Friday, November 5, 2010

A Little Help, Please

Dear Blogosphere,

I need a little help with heat-embossing on vellum. One of my customers is making her wedding invitations, and instead of the stamped & embossed single letter of her soon-to-be last name, she wants to incorporate both of their current last name initials. She's using this pretty circle:

... from the {OMGIFORGET} set for the frame. We used Elegant Eggplant Craft ink and clear EP on SU's Shimmery White card stock for her mock-up. Then we stamped the letter from this alphabet set:

... on another piece of the same paper, using the same ink & embossing. We punched it out with a 1 1/8" circle punch and it fit perfectly inside the circle. No Stamp-A-Ma-Jig alignment. No fuss, no muss. It was really pretty!

In real life, she'll be using a champagne shimmery card stock on her invitations, but the SU Shimmery White was all I had. Hey, it's a mock-up.

Then she wanted to try using two letters, and printed a few in fonts of her choice for us to try. This was last night's exercise. I used the same fonts in a Word document, made it purple, printed it on SU Cardstock Vellum and embossed it with clear EP. It came out FAB-U-LOUS:

But it's white. She needs Champagne. She'd ordered some Vellum samplers from the paper company, and they were beautiful. Some were shimmery and some were not. But before we moved on to the special paper, I first tried it again on some Mike's vellum (also white). It's about the same weight as the SU Cardstock Vellum, and it came out just as nice:

(Please ignore that green spec; I have no idea what it is. Also please ignore how dark this photo is. I need a new photographer.) Now we know ANY heavy-weight vellum will do.

Side note: I've made a bazillion cards like this next one using the lighter-weight Mike's vellum:

... so I assumed the vellum did not have to be heavy. I print on this thinner vellum and heat-emboss it just fine. Vellum is perfect for this since it does not absorb the ink - it just sits on the surface of the vellum waiting to be powdered and heated.

The reason I bring this up is this:

THIS is what happened when I printed the same letters on the special thinner shimmery vellum from the wedding paper company. It looked like this - all spread out - when I took it out of the printer. The paper just absorbed the ink and it bled! Needless to say, it didn't emboss at all.

Lastly, I tried to print on the SU Shimmery White card stock:

DUUUUUUH! It's card stock! It printed just fine, but the ink got absorbed, so naturally there was nothing to emboss. Why card stock? Because we thought we could just print on her champagne card stock when she gets it. Not gonna happen. Rats!

At this point last night, we'd run out of options. Boo.

What I've done to help (being the good little Demo that I am): I suggested she (1) take our samples and head over to The Paper Source some time and talk with them. She needs to talk to real paper people. And (2) I suggested she call the wedding paper place and talk to them, too. They may at least be able to explain why the printing got absorbed, or suggest something else from their stock. Two of my other customers have used this wedding paper place and the paper really is gorgeous. We just need to work through this vellum issue.

Oh, and they have heavier vellum, but it's not shimmery, and the shimmery card stock is GOR-JUS! She really needs the champagne color in shimmery vellum for this to work out.

So my plea to all of you is: Do you have any idea WHY this shimmery vellum absorbed the ink? Is it maybe not really vellum, and perhaps just thin, translucent paper? Have any of you been through this, or have any experiences or hear-say (we'll take hear-say!) you can share? I told her I'd send out a plea to the masses. :) Feel free to ask your friends! Any feedback will be most welcome!

Thank you!


  1. The circle is from Together Forever (which I do not have, and definitely covet). My thought is that whatever process they use to make the vellum shimmery also makes it porous = absorbent. Perhaps you could give it a light spray with a clear sealer before you print and emboss, just so the ink would sit on top of the paper instead of absorbing into it...? Alternately, you could do the printing/embossing on the white vellum and then spritz it with a champagne glimmer mist to make it shimmery. Other than that, I don't really have anything helpful to add. Good luck, and keep us posted!

  2. Wouldn't it be easier to just have a custom stamp made and use a slow drying ink like palette ink?

  3. I used this technique with both of my daughters wedding invitations. One of them was married in 2001, so not so much of a new technique at all.
    You can heat emboss on any vellum. Here is the catch. Vellum has a definate right and wrong side to heat emboss. Try a little (small in size stamp) on the very corner to determine the right side of the paper.
    Also, make sure the ink is good for embossing on regular paper, first.
    Make sure you do the embossing IMMEDIATELY when the paper comes out of the printer--you have about 3 seconds to get the embossing powder on there. Make sure the embossing powder is relatively new, and fresh. If it has too much moisture in it--results will be lacking. Lastly, I found out the the micro-fine or at least fine, embossing powder works the best on vellum. another thing, Always use and embossing buddy, or some such device to prepare the vellum, and too, work in small segments, or at break neck speed, whichever you prefer. Hope this helps. Shelley W.

  4. i have NO HELP here, what with being technique impaired and all...but GEE WIZ you are a nice lady AND your scientific method of pure research as it applies to stampin' stuff CANNOT BE BEATEN!!!!!! ♥♥♥ (good luck, missus!)


I'd love to hear what you really think! :-)

PS: I've had to disable Anonymous comments, because the spammers were killing me. If you are unable to comment, please email me your comment and I'll get it posted for you. Sorry. (stoopid spammers)