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Embossing on Foam

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Over the last few years, crafting and cardmaking has witnessed a huge rise in popularity, and as a result it is great to see that crafting products are appearing in more and more of the usual high street shops, instead of the need to hunt down the little craft nooks which usually required a significant level of skill and patience. Today i am going to share with you a quick and easy technique with one of the more readily available craft products – foam. Of course i don’t mean the shaving foam, or bath foam variety but the squishy flat sheets that are often used in primary schools as an fun alternative to paper. It is sometimes referred to as ‘craft foam’ or ‘funky foam’ and can sometimes be found already cut into shapes and letters as well as the standard sheets.
When i first started crafting and cardmaking i bought an abundance of this foam, and as my skills progressed, i began to move away from using this medium, as in my mind i associated it with kids craft and therefore did not have the ‘professional’ look that i was wanted to achieve. If you’ve been down this path, then you too probably have a pile of funky foam lying dormant in a drawer somewhere. Well, now its time for them to resurface, as i am going to tell you all about a quick and easy technique using funky foam that looks great on cards and is a great way to make your own embellishments for scrapbook layouts and other craft projects. Lets get started…
You will need a piece of funky foam, a rubber stamp, embossing ink pad and a heat gun. First cut a piece of funky foam slightly larger than your stamp design, then prepare your stamp by inking it up with the embossing ink. Then using a heat gun, gently heat the foam. You will see the foam start to glisten as the molecules heat up. Remember to hold the heat gun at least 6 inches away from the foam and also ensure that you are using a heat resistant surface to work upon. As soon as you turn off the heat gun, quickly take the stamp and press it into the foam. You will want to apply as much pressure as possible and hold it firmly in place until the foam has cooled completely. This may take 3-4 minutes. Although the embossing ink is clear, it acts as a release so that when you want to lift the stamp away from the foam, it does so easily. The result is quite magnificent in that the stamp has left an image in the foam that is interesting, tactile and will give great dimension to the finished project. Then take your scissors and trim around the design neatly, and using double sided sticky tape glue your funky foam embellishment in place. You should definitely try this technique on brown coloured funky foam, as the result looks uncannily like leather which is great for a more masculine feel.
TIP: why not use coloured ink instead of embossing ink to reinforce the design and add a little more colour to the embellishment.

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