Friday, 9 January 2009

Get cracking!

Sorry for the delay in posting, I've been off sick with some horrible cold/flu thingy. Hope this huuuuuuge post will make up for it!

It's the long-awaited cracked glass technique tutorial that I promised you back in September (was it really that long ago?) in this post.

With this card I set myself a little challenge. I realise there are some Stampin' Up!® colours which I neglect because, dare I say it? Well, I just don't like them. Taken With Teal is one of them. Every time I try to use it, I end up using Tempting Turquoise instead. So this year I am going to try to use some of my least favourite colours and learn to like them!

This challenge was easy as I was inspired by Alison's striped jumper, which was Taken with Teal, Old Olive, Certainly Celery and Night of Navy. Her jumper looked good so I thought I'd get on with the colours for a card, too - and I do quite like them together! So that's a success story for Taken With Teal!

So, on to the cracked glass tutorial.

For this technique, you will need:
Ink pad
Versamark® ink pad or embossing pad
Clear embossing powder or Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE)
A heat gun
Access to a freezer (yes, a freezer)

The short version:
You emboss all over a piece of cardstock, several times so that the layer of embossing is nice and thick. Then you freeze it so it’s brittle and manipulate it so that the embossing cracks all over.

The detailed version:

1. Stamp your image on a piece of cardstock either the size you want it to be or slightly larger. Don’t make it too large or you will end up wasting a lot of embossing powder.

2. Ink the entire piece with Versamark.

3. Cover the inked cardstock with embossing powder or UTEE then heat to emboss.

4. While the embossed layer is still melted, add another layer of powder and heat again. If only part of the image retains the embossing powder, you weren’t quick enough – but don’t worry about it, just heat it to melt and try again. If this keeps happening, you may be better to allow the cardstock to cool each time, then add more Versamark to make the next layer of powder stick. But if you can work quickly and add powder while the previous layer is still melted, it does save time.

5. Repeat as necessary. If you are using ordinary embossing powder, you will probably need about five layers. If using UTEE, three layers should be enough. You’ll see from the picture that I used tweezers to hold the cardstock; this is because heated embossing powder is VERY hot, and sticks to your skin. Ask me how I know. You’ll also notice that there is a small area that is not embossed. You can either trim this off or patch it up with more Versamark and embossing powder.

7. Your image will now be cold and, as you can see, probably curled up, too. Don’t worry about this.

8. While it is still cold, manipulate it gently until the embossing powder cracks. The great thing about this technique is that, if you don’t like the look of the cracking, you can heat it up and start again!

9. If you like, you can add some colour to the cracks. I did this using Stampin’ Pastels® but found that it coloured the whole of the embossed piece. If you want colour just in the cracks, try using ink from your ink pad and rubbing it in using a sponge or piece of kitchen roll. Then use a damp piece to wipe off the excess.

10. Trim the cardstock if necessary and prepare to attach to your project. As the cardstock is curled you will need a strong adhesive, like Sticky Strip.

Stamps: Pocket Silhouettes
Cardstock: Taken with Teal, Old Olive, Certainly Celery, Night of Navy, Very Vanilla
Ink: Old Olive, Versamark
Accessories: Embossing powder, heat gun, Stampin’ Pastels®, sponge dauber, 1 1/4” circle punch, Hodgepodge Hardware® - Pewter


  1. Great tutorial Helen! I will give it a go when I have some free time :0)
    **Hugs** Heather x

  2. Lovely card and terrific tutorial! Nice use of the colors you don't like, too.

  3. Well done Helen, I hope to get some techniques going soon! thanks for sharing!

  4. FANTASTIC card. Great colors. Fresh design. Wonderful little tidbits everywhere. Love it.

  5. Perfect it just reminds me of my jumper!!

  6. This is a terrific card. I like the simplicity of the layout and the color combo. Thanks for the tutorial on the cracked glass. I have done this a few times before but it's been a while. Reminds me to try it again.

  7. oooh...pretty cracked glass!

  8. Thanks for the tutorial... someday I will try it!

    What a pretty card you have turned out. Love it!


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This is my personal blog and my sole responsibility as an Independent Stampin' Up!® demonstrator. All images are © Stampin' Up!® All content including photographs, projects and text are © Helen Read, unless otherwise stated. Please feel free to copy my ideas for your personal use and inspiration - if you are a SU demonstrator you may use these ideas for your events but please give credit where it is due. Please do not use my ideas for monetary gain, competitions or publication. The images on this blog - including blog buttons - should not be copied and used elsewhere on the internet or on CDs.