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What is Embossing Powder?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Feb 03, 2024
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Embossing powder is a fast melting powder compound that can be applied to a smooth surface to create a raised image or configuration through the application of a mild source of heat. As a decorating medium, this powder can be used to add color and texture to several different types of fabric and paper surfaces, adding visual interest to the finished product.

Using embossing powder to create a unique design requires a few simple supplies and a steady hand. Along with the powder itself, a flat section of fabric or paper is required as the canvas for the project. Some type of ink is also required to make the outline for the design. The wet ink can be applied to the canvas freehand or be administered to the canvas through the use of a stamp. In order to melt the powder, a source of heat that can be applied directly to the powder without damage to the paper or fabric is also essential.

Embossing powder is found at most craft stores, and is usually available in small jars that are equipped with screw on lids. The range of colors and granulation properties make the medium ideal for a number of different design creations. It can have a range of appearances that go from opaque to translucent. There is also clear powder that can be used to create interesting raised designs, while allowing the color of the fabric or paper to show through the embossing. Many craft stores provide sample sheets that demonstrate how different grains and colors of embossing powder look when applied using different inks to different colors of paper or fabric.

Because heat is required to activate and fix the design that is created with embossing powder, it is important to make use of a heat element that will melt the powder without damaging the paper or fabric. The easiest tool to use for this task is one of the handheld heat guns that are found on sale at craft stores. With an appearance that is similar to a hot glue gun, the heat gun can be applied directly to the powder that has adhered to the ink, and melt the powder into a permanent raised texture.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments
By anon162184 — On Mar 22, 2011

can i wash my embossed glass? i don't want to mess it up.

By anon130093 — On Nov 27, 2010

Is there an expiration date on embossing powder? I found some in my old craft supplies, which I'm sure is at least 10 years old. I tried it out and it wouldn't melt.

By anon66010 — On Feb 17, 2010

About 135 degrees C depending on the compound. Hairdryers tend to get to about 80 degrees C. Furthermore, hairdryers tend to have a higher flow rate which may accidentally blow lightly adhered embossing powder away. A craft shop heat gun, or DIY wallpaper removal type are the best to use.

By LAsVampiress — On Jun 15, 2009

How hot does the heat have to be to melt the embossing powder? Would a hair dryer work?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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