Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ranger Tech. Calendar - Feb. - Embossing Powders

We're ready for the second page of our calendar ~ February and today's Ranger Product is Embossing Powders.  The technique for today is something I call Gradient Embossing. Let's begin...

Gradient Embossing

A bit about this technique...you will need to use three shades of ink for this technique.  I am using Adirondack Dye Inks since Ranger has taken the guess work out of coordinating the inks.  Each color family has 3 shades of ink that match perfectly.  For this calendar page I am using the Cranberry color family which includes: Cranberry, Watermelon, and Shell Pink.  You of course can use whatever color combo you like.

I also wanted to mention that the key to this technique is patients.  You cannot hurry through this technique or you will fail.  You have to let the paper dry completely before moving on to each consecutive layer. If you don't this technique will drive you nuts cause the EP's will stick to everything!  Trust me on this...I got about 1/2 way through and tried to hurry it up a bit.  Needless to say the finished calendar is not the one I originally started with ;)  That being said if you take your time the results will be stunning!

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 001


Clear Resist/Embossing Ink (Ranger)
Clear & Claret Embossing Powders (Ranger)
Adirondack Dye Ink - Shell Pink, Watermelon & Cranberry (Ranger)
Ink Blending Tool & Foam (Ranger)
Heat Tool (Ranger)
Non-Stick Craft Mat (Ranger)
Stickles Glitter Glue (Ranger)
Small Paint Brush
Bold Stamp* (hand cut)
Cardstock (Georgia Pacific)
Embossing Buddy (Stampin Up)
Embellishments of your choice
Calendar Page

*Note: I wanted to talk a bit about the stamp you choose to use with this technique.  In order to really get the most from this technique you will need to use a bold stamp.  Since we're working on February I decided I wanted to use a heart stamp.  Not having one in my collection I decided to hand cut a stamp from rubber scraps I have saved up.  I simply drew the design on my piece of scrap rubber then cut it out.  Now I have to admit it took me three tries before I got a heart I was happy with.  So no worries if your first try doesn't satisfy you...simply give it another shot.

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 002

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 003


1. Trim a piece of cardstock to desired size.  Give the sheet of paper a swipe with the Embossing Buddy.  This will help minimize extra unwanted specks of embossing powder sticking to your design.  It will not eliminate it completely so don't worry if there are a few bits here and there.

2. Stamp several hearts on the cardstock using clear embossing ink.

3. Sprinkle the stamped images with clear embossing powder. Shake off the excess powder and reserve for later use.  If you see any extra bits of embossing powder, gently brush them off with the paint brush.  Heat to melt the embossing powder.  Let these images cool completely.

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 004

4. Use the Ink Blending Tool to apply the lightest shade of ink, in this case Shell Pink, to 95% of the cardstock working from bottom to top.  (The top portion of your cardstock should be the lightest.)  Let this ink dry completely.

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 006

5. Swipe the cardstock with the Embossing Buddy.  Stamp several more hearts randomly using the Clear Embossing Ink.

6. Sprinkle with Clear Embossing Powder. Shake off excess powder and reserve for later use.  Again, if you notice any extra bits of EP's in areas that shouldn't be carefully remove using the paint brush.  Heat to melt the powders. 

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 008

7. Apply the second shade of ink (Watermelon) using the Ink Blending Tool to 75% of the cardstock working from the bottom up.  You will notice the first two sets of hearts are really starting to pop.  Let this ink dry completely before moving on.

8. Swipe the cardstock with the Embossing Buddy.  Stamp several more hearts using the Clear Embossing Ink. 

9. Sprinkle with Clear Embossing Powders and shake off the excess.  If you see any extra EP, wipe off using the paint brush.  Heat to melt the powder and let it cool completely.

10. Finally add the darkest shade of ink (Cranberry) using the Ink Blending Tool to 40-50% of the cardstock working from the bottom up.    By adding this final color of ink it will add quite a bit of depth to your creation.

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 014

11. Use a damp tissue to wipe off any extra ink from each of the embossed hearts.  This is when the various shades of ink really shines through.

Here is what the paper looks like at this point....

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 016

You can use it as is or you could add one additional layer of hearts as described in step #12.

12.  For an additional bit of depth and interest you can add a final layer of hearts using a dark embossing powder.  Ideally you want to use a color that is darker than the darkest shade of ink.  I am using Claret EP which is a deeper red than the Cranberry and works perfectly.  Stamp and emboss as usual.

And here are the finished results.

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 018

Mount the paper to your chipboard calendar base.  I use my ATG tape but you could use your favorite strong adhesive.  I then cut the edges using my Deco edge blade.   I created a corner guide which will ensure that all of my corners on each page are the same....

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 019

It is now time to add your calendar page and embellishments.  Several people asked me about the felt snowflakes that I used yesterday.  They are die-cut felt pieces I bought at a scrapbook store. I had used with my Alcohol Inks to stamp some AI snowflakes on an older project.  I added a bit of Stickles Glitter Glue to each of the inked felt snowflake prior to mounting them on the calendar. 

If you were around for last year's calendar you will remember that I used one main embellishment for each month to tie the entire calendar together (last year it was a vintage collage image). Well I liked the felt snowflakes so well (January's Calendar page ) I decided to make Alcohol Inked soaked felt embellishments for each month this year.

Today's is of course hearts but I used old felts I used with my red shades of Alcohol Inks (shhh...you're not really supposed to re-use them but I do).  I hand cut 3 different sized hearts then covered each with a bit of Stickles.

Here is February's calendar page...

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 020

and January & February together....

Ranger Calendar - Embossing Powders 022

Two down...10 to go!
Have you decided to join in the fun?
Be sure to share your results if you do!


  1. Cool technique Roni! You may just get me to jump on the calendar bandwagon too!

  2. patience! too bad ranger doesn't sell that in a bottle
    thanks for sharing

  3. Awesome Roni and a great way to recycle the old felts from the Alcohol Inks.

    Elaine Allen

  4. Way cool! Love this technique and now I know what to use those old felts for. This is soooo fun!

  5. So pretty!! Love the way February turned out!

  6. Beautiful Roni--I love the gradient technique--I did it years ago and forgot about it--thanks for reminding me!
    I love Ranger's products.
    Amazing tutorial!

    Your QKD Sister,
    K Andrew

  7. Very neat, Roni! I've not seen this exact technique. I can see where it adds more interest. I noticed you mentioned the ATG. I just bought one last week (I'm anxious to put it to the test). I've heard that there is a place online where you can buy a generic refill quite cheaply. Do you have a site that you always buy your tape from?

  8. this is a great technique! though, you made a spelling mistake here--->
    I also wanted to mention that the key to this technique is patients. should have been patience ;p


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!