Swallowtail Emboss Resist Technique Tutorial

Emboss Reisist Technique: Fast and Fabulous!

Good morning!  We are nearly through another week…and nearly finished with the month of February!  Spring is on our minds, and on the horizon, too.  To bring you a preview of the joys of spring, I created a card using an “emboss resist”  technique.  For this project, I used Stampin’ Up’s glorious new Swallowtail stamp set.  I could not wait to get my hands on this beauty!  First, the size of this stamp is wonderful for anyone interested in mixed media.  It measures a generous 5 1/4 by 4 1/4 inches!  It makes such a bold statement on any project, as you can see on this card: 007 (2)

Emboss Resist Step by Step

I began with another piece of vintage dictionary paper.  Use your Versamark pad to ink up the Swallowtail image.  (For the uninitiated, Versamark is a clear, sticky ink perfect for embossing because the embossing granules will cling to any image stamped with it.) Cover it with clear embossing powder and use your heat gun to set the embossing powder.  That, clearly, is the embossing step of this technique.  This clear embossed area of your image will resist the application of ink, hence the name “emboss resist”. 

Once your image has cooled, select some Distress Inks and apply them over the embossed image.  You can use the Ranger Distress Ink Tool, or you can use a plain old cosmetic sponge, or even a piece of natural sponge to apply your ink.  The inks will not change the color on the embossed image, but they will color the other parts of the paper.  I used Distress Inks in Tumbled Glass, Mustard Seed and Broken China.  Apply your inks in a circular motion, varying the colors however you wish.  Once I had finished adding my main colors, I came back with some Vintage Photo Distress Ink and really “ground” it into the image.  The idea is to really get down into those blank spots in between the embossing powder.  Then I just lightly rubbed a paper towel over the top of the butterfly to remove any ink that might be laying on top of the embossed portions.  Pretty, isn’t it? 009 (2)

For this card, I mounted the dictionary paper on some scrap cardstock and then fussy cut around the image.  I prepared my card base using papers from Graphic 45’s Olde Curiosity Shoppe collection.  I used a Stampin’ Up embossing folder to create that wonderful texture on the polka dot panel.  (You can find it HERE ). I distressed the edges and stitched around them with my sewing machine. I also dry brushed some cream acrylic paint around the outer edges of the card base.  I wasn’t particularly careful here; I wanted it to be sort of messy and random.  

The beautiful butterfly was mounted using dimensionals.  I added some Stickles, a button from Tim Holtz’s accoutrements, and a Graphic 45 ornate key.  The bow was created using crochet thread that I had in my stash.

011 (2) The inside of the card used the same papers from Graphic 45 and a sentiment from Darcie’s Clear Polymer Stamps (Flowerpot Bear).

Here’s a look at the card with the envelope: 014 (2) 013 (2)  I used my Versamark to stamp a portion of the Swallowtail on the front of the envelope.  When you do this, it creates a lovely, subtle watermark effect: 012 (2)

Add some panache in a flash!

The Emboss Resist Technique is a quick and easy way to add a lot of texture, shine, dimension and visual interest to your project.  It looks impressive, but literally takes seconds to achieve.  It is also budget friendly; clear embossing powder is quite inexpensive to purchase and a little goes a long, long way. 

Thanks for joining me today on my blog.  If you have any questions about the Emboss Resist technique, please do so in the comment section below.  I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can.  The most important thing about creating art is to be fearless. Sometimes, you just have to jump in feet first and give things a try.  If it works out, yay!  If not, you’ve learned something.  Some of my favorite cards have been the result of what I like to call “happy accidents.”  So put your brave boots on today, and go make some art!





Your comments make me happy right down to the tips of my crafty little fingers!  Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

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8 thoughts on “Swallowtail Emboss Resist Technique Tutorial

  1. Broni

    My, old my! This is gorgeous! I love that swallowtail and the colors you chose! The embellishments are perfect! AND the envelope is beautiful all on it’s own!!

  2. ncguygirl

    This is a beautiful card! I love the color combinations and the embossing technique and just shadow of the partial butterfly on the envelope bring it all together into a very beautiful project. Anyone would be delighted to receive this birthday card!

  3. Tanya

    The gems on the wings in flight….how brilliant and lovely. And the faintest watermark stamp…enthralled!
    I so desire you to one day have an online way to order….these are the only cards worth buying….in love.

  4. Nancy

    “The most important thing about creating art is to be fearless. Sometimes, you just have to jump in feet first and give things a try. If it works out, yay! If not, you’ve learned something.”
    Love your attitude, Kathy! And from my perspective it applies to prayer ministry, as well. 🙂

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