Heat Embossing 101

Embossing is fabulous—it’s the perfect way to embellish paper and turn it into something special. Have invitations to send out? Place cards to make for that fancy get-together? Gift tags to stick on those carefully selected presents? Why not emboss all of these things and add a little glamour to what you do!

You’ve all seen embossed items—today I’m going to describe heat embossing so your design is upraised from the paper. It is a very easy process that anyone can do. The following tutorial shows my mother-in-law and I making the tags for a Wishing Tree at a recent bridal shower. We got our goodies at Paper Source– be warned you will buy everything you see– I love this place!


What you need:

Paper—whatever you are creating (tags, invites, etc.)

Ink—in the colors you would like your design to be

**Pigment ink is what you need- it dries slower so you can apply the powder. VersaMark

Watermark is clear ink and is the brand that I’ve used- found at craft stores.**

Embossing Powder—in the colors you would like your design to be

Embossing Heat Tool—sold in craft stores—Walmart has one for $15

Rubber Stamp/Design of your choose

Paper/Folder- as a work surface to catch overflow powder


Step 1:

Choose your color(s) and corresponding stamps. We had a border stamp which would be black and a letter ‘G’ which would be gold.

With this in mind, we planned to use a black ink pad for the border coupled with clear embossing powder. For the ‘G’ we would use the VersaMark clear ink pad and gold embossing powder on top of the clear stamped ‘G’.

Step 2:

After stamping each paper with the border in black ink we were ready to start the embossing.


Step 3:

Using the clear ink pad we stamped the ‘G’ in the center of each oval. As it’s a clear stamp, be sure to take note of what you’ve stamped—if you lose track, you can see it if you look closely.

emboss step 2

Step 4:

After the clear ‘G’ is on the paper, sprinkle the embossing powder on top. You’ll see that it sticks to the stamp. Shake off the excess powder.

This is where it’s crucial to have a manila folder or a slightly folded piece of paper underneath. The excess powder will fall onto the paper and you can then refill your powder container every once in a while. You do not want to waste this stuff!

powdered G

Step 5:

Use your heat tool to melt the grains of powder into a smooth surface. It’s nerdy, but I think it’s kind of cool to see just how quickly it melts into your upraised design.

If you’re doing a large project (we did about 50 cards) and you have a helper, it is best to get an assembly line going. My mother-in-law stamped and passed them off to me for sprinkling/heating.

Just a note- If you don’t have a heat tool, I’ve seen online that it works with some hairdryers, but you need it to be super hot and it takes longer to do. I haven’t personally known anyone to use this method.

emboss step 6

Step 6:

Your newly embossed products are good to go! You can do really neat things with embossing, such as tone on tone, or emboss the design and then color the background only with a contrasting ink color. The possibilities are vast and it is an easy craft with a great impact.

picture1Don’t these tags look great on the Wishing Tree at the bridal shower?!

Here’s a picture of my bridal shower invitation and our seed paper wedding favors, both created by embossing:

bridal shower and wedding favorHappy Embossing!


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