Displaying an Embossed Metal Finding in a Glass Paperweight

I really enjoy working with embossed metal, especially vintage findings I pick up on Etsy or in flea market junk bins.  These days you can also create your own embossed, metal artwork using a variety of tools and machines from companies such as Sissix.

Vintage findings are typically made from thicker, sturdier metal.  These pieces have a lot of shape and dimension.  That's fine when you're creating art for a dome paperweight, or other paperweight styles that have a deeper recess (more ceiling height to the interior space).  For a paperweight like the Oval (PhotoWeights: Oval Paperweight Kit), there's not much room to work with when it comes to depth.  This is where a little creativity (and a hammer) come into play.

For this project you'll need a paperweight kit, a metal finding, and some decorative paper, fabric, or other material to use as your background.  You can also add some other embellishments if you'd like.

For the background I used K&Company's Jubilee Bright Flowers scrapbook paper.  Using a template (PhotoWeights: Display Area Template), I selected an area of the paper and traced around it with pencil.

After I cut the paper along the trace line, I adhered it to the adhesive side of the mounting board (included with the paperweight kit).

If your metal finding has any fastener tabs, remove them with a pair of needle nose pliers by bending them back and forth a few times.  Use an emery board to smooth out any rough spots of metal this may leave behind.

If you're working with a finding that has a lot of depth and dimension to it, flattening it may make it look like it's been run over by a car.  (The smashed face of a cherub may not be the look you're after.)  Pick a finding that is already fairly flat.

To flatten the metal finding, place it between two pieces of cardboard before using a flat-head hammer to strike over the entire area.  Use a gentle amount of force.  Continuously check the progress of your work to make sure you evenly flattening all areas of the finding.

Once the finding has been flattened enough to fit within the paperweight, clean it with glass cleaner to remove any dirt, dust, or debris before applying tacky glue to the back.  Be sure to keep the glue a safe distance from the edges to prevent it from seeping out when the piece is applied to the mounting board.

Tacky glue is perfect for this application because it will stay in place and won't run.   (I used Aleene's Original Tacky Glue).  I don't recommend hot melt glue when the thickness of your artwork is very limited.

Gently position the metal finding onto the background.  Any glue that becomes visible may be removed with a lightly moistened Q-tip.

After the glue has dried completely, follow the finishing instructions that come with each PhotoWeights paperweight kit.  This involves placing the artwork face-down into the recessed area of the paperweight and covering the underside of the paperweight with the adhesive bottom pad that comes with each kit.


Miniature Sushi Captured Within a Dome Paperweight - Wasabi and Chop Sticks Included!

During one of my recent shopping sprees on Etsy, I came across a shop called Teeny Imperfections.  It's owned by Lisa Schrecengost, a miniature food artist.  She offers all sorts of handmade creations that include brownies, nachos, fried chicken, fruit, and cupcakes.

The miniature that really grabbed my attention was sushi on a wooden plank - complete with wasabi, ginger, and a pair of chopsticks.  I immediately thought, "That would make an incredible paperweight!"  I have to admit I also got a little hungry.  Don't they look real?  You can almost taste the wasabi.

All of Lisa's work is personally made by her to order.  She also takes special orders, and can create just about any food you'd like.

For the sample paperweight I used the Heirloom Dome (PhotoWeights: Heirloom Dome).  The background the miniature was adhered to is textured, green paper.

If you order a miniature for one of your paperweight projects, be sure to let Lisa know how small to make it.

Teeny Imperfections on Etsy:


A Pretty, Embossed Postcard from 1909 Looks Splendid in a Scalloped, Glass Paperweight

Antique postcards are among the easiest, most affordable things you can use to create beautiful, high-end paperweights that look like they came straight from the pages of Victoria or Country Living.

These century-old pieces of artwork often feature rich colors, embossed designs, and metallic detailing that truly look splendid under glass.

The postcard I used for this project was just $2.00.  When you add this to the price of the paperweight kit ($10.75), this finished paperweight cost only $12.75 to make.

For this project you'll need an antique postcard and a glass paperweight kit (PhotoWeights: Scalloped Paperweight Kit).   An optional template was also used.

It isn't necessary to use a template for this project.  However, you may find a template makes it much easier to mark the area you'd like to display in your paperweight.  Our templates are reusable and may be purchased on our website (PhotoWeights: Display Area Templates).

Place the template opening over the desired location and lightly trace around the artwork with a pencil.  Cut out your artwork with a pair of good scissors by following the line you traced.

The photo above shows the area of the postcard I marked and cut out.  You can see the embossed flowers and metallic gold circling the Best Wishes seal.  There's also a metallic gold swag in the background.

Remove the protective film from the self-adhesive bottom pad.

Place your artwork onto the adhesive side of the mounting board and press down to adhere.

Take a minute to clean your paperweight with streak-free glass cleaner to remove any dirt, finger prints, or smudges.  Also be sure the bottom surface is free of dust.

Place the mounting board (artwork facing down) into the recessed area on the underside of the paperweight.

Remove the protective film to expose the adhesive on the bottom pad.

Place the bottom pad on the underside of the paperweight.

The finished paperweight will add some color and charm to the lucky owner's desk.