Hints & Tips: Heat Embossing

There are 2 types of embossing, heat embossing and dry embossing. We will be taking about heat embossing in this post. There are a few tools required for this and they are:

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Heat Gun – this is necessary, it is much hotter than a hairdryer and supplies a controllable jet of heat that you can direct on to your image.

Embossing Inkpad – this is a clear, tacky pad which has a slow drying time. A coloured pigment inkpad can be used or any pad that is very wet and will stay wet long enough for the powder to stick to it.

Embossing Powder – these powders come in a variety of colours and textures. Available in coloured, metalic, destressing, glitter, etc, there are new varieties in the stores on a regualr basis.

The only other requirements are a stamp, some card and a tidy tray or sheet of scrap paper for the excess embossing powder.

Step-by-Step

  • Ink up the stamp and stamp the image onto the card. If using a VersaMark or a colourless embossing ink you will only see a very faint image.
  • Before the image dries pour on the powder over the whole image. Tip off the excess onto a sheet of paper or into a tidy tray and put back into the pot. Tap the card to get rid of any extra powder from the image.
  • The next stage is the most exciting. Take the heat gun and start it up. Starting at one point aiming the heat gun at the image about 3 inches away then wait until the powder starts to melt. Move the heat gun and “chase” the melting powder until the whole image is embossed. You will quickly become used to the amount of time this takes and you can see the transformation happen before your eyes!

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TIP – Try not to wave the heat gun around as there is a danger of missing part of the image. If this happens, the powder on the parts that have not been heated will fall off and you will be left with its missing. It is better have a steady hand and be methodic. That way the whole image will embossed.

TIP – If heat embossing for the first time, do not worry if it goes “wrong”. It just needs a little practice, it is very easy to master.

TIP – Do not over heat your image. This is easy to do if you are new to heat embossing. If over heated the mage will raise, which is what should happen and then will go flat. The card will absort the powder, which is what you do not want.

Embossing works well on paper and card – you can also emboss onto fabric, wood and glass with a little practice!

Once you have mastered heat embossing with stamped images, there is a multitude of other techniques to be learnt,for example, ultra thick or triple embossing to name but one.

Triple embossing is building up layers of embossing powder. Taking a pigment ink or embossing ink, apply to card. Pour on powder and melt. Sprinkle on more powder while still hot, reheat and repeat. The next is optional: while still warm, stamp into the heated powder using an inked stamp to create a debossed image into the powder. If you do not use a stamp, you can leave it and you will have a tile effect.

Special Ultra Thick powders are available for this effect, but it works just as well with a few layers of normal embossing powder.

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