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Basically, REPUJADO is the working of metallic foil (pewter / tin, silver, copper, aluminum, or brass) to give volume and relief to the decorative design engraved on the metal.  Also known as “embossing” metal or metal relief; and always crafted by hand. 

The art of REPUJADO is a meticulous labor of love that requires concentration.  With practice you can create a dimensional piece you will be proud of and enjoy for years to come.




Are you looking for a quick and easy metal embossing project?  This Holly Card was originally presented a few years ago in Phoenix, Arizona on a television show called “Sonoran Living”. Although we chose a holiday theme, you may use almost any bold graphic or stamped image.  If you exercise patience, I think you’ll find metal embossing can be a most relaxing, meditative art form.  It’s clean, transportable and you are limited only by your imagination.

So, are you ready to get started?  Okay, let’s take it slow, one step at a time. 

I know you can do it!  Consider the “emboss-abilities”...


For this project, you will need:

  1.   Hero Arts stamp - Holly Sprig

  2.   3" x 3" square of double-sided pewter

  3.   StazOn ink pad - Jet Black

  4.   piece of suede (can be small, 3” x 5”)

  5.   plexiglas or hard, smooth surface

  6.   cork backed metal ruler

  7.   Teflon crayon (MercArt) or stylus

  8.   decorative wheel (MercArt)

  9.   paper stump

  10.   large "Cup & Ball" tool (MercArt)

  11.   brass brush (MercArt)

NOTE: The piece of plexiglas will always remain in place as your working surface.

1. Transfer Design

Place pewter on plexiglas, no suede.  Use your paper stump like a rolling pin to smooth/flatten any wrinkles in the pewter.

You may stamp your design directly on the pewter (use StazOn ink) or stamp your design on paper and transfer it to the pewter using a Teflon crayon or stylus.

The side with the stamped or transferred image becomes the “backside” of your pewter.

2. Emboss, “Clean and Refine” Design

Emboss - Place a piece of suede under your pewter.  Pewter should be “backside” up.  Using a Teflon crayon, applying consistent pressure, trace ONLY the transferred outline of the STEM, HOLLY LEAVES and MAIN VEINS of the leaves.  You will add the berries later.

Remove suede, turn metal over.  Your line design should be raised and evident, this is called “embossed”.

Clean - With pewter front side up, and working on a hard, smooth surface (no suede!), use the rounded end of your paper stump to lightly press and flatten the areas along the outside of the embossed design.

Refine - Use your Teflon crayon to trace the outline along the outside of the embossed design.

3. Add the tiny veins of the Holly Leaves

Replace suede, turn pewter backside up.  Use your Teflon crayon to quickly add tiny veins.  Think about how “real leaves” look.  Apply moderate pressure and draw short, quick strokes from the leaf line to the main vein.  Use your original design as a guide.  “Clean and Refine” (see Step 2 above).

4. Add Holly Berries

Use a large “Cup & Ball” tool to add the Holly Berries.

Ball - Replace suede, turn pewter backside up.

Determine where you want your berries (3-5).

With the “ball” end of a large “Cup & Ball” tool,

press firmly into the pewter and gently pivot the “ball” until you achieve a visible dimple in the pewter.  Create at least 3 dimples (3-5).  These dimples will transform into berries in just a moment!

Cup - Remove suede, turn pewter over.  Your berries should be raised and evident on the front side.  Place the “cup” end of the “Cup & Ball” tool directly over the first berry and press firmly, straight down.  That’s it!  This action locks your berry into place.  Do this for every berry.  “Clean and Refine” (see Step 2 above).

5. Create a Decorative Border

Choose a Decorative Wheel to create a border around your design.

Replace suede, pewter front side up.  Begin at the left edge of your pewter piece.  Working steadily from top to bottom along the left edge, press firmly while pulling the Decorative Wheel towards you.  Create a decorative border along all four sides. 

6. Define Decorative Border

Leave suede in place, turn pewter over.  With pewter backside up, use your Teflon crayon and a ruler to further define the decorative border.

Using your ruler as a straightedge, press firmly with your Teflon crayon and draw a line just inside the decorative border (between the border and the design).

7. Refine Line and Clean Design

Refine - Remove suede, turn pewter over.  With metal front side up, use your Teflon crayon to lightly outline the line you just created in Step 6 above.  NOTE: Work ONLY the side of the line nearest your design - Leave the side of the line nearest the decorative border alone.

Clean - Use your paper stump to lightly press and flatten the areas between the newly embossed border and your design.  Then, GENTLY run your paper stump along the edge of your embossed border to straighten any wavy edges.

8. Background Texture

Use a brass brush to create a soft textured background.  With pewter front side up (no suede!), place your brass brush vertically on the pewter surface and move the brass brush gently along the pewter in a short circular motion.  NOTE: Brush ONLY the background, i.e. those areas with no design elements.

9. Patina -or- Color with Alcohol Ink

To help protect your metal embossed design from unwanted dents, you may choose to fill the backside with a lightweight spackle.

IMPORTANT: Allow to dry completely!

Clean your finished piece with alcohol and a cotton ball.  Allow the pewter to patina naturally or color with Alcohol Ink. 

Use a sturdy double stick tape to adhere your embossed pewter design to a card or gift tag.


Copyright 2007 lynda Abare, 5AcreArts.com

All Rights Reserved.