Heat Embossing - is a technique that uses a slow drying ink and embossing powder in conjunction with a stamp and heat source ( heat gun) to create a raised, usually shiny image.
Inks that can be used for this work - Embossing Ink, Pigment Ink and other slow drying inks. Widely used now is the VersaMark ink pad.
Embossing Powders - come in a wide variety of colours,textures and effects. Choose from glittery, metallic, matt and tinsel. (Once the art of embossing has been mastered why not try mixing your own colours.) The powder is also available in different thicknesses .( imagine icing sugar, castor sugar & granulated sugar). Get the idea!
- Ultra Fine - Detail Powder - produces a crisp image and is excellent for word stamps and finely detailed stamps.
- Regular - This is a general use powder and the one most commonly used
- Ultra Thick (UTEE) - produces wonderful tiled or glass effects. Either use on mount board, building up layers or layer and stamp an image into the layers to create an Intaglio effect
Heat Guns are made especially for the above technique and it must be impressed that a hair dryer will not work as it blows the powder away and the heat source is not sufficient.
Embossing - How to
- Fold a piece of A4 scrap paper in half then open out and place your card onto it.
- Dust card with an anti-static bag * optional but invaluable
- Stamp image onto card using a slow drying ink (pigment ink)
- Sprinkle embossing powder over the stamped image, carefully lift up the stamped card and tip the excess powder onto the creased sheet of paper. Give a sharp flick with your fingernail to the reverse of the stamped card to remove any lingering specks of powder. Any that still remain use a fine dry paint brush or cotton bud to remove. (Avoid powdered image)
- Return powder to pot or container.
- Switch on the heat gun, hold away from project and allow to heat up for a few seconds. Then bring heat gun to within an inch or two of back of project and heat will start to melt powder. As you see powder melting bring heat gun to front and finish off. A gentle movement back and forth is all that is required. This is my preferred way of embossing especially for novices.
- As soon as powder melts in one area move on to another section. Do not overheat as this will cause the card to scorch and the powder gets absorbed into card causing a flat dull result.
- Turn off heat source allow image to cool then colour in if desired.
- Do not handle the un-embossed cardstock too much prior to embossing to ensure oil and static electricity is not transferred. This will keep it free from the little specks of powder which can spoil the finished look.
- Mix your powders to create different looks.
- Always put lid on ink pad before applying powder to image to ensure the pad remains clean.
- Stamp an image then half cover one part with one colour, tip off excess away from image, then cover other half with another colour. Heat as before and see the look it has created. (Particularly interesting with solid images such as leaves.)
- Embossing pens are available to touch up any missed area which did not quite stamp properly, apply powder and heat as before. These pens can be used for freehand drawing and then embossing.