BeadWise: Quick and Easy Metal Embossing

Love the look of embossed or etched metal pendants but hate the thought of using acids? Our solution is quite simple and requires no harmful chemicals.

You may be familiar with die-cutting machines, used to cut shapes out of paper and fabric for scrapbooking, card making, and other crafts. We used the Sizzix Big Kick machine with embossing folders and dies from Vintaj to (literally!) crank out embossed pendants and charms, perfect for bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and key chains!

Here’s how:

To emboss both sides of a metal blank, first place the thick plate onto the base of the machine. Then place your metal blank in the embossing folder and close the folder. Place the folder between the two clear plates, and then place the clear plates on top of the thick plate. Crank the handle. You’ll feel a bit of resistance—just keep cranking! Remove the blank from the folder, and voila! You’ll see the embossed image on both sides of the metal blank.

Make a single-sided embossed blank in the same manner, using a die instead of a folder (you’ll want to place the blank face-down onto the die). Once your blanks have been embossed, use a reliefing block (also from Vintaj) to lightly sand the raised areas. This will highlight the raised area, making the design really pop!

The Big Kick and Big Shot machines work in the same way (and you can order your own Big Shot in the Interweave Store). We’ve had a lot of fun playing with the Big Shot machine to die cut leather pieces for cuffs and necklaces (more on that to come, or check out Jill MacKay’s video download on working with die-cut leather in your jewelry projects).

Have fun!

These products can help get you on your own embossing metal journey: