What is Embossing Powder?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

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.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

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.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


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


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.


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.


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

Post your comments
Forgot password?