Technique Thursday: Heat Embossing

Hello my crafty friends! As you are reading this, I’m getting off a plane on the East Coast due to a family member death. Anyway, for this week’s Technique Thursday I figured I would focus on Heat Embossing. Heat embossing is very easily my favorite technique. It’s fairly easy and produces amazing results. I did samples with different finishes as well as showing you the tools I use.

First, let’s start with prepping your paper. You will get less or no powder on places where you DON’T want it. I use the EK Success powder tool to dust down my paper to help make sure it’s dry and static free. Inkadinkado and Ranger both have their own versions of this products, theirs look like little pillows. It’s all personal preference, trial and error. With this image, I’m using Ranger Super Fine White embossing powder. Super Fine embossing powders are the perfect thing to use if you have a sentiment that is really small. It makes it so it won’t block parts of letters because it is too thick. The ink that you use for heat embossing is Versa Mark Water Mark ink, at least that’s what I use. I know that other shops and brands have their own version of the Versa Mark ink which seems to be the industry standard. To see what is available, check it out here.

Another type of embossing powder you can get are ones that do unexpected things. Below I have a swatch of the Hero Arts White Puff embossing powder . This is great to use if you want some texture and it’s fabulous for snow at the holidays.

Here I have other types of embossing powder. Yes these are all Ranger brand but there are a lot of brands out there that make amazing embossing powder. These are just the ones I pulled to show different finishes. On the far left is the Wendy Vecchi for Ranger embossing powder in Garden Patina. There aren’t any shimmer particles so when heat embossed you get a nice glossy finish and a really nice dose of true color. In the center is the Ranger embossing powder in Gold. This is a metallic embossing powder and, while there is no glitter or shimmer again, it gives off this brilliant metallic sheen. It’s great to use if you are trying to make something look ‘gilded’ or like it’s actually made of the metal. I want to note that the gold also comes in Super Fine Detail form as well, just like the white. Same brand. Finally, we have the Ranger embossing powder in Black Sparkle. Now, this one has some massive sparkle! It’s black embossing powder infused with rainbow glitter. This is also shiny and on top of that you get the added joy of glitter. It’s just as messy as any other embossing powder, the glitter doesn’t affect that.

Now, I wanted to show you this because you don’t have to keep your powders in their jars. Thanks to Jennifer McGuire, I am now obsessed with the Sistema containers for storing embossing powder that I had multiple jars of or, in the case of the pink one, the embossing powder jar was so large I had to put it in a different case. These are great because you can keep a designated spoon for that powder in the container with it. They are also really durable and the ones that snap closed like the ones above help me to not worry about powder spilling everywhere. I have that big one, a few of those medium ones, and I also have quite a few smaller ones that I use for embossing powder and other craft items. If you would like to check out their products, I have linked to the Amazon search I did for the containers. To go to it, click here.

Finally, we have made it to tools. I know, I went in the completely wrong order. First things first, you need a heat gun to heat emboss. I have the Wagner Heat Tool from Hero Arts and it is way better than the one I started out with. In short, it melted. When using a heat gun you’ve got to be very careful because when they say it gets hot, it gets HOT. Never point it toward yourself, I don’t want you to get burned. The best way to get everything to melt fast and evenly is to let it heat up for a couple of seconds and then take it to your piece. Always keep the tool moving or you will burn your project. I’ve already mentioned the need for a powder tool and Versa Mark (or another clear sticky ink) so I won’t go back into those. I use coffee filters that I buy from Amazon in large quantities for cheap because they are what I tap my excess powder into after I’ve added the embossing powder to the stamped area. It also makes it easier to dump the ‘run off embossing powder’ back into the jar with each color. Again, this is something I learned from Jennifer McGuire. Little plastic spoons like you see below help you to be more precise in your powder application, especially if you are working with a large container. I bought some from Simon Says Stamp a couple of years ago and I still have most of them. Or if you, or someone you know, uses Sweet n’ Low and buys the box there’s a little spoon in that too and works great. The paint brush can be a life saver. If you missed some spots and there’s powder on your paper where you don’t want it, you can use a small paint brush to brush the powder away before heat embossing it. The last piece I want to share with you is Swiffer Sweeper cloths. This is so amazing to have and know about (Thanks again Jennifer McGuire) because this will pick up any spilled embossing powder, glitter, anything small. I buy them in bulk from Costco and they come in boxes. To make them last you can cut them up but I find it easier to use the full cloth because you can kind of scoop if there is a pile of stuff.

That’s all folks! If I’ve left something out or if you have any questions, please comment down below- I’d love to help you! As I’ve said, heat embossing is my favorite technique and I hope you can now see why. It can take a simple plain card to the next level. I hope you enjoyed and I will see you on Sunday!

“When you can do a common thing in an uncommon way; you will command the attention of the world.”
George Washington Carver

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