embossing tutorial 2 besotted blog

The embossing adventure continues!  These steps will work on all cardstocks but white ink on kraft/chipboard is my most requested so I thought I would oblige. The above image is what a typical white ink would look like stamped on a kraft or chipboard stock (the sample shown is industrial chipboard) it’s not horrible, it’s more rustic, not the result that I want (and I assume from the emails I get neither do you). The problem lies in the surface, the chipboard is porous and fibrous and has a tendency to ‘eat’ the ink it also is not a smooth surface which is not optimal for stamping on (again, I recommend Paper Bag from Paper Source for a nice kraft look carstock + smooth surface).  To begin embossing I highly recommend investing in an embossing buddy type tool (you can refer to the full embossing supplies list here), this tool removes static from your surface and will ensure that your embossing powder will only stick to the actual image you stamped instead of leaving globs of powder all over your surface.

embossing tutorial 1 besotted blog

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Embossing Supplies Besotted Blog

I had originally created this tutorial for another blog that I admire, so much so that I didn’t think it was good enough for them, but I do hope you still like and garner some good info from it!  Recently I have had an onslaught of emails on using white ink with kraft paper (a wonderful combo!) and how the results people were getting were not as great as they had anticipated.  Firstly, I would like to preface this by saying stamping, even though it formerly has been relegated to the craft realm it is actually a legit printing technique and takes some practice. You wouldn’t expect to have no experience with letterpress printing and belly up to the machine and have a perfect go at it would you?  Of course not!  So, give yourself a break and assume your first trial runs will be less than what you desire. Practice makes perfect–pinky promise.

Although, I wholeheartedly believe you can get great results using this white ink, you can get even better (and more professional ones) by going the embossing route. Embossing is simply having the image you have stamped create a slight raised impression. Again, it is another technique that takes some practice but once you have it down you will be an ol’ pro at it in no time. Now let’s break down supplies!

Fig. 01-The Embossing heat tool.  I own both the Martha Stewart version shown above and the Zap.  I hate to say this, but I think the Zap is better, but it’s pretty darn ugly and Martha’s tool isn’t too shabby.  (Note-A lot of the major craft stores such as Michael’s and A.C. Moore have weekly half off coupons that you can use to purchase your supplies at deep discounts.  Unfortunately, the coupons are for in-store use only). These are the two heat embossing tools I recommend, I have tried others but these both surpass anything else I have tried, unlike the embossing powder not all embossing heat tools are created equal.

Fig. 02-This is optional but I highly suggest a small, fine paintbrush to have on hand to brush off excess embossing powder from your surface, I bought mine for $1.00, you may even have one laying around. Fine one that is a little stiff as too soft will be hard to maneuver.

Fig. 03-Embossing Buddy, I have this as optional and it is but gosh it so good, lasts forever and I doubt my finished embossing image would look as perfect without it. What this tool does is get rid of the static from your substrate (your cardstock) which will come in handy once we get to the actual embossing of this tutorial!

Fig. 04-Ink! Since I am discussing white with kraft, I think it’s safe to say get yourself some white ink, but you can emboss with any ink color your hear desires.  I prefer pigment inks when I am embossing they will stay wet longer than other inks.

Fig.05-Embossing powder-I really like this brand and my back-up choice would be this one. I have not noticed such a dramatic difference in embossing powders, so if you can’t find either of those, pick up what is available to you.  I chose white embossing ink for the tutorial but if you can only buy one powder get clear so you can use it with any color ink!

Fig. 06-Paper/Cardstock-I should mention a few things, what you stamp on makes a huge difference in your outcome, if you are using Kraft paper or chipboard find the smoothest one without too many fibers or something that is not too porous. I really like this kraft stock (it’s called Paper Bag) for it’s authentic look and extra smooth surface. I find a lot of kraft cardstock to be too fiber-filled to get a nice impression, but some chipboard works, it just takes a little experimenting.

Fig. 07-Rubberstamp-Not all stamps are good for this technique to create the most impressive results. I find a lot of my stamps work very well because they have nice thin lines and the embossing looks almost like thermography or better yet engraving when done right.  Stamps with more areas to cover like this one, are not as good of a choice because the embossing area will bubble and pop thus becoming bumpy, some people don’t mind that look, but I think it looks too ‘crafty’ and I never want my finished products to look ‘crafty’, I want people to pick them up and be wildly impressed that I made it and they will be don’t you worry, I promise to teach you how!

Tomorrow I will get to part II and later on this afternoon Michelle P. will be serving up a little Inspiration Rx for you!

P.P.S. We are in need of a videographer that needs to get their name out located in the Seattle area, if you have any leads or friends or even if you think YOU can do it, please email  me at besottedblog [at] gmail [dot] com a.s.a.p.!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups, they are expecting a baby girl in December (possibly November). Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.


amy merrick floral intensive class

Firstly, before I launch into an exuberant rant about Ms. Merrick coming to WASHINGTON (!!!) I will need to explain my absence of a promised tutorial today.  I did indeed record a tutorial and I indeed watched a bajillion tutorials on editing in IMovie. I was feeling pretty confident and spent hours last night editing, everything seemed liked it was smooth sailing until I played the screencast back and it was a choppy mess. Also, the quality I am getting from the Quicktime recordings is gosh awful, I know a lot of people record their tutorials this way and they look great so I am not sure what settings I am using to accomplish such lackluster results. I am not giving up though so I will have this darn tutorial for you and by that time I am sure you will have figured it out for yourself, but you will have it! Now back to the subject at hand AMY MERRICK!

