Tuesday Tutorial: Enameled Idea-ology

I am so in love with the flowers on today’s tag!  I have shared before how I love adding embossing powder to metal embellishments, especially Tim Holtz’s metal Idea-ology pieces.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Today instead of using my Heat It Craft Tool to melt the embossing powder, I am sharing how to use the Ranger Melting Pot.  I was inspired to use the melting and embossing powder and melting pot from the technique shared by the fabulous Jess Lincoln from Vintaj at CHA-S.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Begin by warming up your Melting Pot.  I put mine on the highest heat setting.  Place a small piece of a craft sheet in your melting pot.  The sheet will make it easy to remove your items after they are hot and will make clean up easier.  Place your metal pieces (foliage pieces are shown) on the piece of craft sheet.  For my craft sheet pieces, I used an older damaged sheet that I had.  I bought a new one for inking and used the one I replaced for cutting up.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Use your fingers to pick up a pinch of embossing powder and sprinkle it on to the metal embellishment.  Picking up a pinch of powder at a time will help you control how much powder you apply.  You can use any type of embossing powder.  In this set of flowers and leaves I used Distress Embossing Powders.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

After I sprinkle the powder on, I allow the pieces to sit and melt.  I like to put the lid back on my pot to keep the heat in.  You don’t have to, but I felt like it helped it melt a bit faster.  Distress Embossing Powder will still look very textured when it is melted.  I really like the texture it creates.  You will notice here that I didn’t not cover the pieces completely with the powder.  I knew I would be adding layers and that they would get covered by the end of the process.  I also like the finished pieces to look a bit vintage and chippy which is accomplished by leaving some bare metal.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

After the first layer of powder is melted, you can add additional color if you would like.  I like adding a second color to flowers and a darker green to leaves.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Remember, the Melting Pot gets very hot as do the metal embellishments.  Resist the temptation to move things around with your fingers.  You really do not want melted sticky embossing powder on your skin. . . trust me.  Keep a pair of long handled tweezers handy to move your sheet and pieces around.  If you notice pieces are melting unevenly, simply rotate the sheet.  My Melting Pot in these photos gets much hotter in the deep end so I found that I needed to rotate my sheet after a minute or so to even out the melting.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

You could at this point remove the pieces and let them cool.  With the Distress Embossing Powder finish alone, they will have a bumpy matte finish.  They look great like that, but I wanted shine, so I added a clear coat.  The clear coat will also fill in and smooth the roughness finish of the Distress Embossing Powder.  If you want a smooth finish, you will want to add a top coat.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

For my clear coat, I used white Enamelware Embossing Powder to the pieces on the left and clear embossing powder to the pieces on the right.  This was the first time that I have used the enamelware powder and am totally in love with it!  It leaves a white finish that is clear and glossy with specks of white in it.  The pieces with the clear powder are very glassy looking.  Both are amazing looking!

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

To remove your sheet from the pot, use two tweezers (or needle nose pliers) to pick up the sheet and lift it out of the pot.  If you are using tools with metal tips, be careful to not scratch up your pot’s nonstick interior.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Set the sheet on your work surface and allow it to cool.  Remember the metal pieces are hot to allow them to cool before picking them up.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

I wanted to also show you how the pieces would look by using a regular embossing powder.  In this example I used Ranger’s Adirondack Embossing Powder (Butterscotch and Lettuce).  I also wanted to share what would happen if you used a spoon to sprinkle on your powder.  If you have long fingernails the pinching method might work as well for you so you might want to use a spoon.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

For me, using a spoon is much harder to control the amount of powder applied to the embellishment.  These pieces ended up with a heavy first coat.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

For a second coat, I decided to try a specialty powder instead of a second color.  I sprinkled on Ancient Gold Embossing Powder in Enchanted Gold.  I love this powder!  It melts like butter and leaves the prettiest gold sparkle.  The photos of the finished pieces really don’t show it well, but in person, there is a gorgeous gold glimmer to the pieces it is on.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

To finish off this set, I sprinkled on a small amount of the enamelware and a heavy coat of clear embossing powder.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

As before, lift the sheet out of the pot and allow the pieces to cool before handling them.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

After cooling, the embellishment and any excess powder around it may be stuck together.  They pieces can be cleaned up very easily.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

First, break off the excess pieces.  They snap off very easily.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Next place a clean piece of craft sheet in your pot. . .

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

and lay the pieces back on the sheet to re-melt.  If you get a lot of pooling of melted powder under the pieces simply scoot the pieces around on the sheet with your tweezers to get them out of the puddle.  If after cooling the holes for the brads are covered, use a craft pick or round metal file to clear the hole.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Keep in mind, you don’t have to stop at flowers!  You can apply this treatment to any of the Idea-ology pieces.  I especially love using the Ornate Plates.  On this plate I combined Broken China, Shabby Shutters, and Antique Linen Distress Embossing Powders with the Enamelware Powder.  I think the finished piece looks like weathered vedgris metal.  If you want a rough texture with the verdigris color, leave off the top coat of enamelware or clear powder.

