Friday, September 9, 2016

Technique of the Week: Die Impression Backgrounds

In conjunction with the Art 'n Soul newsletter, this is the newest Technique of the Week.

I got the idea for this from Jennifer McGuire. I have posted techniques before showing how to use your dies to emboss. This takes that a step further and becomes the whole background. Jennifer's idea was to use nesting dies to create an interesting background.

For this card, I used the Memory Box 30069 Stitched Oval Layers, which we have in stock at Art 'n Soul right now!

First, I laid down 3 rows of scotch tape, sticky side up, and started placing the oval layers onto the tape. The tape keeps the ovals in place. You want them to be as evenly spaced as possible. (I know the photo shows 2 rows of tape, but I ended up adding a row in the middle to hold the smallest dies).

I trimmed the edges of the tape, and to keep the tape from being sticky against my paper, I used a powder tool to "de-sticky" the parts of the tape showing through the dies.

The proper sandwich for this is the trickiest part of this technique. You want there to be enough pressure to make a good impression but not too much pressure so that the paper tears. Everyone's die cutting machine is a little different, so you will have to experiment. I had first experimented with regular 80# cardstock, and the metal shim provided too much pressure. Just one piece of additional cardstock for a shim was the perfect amount. However, with the much heavier weight of the watercolor cardstock that I ended up using, the metal shim was needed to give a good impression. The rubber mat is what prevents the dies from cutting.

With my base plate configured for embossing (one tab open) I placed my metal shim down, then the dies against the metal shim, with the paper up (cutting side of the dies against the paper). I use this method to keep my dies from getting bent. Next I put a brown rubber embossing mat on top; one piece of cardstock for an additional shim; then both cutting plates on top of that. 

This is how the white 80# cardstock panel turned out. I like it a lot, and will definitely use it for a future card. A nice die cut right in the middle of this would look great.

For my card today, I ended up using a panel of watercolor paper onto which I had splashed some Nuance color. I stamped the Zen Dragonfly in Versafine Onyx black ink. I centered the dies over the panel with the cutting side against the paper, and taped them down with washi tape. 

I absolutely loved the look the embossed ovals gave to my panel! 

I elected to go one step further and die cut the very center of my panel with the smallest oval. 

This part of the panel was where most of the dragonfly image was stamped. 

I then popped up the image in the center of the panel with fun foam that was cut just smaller than the die cut.

When I stamped the dragonfly onto the Nuance colored paper, I used a MISTI tool. I did NOT want to ruin my colored paper. But when you have wood stamps, a stamp positioner is still a good option

I stamped the sentiment onto another Nuance colored piece, and die cut it with a strip from MFT Die-Namics Blueprints 13. I popped it up at the bottom with foam tape, and scattered sequins around. The panel was matted with So Silk black cardstock. I will definitely be using this technique a lot. It was pretty easy and I love the effect. I hope you give it a try.

Magenta Products used:
(If you are local, please look for products at Art 'n Soul. If you are not local and wish to find Magenta products, you can click on the link in the stamp name below each image, or you can visit the Magenta online store here).

44.018.K Zen Dragonfly
07.514.G May life always allow you to fly high
Nuance colors: Rosebud, Spring Green, Bright Yellow, Purple

Other Products used:
Memory Box 30069 Stitched Oval Layers
MFT-463 Die-Namics Blueprints 13
Tim Holtz watercolor cardstock
Fun foam; foam tape
Versafine Onyx Black ink
EK Success powder tool
So Silk black cardstock
various sequins


  1. I need to try this again. I haven't had luck getting the correct sandwich yet! Love your zen dragonfly!!!


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