Product Review: Tim Holtz/Sizzix Embossing Diffusers
Product Name: Tim Holtz Alterations Embossing Diffusers Set #1
What Are Embossing Diffusers?
Embossing diffusers are simply a tool which allow you to get more use out of your embossing folders. The diffusers are designed to allow you to create sections on your artwork which are not embossed when using an embossing folder.
How to Use It
This product is designed to be used with any of the embossing folders available on the market – with the exception of the 5”x7” and larger embossing folders. These can be used with any of the Sizzix line of embossing machines, and from my own experimentation both the Spellbinders Grand Calibur and the PC Cuttlebug. The sandwich for the PC Cuttlebug is:
- A plate
- embossing folder
- B plate
After some experimentation, I was able to find sandwiches for the Grand Calibur. Because the Spellbinders embossing folders are thicker than other leading industry embossing folders (thanks to being double-sided), there are two sandwiches. Feeding through the machine will feel loose, and that is okay, you will still get a good solid impression. The sandwiches are:
For Spellbinders Embossing Folders
- B plate
- embossing folder
For other industry folders:
- C plate
- embossing folder
If you have been using embossing folders for a long time, you will notice that embossing diffusers are the industry’s response to a technique in which you use your dies to cut out several pieces of thin chipboard, layer the pieces of chipboard together, and then use them to create the same effect as these fancy diffusers. Currently the diffusers come in standard shapes of large oval, skinny oval, and circle. There are no fancy designs offered at the moment, although you can make them with your dies and chipboard. However, these save you from all the work which goes into making your own, and with a name like “Diffuser Set #1” it is likely more are on their way. With this three set of diffusers you get six different options – not bad for the MSRP.
Tips and Techniques
In playing around with this product, I found several different ways to use these diffusers.
- Use the frame to have an un-embossed center.
- Use the center to emboss the center and not the outer section.
- Combine both the inner shape and frame with different embossing folders to get two different designs on one sheet of cardstock.
- Use the inner shape to create highlights of texture around the cardstock rather than in the center.
- Use the diffuser frames to create texture to the base of your journaling and title cards.
While using the center portions of the diffuser sets, I found that they move around a lot. I fixed this by using some masking tape to hold my embossing folder and diffuser together. Although this product has the most applicable use for card design, I found myself wanting to use it for scrapbook layouts. Below you can see some of the projects I came up with.
While playing with the embossing diffusers and embossing folders by different companies, I found that the Tim Holtz embossing folders worked best with the diffusers, giving a strong overall impression. However, these same results could be achieved with including a shim or two with the embossing folders from other leading companies aside from Sizzix.
In this first project, I used the frame in the traditional manner and created a card with a masculine feel to it. I used the circle embossing diffuser frame to create a blank spot in the center of the card for my focal image.
- Tim Holtz Embossing Diffuser Set 1
- Tim Holtz Distress Ink, Black Soot
- Stampin’ Up! Classic Ink, Garden Green
- Bazzill Kraft Cardstock
- Recollections Kraft Cardstock
- Unity Stamp Co, The Time Is Now Stamp Set
In the next project, I wanted to try out technique #4 listed above in which I moved the inner shape around on a piece of cardstock to create highlights of embossed areas. I then used this piece on a layout.
- Tim Holtz Walnut Stain Distress Ink
- DCWV Tradewinds Collection
- Prima 1212 Script Paper Stack
- Tim Holtz Embossing Diffusers Set 1
- Petaloo Penny Lane Small Flower, Silhouette
- CherryLynn English Tea Doily Die
- Stampin’ Up! Very Vanilla Cardstock
- Stampin’ Up! Embossing Folder
- AMM Heart Ribbon Slide
- American Crafts Chit Chat, Marine
- ButterBeeScraps Zibbet Store
Title cards and journaling cards are all the rage at the moment. I thought that the frames from this set would create a beautiful base layer to a title or journal card to be used on a traditional scrapbook page or in your project life albums. This last layout recreates the feel of Project Life on a traditional scrapbook layout.
- Tim Holtz Vintage Photo Distress Ink
- Ranger Archival Ink Pad, Jet Black
- Tim Holtz Embossing Diffusers
- Graphic 45 Bird Song 12x12 Paper Collection
- Graphic 45 Bird Song 12x12 Cardstock Stickers, Alphabet
- Graphic 45 Bird Song 12x12 Cardstock Stickers
- Spellbinders Embossing Folder, Asian
- SNAP Studio Collection, Cardstock Stickers, Typeset
- American Crafts Dear Lizzy Charmed Thickers
- Stampin’ Up! Wild Wasabi Classic Ink
- Stampin’ Up! Garden Green Classic Ink
- Stampin’ Up! Crushed Curry Classic Ink
- Stampin’ Up! Early Espresso Classic Ink
- Stampin’ Up! Regal Rose Classic Ink
- Somssi Kimchi Pot Stamp
- Somssi Lotus Flower Stamp