Today I want to show you a fun Tim Holtz product — Embossing Diffusers by Sizzix. You can use a diffuser along with an embossing folder to create an open spot (an area that does not emboss) on your card or other project. It is a great way to gain additional use of your all-over embossing folders. Here are a couple of examples (I used Pan Pastels to enhance the embossed areas so that you can see them better) —
Two sets of Tim Holtz Embossing Diffusers Dies are available — set 1 and set 2. Each set has three different sizes/shapes for openings. Each diffuser consists of two parts — the full plate and the cut-out. Each serves a different function. You may already think that this sounds a little complicated, but it really isn’t. This is a very simple process.
You begin by selecting an embossing folder to use, one with an all-over design. Place the sheet of cardstock that you want to emboss inside the embossing folder as you normally would. Next you’ll want to select your embossing diffuser. There are circles, ovals, rectangles and squares — even a cathedral window (that I used upside down like a banner). Once you’ve selected the diffuser you want to use, remove the cut-out and set it aside. Place the full plate over the embossing folder, adjusting it as necessary so that the opening occurs where you want it to on the design. Use a low-tack tape (painter’s tape or other tape with light hold) to tape it onto the embossing folder. Now it is time to run it through your die cutting/embossing machine. I used my Sizzix Big Shot for this, and the instructions here apply to the Big Shot. If you have another die cutting/embossing machine, you’ll have to adjust them accordingly, keeping in mind that the diffuser is the thickness of a plate and takes the place of one plate for your machine (the one closest to the base plate — you always need a plate on top). For the Big Shot, open tab 2, and place the sandwich you just made (embossing folder and diffuser taped together) on plate 1. Run through the machine and do the initial embossing. You’ll see that the only areas that are embossed are the ones covered by the plate, the open areas do not emboss. You can stop here, and the effect is a soft opening in the center (it is not particularly well-defined).
To add further definition to the open area, remove the embossed cardstock from the embossing folder. (Again these instructions are for the Big Shot, you’ll have to adjust them accordingly for other machines.) Place your silicone mat on top of tab 1 (tab 2 is still open). Place the embossed cardstock, face up, on the silicone mat. Place the appropriate cut-out shape (if you used the circle diffuser, then the circle cut-out, etc.) on top of the non-embossed area. Top the sandwich with your impressions plate, and run it through the Big Shot. This will add definition to that non-embossed area and, in most cases, will create a more finished appearance.
That’s it! That is all there is to it! It is so very simple. Instead of embossing normally, you’re going to add a diffuser plate, tape it in place, and run through the machine without one of the cutting plates that you normally use. As I said, the second step is optional, but I think adds a little polish. Note that you can separately use the diffuser plate — it just ends up with a softer, less defined center. You can also use the cut-outs separately to add a dimensional shape in the center of otherwise plain cardstock. You could also use the cut-out shape or the diffuser shape to trace an outline of the shape on cardstock (embossed or not), or to dry emboss. This really is a very versatile tool. Please see the short video for additional information on how to use the embossing diffuser — I even show you how to use it to create an embossed envelope for that special card.
I made six quick cards using each of the available diffusers (both sets 1 and 2). Because they are designed to showcase the diffusers and available sizes/shapes, I didn’t add ribbon or other embellishments that would take away from the view. I used the extra step for each of the cards to add the extra definition in the unembossed area. All of the embossing folders that I used are by Sizzix, although you can use the diffuser with any similar embossing folder. I use various shades of Pan Pastel to make the embossed areas more visible for the photos (I normally do not do this). Information on the supplies used for the cards is below in my “Supply List”.
rectangle, small oval
square, cathedral window (or banner)
large oval, circle
I’m sure that you’ll enjoy using the embossing diffusers. They are a great idea to help you find new uses for your existing embossing folders.
Tim Holtz Embossing Diffusers by Sizzix — I used both sets 1 and 2
Die Cutting/Embossing Machine — I used my Sizzix Big Shot (you’ll need the silicone pad and the impressions pad in addition to the multipurpose platform)
adhesive (to assemble the cards)
low tack tape such as painter’s tape, etc.
The sunflower is by My Favorite Things (sunflower die)
The poinsettia is from Poppy Stamps (small blooming poinsettia die)
The die cut words are all Die-Versions Sweet Wordlets
The stickers are from various sets of Halloween Mambi stickers by Me & My Big Ideas
I used clear Wink of Stella to highlight the trees and words “Let it Snow”, also the tips of the poinsettia petals.
I enhanced the embossed areas with various colors of Pan Pastel
Thanks and Happy Scrappin’!