Sospeso Trasparente Explained

Sospeso Trasparente 
            My Mom's celebrated her 68th birthday recently and I feel so blessed and lucky she is hale and hearty ,enjoying life and giving so much to everyone around her. My mom is a doctor specialized in one of the most challenging fields in medicine--anaesthesia! And you may be surprised to hear she still works as an anesthetist in a busy hospital ! We have been telling here to take it easy for several years now but she insists she will get "old" if she quits working! Hehe I guess there is no arguing with that!
           My mom loves the color red and flowers .Last  year I made her a large bouquet of flowers and you can read about it here: Paper Flower Bouquet tutorial. This year along with the beaded pen,photoframe and beaded penstand featured on my previous post on Tacky Tape Projects,I gifted her an altered tissue box
Tissue Box
The handmade flowers on this altered tissue box were made using the technique of Sospeso Trasparente .They are made of plastic and unlike paper blooms they can be wiped clean if dust accumulates or a little something gets on them.
Sospeso Trasparente flowers
I kept the tissue box fairly simple with a Spellbinders border die cut on its wall
Sospeso Trasparente tissue box
And some silver Cheery Lynn  die cut butterflies
Cheery Lynn  butterfly 
Spring was definitely in the air and I made a glass cabochon using a pretty floral design from DCWV Mariposa papers and added it to a butterfly pendant[Here is how to make a glass cabochon: Glass Cabochon tutorial ]
Glass Cabochon
The Sospeso Trasparente flowers on my tissue box are pretty large but were so easy to make!
Sospeso Trasparente flowers
I had earlier shared many Sospeso Trasparente projects on this blog but not the basic Sospeso Trasparente tutorial so for anyone new to Sospeso Trasparente here we go .......
Sospeso Trasparente is a special technique invented by Italian artist Monica Allegro and basically involves heating special plastic films and making 3 D shapes.

Sospeso Trasparente techniques

There are 3 basic Sospeso Trasparente techniques depending on the material you use
  1. Printed films - using printed plastic films 
  2. Paper Veils- here you have to stick thin paper designs called paper veils onto plastic films
  3. Fabric Tape- here you have to stick fabric designs on to plastic films

How to get started?

If you have never tried Sospeso and want to get a feel of this amazing craft I will suggest you start with Printed films [instead of paper veils and  fabric tapes ]
           Sospeso using Printed Films is quite easy and if you try it ,you will fall in love with this beautiful art just like I did!

What Sospeso Trasparente material do you need ?

Just 3 things....
  1. Printed film design
  2. Embossing Pad
  3. Embossing tool set
Printed Films
Sospeso Trasparente Printed films
Printed films are special plastic films with beautiful designs printed on them and what is so special about these films patented by Moinca Allegrro is that unlike other plastics these are safe, non toxic and do not let out hazardous chemicals when heated.
Embossing Pads
Sospeso Trasparente tutorial
Embossing pad
Unlike the embossing pads we use in parchment and punchcraft the embossing pad for Sospeso Trasparente  is super soft and made of special material which can take the heat and won't damage the delicate printed designs on the printed films.
Embossing Set

Wooden embossing tools
These wooden embossing tools are ideal for Sospeso Trasparente as they have to be used on hot materials [hence plastic and metal embossing tools are not a good substitute] and are more gentle on the delicate designs . The plastic and metal tools are more likely to leave scratch marks on the delicate designs.

What Additional Materials do you need?

  • A good scissors 
  • A heat source -For Sospeso Trasparente printed films, you can use a candle , a heat gun or even a hair dryer- I experimented with all 3  and will tell you about each!

Sospeso Trasparente Heat options
Steps of Sospeso Trasparente with Printed films
Sospeso Trasparente Printed Films
This is how my flowers started out as - flat designs on a sheet of plastic!

1.Cut out design 

Sospeso Trasparente 
Printed films usually have several floral designs and cut out individual flowers/ leaves using your favorite scissors for fine cutting. I usually use the Martha Stewart spring action fine tip scissors for this.
Tip : 
  • Be careful not to let sharp scissor points scratch the design
  • Dont just cut the outline..cut the petals inwards just like you would do for paper flower making to be able to shape the flowers better.Then only will you be able to allow the flower petals to curl fully on heating!
Cut the petals inwards
  • For the sunflowers in the Sospeso Trasparente Bouquet tutorial I did not cut the petals right to the center but stopped at the brown demarcation.
  • For some flower designs let your cut line reach nearly till the center but be careful not to chop off petals! 
  • Also when you cut ,do exercise your artistic license and snip off sharp corners and round off edges!
    Sospeso Trasparente 

2. Heat the cut design

Sospeso Trasparente tutorial
Sospeso Trasparente tutorial 
When you heat the flat design it will magically curl and you can shape it into dimensional flowers and leaves.
Heating with the candle
The most popular heating tool is our humble candle. Heat from the non printed side of the film.
Tip :
  • Use a good quality candle which doesn't smoke a lot and leave residue on your plastic film! 
  • Keep your embossing pad and tools near your heat source as speed is of essence here..you need to heat your flower, immediately put it on your embossing pad and shape your petals with the  embossing tools while its still hot and malleable!

