Over time, I have collected all 3 sets of Fiskars Texture Plates (18 double-sides plates in all), a wonderful collection of textures that includes such names as Stones, Fabric, Waves, Leather, Honeycomb, Basketweave, and more. Who can resist using these in paper crafting or mixed media work?
The challenge in using these plates, originally intended for embossing card stock, thin metal, lightweight chipboard and similar materials, is that it’s a tedious process. Fiskars originally came out with a couple of manual tools for embossing that leave something to be desired, both in terms of consistency and the muscle power it takes to make an impression. Fiskars advises, “To help you emboss smoothly and without ‘scratching,’ use a piece of wax paper and rub the paper to be textured or the tip of your tool.” Honestly, it’s not worth the effort unless you are doing a texture collage and are combing different textures in the same piece.
My preference is to use my Sizzix® Big Shot, which greatly speeds up the embossing process with a minimum of effort. The challenge, however, in using the Big Shot with Fiskars Texture Plates, is that the Big Shot was not designed to work with them, but instead with its own Texturz™ Texture Plates that are not quite the same thickness as the Fiskars plates. Sizzix suggests building a sandwich of specific layers that you slide beneath its rollers to produce an impression in your card stock. This is a good starting point, but doesn’t yield the best results if you are not using their texture plates. Since I already had one mishap involving a too thick “sandwich,” resulting in a broken Big Shot, I was determined to do some research before putting the Big Shot through its paces in connection with Fiskars Texture Plates.
What I discovered is that some methods suggested on the Web do not produce crisp embossing results. The best results are generated when you mist your paper with water, and then emboss it, but when the paper dries it is not always flat. And sometimes it’s not desirable to mist your paper, particularly if you have treated it with a non-water resistant coloring method. (Sometimes that gives you interesting results, though!)
In any event, through trial and error I finally discovered that if you layer materials as follows, you’ll get reasonably good results. From bottom to top, here’s the stacking order.
Slowly, run your sandwich through the Big Shot machine. If you encounter undue resistance, STOP! Use either thinner chipboard or fewer sheets of card stock (see Step #5), then try again. From experience, I can tell you that it is possible to break off the handle on your Big Shot. Slow and easy gets the job done.
Your results should look like the one shown below.
I played with various textures, and discovered to my delight that the results were pretty consistent.
If you experience some slippage between your Fiskars Texture Plate and your card stock, just attach the paper with a few pieces of blue painter’s tape to the plate. It works really well!
Got another method that works with Fiskars Texture Plates and the Sizzix® Big Shot? Let me know about it in the comments below.
© 2013 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.