Impressions of Tarnished Foil

by Melissa Kerman

Create a stunning effect with layers of dry and heat embossing.


  • Embossing folder (Woodland Embossing Folder by Stampin’ Up!® used here)
  • Stamps (optional - Thoughts and Prayers Stamp Set by Stampin’ Up! used here)
  • Foiled cardstock, or cardstock covered in aluminum foil or foil tape (Silver Foil Sheets by Stampin’ Up! used here)
  • VersaMark Ink Pad
  • Jet Black StazOn Ink Pad
  • Metallic embossing powders (gold and copper used here)
  • Heat tool
  • Die cutting machine
  • Other supplies as needed to complete the project Stampin' Up! products used here: Basic Black, Soft Suede and Crumb Cake Cardstock)


  1. Step 1

    Gently rub the Jet Black StazOn Ink Pad over the surface of the foiled cardstock to create streaks. You can apply a lot or a little ink using this Direct to Paper Technique.

    Allow the ink to dry completely.

    StazOn was used since foil is a non-porous surface, and it is the only ink that will dry fairly quickly and not rub off once it is dry. If your ink pad is brand new and fairly juicy you may want to use an especially light touch, as more ink will come off when rubbing across the surface of the foil sheet than if your ink pad is older and has not been reinked recently.

  2. Step 2 (Optional)

    Stamp images onto the foil sheet using a Versamark Ink Pad and heat emboss (gold powder used here).

  3. Step 3

    Place the prepared foil sheet into an embossing folder.

  4. Emboss as usual.


    When dry-embossing cardstock, normally you can flip the panel for either the negative or positive impression. When doing this technique there is only one side with foil finish so you’ll need to decide ahead of time which impression you want to use, and therefore how you will place your foil sheet in the embossing folder. For the project here I wanted the tree shapes poking out so the folder’s logo and the Silver Foil side of the paper are both facing up.

  5. Step 4

    Using a VersaMark ink pad, rub the edge or corner of the pad lightly over the raised portions of the dry embossed foil sheet.

  6. Pour embossing powder over the surface (gold used here). Tap off the excess.

  7. Step 5

    If there is more embossing powder sticking than you want, simply rub some off with your fingers.

    Make sure the embossing powder is not covering too much of the stamped images in the background and that you are leaving portions of the silver foil showing.

  8. Step 6

    Repeat steps #4 and 5 but this time using a contrasting embossing powder (copper used here).

  9. Step 7

    Use the Direct-To-Paper technique to add some Jet Black StazOn to the panel. This will create more contrast between the raised and recessed areas and add an old, rustic, tarnished look. The black also allows you to bring out the interesting textures created by the foil and by the melted embossing powder.

  10. You may also want to rub ink around the edge of the silver foil to “frame” your piece.


    You may need to rub the ink pad pretty hard against the embossed foil to get it to show up rich and black, depending on how juicy your inkpad is.

  11. Step 8 (Optional)

    Repeat the steps above as desired, until you are happy with the background. In the photo shown here, Steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 were repeated to add more color and balance out the ratios of silver, gold, copper and black.

  12. Step 9

    Use the finished panel to complete a card or other project.



  1. This technique can also be done with cardstock wrapped in aluminum foil. There are pros and cons to both methods but using foil sheets is simply more convenient. You can also get foil sheets in gold and copper, allowing for more opportunities for creativity (this sample was made using a copper foil sheet).

Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Impressions of Tarnished Foil. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Yay! I fixed the link.
dina  |  Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 12:14 PM
Thanks for all the wonderful, sweet comments. I'm so glad to have such a positive response to my technique! For those of you that try this technique, I'll look forward to seeing your creations in the technique gallery. Happy Crafting! grin
Melissa Kerman  |  Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 3:50 PM
Great tutorial! So easy to follow. Do you think this could be done using mirror board?
Joyce Smith  |  Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 4:39 PM
Joyce, if you try it let us know! I don't have any here.
dina  |  Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 4:42 PM
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.
Cindy Anders  |  Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 9:17 PM
This is stunning. A must try. Thank you for sharing your talent and inspiration.
Gail  |  Wed Apr 12, 2017 at 11:04 PM
I don't even know what mirror board is. I'll have to look into it. Thanks for commenting!
Melissa Kerman  |  Thu Apr 13, 2017 at 6:10 AM
What a great idea. Can't wait to try it. Thanks so much for sharing.
Susan Miller  |  Thu Apr 13, 2017 at 9:15 AM
Wow...Melissa, your photo and video tutorials are so well done and your Impressions of Tarnished technique is absolutely Stunning! I will definitely be trying in the future. TFS and I look forward to more of your tutorials. Hugs...
nancy littrell  |  Thu Apr 13, 2017 at 10:45 AM
This is beautiful. Thank you.
Daria  |  Thu Apr 13, 2017 at 12:24 PM
What an elegant technique, Melissa. I am excited to try it. Thanks for your very clear instructions as well as your personal experience notations. Just beautiful.
Beth K  |  Thu Apr 13, 2017 at 8:40 PM
A real WOW technique! Especially like the hexacon TIEF treatment. TFS
Sue Duffy  |  Thu Apr 13, 2017 at 10:17 PM
That was a great tutorial. Loved it-can't wait to give it a go.
Chriselle  |  Fri Apr 14, 2017 at 3:15 AM
Thank you, Melissa! I can't wait to try this! Your cards are beautiful!
Sharon Madson  |  Fri Apr 14, 2017 at 3:57 PM
Gorgeous! I can't wait to try it!!!!
Nancy Williams  |  Sat Apr 15, 2017 at 4:25 AM
Can't wait to try this out. Fabulous card. TFS. Happy day
Jayne Crooks  |  Mon Apr 17, 2017 at 5:42 AM
Love this tutorial. You explained it all so well and I can hardly wait to try it! Thank you!
Joey Tipping  |  Mon Apr 17, 2017 at 4:17 PM
Wow - that's gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this with us!
Adriana Benitez  |  Tue Apr 18, 2017 at 8:13 PM
Very nice! Your handsome example is a great idea for a masculine card. Thanks!!
Carolynn Wilson  |  Wed Apr 19, 2017 at 12:21 PM
Thanks for sharing this wonderful technique. The only silver foiled cs I had was lightly swirled but it didn't affect the outcome.
I am uploading my card now. Can't wait to try different versions but this will always be my favorite one.
Suzanne Delaney  |  Wed Apr 26, 2017 at 5:25 AM

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