Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Focus: Nestabilities Embossing

At a recent stamping event, we had two separate experiences in which one stamper looked at another in total amazement that they didn't know how to do something that seemed "basic".  The lesson learned was that there are so many techniques and products out there, we shouldn't assume that a stamper knows everything!  So I am taking that to heart and today's Friday Focus is simply how to add the embossed edge to a Nestabilities die cut (and a few fun things to do with that).

I wasn't planning on defining "Nestabilities" but you can check out the website for Spellbinders.  Nestabilities is one of their product lines.  It's a thin metal die to cut shapes and each package comes with multiple "nested" sizes!  I buy mine from (if you sign up you get monthly 40% off coupons) and our local Hobby Lobby carries them - often on sale!)

Edited to Add: Part II to this post is now ready.  It includes photos of how to do all of this using the Big Shot and will include two other Spellbinders products - impressabilities and metal sheets.


Here's the first card, with a basic shape:

Do you see that slight ridge around the white layer?  I think that it gives it such a finished look.  Here's the panel without the ridge:

It loses all dimension.

So just one extra step with your Nestabilities can make a huge difference.

Here's how you work with your Nesties on a Cuttlebug.  Big Shot instructions can be found here.

A plate on bottom, then B plate.
I add my nestie with the ridge
facing up.  (That little ridge is
actually what cuts.)

Add your paper on the die.

Put the C plate on top and roll
it on through!

Edited To Add: A very valid concern has been pointed out to me - this stack causes the die to cut into the "C" plate and "C" plates are more difficult to find when you eventually have to replace it.  A full discussion of the pros/cons and a revised stack to avoid this problem can be found here.

Leave the pieces together to add the
embossed edge.  We are going to
be using a rubber pad*.  It
will be placed on the back-side
of the die as you are looking at it
in this picture.  When we squish it
through the Cuttlebug, it pushes the
paper into the open part of the
die and gives a raised ridge.

Leave the A & B plates that were there
for step 1.  Slide three cardstock shims.
under the die/paper (I keep three glued
together for this purpose.)

Place the rubber mat* on top.

Then a "B" plate (replacing the
"C" plate in the original stack).
Roll it through and
you are done!
*I have always used the "embossing pads" sold by Spellbinders.  You can find them any place you buy your dies.  Others have used some sort of plumbing mat from the local hardware store - but it just seems like it would take time to find the right thickness when the actual pad is reasonably priced and easy to find.

Let me tell you how much I love the embossed edges.  I resisted for years buying the rectangle and square nesties because, after all, I can easily cut those shapes with a paper cutter.  But I recently decided that wanted that embossed look - even on basic squares.  Check out this card - there is a lot going on - but the small sentiment is embossed and I think that little touch makes it stand out from all of the busy-ness.


So let's take the embossing one more step and make a frame:

In this case just cut the inner shape and emboss the edges.  Then line up the outer die, keeping it on the same side of the paper as the first die.  Cut it and emboss it and you have a great frame!


Another simple technique is to follow the steps to cut and emboss your shape and then to sponge with the frame still on:

This leaves a nice white line around the outside of your panel as in this card.

Check out the inside of this card!  I am quite proud of it because I never focus on decorating my insides!

There are a number of other things to do with Nestabilities and embossing pads, but I am going to save those for a Part II!!

B is for Birthday:
  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Party Hearty
  • Ink: SU Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze, Cherry Cobbler and Tangerine markers
  • Paper: SU Not Quite Navy, Baja Breeze, Cherry Cobbler
  • Accessories: SU Tangerine ribbon, EK Success Border Punch, Cuttlebug dots, Nestabilities Labels Three
  • Challenges: colourQ Color Challenge  and i{heart}2stamp sketch challenge

God's Love Endures:

Little Baby Blue Elephant:
  • Stamps: There She Goes Polka Dot Pals
  • Inks: SU Bashful Blue
  • Paper: white
  • Accessories: SU Bashful Blue gingham, Nestabilities square and scalloped square, Cuttlebug dots, misc safety pin

We Are Never Alone:
  • Stamps: SU Have a Seat, Close To My Heart Because of You
  • Inks: SU Chocolate Chip, Certainly Celery
  • Paper: SU Melon Mambo, Certainly Celery, Chocolate Chip
  • Accessories: Tim Holtz Embossing Folder, misc pearls and crocheted ribbon, SU Scalloped Border Punch, Nestabilities ovals 
  • Challenges: Utah Divas International Color Challenge and Pals Paper Arts Sketch Challenge


  1. Great tips and fabulous cards. I love the sponging inside the Nestie frame technique - so effective! I will give it a try. :)

  2. Great demo, KIm! Love your cards. thanks for playing the ColourQ challenge this week.

  3. These are all fabulous, Kim! Your tutorial is fantastic, too, and a great reminder that we shouldn't take for granted what we think is "basic" knowledge when stamping. Thanks for joining us at the ColourQ and the Curtain Call this week!

  4. Wow! What a busy girl you have been ... and so clever to incorporate all these challenges! Loved the tutorial for the Nesties. I have recently purchased my first set of Nesties ... and a friend had helped me with how to create the "embossed edge look" but it is great to see it in pictures. (Although I am using a Big Shot ... but the principles are the same!) Thanks for taking the time to do this! Hugs xxaxx

  5. Kim these are all exceptional! Thank you for not only playing with the colourQ, but also using one of my images!!! You should join our CDAC group and post it there for everyone to see!

  6. My Big Shot with three sets of "Nesties" was shipped this morning. I also got the pads for the embossed edges, so this blog post was SO timely. Can't wait for my "present to me" to be delvered so I can play! Didn't get squares or rectangles for the same reason you mentioned. Now, like you, want them. Definitely going to get carried away!

  7. Thanks for the tutorial. I just got a Cuttlebug and a couple sets of Nesties, so this helped me learn how to use them to cut and emboss!!!

  8. Hey Kim! I LOVE that red card. Even though I haven't posted, I have been reading.....


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