Foiling with cutting dies

December 3rd, 2016 by
Crafty tip – Use your metal cutting dies to hot foil with the tri-plate and die bonding tape This neat trick allows you to hot-foil a multitude of images using your tri-plate and a bit of die-bonding tape.

  1. Insert the tri-plate into the hot-foiler and attach to the press.
  2. Switch it on and set to thermostat 3.
  3. Place your test paper on the make-ready mat.
  4. Place your chosen die on the paper, cutting side down.
  5. Place die on paper cutting side down
  6. Cut 2 small pieces (0.5cm each) of the die-bonding tape and place with the white backing facing up on top of the die.
  7. Bring the press down to heat activate the die bonding film for a few seconds and release.
  8. The die bonding film should now be stuck to the die, making it possible to pull off the white-backing film with a pair of tweezers.
  9. Bring the press down again for a few seconds, to attach the die to the tri-plate.
  10. Leave to heat for a few minutes.
  11. Place a piece of foil over the paper and foil as normal.
  12. Voila….. check out your beautiful image.
Removing your die from the tri-plate safely and cleaning
  1. Switch off the hot-foiler.
  2. Invert the hot-foiler into the cradle.
  3. Whilst it is still warm remove the die from the tri-plate with your tweezers and place on a heat mat.
  4. Scrape off any remaining residue of die bonding film with a rigid silicone scraper, knife or metal scraper.
  5. Any stubborn stains can be cleaned off with acetone (nail-polish remover) – but make sure the tri-plate has fully cooled down first!

Cold enamelling – Sea horse on board and copper hand

July 31st, 2016 by

Cold-enamelled Sea-Horse

A bit of a contradiction, you may say, as you need heat to achieve this.

Cold enamelling is achieved at a very low temperature, compared with traditional glass enamelling which is done at around 1000 degrees! It actually a resin powder.

You can cold enamel anything which is not flexible, I believe. For example, if you used card, it will be guaranteed to crack and flake off.

For this project I have used copper pre-cut shapes and very sturdy chipboard.

Equipment needed:

  • Cold enamelling powders.
  • Small square of sturdy chipboard.
  • Copper pre-cut shapes.
  • Hot-melt station – heating unit, cradle, tri-plate, thermo sheet and silicone mat.

  • Technique:

    1. Set heating unit on number 3 temperature.
    2. Coat copper shapes and chipboard with desired colours.
    3. Place coated items on a thermo sheet on top of the tri-plate and wait for powder to melt and turn glossy.
    4. At this point you could add hot-fix crystals if you wish.
    5. Remove from tri-plate and leave to cool on the silicone mat. This will take a while because the copper holds the heat. Please be careful.

Shrink Plastic – Embedded black shrunken flowers

July 31st, 2016 by

Ah the dreaded chasing the shrink plastic with the heat gun story. No more, she cries!!

Shrink plastic is adored by everyone from the age of 8 to 80, but it can be a problem to keep it in place while you shrink it with a heat gun. The slightest draft from said heat gun leaves you chasing your piece all over the craft table. With the CraftyChique Hot-melt, no problem.

I’ve embedded the black shrunken flowers just to keep them in place for the purpose of this exercise.

Equipment needed:

  • Sheet of shrink plastic. This can be pre-coloured as displayed or can be bought plain for you to hand colour prior to shrinking.
  • Die-cutting machine or punches.
  • Colouring pencils if required.
  • Hot melt station – heating unit in its cradle, tri-plate, thermo sheet and the silicone heat mat.


  1. Set the heating unit on number 4 temperature.
  2. Punch or die-cut your choice of design from sheet of shrink plastic. Colour with pencils if required. The colour intensifies as it shrinks.
  3. Place on a thermo sheet on top of the tri-plate on the heating unit and watch it shrink. You may need to turn it over (use the silicone heat mat) to finish it off, but it’s so far worked every time for me, touch wood!
  4. When shrinking has stopped remove carefully and place on the silicone heat mat, because it will be very hot.
  5. If you need to, press the shrunken work with a flat object to flatten it while it’s still warm. Perhaps the flexi-boc ink stamper!
  6. Use as embellishments on cards or scrapbooks.

Card with Daisies and Dragonfly using Embossing Powders

July 31st, 2016 by
The Impress Hot-melt is invaluable in my opinion because it gives a wonderful glassy finish without the use of a heat gun. Anyone who uses embossing powders with a heat gun will know that the heat gun is sometimes prone to blowing the powder where you do not want it, which can spoil your work.

Card with Daisies and Dragonfly

Equipment needed:

  • Cardstock
  • Stamp of choice
  • Ink-based ink pad
  • Alchohol pens for colouring
  • Clear embossing powder
  • Clear embossing ink pad
  • Hot-melt station – heating unit in its cradle, tri-plate, thermo-sheet and silicone mat
  • Impress Ink-stamper for stamping


  1. Set Heating Unit on number 4 setting.
  2. Using the Impress Ink-stamper, stamp your chosen image and cut it out.
  3. Add colour as required.
  4. Using the clear embossing ink pad, coat your work, then shake clear embossing powder over the entire area.
  5. Place your work on a thermo sheet on top of the tri-plate.
  6. Remove when you see the glassy finish after a few seconds and place on the silicone mat to cool.

Be careful not to touch the surface of the embossed item as it takes a little while to cool.

Mixed media – Friendly Plastic and Thermoplastic beads plaque

July 31st, 2016 by
This wooden plaque is a mixed media project which I plan to use on the front of a note book. It is a fun project as it uses various media which, when used together, create some interesting effects.

Equipment required:

  • Thin sheet of wood (4” x 6”)
  • Sheet of 250 gsm card
  • Stencil of choice
  • Crackle paint
  • Friendly plastic
  • Thermoplastic beads
  • Metal cookie cutter
  • Shaped cookie cutter
  • Embossing tool or redundant ballpoint pen
  • Hot-melt kit – heating unit in cradle, tri-plate, thermo sheet and silicone mat
  • Optional hot-fix crystals

  • Technique:

    1. Set the Heating unit on number 2.
    2. Tape the stencil to the card and paint over with crackle paint. Remove the stencil and leave the image to dry. (You can use the heating unit on setting 1 with a thermosheet to speed up drying at this point if you wish.)
    3. Cut some shards of friendly plastic and place them onto the thermo sheet on top of the tri-plate. The shards will fuse together. At this point you can use an embossing tool/pen to swirl the plastic into the desired shape. Add some hot fix crystals if desired and remove the thermo sheet with your plastic in place. Leave on the silicone mat to cool.
    4. Place a metal cookie cutter on the thermo sheet on top of the tri-plate on the heating unit and pour enough thermoplastic beads to cover the base of the cutter. Melt until the beads turn clear and glassy in appearance. Carefully remove from heat and cool on the silicone heat mat until the plastic turns back to opaque but still soft enough to cut.
    5. Cut desired shape from your plastic disc and save the waste as it can be re-used for another project.

    6. When all the work is cool and dry, assemble using glue gel.

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