What is a glass mat?
A glass mat in crafting typically refers to a smooth, non-porous surface made of tempered glass. It serves as an ideal work surface for various crafting activities, such as painting, glue gun projects, and other activities that might involve messy materials. The glass surface is easy to clean, providing a smooth and durable workspace. It's especially useful for activities where a non-stick surface is essential, and it allows for easy removal of dried glue, paint, or other materials. For your crafting needs, a glass mat could be a valuable addition to your workspace, offering both functionality and easy maintenance.
We personally use the Stampin' Up! Glass Mat which will be available for a limited time, beginning January 4, 2024. The heavy-duty glass mat comes printed with a ruler and grid lines for easy measuring, while the large surface space gives ample room for spreading out while paper crafting. Plus, the safety-tempered glass has a heat and scratch resistant surface that wipes clean with the included cloth and water—no chemicals needed.
What's even better, the Stampin' Up! Glass Mat comes with a cleaning cloth and silicone mat! The reusable cloth also cleans ink off of your stamps! The nonslip, heat resistant, waterproof silicone mat features four palette squares for mixing custom ink colors or for holding small ink spots in place while crafting. Each component can be used separately or you can use all three items together for a multipurpose paper crafting studio that’s both functional and elegant.
How to use a glass mat
In this blog post, we'll be sharing the following ideas on how to use your glass mat in your crafting:
Die Cutting Machine on Glass
Generational Stamping on Glass
Heat Embossing on Glass
Embossing Paste on Glass
Blending Brushes on Glass
Cutting Paper on Glass
Fussy Cutting on Glass
Watercoloring on Glass
Ink Pads on Glass
Water Based Markers & Alcohol Markers on Glass
Stampin' Brayer on Glass
You can also check out our video where we walk you through how to use all of these different techniques. We even share some bonus ways to use the glass mat:
1. Using a die cutting machine
Sometimes when you are using a die cutting machine, they can slide all over the place making it frustrating to use. We get this way when we're using Stampin' Up!'s Mini Stampin' Cut & Emboss Machine. There really isn't a lot of weight to the machine, so it tends to slide around. However, we found a way to combat this! When you're working on a glass surface, the feet of the die cutting machine have something to actually grip onto. This makes your crafting time less frustrating!
2. Generational Stamping on Glass
Instead of stamping onto and wasting paper, you can stamp your image directly onto the glass mat, then onto your cardstock. This saves you paper in the long run and you'll see this is common with a lot of the following ways to use a glass mat. It's super easy to clean the ink off with some water or alcohol depending on what kind of ink you use!
3. Heat Embossing on Glass
A lot of glass mats, including Stampin' Up!'s Glass Mat, are heat resistant. Having a heat-resistant surface means that the material or object can withstand exposure to high temperatures without being damaged or undergoing any significant changes in its properties. In the context of crafting, a heat-resistant surface is crucial for activities that involve the use of hot tools such as heat guns, hot glue guns, or soldering irons.
4. Embossing Paste on Glass
To use embossing paste on a glass mat, start by preparing your clean glass surface and securing a stencil if desired. Use a palette knife to evenly apply the embossing paste over the stencil or directly onto the glass mat for a free-form design. Carefully lift the stencil to reveal the embossed pattern and allow the paste to dry completely. Once dry, you can leave it for a white textured effect or add color using various techniques. The glass mat provides a smooth and easy-to-clean surface, and remember to promptly clean your glass mat, stencil and palette knife after use to maintain their effectiveness for future projects.
5. Blending Brushes on Glass
Using blending brushes on a glass mat is a great way to achieve smooth and gradient effects in your crafting projects. Start with a clean glass mat on a flat surface. Apply your chosen ink or paint colors to the glass mat in small amounts. Using blending brushes, gently pick up the colors and blend them on the glass surface. This technique allows you to control the intensity of the colors and achieve seamless gradients. Experiment with different brush strokes and pressure to create the desired effects. The glass mat provides a smooth and easy-to-clean surface for blending, and you can mix colors directly on the mat for a convenient and controlled crafting experience.
