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Altered File Address Book – Triple Embossing Using UTEE!

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In preparation for our wedding last year, I had to endure the frustrating and time consuming task of collating the addresses of every single family member and close friend, so that once the final invite had been made, we were ready to post them all out in one fell swoop. It sounded like an easy task, but it dawned on me that I didn’t possess such a thing as an address book.  Furthermore, some of the addresses I needed were in my head, others on an email somewhere; some in a text message on my phone, and some scribbled on old receipts and envelopes tucked away in various nooks and corners of my abode.

Well, it was simply unacceptable and given the numerous tasks that a bride must plan before her big day, I thought that it would be easier and quicker to just buy an address book and make do. Truth be told, I spent more time looking for a suitable address book, than it actually took me to make this awesome project. The fact is, as my surname is Oman, I happen to have quite a lot of contacts to put under this particular letter of the address book. But nearly every address book in all the stores I hunted had both O & P together under one section, and often only had one page dedicated to both these letters. What I needed was an address book that offered flexibility – that was refillable, or expandable. Where I could add in more pages as I needed them. A few shop assistants suggested using a Filofax, but given the expense and the fact that I couldn’t quite find a style that justified the cost and suited my taste, I was given no choice but to put my crafty hat on. And here is the result.

This project is basically an A5 ring-binder purchased from high street stationary store, W H Smith. I chose this style of file for two reasons: firstly it is a great size to decorate and to sit neatly on my shelf, and secondly it is made from a plasma material that I had never worked with before and I wanted to experiment with this medium.

Inside the Address Book
As soon as I got it back home and into the craft room, I sussed out the inside dividers so that I could start entering my addresses and keep them safe even when I was working on the outer cover. Quite simply, the dividers are A5 card punched with an office hole punch and attached to each is a tab stamped with a letter of the alphabet. I used the rounded tab from the Quickutz tab set for this, in conjunction with Whispers Elegant Uppercase Alphabet stamp set. Using the computer I drafted a simple grid like template for each page so that I could print off as many pages for my address book as my heart would desire, and if I ever needed more – they were just a mouse click away. Of course, this had the added bonus that I could type the addresses unto the document before printing it, and then I had an electronic back up of all my addresses safely stored on my computer.

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Designing the cover
For the outside, I knew that I needed to play with one of my newest toys – the crop-o-dile, so I set some large eyelets along the top and bottom edge using colors which coordinated with my spectrum of pink and purple dividers. This worked a treat, and only took a few minutes. Next, with a variety of ribbon lengths and some gluedots continuous lines adhesive, I stuck down random lengths of ribbon in an adhoc fashion, horizontally across the front of the cover. It was simple and funky, but I wanted to make a statement, so I reached for my UTEE.

For those of you who may not be familiar with this product, UTEE is an acronym for Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. It is similar to embossing powder, however the granules are much larger and when heated it has a much thicker consistency. As a result, UTEE is often used as a substitute for regular embossing powder when Triple Embossing. This is a fun technique which is has excellent results and requires less skill than regular embossing, and heres how its done.

1. For my project I chose to triple emboss unto a chipboard letter so that this could act as my feature embellishment, and also the first letter of my title. However, you can do this technique straight unto a piece of card if you like.  So for the first step, take a piece of card or chipboard that you wish to emboss unto.
2. Using a Versamark inkpad or embossing fluid, ink the top of the chipboard letter. Although the ink is often clear in colour, you will see the ink glistening when you hold this up to the light. Make sure that the whole surface is covered.
3. Pour the UTEE over the area and gently shake the excess unto a scrap piece of paper and transfer this back into the pot to be reused.  This means that one bottle of UTEE will go a long way, which is great news for everyone!
4. Using your embossing gun, melt the surface of the UTEE until the crystals melt together and become clear and there are no surface bubbles.  Be careful not to hold the embossing gun too close as this will overheat the UTEE and it will become discoloured.  You may find it easier to heat the project from the underneath side, however be be cautious as embossing guns produce a lot of heat.  
5. While the UTEE is still warm, apply a second coating of UTEE to your project. If at first the granules do not stick, gently heat the area again and reapply.
6. Repeat this a third time, and whilst the third layer is still hot, press a rubber stamp firmly into the UTEE. It is a good idea to ink your stamp first, either in a colour or with clear embossing ink, as this will act as a release.
7. Wait until the area has cooled completely before removing the stamp. Don’t worry, this will not damage your stamps as rubber is extremely durable and will probably last longer on this earth than most of us will.

When you remove your stamp you will see a beautiful etched image in your project, just like the flower stamp which I have used on my chipboard letter A for my altered file address book.  

I hope you have enjoyed this post and perhaps you will give Triple Embossing a try for yourself.  

Let me know what you think of this post, or the Hungry Heffy Crafts website by leaving me a comment here.

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