Mica comes in many forms but the type I get the most questions about are the sheet, composite and flake forms. Mica is also found in all sorts of pigments ~ powder, cake & liquid. It's added to papers for reflectiveness as well as being used in all sorts of industrial applications.
The most common form of mica found in the US naturally is flake or waste forms. This is where they get the flake mica (of course) and composite mica's. Composite mica is just lots of smaller pieces of mica pressed together then cut into nice neat sections.
sheet mica which comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Sheet mica depending on it's chemical make-up will vary in color and may also have inclusions which add interest to your finished piece! You can find mica pre-cut into various shapes from circles, photo corners, tags, etc.
Here are a couple examples of the different types of inclusions you might find in the mica sheets. With the right placements these could really add to your design!
One of the things I love about mica is that you can get so many sheets out of just one piece! If you look along the edge of the mica (both sheet & composite forms) you will notice all of the layers. Each one of those can be a separate sheet of mica. In the case of composite mica you might get many many smaller pieces - flakes that can range from 1/4" - 2-3" pieces. To separate these sheets you just need to stick a sharp object in between a couple of these layers and gently run it around the entire out-side edge. With just a bit of pressure the two pieces will peel apart!
Sheet - Notice how the inclusion isn't in the piece I peeled off. They are scattered through out the layers so no 2 pieces dispite the shape will be exactly the same. The color variations and inclusions will vary from layer to layer.
On to the projects!
Mica is easily cut, stamp-able, and heat resistant so it's perfect for rubber stamping. Today I will be using Composite Mica. The first project I want to share with you is mica charms which could be made from both the composite as well as sheet form of mica. I personally like the composite for this type of application as the smaller layers add much more glitter than the sheet form.
Mica Charms -
Composite Mica - Hannah Grey
Collage Sheet - Hanna Grey
Circle Punch or Scissors
Streuter Glue Film or clear drying liquid adhesive
Iron or Embossing Gun (to heat Glue Film) (not nec. if using liquid adhesive)
Specialty Edge Scissors (optional)
Just a few things before we move on to the instructions...
I used the Glue Film for all of the following examples. As you will note the Glue Film disappears without a trace but provides a very strong and durable hold! The best part is there is no dry time as with a traditional liquid adhesive! I LOVE this because I don't have to hurry up and wait. It is a busy crafters dream!!! I made ALL 3 of the following charms in less time than what it used to take for dry time on just one side of one charm to dry!!!! How freakin awesome is that - LOL!! I just LOVE this stuff!!! (I am a bit impatient when it comes to creating!)
If you do however wish to use liquid adhesive, simply substitute your favorite clear drying liquid adhesive where I used the Glue Film and add time for drying in between each of the steps.
Also, when you are selecting your collage images you will want to make sure that the image you use isn't too dark. Adding a layer of mica will darken any image. If you start off with something too dark or your layer of mica is too thick it will be hard to see. (Note the circle charms back side...it's a key that says treasure but because the piece of mica is a bit thicker in the center and the collage image was a dark brown you can't see anything.)
1. Cut 2 collage sheet images, 2 slices of mica and 3 pieces of Glue Film all to the same size. Note - all of these items can be cut to any shape or size desired. You are only limited by your imagination. You could die-cut, hand-cut, use a stencil, paper punches, etc. The options are limitless!
2. Make a layer sandwich starting with collage image on the bottom (face up), words if any are being used, a layer of Glue Film, and finally a layer of Mica on top. Iron or heat with embossing gun to melt Glue Film.
3. Flip this layered piece over (so the back of the original collage sheet is face up), add a layer of Glue Film over this, 2nd collage image (face up - remember your collage images should be back to back), another layer of Glue Film and finally a 2nd piece of Mica. Iron or heat with embossing gun to melt both layers of Glue Film.
Note - with this many layers your image or mica may tend to slide a bit. No worries, just heat again and slide the stray piece back into alignment. Remember Glue Film is very forgiving!!
4. Cut stray edges with regular or Specialty Edge Scissors.
5. Punch hole & add eyelets.
Mica Charms Side 1 -
Mica Charms Flip Side -
Genuine Girl -
Tomorrow I will share some ATC's I made using Composite Mica! I cannot wait to share them with you...the results are simply amazing :)
Till Then...happy crafting!!!