Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Another UTEE frame from Monday's show with hints and tips

This is the largest of the 3 frames I showed.  As I mentioned on the show I must have made them all about 12 years ago and every now and then I decide to change the colours so I add a bit more to them.

I was hoping to have some step by step photos but haven't been able to do them today so I will describe how I made them.

Acrylic paint
Non-stick craft sheet
Heat gun
Versamark or other embossing pad
Ultra thick embossing powder
Various colours of embossing powder to suit your colour scheme
Red rubber stamps, the more deeply etched the better
Embellishments, can be beads, wire, glitter glue, charms, filigrees or other chip board shapes

This is not a quick project, but more of something to keep going back to and you will use a lot of embossing powder, especially on a large frame like this.

I painted all the frames with matt black acrylic paint first, painting them means that you don't have to have embossing powder all over which also adds to the dimension.  You can add mica pigment powders to painted areas afterwards if you wish to add more colour.

I demonstrated stamping into a piece on the show but initially you will need to add powder to the frame.

Have a good pile of paper under your non stick sheet as it will be getting really hot, this will protect your table surface.

Ink directly onto the painted surface with a Versamark ink pad, Versamark is a great pad to use for this if you have one as it is a lot stickier than most embossing pads.  Dab the ink pad over a small area, you may feel comfortable just working on a 2" or 3" square to start with.  Sprinkle on the embossing powder, I actually used UTEE black. 

You can use embossing powders that you don't particularly like the colour of to form the basis. If they are ordinary powders they will take longer to build up though.

Tip the powder off and heat, you can repeat this all the way around the frame.

There are a few options for adding further layers. 

Continue adding powders directly onto the frame
Either re-heat the powder you have already added until it is sticky again and then add more powder or allow to cool and re-ink with your Versamark pad.

Heat the powder in a melt pot If you have a melt pot, I feel it would be safer to tip the melted UTEE onto the craft mat to cool before adding rather than tipping directly onto the frame.  If you over pour you could get into a terrible mess, plus it is going to be very hot as well as uncontrollable!

Heat the powder on the non stick sheet with your heat gun and then add them to the frame.
Ink the non-stick craft sheet with the versamark pad and emboss directly onto the mat.  It is the same as embossing a chip board shape or tile except there is no card.

You can add the powders and tip off the excess before heating or use a teaspoon or small scoup to add more while the UTEE is still hot.  Once you get a few layers on it will be so hot that the embossing powders almost melt immediately when they are added.

If you do this make sure you heat gun is well above the powder to avoid it blowing everywhere.  If you have a hair dryer style heat gun you will find this easier to control.  Start high and gradually lower the heat gun.

Allow the pieces you have made to cool.  When you are ready to add pieces to the frame, heat the area on the frame and place the piece you have made on the mat into the sticky UTEE and it will act as a glue. 

When you have built up lots of texture you can either warm areas on the frame and stamp into them there or make them on the mat and add them once they have cooled. 

Make sure the powder is really hot all over, you cannot harm it by overheating on the mat it will just go very fluid.  Ink a stamp with Versamark ink to act as a releasing agent, stamp into the UTEE and allow it to cool before removing the stamp. 

You may find that some of the powder is still hot and is left in the detail of the stamp.  Allow it to cool completely then you can remove it, it should just pop out easily or you can use tweezers.  As long as you are using proper rubber stamps not clear or acrylic stamps, it will not damage the rubber.

Snap the embossed pieces from the mat and add them randomly onto the frame.  Use different stamps to create different patterns and textures.

When adding your cooled pieces do not over heat the embossing powder on the frame as if it is too hot it will melt your stamped piece and you will loose the detail.  If your piece doesn't stick first time, carefully heat the piece on the frame and it will melt into the background.

The good thing about this is that if you are not unhappy with how it looks you can simply reheat and start again.

Save your favourite colours for the last layers.  Moonglow embossing powders look particularly lovely, especially against the black background.

Once you are happy with your frame you can add embellishments, heat small areas and add micro beads, the melted UTEE will also hold chippie shapes in place.

For glitter glue, allow to cool, add the glitter glue to your finger and rub over an areas that has detail.

You may wish to add your mica powders to a clear drying glue such as one of the perfect paper adhesives from US Artquest as this will ensure the mica is sealed in place and as it is a good achieval glue it will ensure the mica colours remain vibrant in the future.   When mixed with the glue a good way to apply it is with your fingers as you can work it into the detail.

I hope I've explained it well enough!  I have another frame to show another time, but if you have any questions, just ask and I will try to help.  I know Lynne has a frame ripe for embossing, I hope this helps Lynne. 

Suze Weinberg saw the frames a number of years ago and she approved of them and thought I'd done well:)

Well, not much notice but Monday's Ideal World decoupage show will be repeated tonight at 8pm on Create and Craft.

We are back to white stuff outside, so glad we visited Peterborough early this week!

Keep warm:)



  1. Great work - very nice and interesting design. I like this style

  2. Hi Jill
    Managed to watch the show tonight.Very VERY inspiring!! Got the burnt fingers to prove it!!!!lol

    Debbie xxxx

  3. Wonderful! Like this one even better than the other. It's great to know how you did it, so thanks for taking the trouble to explain it all. I'm just waiting for some spare time to get started on mine! x

  4. Gorgeous, so sad I missed the show.


Your comments are always really appreciated!