Understanding UTEE and its Many Uses
Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel, commonly known as UTEE, is an extremely useful and versatile too in rubber stamping. It can take any project you do to the next level without a lot of effort. You can embellish stamped objects with it, stamp into the hot UTEE, dip objects in to it, or it can even stand on its own . We will be covering several of these techniques ranging from the simplest to the more difficult. All will give you a beautiful result however.
UTEE is an Embossing Enamel, and it can be used for just such that purpose. Do not use it with finely detailed or art stamps however, as you will lose the detail. UTEE is not meant for that type of work. Use it instead for block or outline type stamps. Ink up your stamp and stamp the object as you would for regular heat embossing. After you stamp the object pour UTEE over it then shake off the excess. Heat until melted. UTEE will give a more pronounced orange peel effect, which can be very decorative. You can also use a block stamp and UTEE to highlight a previously stamped image.
You can also take a cut image and coat in embossing ink, cover it completely with UTEE. Two or three coats will give you a great glassy effect. You can then let this cool and either use it as is or bend gently to crackle it. After it is crackled you can go over the UTEE with ink to accentuate the cracks. The picture frame here is a turquoise paper cut out coated in embossing ink, then covered with UTEE and heated. Then I used green, copper and blue metallic inks and clear and copper UTEE to achieve a patina effect.
Melting Pot Methods
If you own a melting pot or have ever considered getting one, they are a wonderful accessory to have for your crafting in general, but you can do many beautiful things with UTEE melted in the melting pot. You can dip your rubber stamps into the melted UTEE, and allow it to cool. When it is cooled you can carefully peel it off of the stamp and have a beautiful reverse impression of the stamp.
If you have any old CD’s laying around (and truthfully, who doesn’t) you can heat them up with a heat gun and then cut them into any shape you choose. You can then dip them into the UTEE and either use your stamps to emboss them while they are still hot or let them cool and stamp on them. You can also use pigment in k to stamp on the CD before you dip it into the UTEE. Just be sure the ink is completely dry before you dip it. You can achieve some wonderful effects this way. You can basically dip anything into UTEE, as evidenced by this bottle cap that was dipped in UTEE, then stamped while it was still hot.
If you have the melting pot and a non stick craft sheet you can pour different colors of UTEE together, let them melt without mixing them, then pour them onto the craft sheet. When it is cool enough to handle, peel it off of the craft sheet and cut it into any shape you choose.
There are also dyes you can buy to use to color UTEE as well as a product called UTEE Flex. Utee Flex is wonderful if you need your embellishment to have more strength. Actually, I recommend it any time you use UTEE, as when it becomes older it becomes more brittle.
UTEE can be used for just about anything from stamping to home décor and jewelry. I have even mixed it into polymer clay for different effects. Go ahead and play with it, it is a lot of fun, and the more you do with it, the more you will want to do.