I just found out this morning that the uber talented floralista Amy Merrick will be coming to Mount Vernon, Washington August 24th & 25th for a weekend intensive workshop at Floret Flower Farm with floral farmer Erin Benzakein. It seems like a once in a lifetime type opportunity and unfortunately it has a price to match (cue sad face now). I would have loved to join in, even gone with a group of us flower + photo enthusiasts, but alas it is out of range. I do think though if the floral industry seems to be your calling instead of sitting in a cubicle 10 hours a day that this could be a wonderful investment into your floral future and could be what is needed to jump start your career.  I would love to know if anyone plans on going, I want to live vicariously.  To slightly subdue my workshop envy, I ordered Studio Choo’s new book, I have wanted to get it since the launch but didn’t want to be frivolous with my spending, when I compared it in price to the workshop (that I wish I could afford) it seemed like a bargain! Of course it’s not the same, this is AMY MERRICK after all but I am highly anticipating it’s arrival and will be sure to give you a full review.

P.S. The awesome font I used is Jacob Riley by Magpie Paper Works, love, love, love!!!

photos via amy merrick

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to motivate you to fall-truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.


Camp Ginny Branch BesottedNow this is the kind of camp I can totally get behind!  CAMP-Creating Art Meaning Purpose was founded by one uber talented Ginny Branch (my fave) and her uber talented friends (birds of a feather..) I am going to go out on a limb and say this may be the most beautiful camp on earth.  The choice of classes are all sublime, everything from Food Photography + Styling, Upholstery 101, Business Basics 101, to Pick with a pro (I want to join!) and so many more.

The classes are currently held in Georgia which makes me ask why these weren’t in full swing last summer when all I was doing was sweating profusely and swatting away mosquitoes at my Southern country home only dreaming of doing something like this. One day I will take a CAMP workshop or all of them, seriously there’s not one on the list that doesn’t sound completely fascinating and worth the time + investment. If you are on the East coast, Georgia is a short plane or train ride away, I would 100% give you my two thumbs up for you to join in the fun. Being that it’s summer, hotels are probably being given away (it gets hot down there!) but I am sure the brilliant minds behind CAMP have you covered, it looks like there is no detail overlooked on their watch so I bet you will be cool, collected and sipping on something marvelous like fresh squeezed organic lemonade with fresh mint ice cubes and a dash of spritzer for extra refreshment. Think of me while you are learning away and do let me now if you join in the fun, I would love to live vicariously.

photo by ali harper

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups.



I had been seeing these pipe shelves crop up all over the internet and really wanted to try my hand at making one; I had a couple of obstacles 1) I have a hard time following directions 2) I don’t own any real power tools (a drill + mini sander but those don’t really count now, do they?)  My husband is not handy but he sure is handsome so there’s that.  So here is my “Cliff” notes version of how this came about. Last summer I decided to give it a try.  At Home Depot I eyed the plumbing pipes longingly (as one does) when a salesperson asked if he could help me, I told him that I wanted to make a pipe shelf but they didn’t have pipes in the sizes I needed and I didn’t have tools, (insert crazy look here) I showed him some on-line images, and he said no problem they could cut the pipes to any size I needed for a nominal fee. I went home and started figuring out my exact dimensions needed. This is important since a lot of the DIY instructions on-line are for what worked for that individual, if you are going to make this, make it so it works for you.  I had a very long narrow closet where I wanted this to go, so I knew my boards/shelves needed to have a narrow profile (these were cut for free to size at Home Depot, I think Lowes does free cuts as well). I used the standard 2′ x 4’s. I chose to make my bottom shelf higher so I could fit my filing boxes in neatly, which were tall and narrow. I also added metal casters so I could easily roll the shelf out of the slim closet and could see everything.  It was smooth sailing from there–sanding, stain + polyurethane for the aesthetics, for functionality, I used Gorilla glue and screws to get all the pipe flanges in place and that was it.  It was a weekend project because of the staining and wood glue which needed to dry but it comes together so fast and it did not look like a DIY project, in fact I sold it for a pretty penny when I moved and that was out in the middle of nowhere (the photo above was from my Craigslist listing), just imagine if I lived in the city?!  I am now wanting to make a whole studio space in our tiny city loft and this image has my wheels spinning.

If you need more detailed instructions for this project I have collected some here:

Industrial shelf (they set their shelves on top of the pipes instead of screwing them directly into the shelves like I did).

Here’s the same concept for a coffee table that I think looks equally as good and would probably be the easiest of all the pipe projects.

Be still my beating heart, the already lovely Roost  just got even lovelier (hard to believe but it’s true!) My jaw is still on the floor…

I get a lot of emails each day, but one of my very favorites is the word of the day from Merriam Webster, it not only gives you the word + definition but also the pronunciation and in context examples! It makes me feel like I accomplished at least one great thing each day.

I haven’t been up for doing much lately, but I did download the Graveminder by Melissa Marr (it was on sale!). I am not a big fiction reader but when I do read it I always wonder why I don’t read it more often. I am not that deep into the book, but I’m already impressed with Ms. Marr’s imagination, how did she come up with such things?  From the reviews this isn’t even her most creative book, my curiosity has been peaked.

On a whim the other night my husband and I watched Extreme Couponing, my husband is appalled by the stock piling and I agree there’s not a lot I could/would eat (100 packs of hot dogs anyone?) but gosh darn am I impressed by how much these couponers save.  It has me motivated to look into it a little further, I found this site that gives you a crash course. I would love to have a stock pile of basics like laundry detergent, wouldn’t you?

The Visual Supply Company aka VSCO has just updated their VSCAM app and I love it even more (if that’s possible). I always recommend it as the app to get if you are trying to recreate that film look with your cameraphone.  The app is free and has plenty of filter choices, scroll down here to see some awe inspiring sample images.

Couldn’t get enough of my blogging unsolicited blogging advice? Well here’s some more links to inspire more great content from Alt Summit!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to sunny Seattle with her handsome husband and two pups.

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