After playing with my homemade letterpress the other day I was thinking of other things I might make printing/debossing plates with when a lady on the SCAL/Cricut yahoo group suggested that I try magnet sheets. It just so happened I have a bunch of sheet magnet scraps given to me by the local sign shop so I gave it a whirl and guess what? It worked!
I cut the magnet sheet with my Cricut. I used the Accent Essentials cartridge and the multi cut feature on my Expression. I made sure to tape the magnet sheet down on all 4 sides to my mat to make sure it didn’t move while cutting and I used a deep cut blade depth 6, pressure max, speed low. You need to cut it twice to make sure it goes through the magnet (probably 3 times would be better because it still didn’t go all the way through but I was able to pop the design out of the sheet.) This was the first time I used the multi cut feature on my Expression ;) Here is a look at the debossing without ink:
Here is a detail of the card. I kinda go overboard with my brayer and ink but you can still see the pretty design.
Since my homemade letterpress worked so well I decided to make a prettier one with a grid for lining up and measuring. Here is what I did. I used a new Big Shot cutting pad (I bought 2 new cutting pad sets at JoAnns today as they were on sale for 40% off as was all of the cricut and sizzix products so ou may want to stock up…I’m such an enabler) ;) and a piece of masonite cut to 6″x9″ (it was a scrap of wall paneling board I cut to size with a craft knife, you can get discontinued paneling samples from the hardware store for free if you ask or use 1/8″ masonite or a spare cutting pad.) I printed graph paper off the internet from this site, trimmed it to 6″x9″ and glued it to the masonite then covered the whole grid with a laminating sheet so any stray ink could be wiped off. I taped around the edges with clear packing tape overlapping 1″ on the top and bottom of the masonite board on all 4 sides. I place the clear cutting pad and masonite board end to end leaving a 1/4″ gap between them and taped them together with duct tape to make a hinge. Be sure to wrap the duct tape all the way around for a sturdy hinge. Then I used a ruler and a purple sharpie to make lines on top of the clear pad and the grid paper to make it easy to line up my paper. Here is a look at the pretty version:
Here is a recipe for homemade printing ink:
1 part Prang Tempera Paint (I like the metallic and the dollar tree sometimes has it) mixed with 1 part Reeves brand Gauche Paint (you can get a set of 18 colors at AC Moore for $10 or cheaper on-line. Mix together and place a bit on a ceramic tile then roll a rubber brayer over it until it is evenly inked and you are ready to use the brayer to ink up the printing plates! If the ink seems too wet add more gauche, if it is too dry add more tempera. You could use acrylic paint however you need to clean your brayer and plates meticulously and quickly after using because if the paint dries on the plates or brayer they will be ruined. Gauche and tempera are like opaque watercolors and can be washed off even when dry.
If you don’t have a clue what I am talking about in this post you can read part 1 of my letterpress article here. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!