Colouring Thermomorph

Here is my next post on  Thermomorph.  It is easily available in the UK via Amazon.  US readers can try this link instead. 

Today I thought I would show a few of the things I’ve tried to colour Thermomorph.

The obvious is to apply colour to the surface.  I tried a lot of things that worked.


Using the samples from yesterday, I first tried Sharpies/Bic markers.  For the first sample I coloured the whole thing with the light blue then stroked the purple over the high points.  I really liked how that worked.  The alcohol ink + metal mixatives in silver is great when you want an all-over application of colour.  For the butterfly I first embossed the piece, cut it with a deep cut die, then used the Sharpies/Bic markers and my ink spritzer tool.  I also dotted black into the debossed areas.  The last one I painted with Silkies then daubed off the colour from the raised embossed part. But all it takes is a little moisture to wipe away all the Silkies.  So not one of my preferred methods!


and the spritzed ink:


I only had a chance to try a couple of mix-ins, to colour the Thermomorph BEFORE using it.  I didn’t get too much of a mottled effect even with the surface colour, but the mix-in option gives a very smooth look.  You may have to drop your Thermomorph back into the hot water, to be able to mix it totally, but although some colour came out into the water, once it was mixed in there was no further loss.

I first mixed in some cheap mica powder (came free with a mag, maybe, can’t recall) and that gave a lovely  glow, but not like proper mica on card, more subtle and soft.


I didn’t time it but it felt like the mica added in delayed the hardening of the Thermomorph very slightly.


Embossed and die cut, it makes a nice embellishment.  I swiped Archival ink over it to hit the high points and it was good.  When it dried, it didn’t wipe off.  Staz-on works too, but not Distress or Adirondack – or at least for me they wiped off even when dry.


I put the pellets in a small paint palette and dripped on some alcohol ink.  I let it dry for a bit, but even so, the ink came out in the hot water – well some of it did.  But mixing it in well I got a lovely smooth uniform and translucent colour.  Really pretty.


and the molded flower?


I also grated a bit of Inktense and mixed THAT into the hot Thermomorph.  It ended up slight mottled, but when I dipped it into the hot water again, to be able to mix it together for a bit longer, nothing much came out. The final bit was interesting, less uniformly coloured than the alcohol ink, but still nice.


I ran that thru an embossing folder of leaves, then cut one of the branches with scissors.


By dipping the leaves and middle of the stem into the hot water I softened it JUST enough to curve the leaves over a paintbrush handle and then to press the two together and make the leaves stick.  Heating the back of the flower with a heat gun helped make the join more solid.


I did try Stickles but that didn’t mix in at ALL.  I think glitter might work, but I don’t think it would ever be a very smooth and uniform colour.  Maybe glitter WITH something else might work, but I’m not sure I’d like it on its own.   Overall, the mix-in is for when you want to get messy, and the surface colouring for when you want to stay clean LOL!  The Inktense gratings and the Alcohol ink stained my fingers A LOT, the mica powder not at all, but it did float around in the air a bit.  As for the surface colouring, paint and other ink/re-inkers may work too but I just didn’t get around to playing with them. Copics or Promarkers should work, but the Sharpies and Bics are cheaper so I went for them.

I am waiting for a delivery, and once it gets here I’ll do a further review.  Once again, here is the product info:

Product Name: Thermomorph
Price: £19.95
Size: 500 grams
Material: Polymorph granules

Thermomorph Amazon page: polymorph
Thermomorph website: Thermomorph





Thermomorph – first review

Here is my first review of  Thermomorph.  It is easily available via Amazon.  I have a few ideas to try but rather than create one enormous post I thought I would do a few of them.

If you’ve ever use Friendly Plastic, Thermomorph is a bit like that, with the advantage that you can achieve a larger piece and that you can colour it yourself. It has many applications outside of crafting and I’ll talk about them in a later review.

The LARGE tub of Thermomorph will provide you with many, many play sessions.  For the pieces I made today I used a small scoop that holds maybe two tablespoons. Best of all, if you mess up a piece or have leftover bits, so long as you haven’t coloured them you can simply pop the hardened piece of Thermomorph back into the pot to reheat and reuse at a later date!

Turning the pellets of Thermomorph into a moldable wad is simple – it only needs a suitable container and a kettle of boiling water.  I use an old plastic food storage container – I would mark this as your Thermomorph tub (some bits stuck to the bottom) or use a glass bowl.

