Embossing on metal has always fascinated me so when I came across a metal embossing kit on clearance, I couldn’t resist.
If you’re into adult colouring books, or paint by numbers, this could be something fun and different to explore!
Do It Over Designers
Today we’re taking part in the Do It Over Designers blog Hop hosted by Ann at The Apple Street Cottage.
We’re a group of bloggers who take something old and/or unused and ‘do it over’ into something new. These items can be found in closets, barns, garages, yard sales, thrift stores, you name it! Don’t forget to check out the other projects at the bottom of this post. And be sure to drop back in throughout the week to visit them all!
[If you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered (disclosure): Clicking on the affiliate links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry, you don’t pay a cent more and it helps us make more unique crafts to share with you! Thanks for helping to support our blog!]
- Metal embossing tools. The kit I have is no longer available, and I couldn’t find a similar quality set on Amazon. So search your local market for ball, teflon tools and embossing wheels if you want to expand from a beginner project like this. In the interim, an empty ball point pen will trace just fine. Clay sculpting tools will work if you have them. I also noticed some interesting engraving heads on my soldering iron set that would also work (no need to plug it in)! Try whatever you have on hand and just have fun with it.
- Paper stumps
- Embossing Foil
- Foam sheet. A small piece is great for a beginner project like this, but you may want a larger sheet for bigger projects (like the one linked).
Embossing on Metal Tutorial
After watching a few videos to understand the principles of embossing I decided to do my own thing, as I always do :). So out comes a stencil to play with!
Using a ruler to provide a straight edge, I first create an outline around the piece of metal with the embossing wheel you see above.
Position the stencil where you want it, then tape it down to the metal so it can’t shift. This will end up being the ‘right’ side.
This step happens on a hard, smooth surface. Trace the outline of the stencil onto the metal.
Flip the whole thing over. Now you can easily see the shape of the hearts. Use a paper stump to rub along the entire inside of the pattern.
Look at the difference in definition; the upper right heart now has more depth.
Here’s all four hearts after using the paper stump.
After flipping it over to the right side, you can see that the depth of the hearts can’t go any deeper than the thickness of the stencil. But we can change that in the next step.
Remove the Stencil
Once I remove the stencil, I further define the hearts by retracing around the edges with a ball tool.
But now we’re going to introduce a piece of foam to add depth. Placing the foam sheet under the work and rubbing again with the paper stump will really emphasize the embossing!
The addition of the foam allows the hearts to sink deeper:
The more you rub into the foam, the more the metal will stretch to emphasize the relief.
Again, flipping to the right side the hearts really puff out. Isn’t the 3-D effect amazing?
Embossing on Metal – Create Dots
Still use the foam. This time I’m adding dots using a larger ball tool to mark a divot in the metal.
With the smaller ball tool, spin it around the edges and work into the middle.
That makes quick work of puffing out the dots!
Importance of Taping
To demonstrate how important it is to tape the stencil, I’m going to ‘wing it’, by not taping the stencil down.
The top diamond shape turns out pretty good, but the one my finger is pointing to on the bottom is much less defined. It’s REALLY difficult to get detail on a stencil when it’s not secured well to the metal.
Here’s my beginner sampler using a stencil to emboss.
So, what can you do with it? I’m upcycling a thrifted photo box.
Apply the metal embossing to the recess of the photo box! Since all my printed pictures are 4″x 6″, and I don’t want to chop one up to fill the windows on the end, applying a decorative panel like this embossing is ideal!
Imagine doing this on a larger scale to fill in the panel on a cupboard door! Wouldn’t that be cool?
One last tip. For this little project I didn’t bother. But for metal as deeply embossed as this, it’s suggested that the back is filled with beeswax so the embossed parts can’t accidentally be dented.
Pin Embossing on Metal
We love it when you share our upcycle ideas. Pinning is always welcome and appreciated 🙂
Crochet for a Cure
If you haven’t heard, we’ve just launched a pattern shop, where we’re donating 100% of our proceeds to Alzheimer’s. You’ll find patterns, like our signature Kayla Pillow, Air Planter Pods and Tooth Fairy Pillow (shown below), available to purchase as a donation to our Alzheimer’s fundraiser.
Come visit us to purchase a pattern; with 100% going to charity, it’s a win-win!
Do it Over Designers
Visit these other talented bloggers for more do-it-over transformations!
- Exquisitely Unremarkable
- Little Vintage Cottage
- Pandora’s Box
- Purple Hues & Me
- Unique Creations by Anita
- The Apple Street Cottage