Friday, June 22, 2012

Metal Embossed Backgrounds

My friend Cathy Varner showed me this easy metal embossing technique and overnight I became totally addicted to it!  Just ask Cathy, I think I texted her a photo of each and every one I made! There is something about  the depth of  texture and shiny surface that just makes me need to make more, and more, and more.


To start, Cathy cuts up cereal box cardboard and then brushes glue on each piece and wraps it with aluminum foil.   Any glue will do, even Elmer's.  Glue the front of the board and glue the foil flaps that wrap around the back to anchor the foil in place so it won’t slip when embossed. Glue Foil Embossing The cardboard can be cut to any desired size.  For a card front I cut my cardboard to 5.25” by 4” to layer onto the front of a standard 5.5” by 4.25"" card.  Cut first, then glue the foil on. Once the glue is dry the foiled piece can be put into an embossing folder and run through whatever your squishing machine happens to be.  Mine is a Vagabond.

vagabond For my machine I use the Sizzix-Big Shot Pro Accessory  - Solo Platform, Shim and Wafer Thin Die Adapter.  I flip the #2 tab over and through the machine.  Only Tab #1, my two clear cutting mats and the embossing folder go through at one timebase plates folderHere they are all sandwiched and motoring through.

IMG_1919 Each squishing is like magic and I never tire of the process.   I think I have borrowed every embossing folder from friends within a 50 mile radius to do this technique!

IMG_1922 In fact when I ran out of cereal boxes, I discovered that there are many other kinds of the same weight of cardboard that could be gathered from all over the house and used!IMG_1900 

Once they’ve been embossed, these metallic pieces have so much potential.


They can be left shiny or distressed.  I love alcohol inks so that is my go-to for adding color to the pieces. 



This is the card that Cathy gave  to me for inspiration.  Alcohol inks in browns were used with Graphic 45 paper for the focal image.

Cathys Cuttlebug Card

This is my “bubble fish” card using bottle, lettuce and stream alcohol inks for coloring the background.  It has added layers of teal and brown papers.  The image is from a sheet of Graphic 45 paper.  I placed PWA Bubble Beads on the swirls but they really don’t show well in the picture.

Bubblefish Card2 

The raven card above was a collaborative effort with my friend Sarah Payne.  She chose green tones of alcohol ink mixed with butterscotch for the background of the raven.  (An unmounted stamp that might be from Invoke Arts)

The raven piece was layered onto black paper to make it pop out a little bit.  The edges were textured using 1/4” O’So Sticky Tape and Lettuce colored micro beads.  This was then layered onto the embossed background also colored with the green inks.

Whenever in doubt, layer, layer, layer!  This card has a total of six layers.  In my opinion layers always take a card up a notch.

raven2 I hope you’ll give this technique a try – if it brings you half the joy and contentment it has me it’s so worth it!

Hugs, Suzanne


  1. These are so cool! I can see why you got addicted!

  2. Did you try it yet Robbie? I hope you do! Come back and tell me how it went!!



Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated! Thanks for visiting my blog!