Friday, January 29, 2010

Glitz and Glam Background Technique

It's snowing right now. We have around 3" on the ground. That means it's also cold, so I'm going to heat things up a bit today. I thought for sure I had shown this technique before on my blog, but after spending a good deal of time searching for it, I have decided I've never posted it.

Back in 2008, when my friend Theresa came to visit (see this recent post), she helped demo this technique while I took the photos. To my knowledge, this is an original background technique. I've never seen it anywhere before. As with many of my techniques, this one came about accidentally. I have several rolls of clear acrylic book covering that I was gifted with and had planned to make some backgrounds using it for a different technique. Specifically, I cut strips of various colors of cardstock in 1" strips, then planned to adhere them to the clear sticky backed material. After they were adhered, I planned to cut those strips in the opposite direction and adhere more clear material. Unfortunately, this stuff I have was too old and wouldn't stick to the cardstock. In frustration, I tried the following technique that I call "Glitz and Glam":

Clear shelf lining, book covering, or any clear contact paper sticky on one side
Heat tool
Embossing powders, several colors (colors of your choice)
Heat resistant surface

Cut the clear contact paper to a manageable size.

Remove the protective backing, exposing the sticky side of the paper.

Place the contact paper on your heat resistant surface sticky side up. You may have to weight it down, depending on how much it wants to curl.

Tap a small amount of your first embossing powder (EP) color in various areas of the paper.

Repeat step four using a second color. The second color should be in a different location, preferably in an opposite corner.

Repeat step four using as many colors as you choose, until the entire surface is covered with a thin layer of embossing powder.

Using your heat tool, emboss the entire surface. Once cool, run your hand over the entire piece to be sure all the embossing powder has been heated. This is a very deceptive process and you will probably find you missed a few places.

This is what the completed front or (formerly) sticky side looks like when finished.

This is what the completed back or smooth side looks like. Sometimes the back is prettier than the front.

The brand of clear covering was quite thin. Theresa was able to hold the heat tool close to the surface, which is not normally the case. I also have some clear covering that is quite thick and will bubble and melt if the heat tool is too close. Be sure to test your covering before you begin your actual piece.

The thicker the EP is applied, the less transparent it is. If you continue adding EP to the project, it is best to do so after you have begun the embossing process, rather than at the beginning.

If you get a blob of EP on your page, gently tap the underneath (smooth) side to redistribute it. If you like the look of more EP in one spot, be sure your heat tool is far above the surface when you begin, or you will just blow the EP away. I cannot stress enough how you should run your hands over the cooled project. You may think you have melted all the EP, but there will probably be some you have missed. The surface will feel smooth if the EP is completely heated and grainy if it isn't.

Experiment with different colors, and use clear EP if you want to use the sheet as a foreground, rather than a background. Gold and black are especially nice. This is an easy, beginner background.

In keeping with spotlighting blogs that are not part of the OWOH giveaway (until after the event has closed), here is a blog with so much eye candy, you might have to give yourself an insulin shot. I present you with Sue Pelletier's blog. I saw her work in Cloth, Paper, Scissors and just had to find her blog. If you like mixed media (and who doesn't if you follow my blog?), today's blog will have you going "WOW."

6 thoughtful remarks:

suepelletierlaughpaint said...

hi! thanks for the nice comment and your fabulous shout out!!! LOVE your work and glad we connected through blog lalala land!
cheers for a great Friday!

Diane said...

I have everything you listed here--now I just have to find it :( I couldn't find the freezer paper at my local grocery store, which is actually a pretty big store. Other than Sam's, do you know where else I can get it, or should I just keep looking at different grocery stores in my area?

Sherry said...

I'm new to your blog (I'm iced in and visiting lots of links in lots of blogs I follow) and I LOVE that you share techniques.

I'm wondering how you use this background and the crayon one since they're slick and paint/glue won't stick.

Thanks ~ Sherry

Terri Kahrs said...

Another awesome technique! I can only imagine how gorgeous this looks "in person"! Happy weekend! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Carol Anne's Boutique said...

Hi Elizabeth, Love this technique also, and I have everything to try it! Yesterday I picked up the alcohol inks & blending solution so now I can try your previous one too! Thanks so much Elizabeth!
Hugs, Carol Anne

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

Love how everything seems an art/craft supply in your eyes AND you go forth and create with it!!!