Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Merry Christmas....


Now the craft fairs are done for 2015, orders are all posted and my online shops are now closed, I can now get ready and enjoy Christmas.

fizzi~jayne HQ will be closed until the 4th January so I can relax, enjoy quality time with the family and catch up on admin plus sort out the craft den which is in chaos!  In the meantime I'll be popping up on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

I just want to thank you for your support this year. It has been another great year, I appreciate everyone who reads my posts and leaves a comment and I can't wait to share the plans I have for 2016!

I hope you have a lovely Christmas time and I wish you a healthy and happy 2016!

fizzi~jayne x

Thursday, 17 December 2015

A quick Christmas card tutorial....

If you still want to make your Christmas cards but you have a lot to make in a short space of time, I have put this tutorial together to make quick cards using my Silhouette Cameo and paper stash.  They are perfect if you have a lot to make or left them to the last minute, like me!





What I used:
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • This stag cutting file
  • This holly cutting file (If you don't have a Silhouette machine but have other cutting machines I'm sure they will have similar files.  If you only have a manual cutting machine you can use Christmassy dies instead.)
  • Textured Mirror Card
  • Christmas paper, you can use any paper or card you already have. It's a great way to use up your stash or even wrapping paper.
  • Card blanks and envelopes, I used two sizes, 6" x 6" (15.24 x 15.24 cm) and 4.75" x 4.75" (12 x 12cm).
  • A good quality PVA glue
  • Double sided tape
  • Gems and embellishment from your stash
  • Optional, 3D silicone glue gel

What I did...



Using the Silhouette Cameo I cut out as many stag and holly shapes I could fit on to A4. The size of the stag and holly will depend on the size of card you use, but for my cards I used sizes:

Stag: 5 x 5.4 inches (12.7 x 13.7 cm) and 4.4 x 4.6 inches (11 x 11.6 cm)
Holly: 3.7 x 2 inches (9.3 x 5 cm) and 3.2 x 1.8 inches (8 x 4.6 cm)

Cut Christmas paper to fit the card.  Sometimes I like to leave a border so I cut 5.5 inches (approx 14cm) to fit my 6 inch square cards.



Top Tip! - When applying paper/card to the card blank I prefer to use double sided tape as it is super sticky but it's not easy to reposition if you get it in the wrong place.  So I put the tape on my paper remove the backing at the corners only, don't take it all off, and ensure the backing is folded back as the picture below....



Where the tape is exposed use a little PVA glue on top of the tape then position on the card blank. The glue will allow you to wiggle the paper into position, once you are happy you can pull the backing of the tape off whilst the glue in the corner keeps the paper in position.

Now you are ready to stick the stag onto the card using glue or to give the card dimension you can use 3D Silicone Glue Gel.  On this card I've added the holly to the corner....



Time to get out your stash of gems, buttons and other embellishments.  

I've added a gem to this stag's nose and to the holly berries....



If you have any die cut sentiments you can use these or why not stamp your own?

You don't need to use the holly, on some of the smaller cards I only used the stag's head...


On this card I also used 3D silicone glue to raise the head slightly.
 Don't be afraid to cut into the holly and use elements of it for a flourish on the corner, like what I've done here...



These cards are super easy and quick to make but each one can be made individual just by changing the colour, backing paper or embellishments you choose to use. Here are some more examples....




If you make cards inspired by this tutorial I'd love to see them.

Right, I need to write all my cards and get them in the last post! Next year I will be more organised!

fizzi~jayne x

Monday, 30 November 2015

a life update....

It's been a while since my last post so I thought I would give you an update on what has been going on behind the scenes.  Part of the reason for my lack of updates on here has been to do with being struck down by winter bugs, nothing too serious but I started with one bug which made me no good for anything other than wrapping up in the duvet and feeling sorry for myself and then as soon as I got over that I got struck down again! Hopefully that is me done with the winter bugs for this year at least! The upside was I got to watch the first two seasons of Homeland!

Thankfully I was well enough to celebrate my birthday and I went to see one of my favourite bands, Garbage and they were amazing, I had the best birthday. It was their 20 year anniversary tour, which makes me feel old as I saw them live on their very first tour! 



