How to Use Embossing Cutters

I’m going to show you how to use my embossing cutters to create beautiful adornment for home décor and to make jewelry. They come in four sets and here you see two of them. This is the rose leaf set. Each set comes with three different sizes of the cutters. The embossing cutters are rose leaf, ivy leaf and we have a holly leaf which is great for the holidays. We also have an open-frame cow-lick’s cutter.

Here I’m taking conditioned black polymer clay and we don’t want the cutters to stick to the clay so we’ll spray a little bit of release agent. I like to use tire dressing STP Silver or Armor All as I have here. A silicon-based protectant spray that won’t affect your clay and won’t hurt your hands.

Take the cutter of your choice and press it down firmly over the clay to cut out the piece. You can cut out the shape without embossing if you choose. Press down firmly on the plunger and apply firm even pressure in a rotating pattern around the plunger to make sure you get a nice even embossed leaf.

Now the leaf may stick to your work surface and come out cleanly like it did here; or if it sticks inside the plunger, simply depress the plunger and gently pull the leaf away from the base. When you’re done don’t forget to wipe it clean with a paper towel or baby wipe. Take good care of your cutters in between their use. As you see here on larger pieces of clay you can create frameworks that are great for doing image transfers and other types of peek-a-boo projects through.

One of the things I like to do with leaves is to add some color to them. One way to do it is to take some mica powder here. This is an interference color. It doesn’t look like it has any color at all but on different colors of clay you get a different effect. Tap a little on your finger and make sure you tap the excess off. You don’t want any clumps of powder sticking to your finger. This way when we lightly burnish our finger over the top of the raised area of our embossed cut leaf. We leave the black vein lines or whatever color clay you happen to use. Those vein lines will be in relief in contrast to the powdered surface. You might even try taking colors like copper, gold and green and stippling them over your leaves for a stippled effect and variegated effect. A little bit more powder, burnishing it on, and you have a beautiful purple metallic leaf. We can even coat that with magic gloss after we bake it for a glass-like effect.

Another great example of how to work with your leaf cutters is to take foil clay, as I’ve got here, with the green foil from the Bold and Bright collection. In this case you don’t need release agent because the foil will act as a release. Press down with your cutter. Oops. If that happens, we’re just going to put that back into place. We’re going to depress the plunger rotating pressure all the way around. Pulling it out and here we go. See it’s stuck inside the plunger but look how cleanly it came off there because of the foil. Now that’s very pretty all by itself just like we see there.

But here’s a technique that I do with textured or embossed clay and foil; is to take a piece of tape, lightly burnish it onto the surface. And if you’re working with a tile it will stick to the tile; but peel it away and leave the foil and the vein lines. Isn’t that pretty? A friend who saw me do it for the first time calls it the Pavelka Peel.

Now I like to save extra materials and use them. I would take a piece like that and put it on a piece of white cardstock or black cardstock or even a white mailing label. Cut out around it and you’ve got a sticker or a lovely closure for a greeting card, photo corners or you can even cover it with Magic Gloss to make resin pieces.

Let’s take a look at a few other leaves here. We took foil clay in three different colors using all three sizes of the rose leaf set to make this dancing kinetic leaf pendant. You can look at the video tutorial on how to work with the foils on this website.

This home décor piece, this treasure tin, we use the leaves that we just did the Pavelka Peel method on as little corner accents on our box.

Lastly, here’s an assortment of baked leaves. One where we left the foil intact without doing the peel method. Here’s one with the peel method and red clay and with gold clay. Here’s another technique we used with patterns using the foil with the ivy leaf.

You can imagine there’s great things you can do with the leaves and all different types of products including antiquing them with acrylic paint after they bake or rub and buff.


Veined Ivy Leaf Embossing Cutter 

Price: $16.99
Calyx Embossing Cutter 

Price: $16.99
Veined Rose Leaf Embossing Cutter 

Price: $16.99
Butterfly Embossing Cutters 

Price: $16.99
Daisy Flower Embossing Cutters 

Price: $16.99
Dove Embossing Cutters 

Price: $16.99

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