Creating a stencil sentiment for heat embossing

Creating a stencil sentiment for heat embossing

I don’t know about anybody else but I don’t have a huge stash of stamps or dies and as much as I keep telling my self to buy more, the price of some nice sentiment stamps and dies can be a little pricey, however I am setting my self a goal to invest in one decent stamp/die a month if I can afford it. In the meantime, whilst I wait for my stash to grow, I still want to produce some great cards with bold sentiments. So I came to the conclusion, why not use my Silhouette Cameo to create some sentiment stencils from which I can heat emboss onto a card….I got a little excited at this prospect! I can say it was a great success and today I am going to show how I did this.

Materials required:

  • Silhouette Cameo or other computerized cutting machine with the appropriate design software.
  • Acetate sheets – the sheets I used are less the 1mm thick. I do not know the make as my local art shop sells them in singles with no packaging. They are not the thinnest acetate sheets you use to write on for over head projection, but they are quite flexible. Try a test cut first to ensure your machine will cut through your medium you will use. You could use card however after a few uses card may start to deteriorate and will not last as long.
  • Versamark ink or any other clear watermark sticky ink – you could use pigment inks but be sure of the colour as this may show through the embossing powder.
  • Embossing powder of your choice.
  • Heat gun

Step 1

In the design studio type out your word and select the font you desire, here I used Foire Gras. As you can see the letters over lap and don’t have a continuous outline, so if I cut this out like this I would have disjointed areas. 


Step 2:

Use the weld option to join all your letters up to get one continuous outline. Only do this when you are happy with the font type you’ve selected and the size of the font you want. My font ended up being 9cm in width as I wanted a fairly large sentiment. 


Step 3

For the stencil to work, we cannot have the inner of the ‘e’ and ‘o’ separate from the outline otherwise when you come to daub in the ink you will have no letter definition. To rectify this you need to ‘cut’ the letters using the knife tool. Make sure the final cut is selected to solid in order for the knife to cut through and join up the ends. As you can see here I have cut both the ‘e’ and the ‘o’. Make sure the gap is reasonably large otherwise your stencil can be too fragile and could easily break at these points. 


Step 4

Draw a box around your stencil, this will form the stencil as the negative cut out of hello provides the space to stamp through. Ensure you give enough space around the edge of the word to prevent you inking outside of the stencil.


Step 5

Cut this out on your machine. The machine settings I used for this material were: blade – 7, thickness -33, speed -2 and double cut. Please do a test cut on your material as these settings may not work and need adjusting.  

I like to keep the negative cut for future projects where you wish to mask a sentiment.


Step 6

Position your stencil over the area you wish to emboss your sentiment. I used washi tape to secure the stencil in place. 


Step 7

Use your sponge dauber and press this onto your versamark ink pad to soak up some ink. Daub this over your stencil applying an even layer. 


Step 8

Apply embossing powder over the sentiment. Now you will notice I made a few rookie mistakes inking the sentiment. The background image was a distress ink background and although I had applied a heat gun to it, it was still not dry enough to cover with embossing powder as the powder is also sticking to the distressed ink background. In addition, I also forgot to using my anti-static powder tool and rub it over the background before inking. This would have helped reduced the excess powder adhering to the background.


Step 9

However if this also happens to you, do not worry. Just grab a small brush and brush away any powder where it should not be, before you heat set it. 


Step 10

Using a heat gun, set the embossing powder. 


To finish this card off, I embossed a small sentiment onto a strip of velum and applied this to the card. I trimmed the card down on three sides to get a 1/4 inch border and I applied double sided foam tape to the back for the card to give some dimension.

I hope you have enjoyed this and picked up a few tips and tricks from my experiments and mistakes.

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