I’ll be making cards with my backgrounds later, but for now, here are the instructions for Caught in Crystal.
Thermal Acetate – Photocopier or laser printer acetate
Tissue paper – white and larger than the acetate
Inks or reinkers – water based inks work best
Johnson’s Klear Floor Polish
Ultra fine glitter
LOTS of protective paper and/or a non stick craft mat
Wear gloves if you don’t like inky fingers……………..
Using masking tape, tape the acetate down on all four sides. Drop a puddle of Klear in the centre and smooth over with your fingers to cover the acetate.
Add a sprinkling of ultra fine glitter – you can also add other things if you’re feeling adventurous…….. fibres, mica flakes, etc
Crumple the tissue paper into a tight wad, then open again and lay it over the acetate, smoothing down carefully but leaving as many of the creases as you can.
Add more Klear – don’t be mean with it as that’s what makes the inks flow, but don’t add too much at this point. If you do, it will seep underneath the acetate, which will then stick to the paper. Spread it around – using fingers or a paintbrush. Don’t worry if the tissue tears – just rip off another piece and place it over the hole – the Klear will adhere it and no one will see it.
Take two or three inks and randomly drop small amounts on the tissue, then move the inks around with a paintbrush – or your fingers. This is where you need to be careful not to muddy the inks and why it’s best to use small amounts and not too many colours. Add a touch more Klear if you need to lighten the inks, but not too much, then use the kitchen towel to mop up any excess colour or colours which look too dark. I like to keep it light, with some blank areas – it’s nice to stamp something on the card you’re attaching the caught in crystal piece to, so you get a 3D effect.
Heat set from a distance with the heat tool. Even though the acetate is thermal, it WILL buckle if you overheat it. When it’s completely dry, you can’t see any shiny bits at all – it’s more of a satin finish and pretty solid when you touch it. Add another puddle of Klear and again, move it around to cover the tissue. Heat set again.
Add one last layer of Klear – this is the one which really makes it crystallise. I like to use a spritzer for this one – much less messy. Heat set again until it starts to bubble a bit and you see the tissue lifting in small areas – that’s what you want. You can actually see the crystallising and the glitter shining through. This is where the technique (developed by Deb Cowan of Second Star on the Right) differs from the reinker and Diamond Glaze technique developed by Mary Jo McGraw – you don’t get that Crystalline effect with her technique, though it’s still a lovely effect.
Take off the masking tape, being careful not to pull off the tissue paper and turn over. If it has stuck to the paper underneath, don’t panic. You can remove the offending paper bits with a baby wipe or with water and your fingernail. Some of mine stuck but you can’t see it now!
Stamp on the smooth side of the acetate, using Stazon, Brilliance Graphite Black or Stewart Superior Jet Black Document ink – make sure it’s completely dry before layering up.