Let’s go thru it step by step.

My first technique is rolling the Thermomorph out thinly and first embossing it with an embossing folder then cutting it, either with scissors or with a deep cut die.

What you need:

  • tub of Thermomorph
  • hard brayer


  • craft mat – or in my case two silicone cooking sheets from the £1 store


  • suitable container
  • kettle of boiling water
  • tongs – ideally silicone tipped ones
  • embossing folders
  • die cut or embossing machine

1. Select your embossing folder.  The ones I really liked and the ones that are best if you don’t have a deep cut diecut machine and the thick, heavy dies, are the ones that divide the design into identifiable pieces, or ones where part of the pattern can be used. Here are some good examples:


2. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the Thermomorph pellets into the container and cover with boiling water.


Let them sit for about 2 minutes, till you can see the pellets go clear and clump together.


Fish the wad of Thermomorph out with the tongs – I didn’t have trouble handling it immediately but you might, so poke it with your finger to make sure it isn’t too hot before committing to grabbing the whole wad!

3. Gently stretch then press the wad of Thermomorph onto the craft mat.


4. Cover with the other craft mat – and if you don’t have two you can either put the wad on half and fold the other half over it.  I also had success using freezer paper and the peeled away contact paper liner.

Brayer firmly over the Thermomorph.  You want to get it fairly thin and flat.

DO NOT try to brayer over the Thermomorph with a rubber brayer without a protective layer between.  Trust me – it will take you HOURS to get the brayer anywhere approaching clean of it – ask me how I know…..


See the folded over bit at the left?  The Thermomorph turns milk as it cools and hardens.  In order to get it thin you can refresh your tub with a bit more boiling water and carefully slip the piece back thru the hot water again to soften it and repeat, till you get it thin enough.  I didn’t measure it but it was thinner that the thickness of the embossing folder side.


5. While the piece is milky but still slight pliable, pop it into the embossing folder – there is no right or wrong side so just get it in there and run it thru your machine.

Now, a bit about that – I only have the Grand Calibur.  I found that the best sandwich was the raspberry plate and the pink embossing or the grey base plate.  Depending on the thickness of the Thermomorph, maybe adding a shim or two. I took the tub to the WOYWW crop, where Julia had a Big Shot and that worked too.  The problem is that the thickness of the piece is going to vary from one play to another, so a few warnings:

  • start it thru YOUR machine, but as soon as you hit what you worry might be risky resistance STOP.  Your Thermomorph can be reheated and reworked, you aren’t going to “waste” it
  • have some shims handy so you can add them if you find you need them

With the Big Shot I did emboss a piece when it was harder than I would have done in the Grand Calibur and it worked fine.

6. Once your piece is embossed you can cut it.  I had no trouble, with it rolled thin, using scissors or a scalpel style craft knife, and thicker pieces cut with a box cutter. You can’t see it here but that thinner piece is a circle.  My camera didn’t seem to have saved the straight shot of it but you’ll see it again later.


You can cut the embossed piece with a deep cut die, but even a very thin piece won’t cut  with thin dies, like Nesties.   You can run them thru to mark the shape then trim with scissors, if the shape is a simple one (I did a circle) but with the Big Shot (or similar) and deep cut dies you can get a fair bit of detail.  I did this piece at the crop last week but can’t recreate it at home since I don’t have that sort of machine! Here is the photo from last week – the leaf was embossed then die cut on the Big Shot and the other pieces cut with a box cutter (they were pretty thick)


and here are some from today’s play, which I cut with plain old scissors, albeit big ones


You can choose either the EMbossed or the DEbossed side, as you prefer.

You can see from the sample above a couple of your colouring options, including a swipe over the raised areas with an ink pad, pounced on alcohol ink with metal mixatives added, and a swipe with Versamark then Pearl-ex.  I’ll be doing more on that next, and give some guidance on the type of inks that I think work best and WHEN to colour (pre- or post-melt) and how that differs.

I thought it was just the most fun! Although I was asked to do the review, and provided the product, I hope you know from past reviews that I wouldn’t give it a positive review if I didn’t like it.  And I DO like Thermomorph, quite a lot.

