Stampers and Scrapbook fanatics will be very familiar with Embossing Powders. Used with special stamp pads, felt tip markers and a heat gun they produce a raised image of your drawing or stamp. I started to play around with these powders and their effect on felt a couple of years ago and just loved the result. It is one of the few ways you can give felt a metallic finish or effect and can look amazing on garments, bags, hats anything you like! As long as you realise that it does stiffen the felt, so probably not appropriate on the part of a scarf or garment that is against your skin but perfect for the ends or as delicate detail. The strip below has copper embossing powder edged with dimensional paint (see the Fish Skeleton post from a couple of days ago) and some of the glass beads.
Where to start! To keep the strip in sympathy with the overarching design (see the Buttons and Beads post) I used the diamond template when applying the powder with a small paint brush:
Now because I didn’t use a stamp pad or felt tip marker there is no liquid for the powders to stick to and when you apply heat with the heat gun it will blow the powder everywhere! Unless -there’s always a trick – you cover it with some baking paper then apply the heat gun. You just have to get it hot enough to start to melt then you can remove the paper and continue directly onto the piece. CAUTION! Do this in a well ventilated place and heat guns get very very hot.
Final phase; the beads which are glued on. Yes! Glued on. You don’t always need to sew, sometimes glue is a better option. If I sewed the beads on it would cause a couple of problems: as the strip is seen from both sides it is difficult to hide the knots, the design would have to match up perfectly and it would have to be pretty heavy duty thread. The answer is glue – the appropriate glue. Glues get a bad name if they don’t work but you have to get the right glue for the right job. For this particular application I chose tacky fabric glue. Tacky glue doesn’t mean bad taste glue, it refers to its ability to remain tacky in the drying process allowing for placement shifts.