Cracked glass tutorial with designer Allison Cope!

Cracked glass tutorial with designer Allison Cope!

00 Cracked Glass Iris Allison Cope

I was wracking my brain as to what I wanted to share with you today, so I went looking through some of my drawers of crafting supplies and products that I use and a container of UTEE jumped out at me!  I thought to myself, “I wonder if everyone knows all the possibilities this product has to offer?”  So that’s what I thought I’d share with you… some fun ways to use UTEE in your paper crafting projects!

First off, what is UTEE, you ask?  UTEE is an acronym for Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel.  It is a specially formulated, large particle embossing powder.  It looks like course sand or sugar and melts when heated with a heat tool or in a melting pot.  UTEE can come in clear, coloured or even metallic granules and can be used on cards, scrapbook pages, altered projects, jewelry and much more!

Today I’m going to be working with some clear UTEE, showing you how to create the CRACKED GLASS effect.  Remember, this technique can be used on cards, layouts and even jewelry projects.  UTEE is such a versatile product!

0UTEE 01

As you can see, I’m using clear UTEE today.  The granules are larger than your traditional embossing powders.  Clear UTEE is a bit yellow-ish in colour in its raw state but it does indeed melt and dry clear.  Be careful not to overheat this product because it will scorch and discolour.

0UTEE 02

First began by creating a decorative panel to create the cracked glass effect on.  I stamped a simple iris image by Flourishes and coloured it with Copic Markers.  I also added any distressing to the shape and back ground at this time.  Next I grabbed my Versamark ink and inked up the ENTIRE surface of my die cut image.

0UTEE 03

Placing your inked image on a piece of scrap copy paper, quickly poured the clear UTEE right over top of my entire die cut.  Use tweezers to pick up the die cut and tap it to remove any excess UTEE and returned it to its container using the scrap copy paper to guide it back into the bottle.

0UTEE 04

See how the ink sticks the granules to the image?  Don’t worry if you have small bare patches.  This can be easily fixed as you continue this technique.

0UTEE 05

Hanging on to your shape using tweezers (because this will be EXTREMELY HOT!), use your heat tool to begin melting your granules.  See how the UTEE has begun to melt on the right side (bottom of the irises) of the die cut as opposed to the left side?  As your UTEE melts, the granules melt and become smooth and runny.  Be careful you don’t touch the  UTEE as it is EXTREMELY HOT and may burn your skin.

Once your first application of UTEE is melted, I typically apply another layer of Versmark ink to the entire surface again and sprinkle and melt another layer of UTEE.  This will fill any holes from your first application.

For your second and any further layers of UTEE, typically there is enough UTEE on the surface to remain warm and sticky enough to sprinkle on the next layer of granules for more layers.  If your surface is not warm enough, just apply more heat using your heat tool to heat it up to become sticky enough again to apply another layer.

0UTEE 06

Once you have applied 4 or more layers of UTEE, your image should be well coated with a smooth, clear layer of UTEE.  If you have any holes or low spots on your shape’s surface, heat your surface again and add more granules where you need them.

Let your surface completely cool.  This is really important!  If you don’t let it cool all the way through, the next step for the cracked glass effect won’t work.  A little trick of mine: To cool it faster, throw it in the freezer!  Yup… the freezer!  Works like a charm!

0UTEE 07

Once the UTEE surface is cool and hard, bend your shape.  The UTEE will then be forced to crack and split.  These cracks will appear on the front of your image.  Super cool!  Remember to bend your image in different directions to get cracks that run different directions across your image.  If you don’t like the way your image cracks or a piece of UTEE breaks away from the surface, just grab your heat tool again and heat it up until your surface is smooth again.  Re-cool  it and try bending it again.  This technique is SO forgiving!

0UTEE 08

Lastly, grab a dark coloured ink and an ink blending tool or sponge and rub the ink all over the surface of your cracks.  The cracks should draw some of the dark ink into them and remain there.  Buff the surface with a piece of paper towel to remove all the excess ink.  If you want your cracks darker, add more ink and buff again!