Let me repeat those links for you here at the bottom of this LONG review:

Product Name: Thermomorph
Price: £19.95
Size: 500 grams
Material: Polymorph granules

Thermomorph amazon page: polymorph
Thermomorph website: Thermomorph

Just to tip you off, once I test out a few colouring ideas I will get to the obvious – molding Thermomorph pieces with molds (homemade and commercial) – and show you a real-world application that I know will save us a fortune and that we will use over and over again.  Stay tuned….


ATC haul and a bit of a whinge

On the most important day in the WOYWW calendar (the anniversary week) I got totally ambushed. DH had to work away, so I had not only DD home on school holiday, but DS back from Uni and his girlfriend visiting from Scotland. We ended up going to a movie and doing a bit of clothes shopping and I had to put off my WOYWW visits till this morning. I’ve been fighting with Blogger for HOURS and have barely made a dent. I keep getting Not Found errors, seeing posts that have only a ? instead of a photo, have to try 3 or 4 times to get the comment to post…it’s driving me MAD! But I am persevering until I get to all my commenters and as many of the other deskers as I can (I’ve never been able to comment on some blogs – I may visit them every week but I can’t comment as a WordPresser) until DS and GF arise. GF is anxious to play with the Gelli plate so that is what I will do. I need to pop out tomorrow to source a couple of things and then Themomorph for sure!

For today I’ll add my ATC haul – and oh shoot. Let me just quickly take another photo as I can see I missed one out! DOH!



Working in columns from the BIG tag:

  • Debbie (tatteredrocks)
  • Helen (stamping by H)


  • Cindy (plantlist)
  • Cardarian
  • Maggie (silvercrafter)


  • Kyla (lilpidge)
  • Bleubeard & Elizabeth (alteredbooklover)
  • Chris (pearshapedchris)


  • Shazsilverwolf
  • Miz Dunnit, our hostess
  • ATC by tatteredrocks Debbie


  • LLJs fragrant pillow ATC
  • Robyn0
  • Belinda (acorncrafts)
  • Craftygasheadzo
  • and Fairythoughts Janet

what a lovely selection, and they will totally fill my ATC book.

Now, back to fighting with t’internet.  DH tells me IM is behaving badly, and I didn’t have the easiest time sorting this post on WordPress either, so perhaps it is a more global issue than just with Blogger?  {sigh} isn’t that just typical?  As soon as I clear the decks for a task SOMETHING goes wrong…

Update:  Try as I might, over and over again, I can’t get to: Ohhh Snap, queenartopia, Nikki C, shazsilverwolf, Elizabeth W, Anne or Kyla! I keep getting THIS:


…and I can’t see the photo on MY blog post either.  I am giving up for the day but ladies I promise to get back to you as soon as I can.  It’s been three hours to do about 20 visits and comments and every one has been a struggle.  So sorry.  I had planned to visit every desk this week but the universe is conspiring against me!



Five years.  Wow.  My desk is not horrible, in honor of the big day – ok, well REALLY because DS’s girlfriend is here  so it couldn’t be a total mess, could it?


What can you see?  My raffle prize (a crochet book – and it has the pattern for the sweet granny square I pinned a while back YAY!), some little towers for tiny embellishments (I needed some and 6 stacks for £5 was a bargain), one of my little spike eared commemorative creatures (made quite a few of them at the crop – really, that was almost all I did), my pot of Themomorph (and I took that to play with – Kyla had the same idea so we had a bit of a chat about it.  I never did get to use her molds) and some of the samples, my lovely bag, handmade by LLJ (love it!) and the last few ATCs, a slightly special one for my swap partner, and a few that need sending out. I tucked the ones for those who sent one for me into the return envelopes Julia organized at the crop but still have one or two to send myself.

I’ll be doing some play and a review of the Thermomorph in the next few days but I’ll give you a little taster.  I rolled it thin, then embossed it in an embossing folder for my first experiment.  I cut it with a box cutter first but at the crop I got to use a Big Shot and deep cut dies so managed to die cut it.  2woyww260

Nifty, hummm?  Shame my Grand Calibur and thin dies aren’t going to work (or I don’t think they will but then I guess we will all find out when I try it LOL!)

So Happy WOYWW to you all, and a great big THANKS to Julia for being nosy and starting this whole crazy Wednesday inspiration hop to satisfy her own curiosity.

And just for Maggie (Silvercrafter) I just have to add the Watchbird.  I think I already know it will have to appear on my ATC for next year!


