Since I am focusing on using up my stash in the month of April, I will also be talking about some issues that come up with really old supplies. My first topic: the shelf life of embossing powder.
Does embossing powder go bad? This question is raised often in various rubber stamping communities and the opinions vary. Some people will say that embossing powder absolutely goes bad after a couple years. Personally, I have found that it depends. I have a number of powders and many of them are from 2005-2010. Most of these powders are generally fine.
However, as I've delved back into stamping, I did notice that I was getting poor results from my white embossing powder. I finally purchased a new jar so I can share some comparisons with you.
The jar on the left is my new jar and the jar on the right is my old jar of white embossing powder. It is hard to see in the picture, but there is a definite difference in color. The older powder has a yellowed look to it. You can also see that the older powder is clumpier. Now, often embossing powder will clump and it's not a big deal. However, I think the extra clumps in my older powder represent the general clumpiness of it, to the point that it does stick evenly to my image when I apply it.
In this picture, the top image uses my new embossing powder and the bottom uses the old embossing powder. Again, you can see a difference in color between the two. However, you can also see the difference in coverage. While it is normal to have an uneven application when using a bold stamp, the one on the bottom has much larger spaces that aren't covered and just looks lumpier. This is representative of the way this older embossing powder has been acting for me since I have started stamping again.
My final decision is that while some powders may still work fine after years, others may not. If your embossing powder isn't acting the way you expect it to or isn't giving you as nice of images as your other powders, you may want to consider replacing it.
Last week, I talked about making cards from my scrap bin. These card fronts were languishing in my bin waiting to be turned into cards. I had tried this technique a while back and for some reason I never finished off the cards.
Today's Tips & Techniques for the Weekend focuses on heat embossing. This is an old standby in the world of stamping, but one that never fails to add a bit of elegance or a professional look to your card.
There are a few basic supplies you will need:
- Embossing Ink or Versamark Ink
- Embossing Powder
- a Heat Gun
For this card, I am using the To A Wild Rose stamp set and embossing the images on the See a Silhouette Designer Series Paper. Stamping on patterned paper is a fun way to get an interesting fill for your line images. I love the watercolor look of the See A Silhouette paper and this way, I didn't have to do any coloring!
I used white embossing powder for my card. Just dump some over the area you stamped, and then turn your card over and let the excess powder fall on your scrap paper. You can lightly tap the back of your card to remove any stray powder. If you still have some powder in areas where it shouldn't be, carefully use a dry paintbrush to brush it away.
Then, gently fold your scrap paper and pour the extra embossing powder back in the jar.
A much easier method is to use a heat gun. Slowly move the heat gun over your image as you see the powder melt. Be careful not to hold the heat gun in one place for too long because you can over melt the powder. This will cause it to appear dull and melt completely into the cardstock leaving a flat image instead of a raised one.
Heidi Collins, Independent Stampin' Up! demonstrator
I have been stamping, scrapbooking, and paper crafting for over 20 years, and I love helping others explore the joy of making beautiful projects for yourself and others.
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