Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Heat (Thermal) Embossing Basics - Part II - The Process

We're ready to move on to part II of Heat (Thermal) Embossing Basics....

The Process

It's really very straight forward, a few short steps and you're there but it's what you do/use to get there that really makes the difference.  Along with the process I'll add tips here and there that help make your embossing trip more successful.

1 (optional - but in my book necessary) Swipe your paper with the Embossing Buddy (or a home made version), dryer sheet, etc.  This will remove any static electricity and neutralize oils that may be on the cardstock from handling.

embossing basics 013

2. Ink your stamp with embossing, pigment, hybrid or other slow drying ink. 

VERY IMPORTANT...Make sure your entire image has been covered with ink.  If it's not you will not get a good impression or finished embossed image.

embossing basics 014

3. Press your inked rubber stamp onto the prepared paper.  DO NOT ROCK the stamp.  You will get a double or blurry image making your embossed image look really funky.

(Sorry for the blurry photo...taking photo w/left hand while stamping with right....obviously my left arm is not nearly long enough for the auto focus to work - LOL!!)
embossing basics 015

4.  Sprinkle an ample amount of embossing powder over the stamped image.  I can't tell you how many times I've seen people try to use a minuscule amount of EP and expect a pristine result.  Don't worry about wasting it...we're going to capture the excess to save it for another day.

embossing basics 016

5. Shake the embossing powder around and cover every bit of the image.  If you don't cover it completely with the powder, you will end up with a partially embossed image.

embossing basics 017

6. Shake off the excess powder into your tidy tray or a second sheet of cardstock. Set it aside for now (you can put it back into the jar once you've finished embossing).

embossing basics 018


I know it's such a temptation to tap away any excess powders off at this time but DON" will remove not only the stray bits but it will also dislodge powder that is stuck to the embossing ink.  When you tap this powder off the image you won't have a sufficient amount of embossing powder for a clean image.

If there are extra bits of embossing powder anywhere on your cardstock now is the time to use that micro brush I was telling you about.  Simply give each little bit a swipe with the brush and they will fall off immediately.  I like to then gently blow away the bits I've knocked loose.  By using the micro brush you can get into all of the nooks and crannies without messing up the image.

(tapped image)

embossing basics 026

Embossed Tapped Image

embossing basics 027

7.  Heat your powders to melt and form the image.  I like to pre-heat my heat tool so I don't have to wait as long.  Simply turn the tool on for a few seconds prior to heating.  Now hold the tool over the area to be embossed and gently move it around the image until all of the powders have been melted.

How can you tell all of the powders are melted?  With most regular embossing powders you'll be able to see the powder go from a dull granular form to a molten shiny line.  I say most because there are always exceptions to the rule.  For example, puffy embossing powders go from a powder and grow as it is heated into a very dimensional image; Stamp n Bond embossing powder goes from a white powder to a clear line of glue and Distress Embossing powders have a slight color change but not much else.  When I talk about the various types of powders (on Friday) I'll show you what I'm talking about.

Be sure to let your image cool before you mess with it.  More than once I've gotten into a hurry and slid an freshly embossed image into my trimmer only to smear the still hot embossed lines.  Trust me, while it doesn't seem like it waiting a few seconds for the image to cool is way better than having to redo the entire thing.

embossing basics 019

And now you have a beautiful embossed dimensional image!

embossing basics 020

embossing basics 023

And that's all there is to it!
Friday I'll talk about some of the different types of embossing powders and show you how they look before and after embossing as well as some talk about heating times.

We'll be over at the building sewing tomorrow so I'll probably post a card or two for you to check out.

Have a super evening friends!!


  1. Thanks for the reminder on how to emboss. When I first learned this technique I was embossing EVERYTHING. Not so much any more. BUT, I will get out my embossing supplies and give it a go!!!!

    Hmm, I have some sparkly paper and a snowman stamp. Maybe I'll try embossing him in red onto the paper.....

  2. Thank you for taking the time to go over the basics of embossing. Even us "experienced" (lol) stampers could use brushing up on our skills, and I think, we forget that not everyone has this knowledge.

  3. Thanks Roni!! I love embossing, ust gives your project that extra special touch! Have a super weekend!

  4. Awesome read. I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. He actually bought me lunch because I found it for him! So let me rephrase: thank you for lunch!

  5. Excellent Post.. I enjoy some of content in the post.. please keep it up..
    i want same like this from you...!!

  6. Awesome tips Roni! I didn't know about the Embossing Buddy/dryer sheet trick, the tiny brush trick or the tapping the cardstock thing. No wonder I was doing a so-so job at embossing!

  7. Great refresher! Thank you.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!