1 Comment

Just a snippet…

..while I await the arrival of DS’s girlfriend – her flight from Scotland was delayed by a couple of hours, so I’m trying to make some progress on something that won’t tax me mentally.  Just adding the raised detail around a scrap yarn blanket I began ages ago, something to take to the ice rink for skating (something warm to sit on – that concrete is COLD!)


I took it to the WOYWW crop and never even made a stitch.  The hexagons turned out to be a challenge to encircle so I’m doing a long row then filling in all the final sides.  I’m liking it, and its good practice, on something I don’t care a lot about (hellO – scraps!)  before I do the same surface design technique on the circle-in square one.

See you tomorrow for the 5th anniversary WOYWW.  Amazing.


A different sort of blog hop

My blog friend Jemma (known on UKS as Jimjams) invited me to take part in a blog hop tour. It’s a little different to the usual blog hop, because the posts are a week apart and the hop spreads OUT as it goes.  My task was to answer a set of questions, then link to three fellow bloggers.  Jemma’s answers from last Monday are here.  You’ll find my linked bloggers at the end.

1. What am I working on?

I am always “working on” a multitude of things.  At the moment I have a lot in progress:

  • a crochet granny-square blanket


  • re-organizing my scrapbook albums
  • some Project Life printables still in the design process
  • a handmade journal for the A Documented Life project (yeah, I know, late to the party LOL!)
  • some new Gelli prints for an army of spike-eared toys

In the back of my mind is also a 2015 calendar, with a twist.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Humm.  If I had to pinpoint what makes my BLOG different, I guess it would be that I am never overly concerned with taking a stunning photo, nor am I overly concerned with showing a final project.  I may have an idea for a mini-book construction and make one that will sit and wait for the perfect reason to add photos and complete it, even if that is YEARS in the future. I did a video for this one, never really blogged fully about it, and it took me till the following year before I actually filled it.  But I DID fill it!


I am all about the process, I guess.  I don’t hide what I am working on till it’s 100% complete and then do a “big reveal.” I will get an idea, play with it, sharing along the way, both success and failure.  I say, often, that I make the mistakes so you don’t have to.  So if I have an idea and it turns out to be a rubbish idea, well, you’ll see it here, warts and all.  I also push things sometimes past their logical conclusion.  I may post for a week about a single project, pushing and pushing the idea till even I am sick of it.  I made many more of this display-stand card before I moved on!

I also refuse to rush out and buy a whole host of things if I have something to hand that will do the job.  I hate shopping, even craft shopping, and I hate waiting for mail-order.  So if I need something I am always going to try to figure out a way to use something I already have (like the make-your-own Baker’s twine post ages ago or more recently cutting doilies from unbleached coffee filters) or figure out a way to make my version (like the  tools for use on the Gelli plate) rather than shop online and delay the project till I get what I need.  By the time it arrives I’m probably already on to the next thing….

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I am fairly scattered-brained – originally I really only scrapbooked.  Now that the kids are older, and camera-shy, I just don’t have new photos very often.  I still scrapbook, mostly old photos, I just don’t tend to share the layouts.   I love making mini-albums, but everyone who could be a reasonable recipient already probably has more than they have room for.  So I make other sorts of things now.  Because I love to make things to share, I make a lot of downloadable PDFs for others, mostly calendars and Project Life things.  Again, it’s the process I enjoy, even if I don’t actually USE the end results myself.  I will happily spend a day or more creating a printable, add it for others to use, then go make a card or an ATC,  crochet or quilt,  print a pile of Gelli prints then play with a new book-binding technique, or do a random page in my art journal.  I just get in the mood to do something specific and I don’t really question it.  If I’m inspired in a certain way, I go with it.

Writing the blog is a method, really, for me to crystallize the steps of a project, in words and photos, so I don’t forget what I did. And a sidebar to that is sharing, cause if I think it’s cool, someone else might too, and might  like to give it a go.   Why I CREATE what I do is harder to answer. It always starts with a random thought.  I read A LOT, flip thru books and mags, and as soon as I get a spark of inspiration, or have an I wonder… moment, I test it out. Like the spike-eared toys last week


I saw a photo-only in a book that was meant to include cutable templates for the projects on a CD. I was frustrated the template wasn’t included, and spent an hour on the internet searching for a downloadable version. Then I had to figure out how to edit the PDF so I could make my OWN printable version with MY art on it.

