July 25, 2017


 Have I got a treat for you! Have you ever heard of the cracked glass technique? It yields an antiqued look to a stamped image similar to what you see on old pottery pieces. It is referred to as crazing when it happens to decorative pieces. While this development is sometimes given a bad name, I love the look of it, and celebrate as a piece I own continues to do its crazing bit. I think it adds so much character and makes it so much more interesting to look at.

Anyway, in the stamping world, you can achieve a look similar to crazing with heat embossing. I have to admit that it is pretty much always a surprise as to the results you will get. In my sample below, obviously my cracks went more on the diagonal side. While I wasn't completely happy with it, I went with it anyway.

When I had finished doing the cracked glass technique, I wanted it to look a little more antique-y, so I sponged Early Espresso ink over the cracked areas to try to force some brown ink into the cracks. Following is my final piece.

I must note, however, that I used a recycled cardstock with specks of color in it, so that is what shows up in the background.

When I finished my hot air balloon cracked glass piece, I incorporated it into a greeting card. 

Before I started with the embossing, I used my Prismacolor pencils to color in the balloon.

Below is another view of the cracking.

A look at the finished card:

Lots of crazy crazing goin' on, eh?

This is how you proceed in doing the cracked glass technique:

After your image is stamped and colored as desired, cut the piece to the size you want it to be in the finished state. Completely cover the stamped piece with VersaMark ink. At the heat station, cover it with a thick clear embossing powder. I used some of my retired Stampin' Up! Glassy Glaze Enamel (See? Don't ever get rid of your goodies!) But, you can also use Ranger's Ultra Thick Embossing Powder. It is also possible to do this technique with regular clear embossing powder, but it takes layers and layers and layers of embossing in order to get the surface thick enough to crack.

OK. Back to the first layer of thick embossing powder. Heat emboss this. If you are quick and your piece is still hot, you can add another layer of embossing powder and heat that. If it cools down too much between layers of embossing, add more VersaMark ink, then more embossing powder. To get the results I did, it took five layers of Glassy Glaze Enamel. I watched a video where the demonstrator was using regular clear embossing powder, and it took ELEVEN layers to get it thick enough to crack. That's why it is so much less time consuming to use embossing powder that is thicker and more granular in the first place.

Once you have four or five layers of embossing, and the piece is shiny, smooth and has some nice thickness, place it in the freezer for five minutes. As soon as you remove it from the freezer, bend the piece until you hear cracking. Turn the piece so all the cracks don't run the same direction. It is possible to overdo the cracking, and pieces might crack and flake off and ruin your piece. Ask me how I know that's possible.

If, after putting the embossed piece in the freezer, it still doesn't crack, add another layer or two of the embossing powder before putting it back in the freezer for another five minutes. Then try to crack it. 

If you would like to watch Beate Johns in action doing this technique, you can access it HERE

Have fun! This is such a great -- albeit a bit time consuming -- technique that never fails to WOW!



  1. Amazing! a bit of work, but well worth it. I'm sure the recipient of this card, or those who gaze upon will be awed.
    Stopping by today from Wonderful Wednesday linky party

  2. That is so cool!!!!I have never seen this before! I am a big fan of crafts that are not common. I can see how the cracking gives that cracked pottery look. I am pinning:) thanks for sharing, found you from the linky party:)

  3. What an interesting technique, I can imagine overdoing it and it all falling to pieces - sounds like you have been there, done that and wear the t shirt with pride!

  4. I always love your cards Linda they are so creative. Thanks for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty and have a lovely day

  5. So very creative!! Thank you so much for sharing with us at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I have shared on social media.

  6. That is amazing, it looks like there is cracked glass over the picture! Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  7. Your cards are always so beautiful and unique. I had never heard of the cracked glass technique. The result produces a fascinating texture. Thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’m sharing your link on social media.
    Carol (“Mimi”) from Home with Mimi

  8. Very unique! I've never seen that technique before. It looks like fun! Thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty

  9. Linda I meant to tell you last week - I LOVE this card! The colours are so fun (reminds me of vintage circus colours ... if that's even a thing). xx

  10. Very unique and interesting, I like it! Thank you Linda for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I shared your post on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.

  11. That is an absolutely beautiful card! I think it's one of my favorites, though all of yours are amazing. What talent! Thank you for sharing with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty! I'm sharing on social media!

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