Monday, June 20, 2011

Techniques: Playing with UTEE

I set out today to see what Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel (UTEE) could do...or, I guess, what I could do with UTEE!  This patriotic tag is one big experiment in playing with UTEE.

The Details:
  • First, I stamped the stars in Versamark onto a manila folder tag, coated them in clear UTEE, and heated from underneath until the UTEE was melted.
  • I then laid the tag on my work surface and reheated each star from above and stamped various images into the melted UTEE.  Leave the stamp in the UTEE until relatively cool.  Note:  I used all red rubber stamps...not sure if this technique is appropriate for clear stamps.
  • Once all the stars were texturized, I dragged Stormy Sky and Barn Door Distress ink pads down the tag to color the background.  I then sprayed the tag with water from a mini mister and let the colors bleed a bit before wiping the tag with a baby wipe in the same direction as the stripes. 
  • Next, I randomly stamped the text in Vintage Photo DI.
  • To bring out the stamped texture in the stars, I daubed Sandal Alcohol ink on each star with a felt applicator pad and then wiped it off with a paper towel.  This removes the alcohol ink from just the surface and leaves the stamped areas colored in.  Wiping off the alcohol ink also dulls the finish of the UTEE, which I really liked for this tag since it's pretty distressed looking.
This star was stamped with handwriting, others were stamped
with polka dots and checkerboard patterns.
The checkerboard star was created by placing replacement screening
into the melted UTEE and using an acrylic block to "stamp" it.
  • After my stars were finished, I stamped Tim Holtz's three gentlemen over the top using StazOn Timber Brown.  Since StazOn is a permanent ink, it stamps right over the top of the UTEE.  I love how you see the pattern and shape of the stars through the men.
  • After the base was complete, the rest was just embellishing with crepe paper, ribbons, letters, and trinkets, including these alcohol ink and glossy accent-distressed letters.

So there's three UTEE techniques in one tag:
  1. UTEE as a mask
  2. Stamping into UTEE
  3. Coloring UTEE with alcohol inks
I hope this inspires you to do some UTEE playing of your own!

: manila tag; PTI cardstock ‘Kraft’
Stamps: Tim Holtz ‘Curious Possibility’; SU! ‘Itty Bitty Backgrounds’, ‘Botanicals’; PSX
Inks: Distress Ink ‘Barn Door’, ‘Stormy Sky’, ‘Vintage Photo’, ‘Old Paper’; StazOn ‘Timber Brown’; Versamark; Alcohol Ink ‘Sandal’
Embellishments: metal letters; crepe paper; crochet lace ribbon; PTI Baker’s Twine; Recollections rhinestones; TH mini paper clip; TH star; ribbon; glossy accents; staples

Tools: UTEE; heat gun; tweezers; stapler;
Misc: replacement screening


  1. I love your tag! And thank you for the info on using UTEE. I purchased some about a month ago, along with the melting pot and Suze Weinberg's DVD, but I haven't played with it yet. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Great tag- I love the step by step- I saw alot of details that I would have missed without the info. Love the UTEE fun you have displayed!

  3. Very Cool, I may have to try this one. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Wow, great tag and great step by step. I got a melting pot recently, another way to UTEE.

  5. Very clever, love how it worked out

  6. Great taga and a great technique! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. This is a great tag and loved how you used UTEE!! Fantastic!!

  8. Lovely tag - Great textures. Love the way you've used the UTEE.

  9. thanks for sharing the details on the techniques. Love the tag!

  10. I really like your tag. Great colors and use of UTEE.

  11. Your tag looks great, Vicki!

  12. Fabulous tag, Vicki! Thanks for spelling out the details.

  13. I need to bookmark this post as a wonderful UTEE tutorial--thanks for all the details -- I enjoyed reading about your creative process!

  14. This is fantastic! Love all the different ways you've used UTEE. I'm totally inspired - I love that stuff!

  15. Beautiful use of UTEE! Fabulous tag!

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