If I am frustrated by something, I’ll try to solve the problem – like working in my art journal and being annoyed that Pan Pastels rub off unless you seal them.  And I hate spray fixative.  Figuring out that acrylic medium, brayered onto the Gelli plate in a thin layer, will seal them was a revelation.  And ended up creating a nifty technique. You will totally see what I mean about not caring if the photos are great, or showing a finished project in that post – although I did actually use the technique again later and did a better job.  See? Two actual finished pieces.

and that leads naturally on to 4. How does your writing/creating process work?

Random ideas, problem-solving, and extending an idea to (past) its natural conclusion is my process.  I get on a path and just keep going – like the whole calendar making thing.  I discovered so much about the form of a calendar,  I totally streamlined my process, which allows me to create a calendar for any year quickly and easily. I documented it here, so if I forget in a year when a new calendar is needed, I can go back and remind myself how I did it. That lets me concentrate on the fun part, the design.

Grungy and funky, great for adding to Gelli plate prints

Grungy and funky, great for adding to Gelli plate prints

I do try to consider how people who land here will want to find things, so I often go back and add to posts.  For example,  I saw recently that something I did about 2 years ago was all of a sudden getting a crazy number of hits (OK, crazy for ME – like 600 hits in the last few weeks) and questions in the comments.  I noted that, went back and re-did it, with more variations and samples, then linked to the new post from the old one so people landing on the OLD post would find the NEW expanded info.

Basically, I just like making stuff.

Now, on to my link-ups.  I only have two, both Karen’s (how funny) despite asking a number of people – sadly, with the school holidays this week many people just weren’t able to join in.  You can see their answers to the questions on 2nd June, so make sure you pop back to see what they have to say.

Karen (known as kazy1) is a long-time member of UKScrappers and creates layouts for  The Scrapbook Magazine.  She is also on the team at Scrapology, on online challenge blog.  She has guest-designed for Papermaze and Sarah’s Cards, both UKS sponsors.  Her layouts and cards never fail to inspire me, and she is often featured in the monthly BlogBits round-up of inspiring posts by UKS members. I love that she scraps in the American size 8.5 inches x 11 inches. Her style is detailed and pretty, with lovely embellishment clusters that support, rather than overwhelm, the photos. She is a thrifty crafter too, and makes the most of her supplies.  Her blog is worth bookmarking for those times when your scrapping mojo is on holiday – she does a lot of sketch challenges so you might find one that is new to you.

Karen (well known to all on UKScrappers as Scrapdolly and as the one who keeps the Teams and Houses running smoothly) is one of those rare scrappers who is equally at home making paper and digital layouts.   She is also on the team at Scrapology and is on the design teams for Charmed Cards and Crafts, for digital designer Dawn Inskip, and for Pickleberrypop . Her layouts always feature lovely photos, often of her husband and their hysterical cats.  Her style is hard to describe in a few words – possibly because it encompasses so much!  If I had to pick one thing..OK two things.. that I think of when I think of her, they would be her titles (paper and digi) and her deeply drop-shadowed 3D-effect digi-layouts.  I’ve seen so many unique design ideas when browsing her blog that the one thing I DO know is I’m going to be inspired by something when I visit.  And I’m going to be amused by her LOLcats and other non-scrapping images. Her thoughtful blog posts are often more about life and the story behind the layout, what prompted her to scrap THESE photos at THIS time.  She also has a section of digital/hybrid scrapping downloads and tutorials, so be sure to check that out!

Phew.  That was too much introspective hard-thinking, way more  than I usually do on a Sunday….do feel free to add your own answers, to one or more of the questions, in the comments.


Currently printables for Project Life – lists, lists lists

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order. Umberto Eco

Responding to a request on UKS for a list-style card, but one that allowed a re-cap of lots of things (rather than a whole card for what you are reading, what’s on TV, etc – done them already) and in bright colours, I made these.  Good thing too, as I am still recovering from the WOYWW crop and ministering to DS, and preparing for a surprise visit from his girlfriend – otherwise I’d have missed another blogging day!


Experimenting, as I am prone to do, I’ve tried playing with the size of the workspace so I could fit 6 cards on on sheet.  Usually, 6 would print fine on US letter paper, but poor us in the UK – A4 paper is just not the right size. I’m going to add TWO versions.  THIS one is my usual set up, three horizontal and two vertical cards for a total of five.  THIS one SHOULD print on US letter paper (8.5 x 11 inches) just fine, but SHOULD also print on A4 paper so long as you have the option to select A4 BORDERLESS printing in your printer’s dialog box.  Feel free to grab both, if you want to see if it works, or just the 5-card version if you want a sure thing.


