Technique Thursday: Embossing

There are so many amazing rubber stamps on the market these days, I cannot imagine not stamping. I use stamps all of the time in many of my projects and I love them.

A few weeks ago, one of the customers at Capture A Memory in Flint Township asked me about embossing. So, in her honor, we are going to emboss this week for Technique Thursday.

You can use any type of stamp to emboss with. You can also use a variety of inks — an embossing pad, Distress Ink Embossing Pad, Versamark or any pigment ink pad. As long as the ink stays wet long enough to sprinkle powder and heat it, you can use it.

First, you need a heat-resistant surface to work on. You can use your Ranger Non-Stick Craft Sheet or you can make a surface by covering a clipboard with aluminum foil. This works well because you can clip the corner of your art to the board and protect your fingers from the heat.

Step 1: (optional) Wipe the paper you intend to work on with a dryer sheet or anti-static pad. This helps prevent stray embossing powder from clinging to the paper around your image.

Step 2: Tap the stamp lightly onto the ink pad until the entire image is covered and then press straight down onto your paper. Apply a bit of pressure and then lift straight up. I used Ranger’s embossing pad, which is nice because it is tinted so you can see the image. Notice the light teal image stamped on the right side of the paper below. (click on the image for a larger view)

Step 3: Sprinkle the image with embossing powder. I like to use a tiny metal spoon (it cuts down on the static). I also put the image on top of a coffee filter to collect the excess so I can dump it back into my container. Coffee filters do not hold on to static, so they are great with glitter and embossing powder. Once the image is covered, gently tap off the excess. Do not flick the paper like you do with glitter or you will take too much off.

Step 4: If you have embossing powder outside of where you want it, like I do in the image below, use a small paintbrush to get rid of the excess.

Step 5: Now you are ready to heat it. Place it on a heat-resistant surface and heat it with a heat gun (Ranger’s is my favorite. It’s quiet, it doesn’t blow much and it is hot.) DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS WITH A HAIR DRYER. It will just blow your powder all over. Hold the heat gun in one place until you see the powder change. In most cases, it will become shiny. Notice the chicks on the right of this sample … they are finished. The ones on the left are still waiting to be heated.

That’s it! It is really rather simple, once you know how to do it.

Now, for a few more tips …

If you do not want to buy lots of colors of embossing powder, buy clear and use the ink colors you already have. It will give you the same effect.

You can also use your embossing powders to change the colors of brads, frames or even shrink plastic. Just cover the area you want to emboss in embossing ink, sprinkle on some powder and heat.

Not all embossing powders give you a shiny smooth finish. Some are more transparent. Some have glitter. Some have more of a matte finish. I love these by JudiKins because they are a mix of colors. I used Granite on the flamingos.

Some embossing powders retain their bumpy feel even after heating.

This jar was embossed with Ranger’s Antiquities embossing powder in cement. It stays rough even after heating.

Now it is time for you to try your hand at embossing. Stop by Capture A Memory in Flint Township from 2-6 p.m. today and give it a try. I’ll see you there!


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