I've spent the rest of the time (when I've not been ill) keeping on top of orders, as well as making stock for No3 and the craft fairs I have booked. Unfortunately I had to drop out of the Little Fox Market this month due to illness which I was gutted about but I will be back there again before Christmas. I couldn't have picked a busier month to be out of action. I was well enough to do the two other craft fairs that I had booked for November and I got into the festive spirit with a range of Christmas decorations which have been popular.

My Stall at the Royston Craft Fair
My stall at the Radlett Winter Fair

Whilst I have been catching up there are a lot of things that are on my to do list that haven't happened, like keeping on top of my plans for this blog and keeping my online shop up to date. I started to beat myself up about this but there is not much I can do, I'm a one woman band. So once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I started to plan 2016 whilst wrapped up in the duvet. Thinking about next year made me feel more positive and excited about what I have planned, but more about that in the new year! I hope in the meantime you won't be too upset with me if I'm a little sporadic on here until the end of the year whilst I get back on track with everything but I hope that normal service will resume soon.

Until the next time, I thought I would leave you with a bit of fun.  You may have seen the latest tag game on Facebook - 7 favourite songs over 7 days. A friend of mine nominated me to do this. Music is always playing in the craft den whilst I work and I love going to live gigs so I thought it would be fun to share my favourite songs with you as well....

Day 1 - Vow by Garage

As I went to see Garbage live recently, for day 1 I picked my favourite song from their first album....




Day 2 - Best of You, Foo Fighters

My favourite song by another awesome band who I've seen live more times than I can remember... (I love to rock!)




Day 3 - Great Things, Echobelly

Today's favourite was some motivation to do Great Things....



This is another band I saw live back in the 90s

Day 4 - Things Can Only Get Better, D:Ream

By this point I was in my sick bed so to cheer myself up here is my 4th song....



Day 5 - Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol.

This was our first dance at our wedding....



I've seen these live too in the amazing venue of the Royal Albert Hall.

Day 6 - Two More Years, Bloc Party

It would have been our first dance had it not been about getting over a break up!



I've not seen them live but would like to.

Day 7 - Keep the Faith, Bon Jovi

For my final song I have chosen a great anthem by Bon Jovi. This was the first album of theirs I bought many years ago and I have seen them live so many times since then!




I hope you have enjoyed this little insight into what I listen to in the craft den, what are your favourite songs?


fizzi~jayne x

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

As featured on wayfair.co.uk....

I'm so excited that wayfair.co.uk have featured my Christmas card string and peg tutorial on their website! Click on the badge below to see all the fab tutorials featured to get your home feeling Christmassy.  Which one will you do?
Or you can go straight to my tutorial here 


fizzi~jayne x


Sunday, 1 November 2015

A first....

Last month I launched the latest #CraftBlogClub challenge which, for a change, was a blogging one. The topic is "Firsts", all the details can be found over here but the topic was left quite open for us to interpret how we choose.

The topic got me thinking about my first craft fair (but I write a lot about craft fairs and I thought you might fancy a change), my first time hosting #CraftBlogClub, my first crochet project (but I've already blogged about that here), If I had taken pictures of the very first cards I made you could have had a laugh at them.  In the end I decided I would share something different with you, nothing crafty or business related but about my first race!


Race For Life 2006

I started to run back in 2002 when I started my first proper job after university.  I've never been sporty but I needed to lose the excess weight gained from cheap pints and late night takeaways! 

My colleague had started running and signed up for the Race for Life and encouraged me to do the same.  Race for Life happens every year across the UK and it started as a 5km which you can walk, run or jog, there are now various distances you can take part in.  I don't have any pics from that day back in June 2003 but I remember I really enjoyed it, well, I must have done as I went on to run 3 more!

I have gone on since to run 10km and even the Great South Run which is 10 miles.  Over the years I have raised money for various charities - Cancer Research UK, The Alzheimer's Society, Bloodwise and The Stroke Association.  