The colourful strips have a sort of fabric-like texture.  It’s less patchy looking when printed than it appears in the screen grab here.  Just FYI.  Hope you find them useful.


Barcode printables

Well, DS’s tooth extraction didn’t go as well as planned, despite the fact this tooth was meant to be the EASIER one.  Apparently they ended up leaving a bit of the tooth still in there, with the surgeon saying it wouldn’t cause a problem. He felt that drilling further to be able to bet it out could do more damage than benefit.  I guess I find that hard to believe, so will have to do a little research on it.  Any stories to share?

As I missed blogging yesterday due to administering ice packs, painkillers and soup, and today I am getting everything sorted for the big WOYWW 5th anniversary crop tomorrow, as well as more of the same mothering as required, I thought I would just add this set of printables I had made.  I selected the bar code font as Font of the Week on UKScrappers a couple of weeks back and was trying to create something using it.  While the B&W version was fine, it was a bit boring, and certainly something anyone could create on their own, so I took a bit more time, made it colourful, then used clipping masks to divide the black and the colourful versions into TEXT and BARS then recombined them to get these:


I made two versions – for those of us in the UK there is a POUNDS And PENCE version here, and for the USA readers there is a DOLLARS and CENTS version here. If you use any other sort of currency, you can just ignore those.  I shifted some of them down, leaving room for a small amount of journaling at the top. Hope you find them useful.

and now, off to check out wisdom teeth….Hello Google, my old friend….


WOYWW 259! Nearly there…

Happy WOYWW!

It’s the BIG 5th Anniversary Crop on Saturday.  Unless DS has problems with his tooth extraction on Thursday (like he can afford to lose any “wisdom” LOL!) I’ll be there.  I’ve been dithering about what to bring to do – I will come by train so don’t want to bring masses of stuff, and I enjoy the chatting and the in-person snooping, so I though I might bring my extra ATCs to trade, but on a whim I also designed these little spiky guys.  I may print a load of them out and make them for anyone who wants one as a little commemorative item to take away.



I have changed it, so the text is easier to read and doesn’t curve around the body quite so much.  Doesn’t he look like he is wide-eyed with appreciation of your extreme craftiness?

I’ve made a few of these in the last few days – love the process, from the designing of the area to print to the slightly fiddly construction.  This one is big, cause he’s for me but the actual one prints two to a sheet so is more like the smallest one here.


That one is about 4 inches from sitting butt to tip of the pointy ears. Cute and compact. You can also see two I made for DS – one with a favourite musician (read yesterday’s post if you don’t know who it is – and really, why would you? You’re not a 21 YO gamer, are you?) and one with a photo some Dundee nightclub posted and tagged him on – him and his girlfriend  on a night out.

Lastly, since my desk is so clean, I could scoot all that away to take a quick shot of my two Rainbow Babies for Margaret at glitterandglue. I’ll aim to pop them in the mail the same day I send out my ATCs.
See some of you on Saturday!


That Black Magic technique, updated

I am always surprised when an old post of mine all of a sudden keeps getting views and pinned, and I get questions that I can’t answer cause it’s been SO LONG since I did the original thing. This post is getting hit hugely. I did that back in 2012 so I hope I can be forgiven for being a little fuzzy on the details LOL!

I decided I should go back and do the technique again and try a few other variations.  Luckily (?) the power was out AGAIN today so I had plenty of time to play.

So let’s begin.

I thought I would try

  • the black acrylic paint
  • Archival ink
  • Memento ink
  • Pigment ink

The process is pretty much the same to begin with, then there are some options.

1. ALL – Smudge on your Distress ink to create areas of colour


2. ALL – let it dry COMPLETELY or blast it with the heat gun.  Distress ink stays wet for a bit and will grab the embossing powder if you rush this step.

3. ALL – stamp with Versamark or other clear embossing ink then sprinkle on clear (ideally DETAIL) embossing powder, depending on your stamp.

4. ALL – Heat emboss and let cool


5.  ACRYLIC PAINT – using something smooth, like Cut ‘N Dry foam (can’t find mine, used a make-up sponge, and that is NOT as smooth) spread the black paint over the entire area.  You can let it dry and cover it again if any inked areas peep thru.


