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Making Christmas Cards With Shimmer Sheetz!

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Card Projects by Sharon M. Reinhart

With Christmas just over a month away I thought now would be the perfect time to discuss the topic of making Christmas cards. In particular, making Christmas cards using a wonderful product called Shimmer Sheetz! If you are not familiar with Shimmer Sheetz, it is a waterproof Mylar sheet that is available in 24 colors through Elizabeth Craft Designs. Not only is the product itself versatile, but there are many techniques that can be used with it. Let's take a look and see how, by using just a few simple techniques, stunning results can be achieved!

Shimmer Sheetz are available in iris, gemstone and metallic, and each has its own unique properties. The iris-style sheets are iridescent; all have a white center core except for the black sheet which has a black center core. The gemstone sheets have a silver center core and the metallic sheets, if sanded on one side, will be transparent, and on the opposite side a sanded area will become a matte finish. The only exception is the bronze metallic which remains opaque. The metallic is also unique in another way: one side is perfect for the application of alcohol inks to create beautiful marbled effects, and on the opposite side the color can be stripped off using blending solution. The stripping of color results in an effect similar to bleaching techniques that you may have seen accomplished on cardstock.

This product may be pressure- or heat-embossed, sanded, die-cut and colored using alcohol inks, Staz-On ink pads or other permanent products used for nonporous surfaces. Very few materials are needed to achieve beautiful results. To create a simple pressure-embossed card simply place the Mylar sheet into an embossing folder and then run it through a die-cutting/pressure-embossing system such as the Big Shot™, Cuttlebug™ or the Grand Calibur® machine, to name a few. The Mylar sheet embosses beautifully, resulting in well-defined images.

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Another simple but very effective technique can be accomplished by taking it just one simple step further. After pressure-embossing a sheet, sand it with a fine sanding block. In this project an iris-style sheet has been used, and once sanded, the white center core is revealed. Another option is to use strips of the Shimmer Sheetz as beautiful layering pieces, or in this case, a banner strip accent for underneath the cardstock snowflakes. As mentioned previously, various results will be achieved by sanding, depending on which product is being used.

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A resist-type effect may be easily created by pressure-embossing a piece of Shimmer Sheetz and then adding a second color with a permanent ink pad such as Staz-On. Once embossed, gently rub the ink pad over the top of the embossed design. The ink pad applies color to the raised portion of the design and the base color remains. Voila! A two-tone effect is created in minutes!

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Those of you who love working with alcohol inks or welcome the opportunity to give it a try will love how Shimmer Sheetz pair with this type of ink. Beautiful mottled or marbled effects are achieved by applying alcohol inks and blending solution to the Mylar sheets. The results are simply gorgeous on their own, or you may choose to take it a step further by pressure-embossing and then sanding. A piece of green iris Shimmer Sheetz was used in the project below along with a combination of a few colors of alcohol inks. No two pieces will ever be the same!

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It is also possible to die-cut these sheets. Keep in mind that all die templates are not created the same and some may produce better results than others. A tool that is recommended for use with more intricate die templates is the metal adaptor plate.

Shimmer Sheetz also responds well to heat-embossing techniques; just keep the sheet flat on your work surface and be aware that it will get very warm. To create a bleached-out effect as mentioned previously, heat-emboss an image such as a flower onto a piece of Shimmer Sheetz. Next, remove the color from the inside of the flower using a water brush, or similar brush, filled with an alcohol ink blending solution. Keep in mind that a metallic sheet needs to be used for this technique and that only one side will work; test first on a scrap piece.

I hope that this article has excited you about a great product, possibly new to you, and that you have been inspired to create something wonderful today!

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