At what distance should you hold the cut design from the flame? 
Depends on the candle really! I found that tea light candle flames are smaller and I had to bring the film within an inch to get the film heated . With the candle shown above even at 2 - 3 inches distance from the flame the flower petals would start to curl-- which is the sign for you to put it on the embossing pad and emboss.
Heating with the hair dryer

Hair dryer
Heating with the hair dryer is recommended by Monica Allegro in her book of Sospeso Trasparente ! She recommends heating the flower while placing it on the embossing pad and embossing it at the same time without switching off the dryer! I found the hair dryer took more time and I didnt have the patience for it!
Heating with the Embossing Heat gun 

Heat Gun Embossing
          Many of you know I have a crafty little girl at home who likes to try any new crafty technique she sees. My 8 year old was fascinated seeing the Sospeso Transparente flowers come alive in the candle flame but was too scared of the fire! So we experimented with our heat gun and it was super fun because she could hold the flowers in her hand while heating the flower with the heat gun held at a distance and watch the petals curl gently.
Our finding : 
  • Amongst all 3 heat sources, the candle is the quickest but its more difficult to control the precise area you want heated. You may need to use a forceps for heating small leaves and branches!  
  • The heat gun was faster than the hair dryer but more gentle than the candle. You could get more precise control over heating the flower design by pointing the gun from a distance and only 2 - 3 seconds was enough to heat the film !


When you heat the plastic film it starts to curl-- quickly transfer to your embossing pad and emboss.
Sospeso Trasparente tutorial 
Tips :
  • Heat and emboss the petals before embossing the center of the flower
  • Choose which size of embossing ball you want to use
    •  for bigger petals use the larger size ball end
    • for a more gentle embossing use the larger ball
    • to get a deeper embossing use the smaller more pointed embossing ball end
  • To give a convex curve to your flower petals- place the design side face down on the pad and emboss the petals running your embossing tool along the center of the petals
    • running the tool from the center to the petal edge gives a more gentle curve 
    • running the tool from the edge to the center- gives a more pronounced curve
  • Emboss the center of the flower by embossing it from the "right" side- dont be too rough or you can scratch the design off!
  • Hand - sculpt the flower
Hand- sculpting
Monica Allegro does recommend hand sculpting and yes-- its one of the most fun parts about Sospeso Transparente --In the picture above I could actually get the sunflower center to cup and the petals to fan out by sculpting with my fingers while holding the flower over the flame -- use both hands while you do this so that you can control the shape nicely!
Sospeso Trasparente flowers

4. Reheat and Emboss if needed

One of the best things I liked about the Sospeso Transparente technique was that it was quite forgiving of your mistakes and can make even a perfectionist happy since it allows you to reheat and reshape any petal or part whose shape you are not happy about!
Sospeso Trasparente 

Since Sospeso Trasparente flowers dont get crushed easily they can be added to plain hair clips to make hair accessories or added to brooches /other jewelry findings.See Sospeso Trasparente Hair Band and Pendant tutorial 
Sospeso Trasparente Flowers
I hope you liked this simple altered tissue box and the Sospeso Trasparente technique tutorial .
And here are some Sospeso Trasparente Projects I had already posted on the blog
Sospeso Trasparente projects
Supplies : Sospeso Trasparente Materials all from Crafters Corner , Dies : Sizzix Believe, Spellbinders Borderabilities curved border 2, Cheery Lynn  Butterfly


  1. This is so elegant Sonia, a wonderful gift.

  2. Absolutely stunning tissue box and what a fabulous and thoughtful and personalized gift for your wonderful mother. I loved reading about her. It's no wonder you are such an inspiration to others, she obviously had a great influence on you. I loved reading this post and your flowers are just gorgeous. Happy belated to your Mother for me.
    Lisa x

  3. Stunning! Those flowers are so beautiful! TFS

  4. Thank you for Tutorial. The flowers are beautiful and also the box.

  5. Wow...tissue box looks gorgeous. Belated Birthday wishes to your mother. This is the first time I have seen Sospeso flowers..interesting technique!

