To create three-dimensional or "embossed" motifs in the copper, all you need is a thin sheet of copper, a thick stack of newspapers, and a stylus or a dowel with a sharpened end. For designs, you can use rubber stamps and black rubber-stamp ink; foam stamps and acrylic paint; or drawings and transfer paper.
Lay the copper sheet on top of the newspapers, and transfer the design you'd like to tool. Check out our individual projects for details (see Related Links).
To tool the design, use a stylus or the sharpened end of a dowel to draw over the lines of the design. Press down firmly on the copper as you work, creating indents in the copper. After outlining shapes, turn the copper over and create raised areas as desired.
When tooling is complete, you can highlight the design by lightly brushing it with India ink, acrylic paint, or permanent markers. The color will cling to the indentations you've made and emphasize those areas.