Bupa London 10km 2010
Bupa London 10km 2011
Bupa London 10k 2015

Great South Run, Portsmouth. 2012

After running 10 miles, I fell out of love with running for a while. I think the pain in my knees and the rest of my body had something to do with that!  After a 2 year break I joined a running club as I was starting to miss it but I needed some motivation.  

Since joining the club I have taken part in another 10km and I have another one booked for January 2016 plus I take part in the local ParkRun when I have a free Saturday.  

I intend to apply for the Great North Run when the ballot opens for next year, I may not get in but if I do, it will be a challenge! The Great North Run has been on my bucket list even before I became a runner. I went to university in Newcastle and for some bizarre reason the love I have for the city makes me want to run 13.1 miles?! I think it is also because I can't believe I would be able to do it, but I strongly believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I'm by no means a skinny girl, I jiggle (a lot) when I run, but the accomplishment I felt after completing my first race has kept me running and entering more races.  I hope it shows that anyone can run, really they can! If you can put one foot in front of the other you can run, it doesn't matter how slow you are or if you have to walk part of the distance, it is still further than sitting on the sofa.

What I love about running is it takes me out of my comfort zone, into the fresh air and gives me some me time.  Although my first love will always be craft I have had some of my best ideas whilst running so it is an important part of my routine.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and the embarrassing photos! 

Did you join in with this challenge? 

I can't wait to read your post, please link your blog post below and don't forget to mention #CraftBlogClub and link back to this blog in your post.  

As we have often chatted about how we don't make enough time to comment on blogs, it would be great if you check out everyone's posts and comment on at least one of them.

I hope you will join me in our Twitter chat on 3rd November at 7pm (GMT) where we will be chatting about our firsts and sharing our posts.


Before I sign off my fellow co-host, Katie, has launched our Secret Santa challenge! It's probably one of my favourites, I love making gifts and receiving happy mail.  If you would like to join in please visit Katie's blog here where you will find the details of how to sign up which you will need to do by 8pm on 5th November 2015.

fizzi~jayne x

Thursday, 29 October 2015

How to price your handmade products....

One of the great things about the Royston Craft Fair are the friendships I've made with the other stall holders and the support we give each other.  We meet up once a month to chat about selling our crafts, sharing advice and tips.  I was asked to lead October's chat on pricing, which is a difficult subject for many crafters and artists so I thought I would share it with you all on here....


Pricing top tips....

There are 3 factors which are critical to pricing calculations

1. Costs

Don’t forget to include all of your costs:

Materials
Tools used. These will need to be replaced or upgraded at some point.
Rent
Services, including electricity, gas, phone and other bills
Travel
Products used in giveaways
Website costs
Stationery & marketing materials i.e. business cards, printer cartridges
Fees, i.e. PayPal, Etsy, Craft Fair charges
Packaging
Waste. This includes supplies used and items produced that are not suitable for sale.

Some costs are easy to calculate whereas others will need to be split over all your products and taken into account.  One way to do this is to calculate your overhead cost per month and then split the results across the average number of products you expect to sell per month.  I personally add a percentage to my cost.

2. Don’t forget your time!

You need to know how long it takes to make each product and how much you expect to be paid per hour.  You can include this in your price or break down your costs and charge your time separately for a bespoke piece.

3. Profit 

As a business you need to make a profit in order to grow and continue running as a business, so add a profit margin.  There is no set figure to which to work this out.  Deciding upon your profits is a balance between what you want to achieve and what you can realistically charge.

An example of a formula for calculating a price

For a retail price if you are only selling to the customer =
Costs + time + profit (+VAT if applicable)

If you are selling wholesale the retail price is calculated =
(Costs + time + profit) *2 (or 2.4 if you need to apply VAT)

Selling wholesale may not be possible at first.  It might be that, in time, as your sales and production volumes increase, your costs per unit fall, creating a bigger profit margin which then allows you to sell to retail.

Only use this formula as a guide. Do not rely on it as if it is not the right price, especially if it’s the lowest possible price.  You also need to take into account the following....

Know your Competition

Research what others on Folksy/ Etsy/ NOTHS sell similar items for and noting the advantages they offer the customer.

It’s not just about price but the value you give to your customer.

