Monday, February 15, 2010

Impressabilities Tips/Techniques for the Cuttlebug

I was doing some research for a card class on Spellbinders Impressabilities, used with the Cuttlebug, and after the excellent results I got, I knew I had to share them with you! These are not my ideas, I have just compiled some of them in one spot here on my blog.

The first time I used Impressabilities I was really disappointed with the results. I thought the templates were beautiful, but I couldn't translate that to the paper. Then Sharon, from The Scrapbook Cottage, asked me to do a Technique Class for her using the Impressabilities. Well, I couldn't let her down, so I hopped onto the internet and started doing some research, and here are my results.

Here is the Impressabilities template, Flourish, I used for my samples. It's made from a very thin metal, and is very intricate.

The 'sandwich' I like to use with Impressabilities in the Cuttlebug is:

Plate A
Shims (my Cuttlebug needs 2 pieces of CS, yours may use more, or less)
Plate B
Impressabilities Template
Tan Embossing Mat
Plate B

One of the first things I discovered:

Spritz your CS with water BEFORE sending it through the Cuttlebug.
I found this tip with 'how to use your brass templates in the Cuttlebug', and thought that if it works for them, it should work for the Impressabilities. It doesn't take much water, you could even use a wet sponge and wipe the CS. Just wait about 20 seconds before embossing, so that the water has time to soak into the fibers. By the time I put the rest of my card together, the CS piece was already dry and ready to use. If you need it quickly, you can use your craft heater to dry it.

The photo below shows a piece of CS embossed using the don't even have to look too close to notice that the right side shows more detail. That's because the right side was spritzed with water first, and the left side I left untouched.

Another great TIP I learned:
Ink the Impressabilites with Pigment Ink (for this technique I did NOT spritz the CS with water first, since the ink gives the CS definition), and then send it through the Cuttlebug (ink side up, so that the ink is smooshed into the CS). This is called Letterpress technique.

I did put a piece of scrap paper (not CS) to keep my mat and plates from getting dirty. The photo below shows the result using this technique. I took the Impressabilities to the sink to wash and the ink comes right off.

Pigment Ink is important to use because Dye Ink does not give you as bold of an image.

The photo below shows a sample using CTMH Dye Ink, and it is not nearly as impressive as the sample using Pigment Ink.

This photo shows white CS and dark brown Pigment Ink.

When inking up your Impressabilities, do it on a piece of CS and you will be able to use that piece for your artwork as well.

The photo below shows the result of inking the Impressabilities with Brown Pigment Ink on cream CS. I used the ink pad direct-to-paper. When I removed the Impressabilites to send it through the Cuttlebug, this was the design left behind on the CS.

Use the Impressabilities like a stencil.
For this sample, I used CTMH Dye Ink and a stipple brush. (I did NOT send the Impressabilities through the cuttlebug, I just used it as a stencil.)

Here I used CTMH Dye Ink and a sponge.

Use your templates together.

I used Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels Four Template and Impressabilities together. In the photo below, the brown CS piece I cut out using the Labels Four template. I then spritzed it with water, returned it to the Labels 4 template, and then embossed the piece with the Impressabilities. Notice the clean, unembossed edge.

Here is the 'sandwich' to use:
Plate A
Shims (My Cuttlebug uses 2 pieces of CS, your machine my use more, or less)
Plate B
Nestabilities Labels 4 (with damp CS piece in)
Tan Embossing Mat
Plate B

Cut your Impressabilities apart (yup, you read right, CUT it apart) and use the pieces to emboss small areas.

This photo shows embossing a small section of your CS piece. I also used the tip from above. I spritzed just the corner area with water.

So those were some of the tips I gleaned from many sources. Unfortunately I didn't take note of where because, at the time, I had no intentions of posting my results. But once I SAW the great results, I realized I had to share them with you so that you wouldn't be disappointed with the Impressabilities, like I was, and let them collect dust.

Later this week, I will post the cards I made using these tips & techniques.

If you have any questions, I'll try to answer them for you.



Unknown said...

thanks so much for posting your techniques. I too was dissapointed when I used these...can't wait to try them now!

Carol said...

thank you so much for posting these tips. I can't wait to try them, expecially the inking!

Lorrinda said...

Love this tutorial! I have some embossing plates, but now I want the impressabilities. I think they'll be more versatile since you can use them also as a stencil.

Leslie said...

I was wondering how these worked. Not sure if it is worth the effort. Yours are beautiful though

Carol said...

Like you, mine were collecting dust. Now I have to try them using your tips. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for these step-by-step instructions. I was ready to take my Impressabilities back to the store; now I am ready to give it a try!

Beth Pingry said...

Great tutorial!

Unknown said...

I have just bought my first impressabilities and was disappointed that they didn't come with "sandwich" instructions for the Cuttlebug (like the Nestabilities do.) An internet search led me here and your article is extremely helpful; thanks so much. I can't wait to try them now. The trouble is, I might have to buy duplicates so I can cut one up and keep one whole.

jen said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU so much! I really appreciate these tips and cannot wait to us the beautiful impressabilites I fell in love with!

Unknown said...

Thank you very much for posting these very informative tips and usages. I have had my Impressabilities sitting in my file for years and after being very disappointed the first time I tried them, they have just sat there. I tried doing plain embossing and the results with spritzing (I actually just wiped with a damp cloth - got the same result) water was fantastic. I so had to then try the ink. Used CTMH dye ink and the effect was nice, but then used pigment ink and WOW!!! Just the effect I was wanting for my Christmas cards. Loved it. Thank you once again.


Related Posts with Thumbnails