Friday, June 15, 2012

200th Flourish Friday and Embossing Tutorial

This is A Place to Flourish's 200th blogpost! That's a wholelotta Fridays, and I appreciate your visits and support these past few years.  To celebrate, I am going to give away the "Put On Love" piece pictured above. As promised, here is a step-by-step of how I did the embossing for this piece originally posted HERE.

The Calligraphy Guild of Indiana hosted Sharon Hanse in 2009 for her Dimensional Calligraphy workshop, which is where I learned this process.  First, you start with a piece of Bristol board.  Pictured above is the brand and style I use.

Sharon had us do our layout on tracing paper, but because I am lazy, I rough out my designs directly onto the Bristol board.  I use a standard #2 pencil.  I didn't happen to take any pictures of the "Love" design when I did these steps, so this morning I did the word "Peace" as an example for this tutorial. As I design, I keep in mind that my stylus will need to fit into the letterforms.  Thins cannot be too thin.

Once I am happy with the design, I use a technical pen and trace over the lines that I will be cutting.  I write "save" or "s" in the areas that will drop out of the design, because I don't want to accidentally throw them away.  I clean up some of the pencil marks with an eraser.

Next, I use an Exacto knife and  cut along the black lines.  I put the "saved" pieces aside for later. (If you think of the word "Peace" written in black ink, it's the black ink that I will NOT be saving. I am saving the white space of the design.) I don't have the time this morning to do all the cutting on this piece, so I am going to switch back to the "Love" design to show you the next steps.

Next, I run glue over the FRONT SIDE (important!) of the stencil/design and then turn the design UPSIDE DOWN onto a piece of fairly transparent layout paper.  I believe I used Canson Pro-Marker layout paper.   I press the Bristol board onto the layout paper, making sure the lettering keeps a nice form.  Then I repeat this same step with the "saved" drop-out pieces.  Once the design is how I want it, I put it under some heavy books until dry.

Once the stencil is firmly adhered to the layout paper, I'm ready to emboss.  I like using Arches Text Wove, Rives BFK, and Canson Mi-Teintes papers when embossing.  If there will be other lettering on the piece, then I may do it first. (or I may not!) :)
IMPORTANT: Turn your paper upside down before you begin embossing.

The embossing will be easier if you put a piece of waxed paper between your good paper and your stylus.  I use these glassine envelopes from the USPS.

Then using the large end of the stylus, I trace along the inside edge of the stencil a few times with medium pressure. If you use too much pressure, especially on the first pass, you  may tear your good paper.  Once I have gone over the stencil a few times with the large end of the stylus, I will switch to the smaller end and repeat.


I hope I have clearly explained the process.  If not, and you have questions, just let me know.

To celebrate my 200th post here at A Place To Flourish, I am giving away this "Put On Love" piece. It is a piece based on Colossians 3: 12-14.  

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment in the comments section of this "200th Flourish Friday and Embossing Tutorial" post. (No emails, please. Those of you that subscribe via email will need to go to the actual post at Blogger.)  Be sure to include your first name and at least your last initial in your comment. You have until Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 5pm Eastern Time to enter.  I will use to choose a winner and announce the winner's name in next Friday's post.

**Update: The "Put On Love" giveaway is now closed. Thank you!**

Thank you for helping me celebrate this milestone!!
Have a great weekend.
Go forth and flourish.


  1. Beautiful work Jane! Congratulations on 200 blogposts! That is definitely a grand achievement.

    The instructions are thorough and clear. I hope everyone will be dry embossing now with your inspiration!

  2. Hi, Jane,
    This is so gorgeous. Many congratulations on your 200th post! Just love reading your blog and learned so much from reading it. Maybe I'll even give embossing another shot!
    Many congratulation again
    Agnes K.

  3. "200th Flourish Friday and Embossing Tutorial"

    Your work here is so pretty! I enjoy your blog posts. Happy 200th!

  4. How awesome, as always! ....and two hundred blogs! Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. Awesome Jane! I always look forward to your blogs. Your talent is beyond measure!

    Brenda H

  6. Jane,
    This is, as usual, perfection! thanks much for making my Fridays full of inspiration! Congratulations on your achievement!


  7. Congratulations, Jane! Nice tutorial. Peace and Love will be great stencils to have and use over and over again.

  8. Oh, this is so elegant - you have amazing patience!

  9. Thank you for the detailed instructions. Beautiful work, as usual.

  10. Thank you very much for sharing this, Jane.
    And congratulations for your 200 posts.

    Best regards from México.