Know Your Target Market

What you are willing and able to pay for a product may differ vastly from your target market’s budget.  By knowing your customer you will be more confident in setting a price based on what they are willing to pay.

Independent creative businesses have an edge over bigger, impersonal companies. Your prices should reflect that specialness, value, personal connection and craftsmanship.

What if I am too expensive?

• Pitch to a more expensive market.
• Change your product to add value. People are prepared to pay a little extra for something unique.
• Source cheaper supplies and/or buy in bulk.
• Invest in tools or use a different technique to speed up production.

Experiment

Your handmade products are unique and require a unique price so you do not have to follow a formula. Test your price, assess what people have been paying in your online shop, test prices at craft fairs and try to see how your work is perceived at that price and whether it sells. If your work doesn’t sell, people don’t see its value as being in line with its price. I have heard from other crafters who have sold more of their product after increasing their prices, due to the perception of the quality of the product.  For many people 'cheap' equals rubbish. Is that how you want your business to be perceived?

Once people get used to a set price they are generally unhappy if prices increase.  As a result, it is better to start at a higher price and lower your prices.

I hope you have found this useful and if you have any further tips on how to price your products please leave a comment.

fizzi~jayne x

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Etsy Vs Handmade at Amazon....


I read an interesting article in the Independent by Andrew Dewson at the weekend, Amazon Vs Etsy.

Amazon who like to sell everything and have their fingers in every retail pie, have now started competing in the handmade marketplace.  Handmade at Amazon was launched recently and has already got 5000 artisan vendors in 60 countries. Should Etsy be concerned?

The article was by a US columnist so there was no mention of Folksy. Just in case you do not know about Folksy, they are a handmade market place for British designers and makers. I chose to sell with them from day one as they are based in Britain and support small creative businesses like myself.  I started selling with Etsy about a year later having seen their sellers' success stories and the supportive network of makers.

In my view, Etsy have become too corporate, now listed on the US stock market having to answer to investors and seeking profits.

Etsy is moving away from their roots, since 2013 there has been an agreement to allow the sale of factory made items, as Andrew Dewson says, "Nothing says "handmade" quite like something that was knocked out by a robot". They also made changes to their practices to reduce corporation tax by moving more revenue through Etsy Ireland and they have also changed how Etsy Ireland is registered, so that the company doesn't have to publicly disclose its basic financial information. That move could cause Etsy to lose its B Corporation certification which is given to companies who aim to solve social and environmental problems.

There is no disguising that Amazon is a large commercial organisation that have had unfavourable press about their procedures and tax avoidance in the UK.  However, from May this year the online retailer has started booking its sales through the UK, meaning their profits will be taxed by the HMRC. 

In September this year, Etsy launched Etsy Manufacturing, a service in the U.S. and Canada that matches sellers to small manufacturers. This does allow small creative businesses to grow.  If you are a handmade business that makes everything you can only achieve so much so this approach will support the growth of small businesses. However, this decision has resulted in a fierce PR backlash over what looks like a move away from Etsy's artisan roots. Whereas Amazon will only accept handmade goods and you have to apply to be a seller, it has almost taken on the business model of Etsy when it began. 


Whether we like it or not both Amazon and Etsy are businesses that need to make a profit to grow and in order to survive businesses have to change to compete.  For handmade businesses the growth of these selling platforms will mean a large customer base, improved technology and advertising that a seller can take advantage of.

Amazon already has a customer base 10 times the size of Etsy, but what are the costs for a seller like me with Handmade of Amazon?....  

Handmade Amazon fees are 12% for every sale and after 1 August 2016 there will be $39.99 monthly fee. You would have to sell a lot to make a profit from selling through Amazon which would mean you need to make a lot to sell and if like me you make everything yourself, it may not be possible to make enough to make a profit.

Whereas Etsy fees are a £0.13 listing fee plus 3.5% transaction fee and 4% + £0.20 payment processing fee.

Folksy's fees are £0.15 +VAT listing fee plus 6% + VAT sales commission fee or you can become a Folksy plus seller for £45 (inc VAT) per year which is great for sellers who list more frequently and/or have a lot of stock as there are no listing fees.  The commission fee is the same at 6% +VAT.

