Guest Blogger: Rebecca Luminarias

By September 6, 2017General


Hello, friends!  It's Rebecca wish you today for our monthly Packaging get-together!  Has everyone recovered from Stamp-a-faire 2017?!  It took me a bit, but I think I'm finally rested up.  How much fun was that, though?  I learned so many new techniques and am floored by all the new-to-me techniques out there.  The PTI girls and guest designers are pretty amazing, don't you think?


I was, in fact, inspired by Lexi Daly and her black, white, and yellow project.  You'll see that I haven't emulated it entirely–I'm not using clay–but I did draw some inspiration from her, using black and white as my color scheme and tiny prints on my project this month.


I even busted out my heat tool for embossing, which is something I used to do all the time many years ago, but haven't touched the stuff in at least 7 years.  I'm sure watching all the SAF videos had a little something to do with this.


Despite the neat and tidy black/white/kraft basic embossing packages I have for you today, I might just be all over the place in this post!  As I sit down to write this, that is how I'm feeling, at least.  I'm showing you packaging, but I'm also going to show you how to make some simple gifts and to emboss on things you might not normally think of.  Spoiler alert: There actually isn't a huge secret to embossing on these things, either–you go about it the exact same way you would on cardstock so don't let this project scare you in any way!


To start, I'm embossing on wood clothespins.  Maybe you've already done it; maybe (likely) it's already been done by one of the PTI pros–PTI has been around for 10 years, after all.  I apologize if it's been done; I personally haven't done it until now, but now that I have, I'm in love with it!


I've been an advocate for wood clothespins (namely the smaller ones) for years and years.  I really love a good, easy DIY embellishment and putting washi tape on mini clothespins was probably the first of those I ever tried.  I do a lot of packaging (that's why I'm here on the 6th of every month, right?) and oftentimes tags and trims need to be attached to packaging with a small clip.  I almost always reach for a decorated clothespin.  While glitter has nearly replaced washi tape entirely over the last year or so (for me), I still use them frequently.  I buy them by the 100's, I use them daily, I even sell them.  I've glittered them, painted them, and stamped on them.  But I'd never embossed on them until this project.


I chose tiny stamp designs in repetition to make my own pattern, but you can choose a larger stamp with it's own pattern if you'd rather, to achieve the same effect.  I brushed my Embossing Buddy over the surface, inked up my itty bitty stamp with VersaMark Watermark ink, and stamped, then inked, then stamped, etc, over the entire clip.



I poured on embossing powder (black), and heated it until it turned to that glossy finish.  It was just like riding a bike–you don't forget how to do it, even when you haven't touched the stuff in almost a decade.



What I like most about this technique is that my pattern isn't going anywhere–it's solidly on there!  It won't rub or peel off, and it looks great!  I made a few of these black dotted clips, and then switched to a tiny white floral pattern.  Both stamps are from the Cutaway Tags: Spring stamp set.  This set has proven to be incredibly useful for me in pattern making!  I also used it to create a little eyelet design back in May.


I see mass produced decorated clothespins in stores all the time now, so people must like to use them for different things.  Why not make your own set to give as a useful, inexpensive gift?  Adhere some magnets to the backs to make them even more purposeful, if you wish.  You can customize them especially for your recipient, too.


My son went back to school 2 weeks ago and I have been thinking about a small gift to give his teacher.  With Moments Inked: Listed stamps and standard size clothespins, I created a cute set just for her.  I stamped phrases like today, tomorrow, to do list, to read, replenish, and notes in the watermark ink, then embossed them in black.  I alternated the placement of the words, with longer stamps going on the long end of the clip, and shorter going on the shorter end.


The clips seemed a bit plain, though (I'm used to working with the smaller versions), so I decided to paint the naked planks white.  You can add some washi tape or glitter, or even a stamped/embossed pattern if you'd rather change it up a bit.


I also attached magnets to the back, just in case Mrs. K. has a magnetic board she might want to use with them.  If you're not making a gift for a teacher, these are still handy for most of us who have a ridiculous amount of lists and papers to corral (myself included).


I've always wanted to do a gift start-to-finish, where I make the gift and then wrap it up in matching packaging.  This was a fun one to fill that category 🙂


Onto the packaging…I definitely wanted to carry the embossing over to the packaging and I was originally going to emboss plain kraft wrapping paper.  However, once I thought about it realistically, I knew I'd run into a problem when it was time to clear the excess powder off the surface in order to heat the stamped powder–the surface would have been too large and awkward to do it without making a huge mess.  Someday, when I have a larger workspace, I will accept that challenge!


Instead I opted for using glassine and kraft paper bags.  Since my clothespin gifts are small, this is a fine, easy option.  I hate stamping on glassine as I can never get it to come out crisp, or keep it from smudging, since the surface is so slippery.  Even days later, when I think it's dry enough to touch…it isn't.  So embossing is a great workaround, and now I'll be decorating glassine bags all the time!


On the glassine bag, I stamped a dot pattern in watermark ink (larger than what I stamped on my first clothespins), then embossed with black powder.

*A couple of tips here:

I stamped 3 rows of dots at a time, then embossed, using a small, dry paintbrush to help clear the excess powder.

Do this in good lighting if you're using watermark ink as it's VERY difficult to see where you've stamped!


When the bag was complete, I inserted the large clothespin set, then folded the bag in half, folding the top half over the back.  If you fold it over the front, you'll cover up your embossing!  I then adhered a strip of white lace around the center, followed by a few lengths of Rustic Jute Twine.  I made a Kraft tag with the Fillable Frames #9 die, and embossed a "thanks" on it, plus a few smaller dots.  I used white powder this time, to offset the black on the bag.  Because I love layers, I stitched gathered white crepe paper to a second Kraft tag, which I placed underneath the sentiment tag.


