Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quick Tips and Tricks with RubOns

RubOns can be intimidating. I know, because I avoided using them for a long time! LOL! But once I took the plunge and followed some tips from fellow scrappers, I no longer am afraid of them! Infact I LOVE using them! Here are some of the things I have learned.

Applying a RubOn

1. When you first open your package of rubons, staple the rubon sheet to the protective backing. Staple in a blank area, not an area with a design.

2. After selecting the desired image, cut around it, including the backing. This way, when you go to apply your rubon, you are only applying the image that you want to use and other images won't accidentally transfer to your project in unwanted places.

3. Keep the backing in place while you decide where you would like it to go. When you are ready, remove the backing and apply the rubon.

4. Rubons usually come with a craft stick to use as a tool for transferring. I usually use something else. I find that the craft stick doesn't give me enough leverage to get a smooth image.

My favorite tool is the Rubon Tool by Basic Grey. It has a rolling ball tip that makes it a breeze to work with! I also like to use an embossing stylus for finer detail. But lots of things work great, a bone folder, the cap of a pen, etc. The gray tool next to the craft stick in the picture above is a tool that was included in an American Crafts package of rubons. LOVE it! It really is a matter of preference. Try a few different tools and see which ones you are the most comfortable with.

5. Rub the entire image with your tool, making sure to pay special attention to fine details and areas where the rubon is overlapping layers of paper. With most rubons you can tell when your image is transferring because the backing will go cloudy.

Some are a little harder to tell if they are transferring. When this happens, I will lift the backing off slowly, keeping most of it in place, so that if the image doesn't completely transfer I can lay the sheet back down and continue working.

6. TaDAAAA! You have applied your rubon!

Store the remaining pieces of your rubons together in the packaging. Or, if you have stray pieces, try taping them to a piece of wax paper. Store packages of rubons in a photo box, so that you can easily flip through them, or place them inside a sheet protector inside a binder. What other ways do you store your rubons?

If you change your mind about where you placed your rubon, you can always try removing it with a piece of low-tack tape. I like to use transparent tape or masking tape.

I place the tape over the image and gently rub. Be careful not to rub too hard, or you could risk pulling up and tearing the paper underneath.

Slowly pull back the tape at an angle to remove the rubon. The extra flecks left behind are easily removed by "dabbing" a piece of tape over them, using a glue eraser, or sometimes I've even gently scratched them off using a paper piercer. Note: Removing a rubon that has been applied to a photograph is virtually impossible! LOL!

If you are still nervous about using a rubon directly onto the page you've been slaving over, you can always apply the rubon to a transparency and cut it out. Works great!

Rubons are really fun because they can add detail over several layers of paper, brighten a dark corner of a photograph or layout, or add interest to a premade embellishment!

On this layout, I added a rubon to the blue brad for a fun little detail.

I wanted to add a little color to this rubon, so I simply colored in a few areas using colored pencils.

White rubons can be fun to use as a mask. Apply the rubon to your project (a light colored paper works best for this technique), and then use watercolors to paint over it. Such a fun and artsy effect!

Other fun ways to use rubons include:

Add rubons directly onto your photos.

Use rubons to enhance premade embellishments, including stickers, chipboard, buttons, brads, acrylic accents, etc.

Rub them onto vellum for an opaque look.

Use word rubons and fill them in with chalks or water color pencils.

Use on ribbon or fabric to pick up texture.

Cut them apart to alter the design to fit your individual project. No one will even know!

Rub over them with sandpaper for a distressed look.

Add interest to a corner with rubons.

Use them as part of your title or to enhance your title.

Use rubon stitches as journaling lines.

Don't be afraid to experiment with rubons! They are a great way to add interest, texture and depth to your next project!


Marit said...

Thanks sooo much for this tutorial! You really gave me some handy tips I will remember!

Virginia said...

You are SO smart! :) I love the watercolor resist technique, I need to try that soon!

Noel said... you know how long I have been trying to figure out how to remove rub ons. thank you so much! And the transperancy idea...LOVE THAT! Fabulous Jana!!

Darlene said...

what great ideas! I never knew I could remove a rubon...and I have never thought to color one in!