the Big Daddy mold. As you can see, it's very thick. I sandwiched it between two of the small embossing folders by QuicKutz in the photo, just for the sake of comparison. You might also be able to make out that it's a two sided mold--that is, it has designs on both sides.

If you watched the July '08 video on the Ten Second Studios site, you saw that they used two Wizard charm plates to emboss using the Big Shot. For those of us who don't have those plates and who aren't even sure what we have that could compare, I've experimented and come up with stacks using more traditional Big Shot accessories.

Because the mold is so thick, I eliminated one of the clear cutting plates right off and I also used the multipurpose platform on No Tabs. Here you see from the bottom up, or left to right in the photo, the multipurpose platform with No Tabs, Big Daddy mold, chipboard, black silicone rubber, and one clear cutting plate. It was a tight squeeze with a fair amount of resistance, but it did roll through. (I should add here that I've now viewed a more recent video on their site and hooray (and go figure), they used a similar combo to what I used here, but they used the black impressions pad instead of the clear cutting plate.)

This is a good time to reiterate that it's never a good idea to force anything through your machine because you'll risk damage to it or to your accessories. Also, all machines are not created equal--my stack may be too thick for your particular machine, or it may roll through more easily. Just depends, okay? So do take care if you're experimenting.

Here is the chipboard after it was run through. This is a heavier piece of chipboard, so the embossed design is not going to be sharp and crisp due to the thickness of the material.

This is the view of that same piece of chipboard from behind. This probably gives you a better idea of just how deeply etched these molds are; it's a very nicely debossed design.

And I had to try these with metal. This is the real reason that I'd wanted some of these. I used the same stack as before, figuring that it was a tight fit and that the pressure would probably still be more than adequate for embossing a much thinner sheet of metal.

Here's how that turned out. It's so pretty!

Now it was time to try it with card stock. I misted it with some Paper Glide first (water would also be fine), then I used the stack described above. The design looked great, but the card stock had cracked in a few places. Not a surprise since I heard it cracking as I rolled it through.

So, I decided that I needed a thinner stack. I was already using No Tabs, so I set the multipurpose platform aside and replaced it with four clear cutting pads, then the mold, the card stock, the black silicone rubber, and my blue crease pad (I didn't have any more cutting plates handy.) rounded out the rest of the stack.

The design was not quite as crisp, but the card stock didn't crack either. I didn't do it this time around, but I could have tried running it through again with a card stock shim or a Cuttlebug backing shim to see if I could get a more crisp design without cracks. You could also try the black impressions pad instead of the crease pad and see if that adds enough thickness to the stack without causing tearing or cracking.

I did want to try something fun because of the double-sided-ness of the molds. I used three clear cutting plates, then a sheet of black silicone rubber, a piece of card stock, the mold, another piece of card stock, another sheet of silicone rubber, then the black impressions pad (You could substitute a clear cutting plate with some shims if you don't have the impressions pad.) Can you tell where I'm going with this?

And here is how that experiment turned out. I successfully embossed two pieces of card stock with both designs of a double-sided mold in one pass. Too fun!

This is the side of the Big Daddy mold that you hadn't seen until now. Cool, eh?

Okay. Now the Skinny Minis are not only smaller, but they're also one-sided, so they're thinner than the Big Daddy molds.

I pulled out the multipurpose platform again. This time I opened it to Tab 1 and stacked the mold, card stock, black silicone sheet, and then clear cutting plate on top.

I found that it was best to run the mold through the machine lengthwise to get the most even impression.

This is the result using the 36 Ga aluminum again. I'd changed my stack to: multipurpose platform on Tab 1, mold, aluminum, silicone rubber, black impression pad.

This is the same stack that I just described, but this time I ran it through with chipboard instead of metal.

Since it was tough to appreciate the embossing in the previous photo, I accented it a bit with some ink for this one. I thought that the fairly detailed mold did a nice job of embossing a fairly heavy chipboard.

My main use for these molds will still probably be embossing sheets of craft metal for fun embellishments, but it's good to know that they can also be used with chipboard and with card stock to use for embossed or debossed designs layered on cards or on scrapbook pages.

For Cuttlebug users, I'll test and post sandwich combos for these molds and the Cuttlebug machine at a later date, maybe next week. Got lots of stuff going on this week. All good stuff though. :-)


  1. Thanks so much Jay!
    Hugs and Blessings

  2. Hi Jay,
    I have looked at these molds SO many times! Very cool that you experimented with them and posted the results.
    Makes me wonder if you could emboss both sides of a Fiskars plate at the same time in the same way?
    Love your's ALL about TEXTURE for me!

  3. excellent demo! i just saw these at my local convention but didn't buy them because i wasn't sure how they would work with my cuttlebug. so i'm anxious for your next review!
    tfs, sandyh

  4. Very helpful information, Jay! I had used 10 Seconds molds with metal in my Big Shot, but I had not tried it with paper. Great to see what nice results you got with cardstock!

    Would you mind if I share your blog URL to my customers? I think they'll really appreciate the step-by-step instructions! Thanks so much!


  5. Not a problem at all, Bonnie. Please feel free, and thanks for stopping by. :-)

  6. Thank you for your clear and concise article. I no longer go onto the TENsecond Studio site because their videos just put me off. I want to be educated, I don't want to see a mother and daughter acting goofy! Thank you for the education.


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