Thursday, August 28, 2014

Stencils and Aluminum on a Tin Box

I have been doing and teaching Metal Embossing for about 15 years. For years I only did the traditional techniques until I started to incorporate the use of stencils. I was fascinated of how easy and fast it is to do beautiful projects with metal and stencils.

Besides making embossing easier, stencils offer an amazing variety of designs and the freedom to place them on any part of the metal, use just one section of the stencil or use several stencils on the same project. This  for example, cannot be done with the embossing folders that limit, among other things, the size  and position of the project to that of the folder. Embossing Folders  look too perfect or "machine made"; I believe stencils offer a better chance to  make your projects look more personal, beautiful and unique.

These are the main steps to do the tin box cover using 12” x 12” TCW390 Baubles stencil and color aluminum:
1)Place the metal on the stencil. Rub with the paper stump until you "see" the  stencil's design


2)Still with the stencil under the metal, outline every part of the design using the pointy part of the double Teflon D-01 tool. This gives the entire design a nice definition.

3)Turn the metal to the back (you will see the silver side of the metal) and on the suede.Use the small Star Wheel of the Basic Kit to add some accents around each shape of the design.

4)      Still on the back of the metal and over the suede, trace any tangle, doodle or design with the pointy Teflon tip.

5)      To create more textures or designs, turn the metal to the front and rub against any other stencil or texture plate
6)      On the back of the metal and on suede, roll any decorative wheel such as the Big Wheel to create a frame around your project.

7)      Sand the front of the metal with a sanding block to remove the color from the embossed lines or designs.

8)      If you want to add some color or patinas, rub the metal with assorted Gilder’s Paste colors. I used several colors and  the German Silver at the end to add some highlights.

9)      At the back and on the suede, push or emboss the metal on certain areas with the round sphere of the Cup and Ball tool. This will create the “puffy” look on the metal.  You can also use the paper stump to push and soften the metal.


10)   On the front of the metal (no suede) you can use the pointy Teflon tool to outline any shape that you have embossed from the back to give it a nicer definition.

11)   Fill the back of the embossed areas with MercArt’s “Filling Paste” to keep them from being pushed down. This paste is easy to apply because it is liquid and it has an applicator. It levels itself and it  gets really hard once it dries (between 1 to 8 hours depending on the size/depth of the embossed area).

12)   Adhere your metal to the tin box with any strong craft double side tape.

Materials I used:
5 x 7" Tin Box
Sanding Block
MercArt's products:  Grey Aluminum 5" x 7"
                                          Basic Kit with 4 double tools:
(Teflon D-01, Star Wheel, Refiner, Cup and Ball #4)
            Big Wheel
                    Paper Stump #4
              Filling Paste
                            Double side adhesive
 Gilder's Paste: German Silver, Copper, Coral Red, Rust, Patina and Bronze
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