How To: The Ins and Outs of Thickers – Part 2

Reported by Morgan Novak
Whew! Are you still recovering from the length of The Ins and Outs of Thickers – Part 1? I think I might be, but it’s time to jump right back in. There are more than 100 sets of Thickers in American Crafts‘ most recent catalog, and that doesn’t even take into account all the previous sets that don’t happen to be in the catalog anymore! Think about all the possibilities! In part 1 of this article we covered all the chipboard based Thickers (pearl, flocked, glossy, foil, chipboard, natural chipboard, glitter, fabric covered & patterned) and now we’ll learn all about the rest of the Thickers types.

Foam Thickers are how Thickers first came onto the scene. The original Thickers release was all foam! Because of the natural give of foam they adhere amazingly well to just about any surface. They also allow a little bit of flexibility when it comes to re-shaping them a little if you are trying to make a title or word follow a curve, or if you want to squish them a little to make them fit in a smaller space! Foam Thickers currently come in two different forms, glitter-covered and basic.

1. Glitter Covered Foam Thickers are a lot like the Glitter Covered Chipboard Thickers as far as altering, but they have a little more give to them if you need to re-shape.

You won’t be able to fully change the colors of your Glitter Covered Foam Thickers with ink, but you will be able to add another color for some extra dimension. Just lightly rub each letter along the surface of your Staz On ink pad and you’ll get a pretty cool effect. And, because the glitter on these is so fantastic you won’t get any glitter shedding onto your ink pad!
2. Basic Foam Thickers come in a ton of fonts and colors and offer a whole bunch of altering possibilities if you’d like to change them up a little bit.

You can change the color of your Foam Thickers completely with a Copic Sketch Marker. Because of the porous nature of the foam you get a cool velvet kind of look when layering on the color with you marker.

Another cool way to change the color of your Foam Thickers is by carefully pressing them into a soft ink pad like Versamagic or Brilliance. Just remember to give these wet inks some time to set before you start handling them.

I find the Foam Thickers to be the easiest to draw on. You can easily use just about any fine tipped journaling pen, (I like Triplus Fineliners), to draw anything you like right on the letters.

Another fun way to add to your Foam Thickers is as easy as stamping on them, whether you are adding a pattern, a word, or a date like I did here.

Puffy Thickers bring me right back to my sticker book obsessed days in the 80’s! They come in three different forms; Glitter Puffy, Puffy and Patterned Puffy.

The best way to alter the Puffy Thickers is using rub-ons, in this case I chose Hambly rub-ons. I found that, because of the material the Puffy Thickers are made of, the rub-on sheet and subsequently the rub-ons themselves stick very nicely to them.

Vinyl Thickers are another of my favorites in the Thickers family! Just be careful of where you store them! I found that mine were a little too close to my heat register and they began to curl a little and lose the edges of their sticky. Oops! If this has happened to you too, don’t worry! Simply use some Glossy Accents on the back for some additional adhesive and you’ll be all set!

Like the plain Foam Thickers, you can draw on these as well. Just use a smudge proof pen, like the American Crafts Slick Writers, so that the ink stays on the vinyl instead of on your hands.

The same theory applies to stamping on the Vinyl Thickers! Be sure to use a Staz On pad so that you don’t get any smudge, just stamped goodness.

The Vinyl Thickers lend themselves very nicely to rub-ons also. Here I used my favorite mini alphabet rub-ons from Doodlebug to add a little message to a letter.

There are a couple types of Thickers that are no longer in the American Crafts catalog, but I’m sure they are still available here and there, and I know that I certainly still have them in my personal Thickers stash.

1. Velvet Thickers were a super lush, really cool texture. When using them you may want to add a little extra adhesive to the back of them because of the fuzz.

2. Felt Thickers were another early Thickers material, and happen to be another one of my favorites. Because of their natural give they are also really awesome on any type of surface. I’m kind of hoping that they’ll bring these guys back sometime soon!

The last type of Thickers we have to talk about are the Accent Shapes and Borders. The Accent Shapes come in a variety of materials, just like the alphabet Thickers. The Border Thickers are a relatively new addition to the Thickers family. This Winter’s CHA release is the first to feature the Borders with every new collection, but they made their real debut in American Crafts’ last Halloween collection. The Borders are all printed chipboard and a true 12″ long border.

Well, those are all the types of Thickers! I thought I’d end this 2 part how to with a few techniques you can easily use to add a little flair to just about all the types of Thickers.

Remember, Thickers do allow you to easily alter them in all kinds of fun ways, but they are also awesome just the way they are! I hope you’ve been inspired! It’s clear that I have a real Thickers addiction, and I’m sure that a lot of you are with me on that! It seems impossible to choose, but if I had to pick just one favorite Thickers font I think it would be “Platforms.” What’s your favorite Thickers font?
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15 Responses to How To: The Ins and Outs of Thickers – Part 2

  1. Avatar
    Annette A. March 4, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    LIke I said yesterday…awesome ideas. I never thought of adding design to my letters. I am glad you shared this. Thanks

    Happy Friday….

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    Donna O'Bryan March 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I love Thickers and your article (both parts) is one of the best and most informative I have read in many years. Great job!

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    Karla Anderson March 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    I like to heat up the foam Thickers a bit then stamp a rubber stamp into them, like polka dots or little starts – they emboss!! My favorite fonts are delight and rootbeer(really good for fun and offbeat pages!) Thanks for sharing all the Thicker info, they are great, I just wish they were a little cheaper.

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    Viji Siddharth March 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    I love thickers! yes it is addicting! I love foam thickers!

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    Julie March 4, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    You Have opened my eyes to the world of Thickers. I have seen them but haven’t bought much in the letter stickers at all. I would love to try some of the techniques you showed though. Thank you for sharing.

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    Jen O March 4, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    i’ve only used the vinyls, and i’ve never thought of adding designs or distressing them! how clever you are! thank you for the great review and the ideas!

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    Cat March 4, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I dont usually comment, but this time I just had to let you know how much I enjoyed this review. I have some Thickers but never increased my stash since I got my Cricut. Now, I can see the fascination of this item. Thanks for all the ideas and for enabling me to buy more!


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    reeree62 March 4, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    You have most definitely inspired me!! I’ll be pulling out some Thickers for sure so I can play around!!

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    SuZeQ March 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    I’m with you … I’ll go with Platforms. Yummmmmmmmm – this product ROCKS.

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    Anonymous March 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    I love the look of thickers but unfortunately they are hard to come by here so I haven’t used them much. And it certainly never occurred to me to alter them. What a wonderful idea!

    lindastamps at gmail dot com

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    Margaret March 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm #

    Thank you so much for all this information. I have never taken on thickers because I didn’t know which ones to get, but you have made it so clear. Great ideas!

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    Mel M. M. McCarthy March 5, 2011 at 11:09 pm #

    Fantastic thickers ideas, Morgan. I loved part I as well. So many brilliant ideas. The date stamp is too stinkin adorable! Ideas for if you’d like to colour your glittered thickers fully: you could just apply alcohol ink or copic reinker with an old paint brush. It would take a little while to dry but it would cover fully. (Might look a tad less sparkly though).

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    WillieburgScrapper March 6, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    Fabulous article! I found some of these out on my own but LOVE all the extra tips!!!

  14. Avatar
    Anonymous March 7, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Adore THICKERS! Thanks for the addtional ideas !

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    sharon g March 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    Not sure what the font is called, but it’s like script (cursive writing sort of). That’s my favorite. I saw that you also have some shapes, like clothes, a bike…LOVE THEM