Saturday, 25 October 2008

Opals embossing powder & ironing

I have wanted to play with Annette's 'Ironed Opals' technique for some time, but don't have anywhere to buy the Vilene stuff Annette uses. I'm also not quite sure which Vilene product it is. Today, I decided not to let that stop me experimenting, so I tried the technique using what I have at home. I bought some nappy liners a long time ago, but could never make them go into interesting holes (which is what I had bought them for!!!). Today, I laid a nappy liner on a piece of non-stick baking paper, then laid a sheet of iridescent gift wrap on top, then sprinkled with Opals, added another nappy liner, plus another layer of non stick paper, and ironed the whole thing:

You can see the gap half way down on the left where there was no gift wrap. The nappy liner behaves differently when there is nothing to stabilise it.

So, I tried just using 2 nappy liners with a layer of Opals between them:

The Opals fuse the nappy liners together, and if everything gets hot enough, the nappy liners start to make holes. When you peel the Opals sheet from the non-stick paper, it is not very shiny. A quick blast from the heat gun brings back the shine. It also makes more holes, and enlarges holes made whilst ironing. It's a balance between getting the shine back and not destroying the whole piece!

Next, I decided to try and stabilise the nappy liners by adding scraps of gift wrap, and sprinkling snippets of metallic fibres over the 'sandwich filling' between the nappy liners. And I like the 'fabric' of this best (not so sure about the colours LOL):

The scraps of gift wrap stop holes appearing in the nappy liner, so do little piles of the metallic fibre stuff, cut into short lengths. The metallic fibre is something I bought from BitsNPeices4U in the belief that they might be fusible fibres (which they are not). Click on the pictures above for more detail.


  1. Yay! I love it when we start with an idea and develop it ... way to go!!

  2. Fabulous results! Gorgeous colors.
    I "think" vilene is like iron on interfacing. Look for it in a light weight weave and one sided iron on. It will be fun to play with anyway.

  3. Awesome!!!
    I'm really liking this ironing art materials thing.
    Waaay better than ironing clothes.

  4. Well done Adrienne
    told you to stop asking questions and just play and man I am glad you did as they are lovely LOL...yes Vilene is just stiffening used by dress makers in collars etc...just not sure what you call it in the UK...but you are doing great without it gal
    Annette In Oz

  5. I'm really loving your work, Adrienne! So glad I found your blog so I could follow you. This is awesome... Will have to get some nappy liners next time I'm in town!! Would any sort of embossing powder do, or does it have to be Opals? I'm dying to try out all these drool-making techniques!!

  6. Shoshi - you could try other embossing podwers, but Opals have two things going for them - their scrummy colour range, and the fact that they are much less brittle than other embossing powders. If you try it with other embossing powders, I think they need to be the UTEE type.




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