Embossing powder is craft material used in rubber stamping, scrapbooking, and paper crafts. The powder is made from ground resin that swells when heated and is manufactured in fine, medium, and course grain. The factors that crafters should consider when determining the best embossing powder are application, color, and cost.
To use embossing powder, the crafter stamps with ink or draws an image using an embossing pen. The powder is poured over the image while it is still wet which causes the powder to stick to the image. An embossing gun, which resembles a hair dryer, is placed over the image and the heat generated causes the powder to harden into a film. The result is a raised image that takes on the color of the powder used.
The most important factor in determining which embossing powders are best is application. This refers to how the crafter plans to use the powders. For example, if the embossing powder will be used to create hundreds of cards, a large container of loose embossing powder in a medium grain may be best so there is consistency from card to card. If the powder is for occasional embellishments for scrapbook layouts, perhaps a small packet of clear powder would be better as clear powder picks up whatever color was stamped underneath.
Another factor in determining which embossing powders to use is color. Though clear is a generic “any color goes” powder, some crafters prefer metallic or saturated powders. Metallic powder shines when heated and will provide a fancier look to the paper craft. Saturated powders will show a single deep color when heated and will make the finished design look shiny and wet.
Cost is also a factor to consider when choosing an embossing powder. Typically, the size of the container determines the price but there are many variations in packaging that may affect the actual cost per unit. If the embossing powders will be used often, it may be better to get the large containers that have a screw-on style lid to make it easier to dump any unused powder back in the container. For new crafters or specialty materials, it may be better to purchase the smaller packets which are often sold in one-time use packaging. Either way, calculate the price per ounce or gram by dividing the purchase price by the number of ounces or grams in the package to determine the actual cost per unit.