Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Guest Designer Spot: let's talk about embossing folders

Please note: this article was originally published on the Cuttlebug Challenge blog. I think enough time has passed that I'm publishing it here as well so that it can go out to my email subscribers and be linked along with my other tutorials.

Hi, this is Jay from IndigoInklings, and I'm back for one of my monthly Guest Designer visits. I thought it would be fun to talk briefly about using other manufacturers' embossing folders with the Cuttlebug, and talk in more detail about the new QuicKutz border embossing folders and how to use them with the Cuttlebug.

I think everyone is familiar with the Cuttlebug embossing folders by ProvoCraft. Sizzix was the next to come out with embossing folders, and QuicKutz has been the most recent to begin producing these.

For now you'll have to trust me that there is one of each brand of A2 folder in the photo above. The ProvoCraft is on top, the QuicKutz next, and the Sizzix on the bottom. What I want to show is that the Sizzix folks listened to crafters and made their folders just a bit wider so that their designs truly cover the entire front of an A2 size card.

Okay, see? There they are. The QuicKutz has the distinctive blue tint.

Just wanted to give you a side view of the folders. They're similar in thickness, but I'll just remind you that if you're not getting as crisp and clear an emboss as you'd like, gradually add thin shims until you're happy with what you're seeing--then make a note of it for next time.

Here is a typical set of Sizzix embossing folders. They sell their product in sets--the folders are usually of varying sizes but the designs are coordinated so that they can be used in combination on a card front or layout.

This is a sampling of QuicKutz embossing folders. They have the A2 size, the 2x2 inch size, and they have the large 2x12 inch border folders. The borders and A2 folders are sold individually; the 2x2's are sold in sets, like the small ProvoCraft folders.

All of these folders can be used with the Cuttlebug machine. I use the same sandwich for the Sizzix and QuicKutz folders that I do for the ProvoCraft Cuttlebug folders.

That's my quick overview of the embossing folders currently out on the market. Now I'd like to talk in more detil about the QuicKutz border folders.

First off, yes, they can be used in the Cuttlebug. (They can be used in the Big Shot, too, but I'll mainly stick to descriptions for the C'bug here.) The sandwich is the same one that you'd normally use for ProvoCraft embossing folders: A plate, B plate, embossing folder with card stock inside, B plate. It's the length of these folders that make using them a little tricky, but that's only because you have to put the sandwich through twice to emboss the full length.

Here's how I made my first pass. I staggered the stack just a bit. This makes it a little easier to feed it through.

Here's how it looks so far.

Now I've moved the plates to the other end of the folder and I'm going to go ahead and just feed that unsandwiched end through first. It's always a good idea to lead with the folded edge if possible. I staggered the plates just a bit again, too.

Here's the full length of the embossed card stock.

And since I think I actually showed the debossed side up there, here's the other side. :-)

Quick aside for Big Shot users: you can do the same with your machine, just use the multipurpose platform on either No Tabs (what I use) or Tab 1, and sandwich the folder between the clear cutting plates as you normally would.

Now a simpler way to accomplish the same thing would be to use the Sizzix extended platform and the cutting plates that are made for use with the Sizzix decorative border dies.

Here you see the extended platform that I was talking about.

It is conveniently very close to the same thickness as the A plate. Big Shot users, you could use this instead of the multipurpose platform.

So the stack/sandwich is: extended platform, extended cutting plate, border embossing folder with card stock inside, extended cutting plate. Roll it through.

Voila! One pass. Easy peasy. I wouldn't recommend buying these items just for this, but if you happen to have them or come across them on clearance or something somewhere, it does simplify things.

But you know, why stop at just embossing these borders the regular way? We crafters like to innovate, right? Let's take things a step farther.

Here I have 4 one inch wide strips of chipboard that I wish were 12" long rather than the 11" that they were in reality. Through the magic of the internet though, it can seem like they were 12" long and it can look like I did the following in one pass. LOL!

In the photo above, I removed the extended cutting plate that had been on the bottom, put the previously embossed card stock that I showed you into a different border folder (one with a line of large dots that happen to be one inch wide), and placed it directly onto the platform. I placed my stack of chipboard strips on top of the circle designs, topped that with an extended cutting plate, and ran it through the machine.

Here's how that piece of embossed card stock looked after that. By the way, I used the chipboard to keep from flattening out the original embossing--a form of selective embossing, eh? This is one of the ways that I've described on my blog for avoiding those unsightly folder lines. In the same way that I don't like to have stray marks made by folder edges, sometimes I don't want to flatten out existing embossing either. This is how I choose where I'd like the pressure to be applied to a folder so that I can avoid flattening embossed images if I don't have to.

You can also embellish the plain scalloped border this way.

So, these border embossing folders would be a fun way to embellish scrapbook layouts. They're a true 12" length, though the widths of the designs vary.

I thought that you might like to see that these can be used for card-making, too, so here are some cards that I worked up.

For this card I used the QuicKutz scalloped border and the QK dots border embossing folders. The stamped images are by Chatterbox and stamped using Memento dye inks. The embellishments are by Hero Arts.

The QuicKutz border for this card is the scallops and dots. The flowers are by Bazzill and Prima. The sentiment is by Amuse Artistamps.

I did a little something different on this card. I embossed it with the A2 damask embossing folder by Sizzix. You can see how it embossed the entire card front. I embossed over that with the QuicKutz scalloped border which left a faint impression of the original embossing. I didn't do it justice in the photo, but looking at it in real life, it almost looks like there's a scalloped border vellum overlay on the card. The sentiment is by My Sentiments Exactly and was stamped using Memento ink. The punched embellishments were made using the EK Success Black-Eyed Susan Punch & Stamp set and Memento inks.

For this last card I wanted to show that you can use other border folders in combination with the QuicKutz borders. This is the QK scallops and dots combined with one of the Cuttlebug Just My Type border folders. I added the scored lines using my Scor-It to set off that border design a bit more. The sentiment is by Hero Arts and stamped using Memento ink. The stick pin embellishment is by Maya Road.

I hope that gives you some useful information regarding all of these embossing folders that have become available recently. I also hope that I've given you a bit of inspiration as far as some fun ways in which some of these new border folders can be used both individually and in combination to dress up cards quickly and easily. If I managed to inspire you, I love hearing about it and seeing what you've made. Feel free to leave a link here or on my blog so that I can take a peek and be inspired by your creativity, too. :-)

Thanks, and I'll see you next time!

1 comment:

  1. Oh neat!! I love that and hope to try it when I get all the extended plates and stuff!! :) Love the card ideas~


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