embossed frames

I’ve been doing these frames for almost 7 years.  I’ll admit that I originally learned the tricks of the trade from some girl friends of mine… I think it was Suzanne first.  (right Suz?)

I like them so much, I thought I’d share them with you.  They’re super easy, they just take a little time… and the more you do them, the faster you get.

Supplies you’ll need:
Embossing metal (comes in aluminum and copper, $5 in a tube at Hobby Lobby)
Embossing tools (see photo below – buy a couple sizes)
Scissors or X-acto knife to cut the metal
Photo frame
Sharpie markers – regular size, and fine point
A printout of what you want to emboss
Scotch tape or clips – to hold your design to the metal

First, figure out what you want to emboss.  For this one, I chose a word, with some embellishments on top and bottom.  Print it out the size you want it. (4×6, 5×7, etc)  Cut the paper to the correct size, then use it to cut your metal to the same size.  Tape (lightly) or clip your paper to the front of the metal.

Using your embossing tools, “color in” the inked areas by pushing firmly through the paper so it makes an indention on the metal. (You can lift your paper and peek to see how you’re doing – just don’t shift the paper over!) I recommend putting something underneath your project so you don’t permanently “emboss” the surface of your kitchen table!  A craft cutting mat, a few sheets of paper, whatever.  The cleaner your indentions, the better it will look when you color it in.  Recommendation: When indenting large areas, start at one edge and work toward the other.  If you work from both ends and try to meet in the middle, the metal will buckle in the middle, leaving a bump in your design.

After you’ve indented your whole design, remove the tape/clips and paper.  Voila!  You’re more than halfway done.  Now take your Sharpie (large for large areas, fine point for detailed areas) and color in the indented areas.  I find that black gives the greatest contrast, but you could use colored Sharpies as well.

When you’re finished filling in with Sharpie, try it in your frame – it may need slight trimming to fit without wrinkling.

There you have it!  These are great for gifts, and the design possibilities are endless! You can get several designs out of a $5 roll of metal and use the tools over and over, so the cost is pretty minimal.  Enjoy!


6 thoughts on “embossed frames

  1. Hello! Just found this project (and you!) on Pinterest…and I am just smitten with it! I’ve tried using metal & chipboard alpha stamps on the metal sheets, too, then doing the Sharpie thing…but never thought of doing it on a larger scale. I think I’ll try one with my son’s name on one…thank you so much for the tutorial! 🙂

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