The tags are tied on with a length of thick black twine, and because I had a couple left from when I made my Stamp-a-faire projects, I added two white paper tassels.  You can see the tutorial for making those HERE if you missed it.  The final touch was the addition of a black embossed mini clothespin.


It's all handmade, heartfelt, and really wasn't too much of a hassle to do any of these things.  What took me the longest was testing all my old embossing supplies, but I imagine that a lot of you already have your heat tools out and ready to fire up, so it'll take you even less time!


I packaged up a set of the smaller clothespins, with the black dots and white flowers, to have on hand for a quick gift.  These are wrapped in a kraft bag, stamped with another little tulip flower from the Cutaway Tags: Spring set.  I used white powder this time, and again, I stamped 3 rows at a time before embossing.  The watermark ink was easier to see this time, too!


After placing the mini clips inside the bag, I again folded the kraft bag around behind the back and there was about 1 1/4" excess to fold up over the front.  In the opening, I adhered some white crepe paper, ruffling it as I went along for a bit for extra dimension.


Following that, I wrapped white lace around the middle, and some thinner, True Black twine this time.  I trimmed a white tag, embossed with "for you" from the Tropics set, and some random tiny flowers, to match the clips in the set.  I took an extra clip and attached the tag to the bag with it.


Simple and heartfelt.  These are easy and inexpensive enough to make and package multiple sets to have at the ready whenever you're in need of a quick little giftie.


Are you going to try embossing on your gift wrap?  Or on wood clothespins to make a simple present?  (You can add COLOR anywhere you'd like to your projects–you don't have to stick to black and white!)  If you're like me and it's been awhile since you've embossed, this might just get you back to using that old heat tool again!


Thanks for hanging out with me today!  I'll see you next month for some fun fall-inspired packaging!




Papertrey Ink:


Stamps:  Cutaway Tags: Spring Tropics Moments Inked: Listed


Dies: Fillable Frames #9


Cardstock: White Kraft


Trims: Rustic Jute Twine True Black Baker's Twine



Versamark Watermark Ink – Tsukineko

Recollections Embossing Powder – Black, White

Embossing Heat Tool (Marvy Uchida)

Mini Wood Clothespins (1 3/4")

Standard Wood Clothespins (app 3")

Kraft Paper Bag (5" x 7")

Glassine Bag (5.5" x 8")

Nichole Heady

Author Nichole Heady

More posts by Nichole Heady

Join the discussion 15 Comments

  • 1
    Becky Green says:

    VERY PRETTY! I LOVE the Black & White! It makes for SUCH A STRIKING GIFT & PACKAGING! LOVE that little ruffle of crepe paper too! I have some of that in my stash, & forget I even have it! LOL A THOUGHTFUL & FUN GIFT! THANKS REBECCA!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

  • 2
    Adele Holcomb says:

    Your clothespins are adorable! I especially like the ones with words on them. I never thought of heat embossing anything but paper, so what a great idea!

  • 3
    Melissa S. says:

    Adorable packaging!

  • 4
    Donna K says:

    really cute for when you just need a little gift. the clothespins with the words are really clever and practical. funny how we forget about certain techniques and are so thrilled when we find them again.

  • 5
    Keri says:

    Love, love, LOVE this X 1,000!! I especially love seeing the complete packaging project all together. Packaging is one of my favorite parts of gift giving, so I thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your talent with us every month! 🙂

  • 6
    Mary W says:

    I use paper clothes pins for chips, cereal, powdered sugar, etc. Quick and easy to find since I clip them on the front of a basket that holds other larger plastic clips. They would be great striped like candy canes and used to hold holiday treats like a few cookies and gift card to get a morning coffee fix. I just love your ideas and pretty results. I’m now addicted!

  • 7
    Michele F says:

    As excited as I always am to see you guesting at PTI – I’m twice as excited to see you using glassine bags!!! OH my stars – does this mean they are back in stock… promise to come back… GORGEOUS as ever!!! LOve the embossed clothes pins! xx

  • 8
    Nancy Penir says:

    Wow! Rebecca, what a post! Loved it all, especially the ruffled edged bag! Great ideas, as always! Thank you!

  • 9
    Greta H says:

    Wow–couldn’t bear to open your gorgeous packages! But the clothespins inside are a treasure! I love embossing, so need to branch out beyond paper & you’ve inspired me!

  • 10
    BeverlyBL says:

    This was all so clever. I love the ideas. Thanks so much. (I can’t believe you haven’t heat embossed for 7 years. I can barely go for 2 days without heat embossing something.)

  • 11
    Ann says:

    Adorable little gift packagings, thanks for the tips.

  • 12
    Rita says:

    I am loving these packaging posts, Rebecca! You do beautiful work. The colors and details and supplies are dreamy in this latest creation. Especially loving the embossed clothespins and that gorgeous white and gold tassel. I had to order more tassel caps because I can’t stop making them. The next one will be white and gold. Thank you for all the time and attention you take to bring us these lovely blog posts and photos.

  • 13
    Ohhh Snap says:

    I have a clothes pin obsession, especially the small ones at the dollar store (I mean all that fun for $1???). My family and friends will be shocked at my wrapping thanks to you. (I have been known to work for months on a present but deliver it in a plastic bag lol).

  • 14
    Christina Smith says:

    I look forward to your posts every month. I tend to always find inspiration, even if I’m not making any packaging. Thanks for another great and gorgeous post!

  • 15
    Mary Rose Brayton says:

    Hi Rebecca, I love your all your projects and look eagerly forward to your creative packaging lessons each month. Most of all your written words are just as inspiring as your artwork!

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