Make : Your Own Sorta-Letterpress* Paper

Don't work on a project when you're tired +other experiments hacking my Sizzix

the rejected banner, not that the other one is perfect, neither turned
out the way I wanted it to look.

Tried something new out for the banner --you know it's true what research says -- working on something when you're sleepy doesn't produce good results. I finally had to close the file {I was nodding off so bad --} and call it a night at 1:30am -- Even after looking at it again I'm pretty sure I should just delete and start over. I'll try it when I'm not so sleepy.

Make : Your Own Sorta-Letterpress** Background Paper
What I wanted to show was the background paper -- -that is actually a "de-embossed" image. Or "de-bossed" ???-- I heard that phrase the other day. Either way its the the opposite side of the paper once you run it through the die cut machine while using an embossing folder. This is what I affectionately refer to as hacking my sizzix.

Tools used : original sizzix machine, cuttlebug embossing template {Damask}, ivory cardstock and pink inkpad.

The thinking one day was this -- wouldn't it be cool if I could do my own letterpress here at home without having to invest in one of those cool vintage letter presses or whatever they use to get those super awesome crisp designs. Why, if they could put silkscreening in a cute do-it-yourself-at-home kit like the Gocco {So much to Love about Japanese design!!!} couldn't someone come up with something like a desktop letterpress kit? hint, hint someone. Um, Hello, Japan, we need your design savvy here.

Enter the Sizzix {the original one} - it's essentially a press so I thought I could try this experiment out. I used cardstock from a scrapbooking project. The biggest paper size you can go to looks to be about 4x6 or greeting card size, or the size of the cutting pad, embossing folders come in all sizes. {sorry, I don't measure anything, sorta like I cook}

1. First I inked the raised design on the cuttlebug template with a pink ink pad. The ink will collect in the pressed down areas of the design. That's the cool part.

2. Working on your cutting pad, slide the paper in the embossing folder. You want the raised, inked design to be above the paper. Which means you put the embossing folder on the cutting pad the opposite way the real instructions tell you to.

3. When the paper is lined up where you want it, carefully close the folder on the cutting pad and slide the whole cutting pad {which has your paper+template on it} under the "press." Careful not to shift anything.

4. Press the whole design in place, the larger embossing folders require you to make several presses to get the whole design. Make sure not to shift the paper and folder, otherwise the design might not line up.

5. Remove cardstock from embossing folder and Admire your sorta-like-letterpress* paper! {Above} See how the ink gets inside the nooks and crannies?

{this one {above} was accidentally "pressed" twice so the texture is not as prominent -- but I wanted to show the right side of the template {named : Damask} it is one of the most elegant from cuttlebug.}

**sort of like letterpress, but not, close though.

Enjoy, try it out if you have a sizzix!


Anonymous said…
What? No comments on this cool post all this time!? I came across your tutorial about letterpress sizzix hacking, after viewing a youtube video about the L letterpress system. It sure looked like a bigshot that was being used in this new home letterpress system. So I've been googling to see if other people with a Sizzix machines had experimented with this technique. That's how I found your blog. After reading your post, I gave it a try .. and it's pretty neat! I still think I prefer the look of the cardstock embossed and then the raised design inked up direct from the inkpad. Thanks for posting this, your great photos inspired me to finally drag out the bigshot and start experimenting! Now I want to go read the rest of your blog!
future.mrs.m said…
love it!! beautiful and creative. now if i only had the machine :)
Kaelin said…
Thanks so much! I've been looking all over the web, and you are the first person I found to confirm I can sorta-letterpress with my Sizzix. Great post!

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