It's not just Amazon's costs handmade businesses should look into.  I came across a blog post by a seller who has already closed her Amazon shop. It makes interesting reading especially the small print she highlights that states they have the right to exploit you and own the copyright of your designs, I don't like the sound of that! You can read her views here.

It's an interesting time for the handmade marketplaces with artists and crafters starting new ventures all the time. More are choosing to buy from small creative businesses with other organisations popping up ready to support handmade sellers with services such as selling and marketing.  I am interested to see what happens with Handmade at Amazon and what the future holds for Etsy and Folksy.

For my business I plan to focus my efforts with Folksy, whereas the jury is still out on my future with Etsy.  I'll wait to see what happens with Handmade at Amazon but I can't justify their costs for my business yet and I definitely don't want Amazon to replicate my work and exploit my business and products.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the growing industry of handmade and Amazon entering this market. 

If you already sell with Handmade at Amazon I would love to hear about your experiences.

fizzi~jayne x

Friday, 9 October 2015

Gelli Plate and lino printing....

Last week I went into the craft den without planning what I was going to do but just to play!  I wanted to see where my mood took me and it took me to my Gelli Plate....


I used my stencils and acrylic paint with my Gelli plate.  I wrote a post introducing the Gelli plate last year and you can see the technique I use here.

My recent heat embossing post inspired me to incorporate this technique using a butterfly stamp and clear embossing powder.  I stamped the butterflies and heat embossed them on to the card before using the Gelli plate, this meant the embossed images act as a resist and show through.


I was now getting giddy with excitement and couldn't stop myself from adding pearlescent texture paste over the top through a spotty stencil.  At first I realised I had got carried away but this image does show off the colour of the copper, metallic acrylic paint I used.


Although I think I like it now.

My next attempt worked better.


I embossed the flowers with clear embossing powder again and used different stencils.  This time I also spritzed the paint on the Gelli plate with water which gave it a watercolour effect.

Once I had done a few prints I started to look around the craft den for inspiration and the Lino starter kit from the Handmade Fair was looking at me, perfect!


As I was so keen to get cutting, I cheated a little and stamped the image of the butterfly instead of drawing it. The butterfly was part of a set I also bought from the Handmade Fair so it was a good excuse to also use my new stamps.  

I mainly used the stamp to help me with the outline and used the different nibs to cut my own design on the wings.


The background is a print from the Gelli Plate.


What do you think? 

The gelli plate is fun and simple to use and you see results immediately. There are lots of different techniques and materials I could try with my gelli plate and I can't wait to give them a go.




Friday, 2 October 2015

fizzi~fun~friday.....

When I had a fun day out of the craft den with Laura I mentioned in my post how our chat inspired this new feature for my blog, fizzi~fun~friday!

What is it?

Laura and I were chatting about how we have so many crafty ideas we want to try out. I have lots of techniques I want to learn and I want to grow my creativity so I don't get stuck in a rut, this is for my personal enjoyment as well as hopefully inspiring the range I sell.

So the plan is every other week on a Friday, I will take the day to experiment with new techniques and crafts, as well as revisiting old favourites that I always complain I never have the time to do.

On the list for fizzi~fun~friday (so far!).....
  • Lino printing - inspired by the Handmade Fair, I can't wait to use my starter kit.
  • Calligraphy - I have a set from years ago and a book to get me started.
  • Machine embroidery - I did this a lot at art college and university but I haven't done anything for years.
  • Shrink plastic jewellery - Using shrink plastic is so much fun and I have wanted to use this technique in jewellery making for a while.  Hopefully I'll make some gifts for Christmas.
  • Mixed media art - I want to start an art journal and experiment with my art materials I already have.
  • Using polymer clay to make my own embellishments
  • I want an excuse to use up my stash of paper, card, fabric and yarn.
  • Jewellery making/wirework
  • Take part in more Sunday Stampers.
When does it start?

I guess my day out at the Handmade Fair was my first, but today you will find me in the craft den making a start on my list. Whilst writing this I still hadn't decided what to do first so I will see where the mood takes me but I will be posting photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and using the hashtag #fizzifunfriday.  

