We know that trying something brand new can be a bit daunting. The beauty of Bubbalux is that you can use all your tried and tested techniques, and pretty much any of the goodies and tools in your craft box, so you can try something new without going too far out of your comfort zone.
So how is Bubbalux different to foam board or cardstock? The difference is that you can often use all of your favourite effects and techniques as you would with card or foam board, (like die cutting and painting) but at the same time you can use other techniques and applications that card and foam can't do - like heat forming, and displaying outdoors or in water!
If you're a first time user of Bubbalux, the following hints and tips are some handy things to remember to get the best from this wonderful new craft board!
1. Remember to remove the protective plastic film before use.
Although it's great at keeping the surface of Bubbalux pristine, this protective film is transparent, very thin and can be difficult to see. The best way to find and remove the film is to use a sharp implement such as a craft knife, a scissor blade or awl (aka a ‘poky tool’).
Scrape gently at one of the corners and your blade should pick up the corner of the film. This can then easily be peeled off entirely by hand and discarded.
2. Always use heavy gauge / deep dies for die cutting.
Thin dies just won't cut it! (though they will make a lovely emboss), so always choose deep dies to die cut Bubbalux. We have had great results from our Sizzix Bigz dies, they produce a beautiful clean cut, and we usually use two clear plates, the die and the Bubbalux sheet (cut to size) as our sandwich. If you have any recommendations, let us know at info@craftTex.co
3. Use a protective, non-slip cutting mat when cutting with a craft knife.
Be sensible, people! ALWAYS take appropriate safety precautions when crafting.
Bubbalux may be hand-cut with a craft knife, DIY knife or good-quality scissors.
As Bubbalux is so smooth, it may move around on your work surface. So we recommend you protect yourself and your work surface with a non-slip cutting mat. If you're cutting with a knife or blade, or using any sharp implements such as an awl, you'll have some added stability and your safety will be improved. They usually have nice guidelines on too, to help keep things neat.
For extra table protection, please also check out the CraftTex Surface Protector Mats - they're made from the same material as aeroplane windscreens, so they're really durable and protective for all sorts of craft activity. (you'll still need a cutting mat on top of this if you're using a blade)
4. File any rough edges with sandpaper or an emery board.
When you cut Bubbalux with a blade or hand scissors, there can be some jagged edges. these are really easily smoothed down with a fine sandpaper, and we have found that if it is a small, or difficult to reach place, then an emery board or nail file is a great little piece of kit to have at hand.
5. Gently heating Bubbalux makes it easier to cut and emboss.
Try gently heating Bubbalux for a few seconds to help make it easier to cut with scissors or a craft knife, or for a deeper emboss.
Heat can be accurately applied using a crafter’s heat gun (always follow manufacturer’s instructions), or you may also use a household hairdryer, or submerge sheets or cut shapes in hot water.
Bubbalux softens with heat so can be bent and formed very easily when heated and as soon as it cools it retains its new shape.
6. To bend and shape Bubbalux – apply heat first.
For best results, try these timings:
- Use a heat gun for around 20 seconds (keep it moving in small circles)
- Immerse in hot water for 1 minute
You can apply heat to Bubbalux multiple times, for example if you go wrong and want to re-shape your creation, or add more of a bend.
Please note that while Bubbalux can be heated and re-heated to obtain the desired shape, excessive heat, or too many heating episodes can degrade the foam nature of Bubbalux, making it brittle so that it will no longer change shape or bend.
Always take appropriate care when using heat or hot water to protect yourself from burns or scalding.