As a lover of embossing, I thought i'd do a review of the Tim Holtz "Distress Embossing Powders" by Ranger.
There are 24 coordinating colours in the range, which are designed to match the Distress Inks that Ranger also make.
These powders are acid free and non toxic, and come in handy 1oz (31g) plastic pots. Individually, the distress powders sell for around the £4.80 mark, depending on the supplier. You can however buy them in sets of six.
For those of you who are used to embossing, these powders are used very much the same, except for a couple of points.
The secret to these Distress Embossing Powders, is that they have release crystals mixed with the embossing powder. The release crystals do not stick with the embossing powder, and therefore can be wiped off afterwards to reveal a weathered, textured effect.
What is great about this product, is that whilst many people associate the word "distress" with old or vintage, thanks to the varied colour range, they can be used for more modern and funky projects too.
Applying the Distress Embossing Powder is easy. You simply ink the area or image you wish to emboss, you can use any of the clear embossing inks for this (VersaMark, Tim Holtz Distress Embossing Ink etc). Then before you apply the embossing powder to the ink, shake the pot well
. This ensures the release crystals are distributed as evenly as possible throughout the powder.
Here is a simple tag that I have made to show the powders in use.
First I blended the tag with distress inks, then applied some “Broken China” coloured distress powder to a VersaMarked flourish stamp image…..
Once applied, use a heat gun to heat the powder. This is where you will see another difference. Being a "distress powder", it will not begin to turn shiny as it melts. As Tim Holtz says, "the dark colours become darker, and the light colours become lighter". The excellent thing about these distress powders is that you cannot over heat them, so if you are unsure if you have heated them enough, just go back and give them another blast with the heat gun.
Next comes the neat bit. Allow the powder to cool completely, this is very important as the distress powder sets as it cools. Once cooled, rub the embossing powder with your fingers, this will brush off the release crystals and leave you with a distressed, textured look.
Here you can see I have done the same with some “Aged mahogany”….
Again, it is very important not to brush the powder before it has cooled, otherwise you will just wipe the whole lot off.
What I love about this product, is that Ranger have addressed one of my "niggles" when it comes to the art of distressing. It doesn't have to be dull, dark and dowdy every time! Vintage makes can indeed have colour to them!
As well as that, there is nothing better than a piece of artwork that is not only pleasing to the eye, but pleasing to the touch too, and these distress powders deliver every time.
I think these powders are a great way of creating the "rusty metal" effect sought after by many people.
* The new release crystal technology gives you a lovely weathered textured finish, something that can be difficult to achieve with ordinary embossing powders.
* At 38mm high and 43mm wide, these small pots are an ideal size for storing and transporting. Plus with a screw top lid which does up nice and tight, you can be sure that your powder will be secure when not in use. Don't be deceived by the small pots though, the powder seems to last for ages!
* The colour range is excellent. This means there is something for everyone, whether you are into the more vintage tones, or the more modern, brighter colours. This in turn allows you to use the powders on an unlimited range of crafty makes.
* I think this powder would be difficult to use on fine detailed work. For example, on the above tag, I started by using the powder on the whole of the butterfly stamp, but the fine details of the stamp were not very visible, so I ended up just distress embossing the edges.
* My only other "con", if you can even class it as one, would be that new users may find it difficult to judge when the powders have been heated enough. There is very little colour change when using the heat gun on the powder. As I said though, this is hardly a con, and the judgement of, "Have I heated it enough?" will come within a few goes with the powder.
So all in all this product gets a thumbs up from me, another great product from Tim Holtz/Ranger team.
I will definitely be getting the other colours in the range, and I think they are a must have for anyone who loves embossing. As you can see, the powders can be used in conjunction with other products such as distress inks.
The powders can be found at numerous paper craft suppliers including Jennie at the Artistic Stamper (one of the forum sponsors).
More information on the full colour range can be found at the Ranger Ink site.
Thanks for reading, i hope you find it useful.