0UTEE 09

Voila!  See what you have created!   A simple, unique, almost ‘piece of jewelry’ for your card, layout or piece of altered art.

I decided to add mine to a card front for a simple Valentine’s Day card…

00 Cracked Glass Iris Allison Cope

Supplies:  Stamps:  Flourishes (Flowers for Jan, Antique Map, Wild Roses);  Cardstock: Flourishes Classic White & Kraft, Core’dinations;  Die cut shapes: Spellbinders;  Inks: Memento, Copic Markers, Ranger Distress Inks;  Ribbon:  Flourishes;  Gold Pen: Sakura;  UTEE: Ranger;  Adhesive Pearls:  Recollections;  Brad: Making Memories;  Tools: Scor-Pal.

Thanks for joining me today!  I hope this inspires you to try out some UTEE in your next paper crafting creation.  Don’t forget to try this for making faux buttons, cool wearable paper jewelry pieces and radical embellishments for your next altered art project. 

Allison Cope





  1. Becky Fleck January 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Allison, your card is gorgeous and what a great technique!

  2. Kathleen Spaeth January 9, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Wow! I didn’t know what UTEE was, even though I have seen it at my local paper crafting store, and I am very impressed with its visual effect. Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial! What scares me is the fact that you need to put on 4 layers, but I will try it and be brave!

  3. Kathy P January 9, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Gorgeous card using this cool technique. Thanks for the instructions! Is the Versamark stamp you use an actual STAMP with color? Or is it an embossing pad (before you put down the UTEE)??

  4. Allison Cope January 9, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Kathy P… the Versamark is an INK PAD that has a clear, sticky ink on it. It makes your granules stick to your project. Love that ink!

  5. Christine Kiehl January 9, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    This is an awesome post! Thank you! Turned out so unique and beautiful!

  6. ChristineCreations January 9, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Gorgeous Ally! That die works perfectly with the intricacy of the irises too!

  7. Deb W January 9, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    I’m anxious to try this technique. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. Daylene Strickland January 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    This is beautiful!

  9. Beth W January 9, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Love it-sharing this link with my crafting buddies!

  10. Amante del Papel January 9, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    thanks for sharing this amazing technique, you are wonderful!

  11. Marie January 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Beautiful! I feel more confident now.

  12. Julie Pike January 9, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    I’d never heard of UTEE until now. The effect is stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Maye M.L. January 10, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Thanks for bringing this wonderful technique back to my memory. I learned it while visiting some friends in Vancouver island a few years ago. Cheers!

  14. Becky Green January 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    OH MY!!!!!! ALLY you’ve GOT TALENT!!!!!!!!!!! 😉 THIS IS GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOOOVE THIS!!! AND I’ve learned SOMETHING NEW!!! I didn’t know to add the stain AFTER you’ve cracked the UTEE!!! :)THANK YOU!!!!!!!;)

  15. Marietta Austin January 10, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    What’s name of the Spellbinder dies? They are beautiful. The card looks like a piece of porcelain. Wonderful.

  16. Kim Thomas January 10, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    It’s lovely! This is such a fun technique that I forgot about. It’s so fun to see the old ideas updated. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Take care. 🙂

  17. Carmen M. January 11, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Great technique

  18. Kelly Flaherty January 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    This is so very very lovely. I am definately buying some UTEE this week and trying this out. Of course I need to get the beautiful “Flowers for Jan” stamps as well! Aren’t they just beautiful, and your coloring and shading are spot on! Thank you for sharing your talents with us and the instructions (which was very well written and very easy to understand). You are one classy lady!

  19. Lagene January 12, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Allison, this over the top GORGEOUS! Thanks for the tutorial!

  20. Janet Nelson January 15, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Lovely card and wonderful technique. Thanks for providing easy-to-understand directions. I usually like video tutorials but this “written word” was very good.

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