I'll publish blog posts for every fizzi~fun~friday the following Friday, so I hope you will enjoy my first post next week!


http://media-cache-cd0.pinimg.com/originals/fc/fa/82/fcfa829a4d55f0ae5e8f45d0bbae8005.jpg:
Found this perfect print on Etsy here by SunshineGraphix.

fizzi~jayne x

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Handmade Fair....

A couple of weeks ago I went to the Handmade Fair, you may remember I went last year and loved it so much I booked my ticket as soon as they became available.

Last year it was in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, however this year it was across the road instead. I was a little disappointed as I am a big Tudor history geek but I caught a glimpse of the Palace and anyway, it wasn't a history day out it was a fun crafty day out!


The Super Theatre with moody dark clouds. There were showers during the day but it didn't dampen my fun.
Kirstie Allsopp is the founder of the event and Kirstie and her team have kept the crafty festival feel that I loved last year.  There are different tents for shopping, workshops, a Super Theatre and lots of yummy food stalls which made it really hard to decide what to have for lunch!




The two shopping villages were full of inspiration by talented artists and creative small businesses. There were also stalls selling craft supplies too, however there did not seem to be as many of my favourite paper and general craft stalls but still enough for me to be tempted and spend money!

The obligatory shopping haul photos....





What I enjoy most about this event is the workshops, it's a great way to try out a new craft. When I bought my ticket I booked a Grand Make workshop, Super Theatre session and a Skills workshop. There is a lot of choice over a wide range of crafts. 

Grand Make workshop - Wirework with Lucy Elisabeth

First up was a wirework workshop and I made this hanging heart which can be used as a photo holder.  I might need a bit of practice but it was easier with Lucy's tips than any attempt I have made before at home.



Lucy also had a stand in one of the shopping villages and her work is amazing.

Super Theatre -  Calligraphy with Chiara Perano



The Super Theatre sessions are hosted by Kirstie and are a chance to hear from top experts on various topics.  This year I opted to find out more about calligraphy.

Chiara taught Kirstie the art of Calligraphy whilst sharing her tips.  Kirstie said she always attends these sessions as a complete novice so we really see her learn.  The Super Theatre sessions aren't interactive workshops so I may have not had a chance to practice myself but I came away with lots of tips to practice.

I have a calligraphy set which I used to make my handwriting neater for my wedding invitations and have not touched it since.  Calligraphy is a skill I want to develop and I recently bought a book to learn more so I was pleased there was an opportunity to get some tips from Chiara.

Skills workshop - Lino Printing with Zeena Shah

I was so looking forward to this.  I missed out on it last year due to timings and there being so much to choose from. 

Cutting the lino is very therapeutic.   I tried a star design first but I may have got carried away with the cutting as it didn't look like a star by the time I finished! 

I had more success with a simple heart and made a repeat pattern for this card.



I had a lot of fun with this, so I bought a starter kit! I love stamping and I can see the potential of creating my own designs to stamp with using lino.

I had time to fit in another workshop so I opted for a papercraft one with Craft Asylum.  It may not be a new skill but I was in the mood for some papercraft and making a bird house looked like fun.




I was surprised that I managed to get this home safely I still have the template and I think I could tweak it so I could use it to put sweets and treats in as gifts for stocking fillers at Christmas.

Whilst at the fair I was so pleased I got to meet one of my #CraftBlogClub buddies, Hannah from Crafternoon Cabaret.   Hannah had a busy weekend as she was running her Crafternoon Cabaret workshops in the VIP tent over the 3 day event so it was so lovely we had a chance to meet in person and catch up over a glass of Prosecco.

After the fair, I met up with hubby so he could treat me to dinner and whilst walking to Borough Market we found the "Performer" by Adam Frank, an installation under Southwark Railway Bridge.  It's on from 5pm until 11pm everyday and as you walk under it sets off a sensor which starts an applause. The more you move the louder the applause gets.  You can watch a video of it here but here is a photo of my acting the fool....



fizzi~jayne x

Monday, 28 September 2015

fizzi~jayne's crafty tips for stamping.... #4 heat embossing

Have you been stamping since I shared my tips on how to stamp? It's been a while so I hope you have had the chance to practice and try out the techniques before I show you this really cool technique of heat embossing!