  6. Gorgeous creation Sonia. Very beautiful.
    Gr Elly

  7. Happy belated birthday to your mom !May Almighty keep her healthy and happy always .lovely personalized gift..... looks stunning!

  8. Nice to see you back Sonia. Birthday wishes to your mother and what a stunning makeover to that boring black box!

  9. Absolutely stunning, my friend! Your mom sounds wonderful - you are so lucky to have her! I miss my mom terribly. Great post, dear friend! Thanks for the amazing tutorial! Hugs...

  10. Super alteration.
    Julie x

  11. Wow, these flowers are gorgeous Sonia, what a fantastic idea, the box looks fabulous, I bet your Mum will love it, it certainly is a lovely gift, you tutorial is great too, very clear and easy to follow through, fantastic work!
    Hugs Jacee
    Simply Paper Card Design

  12. WOW!! Stunning and BEAUTIFUL!!
    Have a wonderful day,
    Crafting With Creative M

  13. Your mother is an inspiration. Both my parents are not alive. The flowers are bee-utiful. I like using my heat gun on embossing powder. Just got back from walking Daisy this evng. I walk her in the morn and if the weather is good I take her to the Dog Park where she can run & play with other dogs inside a fenced in area. We have had rain recently and the Dog Park is closed so an evng walk gets her the exercise she needs as well as it does me good.
    "Sunshine HoneyBee"

    1. I love heat embossing too Melissa...Thank you so much for being such a loyal follower

  14. Fantastic effect. Thankyou for the excellent tutorial. hugs Mrs A.

  15. Its Beautiful I loved the black n red combo ! Best Wishes to to your MOm ,She is really an Inspiration !

    1. Yes Pooja my mom is an amazing lady

  16. My belated Birth Day Wishes and Regards to your Mom. Very Nice post. Thanks a lot for such an informative post.

    Ms Sharma

  17. Absolutely stunning!! The tissue box will be forever treasured:) Happy Belated Birthday to your Mom. Have a great day!
    Sherrie K

  18. How pretty, Sonia, and such a great tutorial for how to achieve those marvelously curled flowers! Thank you for always sharing your ideas - I really like the hinged tissue box - so beautifully done! hugs, de

  19. Wow! Gorgeous box and stunning flowers!!! Best wishes to your mom and thanks for the lovely tutorial :)

  20. Gorgeous project. Your mom will love it. The red an silver are striking against the black background.

    1. Thank you so much Teresa...black and red is one of my fav color combinations

  21. Oh wow, these are all stunning!! The box is gorgeous!! I know you Mom loved it!! The tutorial is fabulous!! I absolutely love the flowers you've created!! They look amazing!! I hope your Mom had a wonderful birthday!! Have a great day :)

    A Mermaid's Crafts

  22. Fabulous work! Great recicled box with these gorgous flowers!

  23. Wow, so beautiful!

  24. Happy Belated Birthday to your mum! She sounds like a real inspirational lady.
    Wonderful creations for her and a brilliant tutorial. Debra x

    1. Thank you so much Debra ...yes she is an amazing lady!

  25. Hello Dr Sonia.......I'm sure your mum absolutely loved her gorgeous box! I really enjoyed reading this post on how to create the pretty flowers. It was only today I was at a shop that sells the pretty flower films......and was going to book into a class. Thank you so much for sharing the information, Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Oh I am so glad Tracey...do check my pinterest board on Sospeso Trasparente too. Here is the link : Sospeso Trasparente

  26. So glad you are feeling better! And good for your mom to be working as it sounds like she is doing what she loves--that will keep her young! :^)
    Love your box--absolutely gorgeous creation! :^)
    Hugs, Penny

    1. Yes Penny she certainly enjoys working! And Thank you so much for visiting

  27. So very beautiful and I'm sure your "old" Mum loved it. Thanks for the tutorial too, I'd never heard of this before..

    I said"old" because I am that age too and like your Mum certainly don't feel old LOL.

    1. Hehe Faith ...age is a state of the mind!

  28. Absolutely beautiful! Wow, I love this altered tissue box, and I bet your Mom did too! I enjoyed reading about her! The Sospreso technique looks so interesting and fun to make - I have not heard of this before. The resulting flowers are so pretty and I like that they are plastic so, as you said, can be kept clean over time as the tissue box is used. Wonderful project - I enjoyed visiting your blog today!

    1. Thank you so much ...yes even though such a beautiful craft so few people know about it

  29. Wow this is stunning! Beautiful flowers. Red flowers look superb in the black box


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