Saturday, December 11, 2010

Embossed Metal Ornaments

My Friend Michele over at The Scrap Shoppe is still hosting her fun and inspiring Homemade Holidays, and I was excited to do another guest post. This time I did:  Embossed Metal Ornaments similar to those I have on one of my Christmas trees.

First you'll need some metal soft enough to emboss. Walnut Hollow and Ten Second Studios sell it as does AMACO which is what I'm using here:
I got mine at Michaels but you can find it at many art supply stores. It comes in copper, brass, aluminum, and pewter as well as colors. It also comes in different weights. I like the medium.

Then decide what you want your ornament to be and find an image you can trace (or you can draw freehand). I chose a dove ( downloaded from the internet) and printed out on regular copy paper. Cut off a piece of your metal and lay your image on top:
Sorry for the pic quality...didn't realize the reflection of the light
The AMACO metal comes with a wood stylus or you can use a ball point pen , pencil, or dry embossing tool. I have a rubber mat I use but you can use magazines or a stack of newspaper to give yourself some cushion so when you trace, you get some indentation. You don't have to press super hard, but firmly.

Once you 've traced your image, you can flip it over and go around the inside or outside edge to give it more definition. Then you can start designing. I did freehand designs or you can trace a design just like you did your image:
I just made a scallop pattern around the edge and some squiggly lines in the tail.
When you're happy with your design, then cut out around the image. You can use regular craft scissors. You don't need special ones.
I added some spirals to the middle
While there are all kinds of specialty tools you can buy:

You don't have to. Sewing tools like pattern wheels work great:

I just used a perforation wheel to make random lines on this one which you'll see below. Once you've cut out your images, add a small eyelet in the center and then whatever you want to use to hang it. I added these to another of my trees :
This is the one I used the pattern wheel on just making random lines and then added "dots" using a dry embossing stylus

Hope that made sense. It can get very addicting and the metal goes a long way. I've used it on cards, as accents on altered art, etc. Here's another piece I did a couple of years ago that I aged with a little black paint:

And don't forget to go check out some of the great projects over at :

Linking Up At:



Allison {A Glimpse Inside} said...

Those are beautiful!

Vicki said...

These came out great! Thank you for sharing this project. I love your bird!

Netty said...

Oooh I love them and thank you for such a great tutorial. Only wish you could buy this product in the UK. Annette x

Unknown said...

such lovely bird ornaments! i really like how you've just gone to town and gave each one a different personality! this is a technique i've yet to try. thanks for sharing the how-to!

Lori said...

Love these, dear, they're just glimmery metal goodness! And it reminds me I've been away from the metal a while, I need to get back to that...

Anne said...

I LOVE this project!!! Definitely going to add it to my future Christmas projects file! Thanks for sharing!

Erin said...

OOOH! I love this!!!

Michelle L. said...

Your dove: completely gorgeous. Love the cool antiqued holly too. Thanks for tuting these, such great tips!

The Autocrat: Haley said...

Those are totally awesome! Super fab job!

Unknown said...

you did such a great job. love them.

Anji* said...

So pretty! I just ordered some embossing metal :)

Caroline @ Artfully Caroline said...

Those look great ! I may just try stars or angels !!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

These are just too fun, Carol!! Thank you so much for the link love. :)

Naturally Me Creations said...

This looks like fun to do! I haven't tried this type of craft yet, but i want to...some or other time! :)