What are the Best Tips for Heat Embossing?

Tiffany Manley

Heat embossing can add a nice touch to many crafts, such as cards, scrapbook pages and other paper crafts. Beautiful and professional-looking embossed images can be obtained by following a few simple steps. Using good quality card stock, embossing inks and powders, a heat gun designed for embossing and a few supplies to control embossing powder waste are ways to achieve a stunning embossed look.

Heat embossing can add a decorative touch to crafts like scrapbook pages.
Heat embossing can add a decorative touch to crafts like scrapbook pages.

Good quality card stock provides a nice, smooth surface for heat embossing. In addition, ink is less likely to bleed through thicker card stock, leaving more ink to retain embossing powder. Thin, cheap card stock might bend when heat from a heat gun is applied, possibly cracking the image.

Specific inks are available for heat embossing and should be used anytime an embossed look is desired. Pigment inks differ from traditional die ink in that they do not dry quickly. This ink will remain wet longer than traditional ink, allowing embossing powder to stick to the stamped image. Care should be taken to ensure that the ink is present only where embossing powder should stick, otherwise powder will be embossed in places other than the stamped image. Heat embossing ink is available in clear or colored ink.

Embossing powder is a powder applied to stamped images and heated to create a raised look. This powder is available in an assortment of colors or as a clear powder. Personal preference dictates which type a person uses. Some people prefer using colored inks and simply embossing clear powder over the top, and others prefer to emboss in one or several colors, using clear ink as a base. A variety of embossing powders are available such as pearl, tinsel and foil.

Heat embossing incorporates heat to melt embossing powder. The powder melts at a temperature of 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit (93.3-148.9 degrees Celsius). A heat gun designed specifically for heat embossing is one of the best tools to use for this part of the process, because it quickly and safely heats the powder. The heat is directed right at the image without blowing powder all over the paper.

Reducing the waste of embossing powder is one of the best ways to save money with this hobby. Keeping the embossing powder in a large plastic container makes it possible for a person to use a spoon to scoop out powder. The powder is then placed on the image directly above the container, and any excess can then be dropped back down into the container. Some people choose to use a creased sheet of heavy card stock that has been opened up again. The embossing powder is sprinkled on the stamped image over this sheet of paper, and then the excess can be funneled back into the container.

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