How to plan your Metal Embossing project

Plan your Pewter or embossed metal project – Start with the end in mind

Learn how to plan your embossed metal/pewter project, cut templates, choose a design and have a completed project in 9 easy steps.

When starting a new embossed metal/pewter project, it is important to know what your desired outcome is.

In this example, I will explain my thought process in creating a journal cover for a good friend of mine.

Step 1: Decide what you want to create

The first step is deciding what you want to make. This is the easy part!

There are so many options to choose from. By far my favourite thing about this craft, is how versatile it is. Pewter, aluminium and copper designs can be applied to wood, book covers, albums, glass bottles or jars, tins, canvasses, frames and so much more!

Journal

In this case, I wanted to create an embossed journal cover for a friend’s birthday. I found out that her favourite thing is eagles, her favourite colour is orange, and she loves scripture.

There weren’t many orange notebooks or journals available at the time, but I found this at our local K-Mart.

Step 2: Choose your design.

Eagle Sketch

The second step is to choose your design, and resize it to fit the size of your desired project. As mentioned, my friend loves eagles and I thought this design would look great embossed.

Step 3: Cut a cardboard template to fit your book cover.

I like mounting my metal projects onto cardboard (recycled cereal boxes) before sticking it onto my books or canvasses. Doing it this way supports the metal from bending and getting damaged, and I can make sure the edges and corners are neatly finished.

This cardboard template is then used when cutting my metal, and I normally cut the metal about 1 cm larger around each edge. This excess bit is then folded over the cardboard after embossing, filling with wax, patina and polishing have all been completed.

Step 4: Transfer your design onto metal

The next step is to transfer your design onto the metal.

Eagle Sketch ready for transfer

To do this, place your cardboard template on the piece of metal you have cut for your project. Make sure you leave about a 1cm space of metal around your template and use a stylus tool to trace the outline of your template. This will serve as a guide when positioning your design.

After placing the design in the desired position, you can use a coloured pen to trace of the design to copy it onto the metal.

Design transferred onto metal
Design transferred onto metal

Step 5: Embossing the design

Step 5 is to emboss your design using a stylus tool and paper stumps/tortillions.

Ready to start embossing.
Ready to start embossing. Get your tools and supplies here

Herewith a quick recap of the basic metal embossing techniques.

Step 6: Fill your raised design with wax

After you have completed embossing your design, fill any raised parts with melted beeswax to support your design and let it set.

Step 7: Patina

If you used pewter for your project, your next step will be to patina and polish your project.

If you’re new to this craft, you can read all about the patina and polishing process here:

Step 8: Stick your embossed metal project onto the cardboard template.

I made a quick video explaining this step:

Step 9: Mount your metal design onto the cover of the book.

The last in this process is to stick your metal design onto your journal. I use contact glue for this, and apply a bit of glue all over the cardboard that I stuck the design to, as well as on the book cover.

Wait a few minutes for the glue to get tacky, line up your project and stick it so that it is nice and straight.

Voila! You’re done!

If you’re keen to learn more, please visit our website for our current online courses.

Metal Embossing Made EASY online course
Online Metal Embossing Courses

Click here for your FREE Metal Embossing Techniques Cheat Sheet. It’s perfect to have handy when doing your own projects, to ensure you execute the techniques correctly and in the right order.

FREE metal embossing basic techniques and supplies PDF
FREE Metal Embossing Techniques PDF

All your metal embossing tools and supplies can be found in our online shop (worldwide shipping available)

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