Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Toys: Embossing Paste

I used to love to do dry embossing...stick a stylus in my hand, give me a brass template and a light box and I was a happy crafter!  But once the machines came out where you could emboss and die cut...well, those little brass templates just got filed away and haven't been used in a long time.

When I was at Scrapbook Expo yesterday Cyndi and I stopped at a booth where embossing with a paste was demonstrated.  It was really a pretty interesting demo and Cyndi and I were both hooked...bait, line, and sinker!  You know how it see something demonstrated that looks great and then you get home and it's a disaster and NEVER turns out the way it was demonstrated!  Know what I mean?  Well, thankfully this was pretty easy to duplicate but took a little bit of trial and error for me.

The product is called Tessler Dimensional Elements and there is a website listed on the container which is but I was unable to find the paste on the site.  The paste comes in two types: a clear, glossy gel and a white matte paste.

To use it you select your stencil (I used brass stencils) and postition them on your cardstock.  You want to use a removable tape to anchor it....the woman at the booth said blue painter's tape worked fine and I had some of that on hand so brought it out:

Don't try to be skimpy with the tape because it also helps protect your paper (tip from the experienced there, by the way!).
Once your template is secured you can open the tub of glop (I love that technical term!)...the kit I bought came with a little plastic applicator that looked similar to a knife.

Begin to spread the glop over the template...the more the merrier! But you really don't need a ton at your personal party here...a little goes a pretty long way!

Once you have good coverage you can use your applicator to smooth off the excess:
Remove all the pieces of tape except for the top one and then lift up your "hinged" template to make sure you have the coverage you want.  If your coverage is how you want it you can remove the brass template which should then be scrubbed with an old toothbrush and some water and mild detergent.  (The residue did come off easily but I would imagine it would be more difficult if it were dried on.)

And as you can see it left a raised embossed image.  Then you have to leave it to dry.  I am not good at letting things dry.  I always have an irresistable urge to TOUCH!  I think it took about 30 minutes to dry .  The glossy dries shiny...the white dried more matte like.

Once your item is dry you can secure the template back over your embossed image and use inks to dab in your color with small paint dabbers.  I used pigment inks so I was able to add a little glitter at the end while the inks were still wet for a little extra shine.

Here are some samples of finished images:

I would imagine you could put a small amount of the paste in another container and then add some drops of ink to color it.  I didn't try that, though...I really liked the white matte paste against the dark backround.  The trees above on the black were not inked at all. 

It was fun...and easy...and the result was really nice.  I'd definitely recommend this stuff if you can find it and feel like pulling out your old recently unused brass templates!

Happy Crafting!


  1. Cool technique! Never tried this it's something else to try:) Thanks for sharing! :)Amy

  2. Like your embossing with this & the finished images. From someone who has more brass embossing templates than Cricut cartridges I'm going to be looking for the paste. When you smooth off the paste do you put the excess back into the container to reuse or is it wasted?

  3. Hi we have a similar thing in the uk and you can sprinkle it with glitter before it dries ..... It looks fab xx
    Jen xx

  4. Yours turned out great! I'm glad you posted your technique because I forgot a couple of important steps and mine didn't turn out so great. After seeing yours I'm anxious to give it another try.

  5. That's really pretty, Susan! And congrats on using some of your existing supplies again (unlike me, who just files everything away and forgets about it). And long live painter's tape!

  6. Cool, Susan! I don't have any old brass templates so I will probably never do this, but yours turned out wonderful.

  7. I just love the look of embossed images. Nicely done.


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