A Beginner’s Guide to Heat Embossing

I wanted to make a series on heat embossing, and am starting at the beginning with the tools you’ll need and the basics of how to heat emboss.

The stamp set I used was from Fiskars, called Petals from Scratch

First, you’ll need an anti-static tool to remove finger prints, oils and anything that powder might stick to (beside what it should be sticking to.)
1. Create your own with a couple of knee highs doubled over and filling the toe with corn starch or baby powder, then knotting it. Another option is sewing your own pouch with muslin made like a small pillow and filled with baby powder or corn starch.
2. Recollections (Michaels brand) $7.49 full price Anti-Static Bag
3. EK Success Powder Tool Applicator from Blitsy $3.91
4. Inkadinkado Embossing Magic (bag) Amazon $5.78
5. Another option–Keep a sealed small container with baby powder or corn starch inside. Use a soft clean paint brush and dip into the powder then wipe it over your paper surface.  Tap off any excess.
I really like the pouch I made, but will be doing an upcoming video to determine if one of the above options works better than the other, and if one works better on certain brands of paper.
Before heat embossing, wipe your surface with one of these tools and tap off any excess. This will make sure you don’t have to wipe a ton of stray powder off of your paper.

Inks I did not like:
I ruled out two at the beginning, as I did not like the results that they created.  Ink It Up $3.27 on Amazon, and Hampton Arts Tinted Embossing Pad $6.09 at Joanns (all prices I quote are full price, before using a coupon.) I demonstrated both and showed the issues I had with them.  Mainly, I could not get a good clean consistent image with either.


Ink Options:
1. Distress Embossing Ink: $5.99 Joanns or $3.49 for 1 x 1″ cube.. I recommend you getting the bigger size as the smaller cube probably won’t meet your needs.
2.  Versamark $9.49 Michaels –most popular brand for embossing
3.  Ranger Embosss It (Clear) $5.75 Amazon
4.  Stampendous Clear Embossing Ink (dauber) now called Boss Gloss $3.99 Scrapbooking Warehouse
All four brands of inks worked well for me, and I will be doing videos in future showing them being used on different brands of papers to determine if paper makes a difference when doing heat embossing.

Markers for small embossed images or to fix errors:
1. Ranger Inkssentials 2 pack black and clear embossing markers two pack $6.49 at Joanns. My black marker was dry when I bought them, so was disappointed in them.
2. Versamark Versamarker $3.49 Joanns

I prefer Ranger embossing powders, but Hero Arts makes great powders as do many other companies. We’ll be doing a video on different techniques that you can do with different types of powder and with different brands.

Types of powder:
1. Fine detail–for thin sentiments and fine lined images $4,99 full price Joanns
2. Standard embossing powder–for all images that aren’t fine lined $4.99 Blitsy
3. Stampendous Deep Impressions Super Chunky for mixed media, molten looks, wax seal look. $6.49 Joanns
4. Ultra-Thick Embossing Powder $7.49 Joanns–for a very thick surface, use for paper beads, mixed media, stained glass window looks. (I ordered this but don’t have it yet and will be showing it in the technique video.)

You’ll need a fine angled brush for wiping away any excess powder.

Alternatives to buying a wide variety of colored powders:   When looking to determine if you need a lot of colors of embossing powder, if you use a die based ink, you’ll need a stamp positioner, ink with your favorite color die based ink, then re-stamp with an embossing ink, then add clear powder….This will save you from buying a lot of powder colors. and the results look the same.

Second alternative is to use pigment inks, as they dry slowly, then add clear powder over them to create your colored image.

Colors of powders you should consider buying:
1. Clear embossing powder (start with standard and then determine if you need to buy the ultra fine)
2. Metallics..I really like Ranger Princess Gold and Silver powders for a rich elegant look on card stock.
3. Versafine Onyx Black Ink–it’s a pigment ink, so it dries much slower and you can use this nice dark black ink with your clear embossing powder…no need to buy black embossing powder and you’ll avoid having any stray black powder… Black embossing powder is a nightmare to try to remove all strays from.
4. White–For colored card stock and want white..I’d buy the fine detail as I think you’ll use this more for sentiments.

Homemade stamp cleanser:  Pump bottle can be found in the nail department of most stores, or online. Here’s a link to one on Aliexpress. http://tinyurl.com/ycnzzlte
To make your own stamp cleanser, use 1 teaspoon baby shampoo to 10 teaspoons of water (distilled water works best). I put a small squirt of baby shampoo (from the Dollar Tree) and fill the bottle with water, then swirl it around to mix.) I keep baby bibs with velcro or snaps, on the arms of my chair, then when I need to clean stamps, pull a bib off and use the pump bottle to clean my stamps, works really well and is safe for stamps.

Heat Tools: Your hair drier will NOT work for this.
1. Ranger Heat it Craft Tool $19.57 Amazon…looks like a blow drier, but much hotter.
2. Darice Heat Tool $24.99 This is the one I use and I like it because the tip is plastic
3. Hero Arts Heat Gun–$45.99 Joanns, Very powerful, has a metal tip, so I have ruled this out for me because of the chance of burning myself.
Always pre-heat your tool before using it when you use it…5-10 seconds…wave it over your image…if you hold it in one spot, you’ll burn the paper or your embossed image will sink into the paper and no longer look shiny or raised.

The bottom line is that you will need to obtain the following to be able to heat emboss:
1. Anti-static tool of your choice
2. Brush to wipe away stray powder
3. Embossing ink of your choice
4. Embossing powder—start with clear as your first purchase.
5. Heat Tool–your blow drier will not melt these powders, sorry.

I hope this video helped you to understand heat embossing. It is the first in a series of videos I’ll be doing on which anti-static tools work best, which inks work best on different paper brands, which embossing powders work best on different paper brands, and ultimately different techniques you can do with heat embossing. I hope you’ll watch those videos and subscribe.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below the video.

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