Hi Everyone! I am back with leather embossing experiments and in this case I am looking at paper cutouts again with an eye towards the thickness of the layers and/or lack there of. I did something similar with paper embossing where I used different thicknesses- by utilizing a different number of layers glued together- and used that to emboss paper to get a 3D impression.
So this experiment hopefully will accomplish two things-
A: could we get a 3D look using different layers of cardstock
B: does the one layer or the two layers give me enough of a good impression on leather that I don’t need to do the three layer? Because especially with the smaller,
more detailed designs, it’s kind of a drag to layer and stack them perfectly. There are tricks of course for this- like using spaces cutout for pegs or something like that for
alignment, but you have to be aware of where those are placed to avoid having those alignment holes ending up in a project. So a single layer would definitely be easier 😉 .
You should check out my introductory post if you haven’t already. It’s long, but I talk about how to prepare the leather as well as other tips and warnings for using your die cut machines with leather. These machines can be broken if you don’t know what you are doing so please be careful!
So to that end, I cut small flowers, layered them and labeled them according to their thickness- 1 vs 2 vs 3 layers.
I layered them on a piece of test leather that was already prepared (see my original leather embossing post to find out more on this step). I place a piece of embossing rubber on top of my Sizzix Big Shot platform that I use with just one tab down, and then I cover it with the embossing plate, and nine pieces of cardstock as shims. If you’ve got thicker shims, you can feel free to use them.
The results were great! The three layer looks fabulous- nice and deep. The two layers embossed fine, but I didn’t align those cutouts as well so if you if you look closely the layers are ever so slightly off kilter and that left a slight ridge in the leather. I decided to try to use a stylus with a ball end and a dental tool with a flat rounded edge to try to smooth out the ridge. I should have re-wet the leather at this stage, but it still seemed to help a bit. I certainly wouldn’t want to do a lot of this smoothing, but in a pinch it might work.
Here are the results of the different thicknesses:
Then I tried using a single layer if cardstock cut in a stencil design so the images of the tiny flowers will pop out of the leather.
Note that in leather (as in paper), the stencils will cause the leather to push through and have a raised look, while the cutouts will depress the leather and cause it to sink down.
The single layer embossing wasn’t as deep, but it still looked fine and even looked good after staining it. This design had more solid images that allowed the stain to pool around them. I’ve found with shallow, more intricate designs the coloring step is a bit trickier though.
So, in a finicky design where it would be super hard to layer three layers together without having the layers misaligned and then ending up with ridges in the leather. I think the single layer may be the way to go.
Here is how the test of a single layer turned out: