One of the things that I have always really liked about stamping is learning techniques that make people take a second look and wonder - how in the world did she do that? One of my very favorite techniques that I picked up pretty early on is the cracked glass technique. I discovered it in a Creating Keepsakes magazine years ago, sat down and played around with the technique to figure it out, and have brought it back every now and again when creating and making projects. Let me take you step by step through the technique so that you can create a, "how did he/she do that?" effect for your next papercrafting project...
A technique like cracked glass is one that takes a bit more time to do and so I try to make the most of it when I get what I need ready. Meaning, I try to do more than one project or mass produce a project.
(lots of pictures ahead!)
I stamped images from the Autumn Abundance set both on kraft and Rustic White cardstock and then colored them in with Copic markers. I stamp like this a lot - multiple images on one page, especially when I want to mass produce what I am making.
After I got everything colored, I punched out the images with the super circle punch (Marvy) and gathered my supplies. You will need Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) - I like to have it in a bowl type container, a Versamark pad, a heat tool, and you also might want something to hold your images while embossing them to prevent burning your fingers.
Ready? Here we go...
I take my image and press it right into the Versamark pad. I find by doing it this way that I get the coverage that I want without getting ink all over my work area.
Drop your image into the container of UTEE.
Here's what your image coated in UTEE looks like before you heat it. UTEE is chunkier than regular embossing powder, like a sugar consistency. You can use regular embossing powder for this technique, but it will take more layers. With the UTEE, I do about 2-3 layers.
Use your heat tool to melt the first layer of UTEE...
The first layer won't be smooth. To add another layer, work fast. Drop your image back into the UTEE while it is still warm. More UTEE will stick to your image.
Heat your image again to melt the second layer of UTEE.
You are going to be able to tell when you have enough layers. You will have a nice, thick, clear glossy coverage on your image.
Let your images cool completely before moving on to the next step. Some people like to use a freezer to speed up the process, but I find the UTEE cools pretty quickly.
You could definitely leave your image like this. The clear coating on the top is definitely beautiful as is. But the cracked glass effect gives it just a little something more...
When your images are completely cool, bend and fold the pieces to crack the UTEE. This step can be a little scary - you might feel like you are going to wreck your piece. Remember, it's just paper! Just do it! Especially when you get numerous images ready for your projects, it's not such a big deal to have some not turn out. The other thing is, you can reheat the UTEE with your heat tool to smooth out the cracks and re-crack it again.
The final thing I like to do, is press the cracked image into ink to add some distressing and color to the cracks that you just created. Press your image right into the ink - I used the Tea Dye Duo to distress the images for this project. Work the image well into the ink pad.
Then wipe the excess ink off with a paper towel.
The image on the left has not been distressed with the ink, while the image on the right has been - you can see the difference that it makes.
Aren't they all beautiful? Just ready to incorporate into projects and since I made up a bunch at once, I can quickly use them on a variety of projects...
Like a scrapbook page... (click any of the pictures to see them larger)
I love the vintage feel to the cracked glass and so made this 8 x 8 vintage page with pictures of my great grandparents.
Use the same layout with a cracked glass image to create a special card.
The text background is from the Background Basics: Text Style set. I stamped the text onto Rustic White cardstock in black ink and use the Tea Dye Duo to distress it. The flourish is from my Beyond Basic Borders and the sentiments I used are either from Beyond Basic Borders or from my Journaling Lines set.
Package up a sweet little gift...
It was so easy to dress up this clear top tin with elements that I used on both of my previous projects.
Ready to create some of your own projects? I would love to see - Add a link in the comments...!
Thanks so much for stopping by today - now get cracking!
Cracked Glass Projects
stamps: Autumn Abundance, Beyond Basic Borders, Background Basics: Text Style, Journaling Lines (Papertrey Ink)
ink: True Black, Vintage Cream, Tea Dye Duo (Papertrey Ink), Versamark (Tsukineko)
cardstock: kraft, Rustic White (Papertrey Ink)
other: Scarlet Jewel & New Leaf grosgrain ribbon, Scarlet Jewel & New Leaf vintage mix buttons, Rustic Jute button twine, 2.5 oz. round clear top tin (Papertrey Ink), super circle punch, mega scallop circle punch (Marvy), 1" circle punch (EK Success), 1/8" circle punch (Fiskars), scallop border punch (Stampin' Up!), Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (Ranger), heat embossing tools, Copic markers, dimensionals