Thursday, May 3, 2012

A New Challenge!

It's May now, and the Dreamweaver Stencils' Dream Team are playing with a new challenge, and we're hoping that YOU will play along! All of this month, we'll be creating for graduations and/or using black and white with a pop of color. May and June are typically the time for grads in the US, but to keep things even more interesting, you can choose to play with our colorway challenge instead.
This is my creation, and, as you can see, it almost fits both categories (no real pop of color here).  I actually taught this in one of my recent classes.  It was fairly easy, and the assembly includes an older Little Yellow Bicycle paper, some gray cardstock, white cardstock, and a silver and black ribbon. The other supplies are a Basic Tool Kit from Mercart Metals, Embossed Metal Backing Paste and glue.
One of the reasons that I had no "pop of color" here is that I wanted to keep it generic for everyone in class.  If it were up to me, there would have been a red ribbon and tassel in honor of the high school my nieces go to.
Anyway, the real reason that I taught it in class was to learn the technique.  The hat was "debossed" and the tassel and diploma were "embossed".  Here are the steps:
1)  Place a piece of Mercart black coated aluminum on top of Dreamweaver Stencil LL449 Graduation and an acrylic block.  The placement goes like this:  acrylic block (or any other hard and smooth surface), stencil face up and aluminum, black side up.
2)  Use a blending stump (a drawing tool) to lightly run over the top of the hat area until you can see where the edges are.
3)  Using a Mercart Teflon Tool, push the metal up against the edge of the stencil.  This defines the edges.  Use the larger end of the tool to flatten the area on the inside.
4)  Remove the metal from the stencil and trim off the excess.  You should have a defined cap with a slight edge around it.
5)  Replace hat into the stencil.  You can lay it on top and gently move it around until it "locks" into place.
6)  While metal is in stencil, sand lightly until you can see a silver lining around the cap.  Remove and trim closer.
7)  For the tassel and diploma, you will set up the acrylic block with both the stencil and the metal face down on the block.
8) Repeat steps 2 and 3.
9)  Remove metal from stencil and place black side down on a piece of suede.
10) Push the metal out with Mercart Ball tools.  Use a small one for the thinner areas (it is on the outline tool) and a larger one (on the small cup and ball tool) for the larger areas.  You can also use the tools more creatively, like making scratches with the small tool for the individual threads of the tassel.
11) Flip metal over and place back on acrylic block.  (It should now be face up.)  Use the Mercart Teflon Tool to define the edges and flatten the background.  You can do this by "outlining" with the tool.
12)  When you have the metal the way you like it, remove it from the acrylic block and fill in the wells you have created with Mercart Embossed Metal Backing Paste.  Let dry. 
13)  Sand off as much black as you like and attach to card.  I use just a little Designer Dries Clear Glue by Art Institute Glitter for this.

You do not have to have a complicated creation to play along with us, so pull out your supplies and have some fun! Link your creation to the Dream It Up! blog, or email pics of your creation to We love to post your submissions on the blog as well as the Facebook page. Even more, we love to provide you the opportunity to win one of two sets of two stencils by playing along. You have all of May to link as many creations as you'd like! must be from the US or Canada.
In the meanwhile, head out to the other blogs for some more inspiration, and I will see you here next week! 


  1. Awesome my friend! Always amazing!

  2. You are and will always be the metal Queen. This card is awesome I love what you do.

  3. Great card Laura, you are such a pro with metal embossing! Congrats on the Art Glitter team!

  4. Oh, my Laura you really made that mortarboard and diploma come alive...and with metal no less! Amazing creation! Thank you for the inspiration!

  5. So many good thoughts coming your way . . . for the Art Glitter team, the great card and excellent instructions.

  6. Your metal embossing is PERFECT!!! I have students all the time as me about our metal creations!!! You go girl!!!! Have a super weekend!

  7. Perfect for the challenge, Laura!

  8. it's too bad i can't take your classes as you have amazing techniques. luv your card!