Monday, January 24, 2011

Ironing Your Jewels!

Heheee couldn't help the title - sorry!

I joined an ATC swap group and one of our themes was 'no paper'. Sounds cool and exciting but if you think about it - it's quite difficult to do. The following ATC's are what I came up with and an explanation of the technique I developed to get to the finished product. I hope you like it and please DO try it at home!! (and tell me how you go!)

I have a review of the Colourful Thoughts Jewel Enamels on my blog HERE.

Colourful Thoughts Jewel Enamels:
  • Diamond Clear
  • Rich Copper
  • Deep Gold
  • Light Gold

Utee Flex
Black Stazon ink
Versamark ink
Prima Clear stamp 4x6 Recital
Barn Door Distress Ink

Green Craft Cutting Mat
Dual Heat Gun from AED
Soldering Iron
Glad Bake
Cutting Knife

I covered my green mat in newspaper (about 10 sheets) and then in Glad bake. I then poured Jewels from the four colours above and a fair helping of Utee Flex randomly onto the Glad bake (I used Utee Flex as without this - the size of each ATC will render my project brittle and liable to crack and/or snap because it will have no backing). I laid another sheet of Glad Bake over the top and 'ironed' my Jewels. This can be quite a lengthy process depending on the thickness of your layer of powders. A note to remember also - is do not press down on the project while ironing; when the Jewels become molten they will spread and if you are pressing they will spread to far and the sheet of Jewels will end up too thin (remember you want to stamp into it!). Before removing the top layer of Glad Bake, let the Jewels cool - otherwise when you pull that Glad Bake off the top, you may pull your project apart!
(the larger 'balls' seen in the first photo are the Utee Flex)

Any thin areas or to concentrated in one colour - I added more flex and Jewels and re-ironed, repeating until I was happy. You will notice when you pull off that top Glad Bake that the project is not shiny - but dull. This is addressed by gently heating with your heat gun until you see the gloss return - do NOT leave too long or your Jewels will become too molten and move - creating holes and 'tears' which will then need more product to fill. Viola! you now have "Jewel Paper".

With a craft knife and metal ruler - score your Jewel Paper (my project used enough product to make 10 ATC's (slightly smaller than 2.5in x 3.5 in - about 1 x 30 gram jar in total) and scraps leftover to re-melt into faux buttons and wax seals.

Once I scored my Jewel Paper, I used my soldering iron to gently 'cut' my ATC's along the score lines. Next I gently heated the surface of each one until slightly (in some cases more than slightly!) molten, versamark inked my "recital" stamp then black Stazon inked it and stamped into the ATC, no pressure as the weight of the block gives enough pressure to imprint the design. Once completely cool, I removed the stamp and tidied the edges (sometimes adding a 'hole' for the rustic look) with my soldering iron.

The only thing left to do is ink for definition with Distress Inks - Barn Door, however - I did have a problem with this. Distress Inks are supposed to be permanent dye inks but the ink did NOT adhere to the Jewels and dry. I was still rubbing off a week later. I would recommend using Stazon ink for this - if you have them at your disposal or rubbing/buffing mediums.

I do hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and try it out for yourself. Let me know if you do - and how you go! Please also stay tuned and visit me on youtube for number of Tutorials on using Colourful Thoughts Jewel Enamels!

Thanks for Visiting!


  1. What a fabulous idea - so need to get some of those jewels & give this a go myself - thanks for the step-by-step instructions! Love the way your ATC's turned out.


  2. Awesome Jen!
    So THAT'S what an iron is for LOL.

  3. Thanks Rachel! Lol Teresa, never seen an Iron used any other way!! ;-P

  4. Man, amazing stuff, You never cease to impress Jen!I'm off to play, thanks so much for the inspiration
    P x


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