Guest Author - Carol Taller
There is no better way to complete a holiday project than to emboss it. Embossing adds glitter, color, and dimension with the smallest amount of effort. It is fun to watch the stamped image morph into a much more interesting piece just be adding heat.. Best of all, embossing is so much easier than it looks!
Below are several different techniques and tips that can be used for embossing. If you already emboss, maybe you will get some new ideas.
Tray or large piece of scrap paper
Rubber stamp of choice
Embossing ink, VersaMark, or any other slow drying pigment ink
Embossing powder (EP)
Heat tool- heat tool specifically designed for embossing works best, but light bulb or toaster oven will work. Do not use a blow dryer; it will not heat the EP enough and just blow it away. The optimum temperature to melt the powder is 200 – 300 degrees.
Instructions are simple:
Ink your stamp with slow drying ink and stamp your paper.
Pour the embossing powder (EP) over the image while it is still wet. Spread it around so that it fully covers the entire stamped image. Put a lot of EP on; you will be able to reuse all excess later. However, you won’t be able to re-stamp if you don’t use enough EP so more is better for now.
Gently tap off all of the excess powder into your tray or scrap paper. If some powder lingers on the paper you can use a soft paint brush to brush off excess. Do not blow the excess off. Your breath can create moisture than can cause the excess powder to stick in places you do not want it to stick! Now you can funnel all of the excess powder back into the EP container.
Heat and watch the powder morph in seconds (about 30)! Be careful not to burn your image. You will get the feel for timing after a try or two.
After mastering heat embossing, resist embossing will come easy. Simply stamp your image using clear embossing ink, then sponge ink around the stamped image. The ink will resist holding where the embossing ink is stamped and an image will appear around the stamped page. It will be more dramatic on dark paper. You may use a tissue to wipe any excess ink off the paper.
Embossing powders come in a variety of colors and grain sizes. You can choose powder than will give your work a shiny finish or a glittery finish. Foils will create a satin look, pearls will give a glow over color ink, and each gold will give a different effect, so that you may have to try a few different ones to get the exact effect you want. There is even a large grain embossing powder (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel or UTEE) that offers so many different effects that it will need an article written specifically on that alone!
When cutting your stamped image, do not cut through any embossed lines. This may cause the embossing to flake off.
You can use almost any color ink for most EP, unless you are using a clear EP. The color that you will see will always be the color of the EP, not the ink, unless you are using clear EP.
Store EP in a cool, dry place. According to some manufacturers, gold and copper have a shorter shelf life than most other colors.