Forgive me for my lame title. I’ve been too engrossed with Avatar Aang and Avatar Korra these days.
While I was searching on youtube about polymer clay tutorials, I accidentally stumbled upon this cool embossed tin box by AtomicShrimp. I didn’t make the box but here I’m just going to share the general idea on embossing using simple tools like what AtomicShrimp did.
It’s nice if you already have the embossing tools like those blunt tips I’ve seen for dotting nails or poking polymer clay. But if you don’t have, you don’t need to rush and buy them. Here’s what this tut is all about.
As this is my first tut and I’m also not coming from an English speaking country, I hope this tutorial is clear enough to understand.
AtomicShrimp’s Tutorial: Drink Can Tinwork - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7vXNLpVafM&feature=g-vrec)
1. Prepare your equipments
I used :
a. Empty can
b. sharp cutter
c. sharp scissor - best dedicated for metal one
d. pen - one with blunt end and better yet with dry ink
f. marker - to draw the design
2. Scraping Off Paint
To scrape off the paint, you use wire wool or sandpaper. AtomicShrimp mentioned that it is easier to do it while the can is unopened because the tin won’t cave in. Once the paint is gone, you open the can, pour the content into a glass, and enjoy the drink during the whole embossing process. The purpose of this is to see the design clearer. And if you want it to be seen on both sides, it’s better if you scrape it off so it would look neater. I couldn’t be bothered so I straightaway went to step 3.
3. Cutting the Can
This is the most exhausting, teeth gritting, not to mention rather dangerous part of the craft. I did the initial cut by poking it with my cutter until I get a nice slice. Then I tried to slice it downwards. Or you could cut it using a scissor but this tends to be frustrating because my scissor is not short enough. Oh, btw, you could save the tab and use it for another art. I’ve seen lots of cool tab crafts on cutoutandkeep.
4. Dangerous Tiny Metal Fragments
Okay, it’s not really that dangerous unless it suddenly flies and hit your eye or other tender part of your body. Just be cautious.
5. Cut the Middle Line
One you have the top cut, you proceed in cutting the middle line. I find it easier to cut along the lines of the can. Most cans have this line and you just cut away according to that line. It should be a neat cut with no jagged ends.
6. Cutting the bottom part
After you cut all the way down, you just cut the bottom part. This is not as frustrating and as dangerous as cutting the top.
7. Cutting the Jagged Ends
After you have cut it all, you will get a slightly rounded rectangular shape. The top part would mostly be jagged so it’s better to cut it off to minimize being metal cut. Besides, it would look neater that way.
8. Putting the Design
Now that you have a nice and neat foil, you can start embossing. First, you tape it down – scraped paint up – on a mat not too hard or too mushy. I used the back of a wooden drawing board. Then you trace the design on foil. You can draw it on or free style it. You can also get designs from stamps, web, or everywhere. Simple design is probably better, especially if you’re a newbie like me. Remember, the result would be reversed, so if you’re going to use lettering, make sure it is already reversed.
For those who didn’t scrape the can painting, it’s okay. I didn’t. It’s just that I had a little bit of difficulty in seeing the design. I used shiny marker pen to deal with this problem though.
9. Tracing the Design
You trace your design using a pen. The best ones are the ones that had dry ink. But if you happened to have none, no worries, you can rub it off with nail polish remover, alcohol, or something like that. It’s also better to trace it with a blunt object because a sharp one will mostly scratch the metal – believe me, I’ve tried. It’s also best to give a firm pressure.
10. Flip It and Trace Again
After you’ve done tracing, you flip it over. As you see in the picture, the metal surface has been raised. Now you trace the outside and the inside of the original line. I used a rather blunt pencil because I didn’t want ink stains at the end of my work.
11. Flip Back and Retrace
You flip back to the ugly side and retrace the original line so it would be more indented. Once you’ve done it, you go back to the good side and trace the sides of that original line. And you go on and on like that until you get a satisfying result.
Yes, I know that it’s a boring and tedious process but it is quite important to get the perfect “look”.
12. Tada, You’re Done!
You can use it for whatever your imagination allows you to. I’ve seen people using embossed metal on cards and scrapbooks. I think I’m going to turn my spiral sun into a pendant and the flower one into a book mark. I don’t know what to do with the rose heart one yet. Any suggestions?
13. (Optional) Colouring
You could also colour it by using alcohol paint or nail varnish. Or you could just leave it the way it is. To each his/her own.
14. Happy “metal-bending”, people! :)