Kim’s Technique of the Week: Heat-Embossing
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Hi again! Kim here from My Kraft Kloset and I?m sharing one of my favorite techniques—heat-embossing! I know it can be intimidating and it does take some practice. It is hard to photograph, but I will try and show you some of the different effects you can get just by changing your ink or embossing powder.

First, decide what effect you want on your project. Do you want a clear effect that resembles a water stain? Or do you want a raised pop of color? Whichever you choose, you must use a pigment ink to heat-emboss. Why? Because pigment ink is a thick slow-drying ink that embossing powder sticks to long enough for you to heat-set it. If you use a dye ink, embossing powder will not stick to it and the powder will fall off. I almost always use VersaMark watermark ink; it does not say that it is “pigment ink” on the label, but it is. The VersaColor inks are pigment inks, too. When I use a clear pigment ink, it allows me to use any type of embossing powder for many different effects on my projects and seems more economical, too.

There are many combinations, but I?ve found the easiest ways to remember them are:

  • Clear ink  and clear powder (water stain effect shown in blue sample above)
  • Clear ink and metallic powder (gold and silver samples shown above)
  • Colored ink and clear powder (purple sample shown above)
  • Clear ink and colored powder (top red sample shown below)
  • Colored ink and colored powder (bottom red sample shown below)
  • VersaMarker watermark pen (?Easter? word shown on sample card)

There are so many embossing powders to choose from that it can be overwhelming. What does it all mean? For a water stain effect, choose clear ink with clear powder and it will take on a darker shade of your cardstock. If you want a pop of color, choose clear ink with colored powder or colored ink with colored powder. Some are shiny or some are opaque with no shine. Metallics are all the rage right now and the gold and silver embossing powders from Ranger are my favorite.

Can you tell the difference between the bunnies in the picture above? No? Me either. They are all shiny, but as you can see from the text I?ve changed the ink pads, but kept all the same red powder. Some say colored ink and colored powder together is more vibrant, but I can?t tell the difference. It?s a personal preference.

Next, rub your cardstock in the area to be stamped with an embossing buddy or a dryer sheet to eliminate static cling. Nothing is more frustrating than having embossing powder where you don?t want it. If you have a few stray specks of powder, use a fine paintbrush and brush those specks away from your stamped image. Now you?re ready to stamp, sprinkle with embossing powder and heat-set with an embossing tool to watch the magic happen.

For this card, I used two different heat-embossing techniques. On the top part of this card, I used clear ink and clear embossing powder to create the bunnies. On the bottom of the card, I used a VersaMarker ink pen to outline the word ?EASTER? on the patterned paper, sprinkled it with gold embossing powder, and then heat-set it to create a unique look.

The combinations and effects are endless. I hope I?ve inspired you to get embossing and see what you can create.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!


Supplies used: Tropical cardstock assortment, Zing! clear embossing powder, spring ribbon and pastel medium brads from American Crafts; Easter Collection Kit, die cuts and Happy Easter stamp set from Echo Park Paper Co.; VersaColor scarlet ink pad, VersaMark watermark ink pad and VersaMarker ink pen from IMAGINE Crafts/Tsukineko; gold and silver super-fine metallic and red geranium embossing powders from Ranger Industries Inc.; ColorBox warm violet ink pad from Clearsnap; jubilee and necessities red enamel dots from My Mind’s Eye; olive felt leaves and medium pastel iridescent blossoms from Creative Impressions Inc.; embossing buddy from Stampin’ Up!

5 Responses to Kim’s Technique of the Week: Heat-Embossing

  1. Janine says:

    Thank you so much for this technique page. I am new to card making and so this is so helpful to me.

  2. DawnL says:

    Great technique tutorial, Kim! I remember as a newbie how intimidated I was by heat embossing! lol!

  3. Jaime Sunshine says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these tips. I love the look embossing gives, but I get so frustrated when it doesn’t come out right. This was explained in such great detail & I will give it another shot. Thanks so much for the advice…. It gave me the courage I need to get back to giving it some more time & concentation also.

  4. Great step-by-step instructions! Heat-embossing is my favorite technique to use. I could have used this tutorial when I first began. You are right, it is hard to photograph sometimes, but you captured it nicely.

  5. Lisa Silver says:

    Great technique to share!

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