  11. I'm in! Congratulations on your 200th FF post!!!! Love the piece and your step-by-step process. :-)
    Julie Wildman

  12. Awesome! Thanks for sharing- you did a great job explaining and I think I could even give it a try sometime. Thanks also for entering me in the drawing!

  13. YEA, Jane!!! 200 blogs. That is amazing. And you are amazing. You rock the calligraphy world, girl. Can I be your groupie, please? Love to you, H.

  14. Thank you very much for the tutorial. I kept wondering how you made it pop up since you posted the Love work. (Can't wait to experiment this)
    Keep inspiring us all.

    Margherita Di Stefano

  15. Hi Jane,

    I haven't posted in a while, but I have continued to follow and read your blog which I thoroughly enjoy. Thank you for the tutorial, and congrats on your 200th post. Linda E.

  16. Congratulations Jane! So proud of you, your blog and your art . . . 200 posts . . . wow! OX kjc

  17. Wonderful Tutorial Jane. Congratulations on 200 posts!!!!! You have a beautiful blog!!!

  18. Thanks for the embossing tutorial! I've done wet embossing before, but not having a press at my disposal since I'm not in school now, it is good to know I can get similar results with just a stylus! I will have to keep this in mind, it looks lovely paired with the hand lettering!

  19. Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial on letter embossing!! I can't wait to try it! Thank you also for the exciting opportunity to win your beautiful piece on Love! Fran M.

  20. beautiful, thanks for sharing that technique! Cant wait to try it!

    Michelle V

  21. I'm a follower and an admirer. Thanks for the tutorial. Can't wait to try. LIke Linda E, I wouldn't miss a single one of your posts. Pats on the back... 200 posts and every one a gem.

  22. Congratulations Jane! Thanks for sharing your remarkable talent and inspiring us all.

  23. Bless you for sharing this! This is a marvelous tutorial! So inspiring. Thanks Jane!

  24. Wow Jane! How wonderful...200! You've come a long way, baby!

    Loved the tute and will try it soon. One needs time to do anything fun these days ;-}

  25. Dear Jane, way to go! Congratulations on your bi-cen-blog-iversary (well, something like that)! As you know, your posts are the delight of my Friday mornings: 1) make cup of coffee, 2) bring in paper, 3) read Jane's blog. That's the routine, and some great inspiration to transition from my weekday workday to my weekend studio time. Your talents are deservedly recognized all over the world and you have done so much, so elegantly, to spread the word (so to speak) about the noble arts of calligraphy and flourishing! Here's to the next two hundred...or three...or four... XOXO Jody

  26. Hi Jane
    I am a big fan and this tutorial is wonderful! I can't wait to try embossing someone's name. Wouldn't that be a fabulous gift to someone you care about? Congrats on 200 posts. I never miss your Flourish Friday!
    Eve L.

  27. Congratulations on 200 posts! You continue to inspire me with every single one!

    Thank you for taking the time to post this tutorial :)

  28. Beautiful work as always! Thank you for the tutorial!

    K. Diamond, Prospect, KY

  29. Congratulations Jane and thanks for sharing your embossing approach. I love the use of glassine between the styes and the paper - it would make it crisp and clean. Best wishes for another 200...

  30. Congratulations on your 200th post! I love your blog. Your work is so beautiful.

    Fatimat S.

  31. Loved the embossing tutorial AND love your blog!

    Wendy T

  32. This so beautiful. Congratulations on 200 blogposts. Thanks for sharing your "Put on Love" piece of work.

    Linda D.

  33. Jane, love your "Love" piece. Thanks for the tutorial.

  34. Congratulations on your 200th post! Every week I am just amazed that you are so disciplined! You have a gorgeous blog and I have so much enjoyed seeing your artful journey.

    The tutorial is wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I know how difficult that can be ~ and you did it beautifully.

    Blessings~ Dana C.

  35. Thank you for the tutorial, Jane. I look forward to seeing your gift every week!!!
    He who began a good work is faithful to complete it. Congratulations on your TWO HUNDREDTH post!!!!
    All the best, Elaine

  36. Fabulous tutorial, I just did my first emboss this week, the glassine between would have made it so much easier I suspect!
    Warm Regards
    Jen Hook

  37. Congratulations on 200 posts! Your work is beautiful and inspiring!
    Alison Peters

  38. Thanks Jane for the fab tutorial! I am so excited to have a chance to win your beautiful piece! And congratulations on your 200th, that's a whole lotta flourishing going on. Your blog is such an inspiring place to visit and your lettering art is beyond amazing!

  39. I am part of a religious order, The Servants of God's Love. This piece would be perfect for us--but I at least appreciate viewing it on line. Your work is beautiful.

  40. I have put into practice his teachings. Thanks again. Blogged at:


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