Basic Embossing Tips for Heat Embossing (HE)
Basic Embossing Tutorial
Important note: Make sure your hands are clean at all stages of the embossing project so you don’t accidently leave ink on your work!
1. Use pigment ink (clear lids, shows pads, pads are spongy) like Color Box (#5 Cat’s Eye pad), Versa Mark or Versa Fine. They stay wet to hold on the embossing powder (EP).
Dye inks (solid lids, felt or hard pads) (chalks, Stazon, Adirondacks, Memories) dry fast and cannot hold EPs.
Tip: You can color your images using small pads then applying embossing powders.
2. Get clear embossing powder (#6) — then you can buy colored inks. The clear takes on the color of the ink used as in the embossed lips: scarlett ink/ clear ep.
You save lots of money buying clear and then using colored pigment inks, allows you to buy more colored inks!.
3. Use a good quality card stock. Before stamping wipe the card stock with a used dryer sheet (#2), a baby sock filled with a little corn starch or baby powder (#3), to prevent ep specks caused by static electricity.
Specks that appear off the image lines can be dusted away with a paint brush.
4. Wrap a piece of corrugated cardboard or mat board with tin foil (#8).
5. Stamp your image, sprinkle on embossing powder (EP), tap off excess. Brush off darker ep specks with a fine paintbrush or a clean cosmetic blush brush.
If you use clear ep, you don’t really see the specks. This is why clear is so much more preferable — no waste.
Tips: A. Put EP into a Ziplock or GladWare container and spoon EP over the image over the container to recycle the non-sticking EP (#6).
Free spoons at fast food places!
B. Silica gel packets from shoe boxes help keep the EP dry (6a).
C. Use a coffee filter( #1) with fluted/folds to catch EP and recycle by pouring back into the jar. (You can also do this with glitter.)
6. Heat your heat gun/tool (#7 — mine is a Milwaukee) for a minute or so before you begin to apply the heat to your image.
7. Place image on the tin foiled covered board (#8). Secure with a clothespin if you desire to prevent it from blowing around. Heat image evenly, you don’t have to shake the gun around, move slowly over surface till you see the EP melt and become a raised image.
(Scorched or ep burning off means the nose of the heat tool is too close to the image/paper or it is poor quality paper/ card stock.)
8. A small box lined with tin foil can be used as an embossing box like the foiled covered board. This works great for chunky UTEE so you are not blowing around the particles.
9. If you need too, hold the image with a clothespin or an alligator stick and heat so you don’t burn your fingers.
10. Use a Versamark pen to fix broken ep lines and reheat carefully not to burn off the other EP.
11. If your paper bends, after heating, fold over wax paper then insert image and place under a heavy object to flatten it out.
12. Embossing powders do dry out and die, yes they have a shelf life. Keep in a cool dark place. Use the silica packettes that come with new shoes in the EP container.
#4 is a meat tray with wet paper towels to wipe off the inked stamp and clean it up.
Use a Swiffer sheet to clean up stray embossing powder or glitter.
There are many types of EPs. Price range $4-12, depending on type.
Clear – a fine economical choice and can be used with any color pigment ink and takes on the color of the ink. You can buy a huge jar of clear.
Regular grain for everyday embossing (basic). This comes in many colors and you can mix a few together to create your own.
Fine grain for stamps with many lines or fine lines.
Speckled, tinsel or glitter EPs – the EP melts and holds the glitter bits.
Holographic or Irridescent EPs – show a range of color depending on the light.
Metallic – works well with metallic inks of the same type color but I find using clear embossing ink or the VersaMark pad works better. Use a silica packet in these jars to preserve them as moisture can do metallics damage.
UTEE – Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel. These are large course EP grains that will produce a thick resin finish. Limited colors, they commonly come in clear and some metallics. This product is also used with the Hot Pot where it is heated and the object is dipped.