I should mention, that if you don’t have a Melting Pot, you could still achieve this look by laying your embellishments on a craft sheet and heating them with a heat tool.  The advantage of the Melting Pot for this because is that it is faster since I can do multiple pieces at a time and that I don’t have to sit and hold the heat tool.  I can do other things while the melting happens.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Finally, you can’t have fancy colored flowers and embellishments with out coordinated brads.  Making matching brades is super easy!  Simply hold a brad with a pair of tweezers and heat the tip until it is hot.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Dip the hot tip directly into your jar of embossing powder.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

The hot tip of the brad will pick up powder.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Heat the tip of the brad again until the powder melts.  If you like the texture and coverage, allow the brad to cool.  If you want more color, dip the brad in powder again while it is still hot.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

If you would like a clear coat, you can heat the tip again and dip it into your clear or enamelware powder.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Heat the brad again to melt the powder.  Once it is melted, allow the brad to cool on your craft sheet.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

I used my assorted colored pieces to embellish a tag.  They would also look amazing on a book cover or home decor piece or even as jewelry pieces.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Seriously, these make me swoon.  The remind me so much of vintage enamelware jewelry.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

You can see how the bits of exposed metal add to that vintage chippy look.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

This set really demonstrates the white speckles in the Enamelware Powder.

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

I wish you could see in this piece in person!  The gold is is so pretty!

tammytutterow enameled idea-ology

Whew!  This tutorial has been a long one!  I didn’t want to close it out though without mentioning the tag, just in case someone wanted to duplicate the look of it.  I began with a plain manila tag.  I added swipes of Peeled Paint and Picket Fence Distress Stain in vertical swipes.  Next, I used Peeled Paint Distress Ink to stamp my image onto the tag.  I added Vintage Photo Distress Ink the edges of the tag and then misted the surface with Biscotti Perfect Pearls Mist.  I blotted away the excess and then dried the tag with my heat tool.  The final step was to apply a coat of Clear Rock Candy Distress Crackle Paint over the entire tag.  Once the tag was dry I added my embellishments.

tammy tutterow

Printable version available. Click to view link.

stitched supplies1

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  1. says

    oh, that is soo cool!!! the tag is just gorgeous!! I have to get me a melting pot!!! thanks for your incredible inspiration!!!

  2. Wendy G. says

    Just when I thought I didn’t need any more supplies (after making two orders today) I now must have a melting pot! Wonderful tutorial! You are amazing!

  3. Elaine Allen says

    Tammy –
    Fabulous tutorial, and your tutorials are never too long! I really love how this turned out. I have to try this, I think I may have a new addiction – LOL!
    Elaine Allen

  4. Pam Perry says

    Very cool for Hot Stuff! Love the techinque, seems so easy and won’t blow around. Thanks, Tammy!

  5. barbara lassiter says

    Your tutorial was amazing and so interesting. I don’t have a melting pot but I followed along as you used yours and was fascinated. Your tag is just fantastic! Thanks!

  6. Cim Allen says

    Awesome tutuorial Tammy .. I love the way you explain things, I totally get it and I love all the good tips you also include. Thanks .. have a great day !!!!

  7. says

    You’re making me really happy I bought a Melting Pot during Tim’s 12 Tags! Love this technique and the colors you put together are just beautiful. Thank you for such great inspiration once again!

  8. KimMJ says

    Awesome technique. Your tag is gorgeous! This is something I have to try. Glad there is another use for my melting pot. I may finally open it up and to use it! TFS

  9. says

    Yummy!!!!!!!!!!!! This is just gorgeous!! Love all the embossing on the metal!!! I’m going to have to get me some Enamelware… soon!!!!

  10. Maureen Chandler says

    These are amazing! I have embossed brads but never metal flowers or embellishments. They really look wonderful and thank you so much for the detailed tutorial.

  11. NanaBeth W says

    I saw a link to a video of a technique similar to this on your blog a while back.Whole reason I bought my melting pot.This is gorgeous and I will be giving it a try very soon.

  12. Karen M. says

    Thanks for the detailed tutorial Tammy. I never thought of using the melting pot this way and now my head is spinning with all the possibilities! Your creations are beautiful and inspiring!
    Karen M.

  13. Creative Photo Albums says

    Pretty and elegant output. I find the steps pretty taxing as you need to use a pot to make the design. But hey, just looking at the end product it definitely is worth all the hassle. I’m using this in my new project this week. Thanks!

  14. says

    any idea how inspiring you are!!??? Your tutorials always make me feel like this beautiful art is something I can try. Now I need to put the Melting Pot on my wish list-thanks!!

  15. says

    Wonder if I could achieve this with a hot plate–I have one I could easily put a metal sheet on top…..when you say “craft sheet”, what are you using? A piece of teflon-type sheet. Love this tutorial.

  16. says

    just found your blog and this tutorial is fabulous!! i went straight online to find that enamelware powder! just love it!! i’m gonna try this technique! tfs!! i love vergegris and weathered metal looks!

  17. Cindy K says

    Fantastic technique, Tammy. Just wondering–do you have to coat the pieces with embossing ink before you put the powder or enamelware on?