Heat Embossing for Beginners

Are you still struggling with heat embossing?

Heat guns look intimidating, embossing powders are expensive, inks are not sticky…

Well, today I’m going to try to change your mind. Yes, embossing powders can be quite pricey, but they’re well worth the money. A variety of brands and colors are out there, but which ones to choose? What material do you need to have before diving into the art of heat embossing?ij

To start, how about watching a video? Find yourself a comfortable armchair, get your cup of coffee or tea and press play. In a couple of minutes, you’ll see everything you need to know about this technique.

Isn’t it so simple? Here is the full breakdown of how to start.


  1. Buy embossing powders. The ones I’m using are from Marianne Hobby, but I also recommend Ranger.
  2. Get a good embossing ink padVersamark is popular right now, but a cheaper (yet not worse) version is by Ranger.
  3. Find stamps. Photopolymer stamps are the best, even though rubber stamps work too. Be careful to apply enough ink to cover the whole stamp and press firmly on the paper. Some intricate stamps may not work with all embossing powders, so make sure to purchase superfine powders for such stamps.
  4. Embossing / heat gun. Any hardware store should have them, or you could get a customized version of a heat gun – an embossing gun which is made specifically for this technique and is sold by most craft companies that distribute embossing powders as well.
  5. Prepare your surface by passing over the whole section with an anti-static tool. It is a powder which removes any static cling, if you do not use it… let’s just say you’ll end up with lots of embossing powder sticking to it.
  6. The rest is simple – ink up your stamp, press on the prepared cardstock / paper, sprinkle the powder over it and tap off the excess which you can return to the jar. There might be some leftover particles, but you can easily remove them with a brush.
  7. Get your heat gun nice and hot before bringing it over to the paper. As soon as you can see you’ve melted some of the powder and it turns shiny, move to another section until the whole image is embossed. It also helps to heat from the back for a couple of seconds to prevent warping.

And there you have your embossed piece! Isn’t it lovely?

A problem you might face is a dull image melted into the paper. That happens if you apply too much heat, the powder melts more than it should and instead of being puffed up and shiny, it sinks into the paper and you’re left with a weird look. Here is an example, a part of the left side is well embossed, but the right side has sunk into the paper:IMG_0343

Remember to move your heat source as often as possible and find a pair of tweezers to hold the paper while you do that. It can be very hot.

Do you use this technique often? What do you use it for? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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