As well as card and a stamp from the basic material list you will also need these additional materials....


  • Tsukineko Versamark Watermark Ink PadThis is a clear sticky ink which is perfect for embossing and can also be used to create watermark effects. This is my ink pad of choice but there are other brands available, like Ranger's Perfect Medium Clear Pad.
  • Embossing powder
  • Heat Embossing Gun. These give a targeted heat perfect for embossing.  Don't use a hair dryer, they are not hot enough and will just blow the powder off your card. Heat tools have a high intensity heat, so young children will need supervision and heat tools should not be used to dry your hair, ouch! 
  • Heat-resistant surface like the Ranger Non Stick Craft Sheetembossing guns can heat up to 600 degrees, so you’ll want to handle with care.
  • Anti Static Bag. This will help to eliminate static, smears, smudges, fingerprints and stray flecks of embossing powder that could appear on your work. A light dusting of talc can also do the same.
How to heat emboss....
  1. Wipe your card with the anti-static bag.
  2. Ink the stamp with your embossing ink pad using the same techniques I shared in the how to stamp post and stamp on your card.
  3. Immediately pour embossing powder on the image. Make sure you cover the entire image.
  4. Shake the excess powder onto a piece of scrap paper. I usually tap the edge of the card to make sure I've removed any stray powder. A small dry paintbrush or cotton swab is perfect for removing stray powder too.
  5. Gently roll the scrap paper into a funnel and pour the embossing powder back into the bottle.
  6. Place the card on your heat-resistant surface and/or hold it with tweezers so you don’t burn your fingers. I like to warm up my embossing gun for a few seconds before using it.
  7. Hold the embossing gun about 15cms (6 inches) away from the image. Hold the gun over the image, taking care not to direct it in one area for too long. As soon as you see the powder change move the heat tool, don't be tempted to over heat as it will flatten and the colour will become dull.  You can heat from underneath the card which will give you a smooth finish, whereas heating from above is more textured.  I prefer to heat from above as I feel I have more control and I am less likely to burn the card or over heat the powder.
    Using a silver metallic embossing powder, the hearts on the left have not been heated where as the ones on the right have been heat embossed. Hopefully this shows the difference between how the powder looks once it changes when heated.
  8. That’s it! It amazes me every time, it's like alchemy!
Embossed wine bottle using a copper metallic embossing powder.

Embossed champagne glasses

As with any other stamping, embossing can be used for a main image as well as backgrounds.  I have embossed both the Champagne glasses and hearts in the background for a recent order for a wedding card.

You can also emboss with pigment inks as they are slow to dry so you have enough time to add embossing powder.  If you do this you can choose any ink colour and use clear embossing powder.  This can be a good way to start as if you have any stray embossing powder you don't see it on your project because it is clear.

Not only does embossing add texture to your work, it is also helpful if you are not so good at keeping in the lines when colouring as it acts as a resist.

Until I am brave enough to do video tutorials I thought it would be useful to share a YouTube video that takes you step by step. You can see the magic that happens when you heat emboss.  There are loads of them out there but I liked this one as it takes you step by step through the basics.

I hope you try this technique and have fun with heat embossing.  I'd love to see your stamping projects. You can tag me on social media or leave a link in the comments below. Or please feel free to email me your photos at fizzijayne@gmail.com and let me know if I can share your work, don't worry if you don't want me to I would just love to see what you have done.

Happy Stamping!






Disclaimer: The Amazon links in this post are affiliated.

Also in my crafty tips for stamping....
http://fizzijaynemakes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/fizzijaynes-crafty-tips-to-stamping-1.html
#1 Types of Ink

http://fizzijaynemakes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/fizzijaynes-crafty-tips-for-stamping-2.html
#2 Basic Materials Needed

http://fizzijaynemakes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/fizzijaynes-crafty-tips-for-stamping-3.html
#3 How To Stamp