6. Cutting Paper on Glass
This one really blew our mind! You can use things like an X-Acto knife, or Stampin' Up!'s Take Your Pick Tool which has a hobby blade for precision cutting and a rotary perforating tip, to cut paper on a glass mat (even without scratching it)! Ensure the glass mat is clean, consider using a cutting mat for added protection, and apply gentle pressure when cutting to achieve precise results. Remember to exercise caution and keep safety in mind, keeping fingers away from the blade. Periodically clean the blade to maintain its effectiveness. The glass mat's smooth and durable surface provides an ideal workspace for controlled and accurate cutting.
7. Fussy Cutting on Glass
Similar to the previous way to use a glass mat, you can use your hobby blade to cut precisely around images that you stamp on cardstock or images from patterned paper, like Stampin' Up!'s Designer Series Paper. This is a great alternative for someone who maybe cannot hold scissors but can instead use the pressure of their hand to cut the images out. As always, be sure to do so carefully so you do not accidentally cut yourself.
8. Watercoloring on Glass
To watercolor on a glass mat, start with a clean surface and secure your watercolor paper. Squeeze out watercolor paints or inks onto the glass, arrange them as desired, and add water using a spritzer, brush, or Water Painter. Utilize the glass mat to control water levels, experiment with color blending directly on the surface, and transfer the paint to your paper. Explore different watercolor techniques for varied effects, and take advantage of the glass mat's smooth surface for precise and controlled painting. Allow your paper to dry before removing it from the glass, and promptly clean the glass mat for future use. The glass mat provides a versatile and easy-to-clean canvas for creative watercolor projects.
9. Ink Pads on Glass
Similar to the watercolor technique, you can add ink directly to the glass mat. Open your ink pad and gently press the pad onto the glass mat. This will transfer some of the ink for you to use with a blending brush, Water Painter, or painting brush. You can also spritz some water directly over the ink you added to the glass mat to distribute the ink into a beautiful design. Place your paper over the disbursed ink to create a beautiful marble effect!
10. Markers on Glass
Begin by ensuring the glass surface is clean, then select your markers, plan your design, and draw directly on the glass. The smooth surface allows for controlled strokes, and with alcohol-based markers, you can experiment with layering for shading and blending effects. The forgiving nature of the glass mat enables easy erasing or modification with a dry or damp cloth, making it ideal for experimentation. You can also combine markers with other mediums like colored pencils. Allow each layer to dry before proceeding, and clean the glass mat promptly after completing your artwork for a convenient and easy-to-maintain creative workspace.
11. Stampin' Brayer on Glass
Using a brayer on a glass mat is a versatile technique for applying even layers of ink to your projects. Begin with a clean glass surface and apply your chosen ink or paint directly onto the mat. Use the brayer to roll and spread the color evenly, adjusting pressure for desired thickness. Experiment with blending colors, creating gradient backgrounds, or using stencils for intricate patterns. The brayer is also useful for inking rubber stamps before stamping onto paper. Clean the brayer between color changes and wipe the glass mat afterward to maintain a clean and smooth surface. This technique provides precise control for crafting backgrounds and intricate designs in a convenient and easily cleanable workspace.
Why a Glass Mat?
A glass mat is really a game-changer when it comes to crafting!
As we talked about above, Stampin' Up!'s Glass Mat is a sleek, heat-resistant mat opens up a world of creative possibilities. Say goodbye to frustrating slipping with die cutting, and embrace a paper-saving approach to crafting, all on a smooth and easy-to-clean canvas. Whether you're into water coloring, ink pads, or markers, the glass mat provides the perfect playground for your imagination. It's not just a mat; it's an invitation to your crafting journey.
Stampin' Up! will only have these glass mats available during Sale-a-Bration which is everyone's favorite time of the year! Earn free stamp sets, paper, and embellishments when you make qualifying purchases. Sale-a-Bration starts on January 4, 2024 and runs through February 29. Be sure to join our newsletter to learn how you can get your hands on one of Stampin' Up!'s Glass Mats.