6. ACRYLIC PAINT – with a slightly dried out baby wipe, daub off the paint from the embossed areas, revealing the trapped Distress ink under the embossing. DO NOT use a super wet wipe, and DO NOT rub hard.  You will take off too much of the paint.


This is pretty much exactly as described in the original post.

5A. ARCHIVAL INK – smudge Archival Ink over the entire area.  You will find this easier (I suspect) if your ink pad is new and juicy.  Mine is older so I struggled to get a deep,rich, black cover.


6A. ARCHIVAL INK – burnish off the Archival ink from the embossing.  Harder than it sounds.  I tried using the clean area of the make-up sponge, It worked OK but not great.

Then I tried a damp baby wipe.  Better,  but still the Distress Ink below the embossing wasn’t bright like with the paint.


Then I tried a wetter wipe and it took away some of the ink on the background as well.  Here you can see the difference between the Archival Ink and the Paint.


5M. MEMENTO INK – again, smudge the Memento ink all over the surface.  This was a background stamp so the areas to grab the ink were smaller.


6M. MEMENTO – I almost didn’t need to bother burnishing off the ink.  Just the rubbing of the ink over the embossed areas with the make-up sponge removed any ink from the embossing.  The Memento is grabbed by the background card only.  So perhaps the EASIEST, but check out the next shot – even with the different sorts of stamps, I hope you can see the Memento isn’t super dark and rich.


again, it COULD be my slightly tired ink pad.  I would expect Versafine to work in a similar way.

5P. PIGMENT INK – this worked a treat.  Smudged on the ink with a Colorbox teardrop, direct to paper.


Nice and dark, good cover.  Some hint of the Distress Ink showing thru but a 2nd coat maybe would help.

6P. PIGMENT INK – I just knew that a wet wipe was the wrong way to go with this so I didn’t even try – I used a finger wrapped in dry paper towel to rub off the pigment ink. I did this while it was still slightly damp.  If it were super dry (and pigment ink takes a while to dry!) a very very slightly damp wipe might be OK.



Really, that doesn’t do it justice.  The pigment ink is deep and dark, and the trapped Distress Ink is brighter than it looks.  Still not as bright as the PAINT version, but better than the Archival and almost as good as the Memento.

7. ARCHIVAL and PIGMENT ink – sandwich the piece between two sheets of paper – I used an old graph paper tablet – and iron off the embossing powder.  It will melt and get sucked into the paper


and when you remove the paper…


WOW.  Totally POPs.  Trade off is that the raised embossing from the clear powder is gone, so it looks more like plain old stamping, although you do get a bit of a halo effect on the edges, which is nice.  But colour-wise it’s pretty close to the brightness and intensity of the paint version, even if the black isn’t as nice for the ARCHIVAL version.

Not sure how to rank them, frankly.  The best technique is the one you have all the stuff for already LOL!  But in terms of cost, I suspect the PAINT is the cheapest (paint is dirt-cheap compared to an ink pad.)

In terms of fewest steps to get the best colour. I would say PAINT is the winner – with Memento closely behind if your ink pad is new and dark.

I think Pigment ink is closer to OK than not, stopping after rubbing off the ink, but better than Archival by a mile.

Then with an extra step and a flatter result, Pigment Ink and Archival are both good in terms of COLOUR when you iron off the embossing, but Pigment ink gives a better BLACK coverage.


As ever, YMMV.  I really do think there are a lot of variables – how dark and juicy your ink pad is, how light, or heavy your hand when doing the wipe-off, how damp/wet your wipe is…. But overall I had forgotten how pretty this can look.

I’ll make a PDF of the post, although it’s the quick-and-dirty Readability version, so it requires me to post it first and then do the process, and come back to add the link.  If THIS BIT is hot (clickable) then it’s there and you can download it.  If not come back and it will be in bit.

And luckily, just before the power went out, I had printed a little spiky guy that I edited to include a bit of art.  DS is a fan of Nujabes (Japanese hip-hop artist, now sadly deceased) so I made him this little desk-top pal. Just for fun.


I’ve finally worked out the best order to stick the bits to ensure the ears are nicely curved.  I haven’t folded the feet yet and may not, in case DS prefers the feet flat so you can see the sneakers….