Making Impressions with a Big Shot!

That’s with a Stampin’ Up!  Sizzix Big Shot of course!   

 (No telling what some of you ladies and gents were thinking right…. :D)


 We have three types of Sizzix product that make Impressions. 


Embosslit Dies

Embosslits Catalog image

The small embosslit dies that cut as well as emboss and have a very detailed embossing that doesn’t require any special tricks (they are pretty tricky all on their own) or sandwiches.   


Textured Impressions Embossing Folders

The embossing Impressions Folders like Manhattan Flower and the newer Finial Press and Elegant Bouquet are true embossing folders and work every bit as well as the Cuttlebug and other more well known embossing folders with the advantage of being slightly larger for more full card coverage (note: at CHA last week Provocraft announced new full sheet embossing folders for the Cuttlebug).

While these folders can be inked with a brayer they don’t necessarily hold up to repeated cleanings with this technique without some discoloration (discoloration doesn’t effect their use) so if you are a neat freak you might want more than one so you can have a “dirty” one and a clean one.
These folders can also be cut apart and used for various debossing techniques.  Jay over on her Indigo Inklings blog  has some wonderful ideas for this. Check out her sidebar listings to find all the related articles for these and other wonderful embossing techniques.  Click hereto see her blog. 


Texturz Plates

The Texturz plates are not so much embossing tools as texture tools and have a lighter less deep, less defined image as a result.  It is possible to get a deeper more detailed image by lightly spraying your cardstock with either water or alcohol before running it through the big shot.  A little extra shimming with or without the water will also help create a deeper impression though it will still not be quite as defined as using an actual embossing folder or embosslit.  I might add that it is important to use the proper pads such as the silicone rubber and the impressions pad to get the best results. Some people make the mistake of using the clear acrylic cutting pads and so get a very unsatisfactory impression.

 Further note:  If you look at the instructions on the multipurpose platform there is a sandwich on both “no tabs” and “tab 1”.  Several demo’s have found that if you experiment a little (depending on the thickness of your paper)with these settings you will find the sandwich that works best for your machine.  Start  by introducing the sandwich carefully into the Big Shot – if you are feeling a lot of resistance back it up and try a smaller(thinner) sandwich.  The difference in look is also in using the right combination of silicone rubber and the impressions pad.  Just play with it a little and you’ll find you get a lovely textured impression.

Tip:  Another nice thing about the Texturz plates  is that they can also be inked with any kind of ink from metallics to crafts to classic to alcohol based (and easily cleaned – not something the competitors can handle quite so well) and then the ink is pressed into the design for an interesting appearance.   These plates are the largest yet so you can texture, ink or whatever else a full sized card and then some.   Using this technique you can create smaller design background pieces.   Remember that this is meant to be a subtle element and is yet another tool in our arsenal.   As with all tools you have to pick the right one for the job you want to get done.

All of these embossing options will work in the Big Shot and the embosslits and Impressions folders have the added benefit of working in most other die cutting machines as well including the Sizzix original red machine and the Cuttlebug.  I’ve even heard tell that a rolling pin and sufficient pressure will also work though I wouldn’t recommend this since it will probably void the dies warranty if anything happens to it.
That’s a brief overview of the 3 various embossing options and as with all tools you have to pick the right one for the job you want to get done. Hopefully this gives you a few ideas to put you on the embossing path of creativity. 

Gotta love the Big Shot and all the wonderful options it gives us!

If you have further questions please feel free to contact me and as always you can order any of these wonderful products 24-7 on the SU site by clicking on the link in my sidebar.  Please select me as your demonstrator.  Or for best pricing send me an email with your contact info and I’ll get your order processed right away.


Hugs and blessings fellow stampers – Jean






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