Thursday, August 19, 2021

Foil Embossing with Stencils and Masks

Here comes a fun idea for stencil lovers!


a ballpoint pen or an artist's stylus
masking tape
a sheet of Fun Foam
heavy-duty aluminum foil (the kind used for grilling)
acrylic paints in your own color choices
2 wide paintbrushes
a soft rag (or paper towels) for buffing
optional:  self-leveling gel medium

My first step is to use green masking tape to secure each of the following layers, in this order --

Bottom layer:  a sheet of Fun Foam
Middle layer:  heavy-duty aluminum foil, dull side up
Top layer: my 9" x 12" stencil It's A Jungle Out There.

Below is a shot of the top layer held down with masking tape:

Now to emboss!

Embossing is a very easy process, done by simply tracing around the openings of a stencil or mask.  You can trace around every opening -- or, just the openings you want.

It works fine to use a ballpoint pen; because the foil's dull side is facing up, you are working from the back of the piece, so the ballpoint ink will not be showing up in your final art. 

But I'm using an artist's stylus, which works the same way. Below is the foil after I have traced the stencil and lifted it off:


Here is a close-up:

The next step is not shown, since not everyone will feel a need to do it.

What I chose to do next was to spread a thin layer of self-leveling acrylic gel across the dull side of the foil -- because I wanted to give the embossed foil additional strength.  After spreading the gel, I set the piece aside to dry overnight.

Fast-forward to the following day.....

I turn the foil over to its bright side, then brush acrylic paint across the entire embossed surface.  While the paint is still tacky, I use a soft cloth to rub some of the paint back off.  

For variety's sake, I repeat this whole process with several sheets of foil and several colors of paint, as shown below:

I have a hard time capturing these results in photos, since the foil is light-reflective.  

How to use these new papers?

I offer these ideas:

Cut them up to use in full-size collages on board or canvas; or small collages on greeting cards, scrapbook pages, or gift-bags.

Wrap full-sized sheets over sturdy cardboard to create art journal covers.  This is easy, since the foil remains flexible, even with the layer of gel that I'd spread across the foil's dull side.

Because of this flexibility, it's also fun to cut the embossed papers into small sizes and wrap them over wooden craft pieces -- hearts are my personal favorite -- to make jewelry or Christmas tree ornaments or embellishments for art journal covers, greeting cards or gift-tags.

And medium-sized sheets of embossed foil can be wrapped around empty aluminum cans to create pencil-holders.  

Thanks for visiting here today!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here!

1 comment:

  1. I really appreciate this post - I’ve seen samples of this type of work in person before and always wondered how it was done. I am scheduling many play hours in the next week