Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Faux Embossed Aluminum & Alcohol Inks (a.k.a. - HVAC Tape Technique)

This is one of the first techniques I ever tried using Alcohol Inks. It started a love affair with the quick drying, easy to use, intense inks!

Now I've heard this referred to as Colored Aluminum Tape, Weathered Metals, HVAC Tape Technique, etc. To me it looks like Faux Embossed Aluminum :)

Inked Aluminum Tape 001


HVAC or other Aluminum Tape (the type with a sticky backing)

Punchies or die-cuts

Glue Stick

Cardstock (for the base)

Alcohol Inks (Stream, Lettuce, Wild Plum)

Ink Applicator & Felts

Sand Paper


1. Make several paper punchies from a fairly thick piece of cardstock (regular paper is too thin).

2. Glue the punchies to the base cardstock using the glue stick.

NOTE: I'm using glue stick for this step because you only need it to hold until you apply the metal tape.

Inked Aluminum Tape 004

3. Cut a piece of the aluminum tape and stick it to the base cardstock over punchies.

Inked Aluminum Tape 006

4. Burnish (rub) the aluminum tape to highlight each punchie. I use my finger but you could use a bone folder, the back of a spoon, etc.

Inked Aluminum Tape 007

You'll end up with something like this....

Inked Aluminum Tape 008

5. Now apply desired color(s) of Alcohol Inks. I never use more than 3 colors ~ for this example I used Lettuce, Stream and Wild Plum.

Inked Aluminum Tape 010

Now this is what it will look like after you have added the Alcohol Inks. You can't really see the faux embossed area can you? Well, the next step will take care of that!

Inked Aluminum Tape 011

6. It's time to sand the raised or faux embossed areas of the tape. You can use just a plain piece of sand paper, a sanding block if you have access to one or you can try a little trick I like to use..... I simply remove the felt piece from the Ink Applicator, wrap a small piece of sand paper over the Velcro area and sand! This is easy, takes no special tools, works like a charm and best of all ~ it's FREE ;) LOL!!

Inked Aluminum Tape 013

Sand the raised areas....

Inked Aluminum Tape 014

And you'll be left with some awesome results!

Inked Aluminum Tape 015

Inked Aluminum Tape 016

Pretty cool huh?

Now to use you can create long pieces to be used for borders, cut it up into smaller pieces to embellish cards or scrapbooks, use a section as a background for an ATC, etc. There are just so many fun ways to use this tape after you're finished.

Tomorrow I'll share a few finished pieces as well as offer up a few alternatives.

Wednesday I'll share a technique that I discovered while messing around that takes this technique to a whole new amazing level ;)

Till then friends ~ go get inky!!!


  1. well another fun technique! luv this! and I have all that stuff! yeah! Glad you are feeling better...one of my falls tore my left rotator cuff! no fun! now stay well cuz we miss you when u are gone! Cher

  2. I've done this with thin copper, but not with HVAC Tape. What a great idea ~ I'll have to try it. Thanks for sharing so many great techniques & suggestions!

  3. Love this technique!! I covered a (cardboard) school box using this technique, turned it into a gift tag box. leave a pen in the box with a roll of scotch tape and walah...great organization!!

  4. Hello,

    Oh yes!! this technique is very very awesome... love it !
    an wonderful idea !!!
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Greetings from France,


  5. oooh, yes, that's really cool and I love the colour combination. The sandpaper over the ink applicator is a great idea. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. this is a fave of mine! love the colors you used...

  7. never thought of sanding the Foil Tape, what a cool idea... looking forward for the next project!

  8. OMG!! I have some of that tape!! Now I want to head home and try it! I will let you know how it comes out. You have some of the coolest ideas. I am always amazed!

  9. Fantastic technique and thank you so much for sharing it with us. Can't wait to give this one a try...adding it to my ever growing list of thinks to attempt.

    Can't wait to see the next project.


  10. Hello Roni! I just bought your book from Barnes & Noble yesterday and LOVE IT. Thank you for putting so much concise & beautiful information...I'm so grateful to have discovered you this way! ...Warmly, ~gina


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!