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Friday, July 8, 2016

Step-By-Step: A Glasslike ATC

Greetings, fellow Musers! Today I wanted to share with you a fun technique that you can use for making your ATCs a little special. When you cover your card in a couple of coats of melted extra-thick embossing enamel, it is almost like the whole ATC is encased in glass. The effect is hard to photograph, so here I am showing it at a slight angle:

To make this card, I used a simple background of two colors of acrylic paint (I used Distress Paint in Tumbled Glass and Crushed Olive).

I dry-brushed the blue color in one direction across the card...

...and then came back with the yellow-green color in the other direction. You want to keep the brush on the dry side, so that the undercolor and even a bit of the paper show through. This is just a simple background technique that creates a bit of texture and interest while keeping the focus on the foreground.

After the paint dried (you can speed this up with a heat tool if you like), I was ready to stamp my main image. This cool tree reminds me of Yggdrasil for some reason...it is available from Lost Coast Designs here (Misc. Set 3) already sized perfectly for your ATCs.  :)

I blended three colors of ink right on the stamp for an interesting look--a green and a gray, with suggestions of black. (And in case you are wondering what those black stripes are on my acrylic block...well, I am old, and those are Velcro, because at one time this was the coolest way to handle a large unmounted rubber collection. This stamp comes cling-foam-mounted though--I just used the back side of the block without the Velcro.)

Here's how the image came out on top of the painted background. The edges that escaped the stamped design will be covered up during the edging phase.  :)

Next, I needed a sentiment, so I dug out a lettering stamp set and found that the font I wanted to use happened to exactly fit the word that I wanted to make and the space I wanted to put it in. Cha-ching! Here is the word "growth" laid out in reverse from how the word will print. If you lay the word out from left to right, you will get a surprise when you stamp. Also, it is easy to mix up your b's and d's, so mind your p's and q's.

I stamped the word in black and edged the card in chalk ink.

Now for funsies I wanted to add some sparkle and dimension to be encased under the "glass." On went some glitter-glue dots in gold and green.

TIP: Next, I recommend you mount your image on a stiff piece of chipboard--the sturdier the better, because your card will want to warp after the magical glassy goodness of the next step starts happening, and a heavy piece of board will resist this. If you proceed to the next step with nothing but flimsiness in your project and recklessness in your heart, your "glass" may crack when you try to flatten it out again. Perhaps not the end of the world, but I am here to look out for your best interests and so just thought I'd mention it.

And now the fun part! (I regret exceedingly not having taken any photos of this stage. I think I was too excited. Forgive me.) You take your ATC and press it into the top of an embossing ink pad until the surface of the design is entirely covered with embossing ink. Then you coat the whole front of the card with extra-thick clear embossing enamel, and melt with a heat tool, as one does. But then you repeat the process until you have two or three thick coats of clear resin melted on, and the surface of your card becomes thick, smooth, and glassy.

The result looks like this...although again, that shine and dimension are hard to capture, so here are a couple of angles for you. This first one shows how the glitter-berries catch the light under the "glass"...

The "glass" does add a certain layer of luminosity to the whole card.

Cool, right? And pretty easy. Any questions, please just leave them in the comments below. :) Do let me know if you try this technique and how it turned out for you. 'Cause remember, ATCs are for sharing!



  1. Your backgrounds are the stuff of fairytales...it's almost hard for me to realize that science and art can come together like this to make a fairytale! I will be trying this...I will. If I can ever get over my obsessive love of collage backgrounds...

    1. Darling D...you could collage to your heart's content and THEN apply the glasslike resins right over your collaged background...the best of both worlds!

      Thanks as always for your kind support. xo

  2. Wonder if you could get a similar effect with glossy pouring medium? I'm going to have to experiment with that...as always, your cards are divine!

  3. Hi Lou! If your cat doesn't sit on it, you sort of can! ;) I find that the gloss medium does not seem as thick or dense as several built-up coats of the ultra-thick embossing enamel does, but yeah, otherwise the effect is not dissimilar...