Embossing Techniques – how to emboss with water reactive ink29th January 2019
Breathe new life into your embossing folder stash with this water-reactive ink tutorial – Kim Dellow shows you how to emboss with water-reactive inks.
Using water-reactive ink with embossing folders is a great way to add fun arty effects to your cardmaking. The technique basically uses the letterpress and embossing folder technique where you add ink to one inside surface of the embossing folder but with the water-reactive version you spray the ink with water before or after embossing your cardstock.
You can get some lovely embossed cardstock with the embossed texture and the look you normally associate with watercolours. The easiest way to do it is to use a water-reactive ink such as the Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink.
You can dab the Distress inkpad directly on either of the inside surfaces of the embossing folder, spritz the ink with water then place the cardstock to be embossed inside and run it as you would normally run an embossing folder through your die-cutting machine.
You can also use the Tim Holtz Distress Stains directly on the embossing folder surface so try that as well! Once you have watercolour-letterpressed the cardstock, you can dab off the colour if you want to tone the colour down. Let the cardstock dry or use a heat tool then use it for backgrounds, or cut it to make focal points and you can even add more colour if you want to with ink or other colouring materials.
How to emboss using water-reactive ink – step-by-step cardmaking tutorial
1. Cover either surface of the embossing folder by dabbing it with Distress Ink or Distress Stain. You can use several colours at once so try it out.
2. Spritz the ink with water – try a light covering first but you can vary the amount as you get used to the technique.
3. Place the cardstock in the embossing folder and run it through your manual die-cutting machine as you would normally.
Top Tips for embossing with water-reactive inks
- Experiment with varied amounts of water. Use a light spritz, then try a heavier spritz to achieve different effects. Try not to use so much water as you run the risk of washing the ink off
- Distress Stain only requires a light spritz of water as the ink is more fluid
- Don’t forget to use both sides of the embossing folder to create embossed and debossed surfaces
First featured in Die-Cutting Essentials Issue 24 – we’d love to know if you have tried this embossing technique, do share any links to blog posts in our comments if you have a cardmaking blog.