Spotlight: Embossing Powder
Ever wanted to emboss a project but didn’t want to spend a fortune? Meet embossing powder!
Embossing is a process that carves, moulds or—in this case—stamps image on a surface so it is slightly raised. Embossing powder allows you to easily do this process yourself, giving your projects dimension.
Embossing powder works on heavyweight paper making it perfect for almost any sort of paper project. I love to add embossing to cards, but embossing powder also works on wood, clay, paper mache and more.
Powders come in a range of colors and brands, most are for darker colored surfaces. Although the shine isn’t as brilliant as foiling, there are some awesome color options such as metallics, glitter, pearl and holographic!
Embossing powders also work in conjunction with distressed inks by inking in color and apply clear over the top. Mixing these pigment inks with clear embossing on top for a subtle shine. However, if you’re after a high contrast, the colored embossing powders will be your best bet.
The powder works quite well, although is not perfect each time. When dried, it feels tactile and handmade. Edges are imperfectly crisp as you can’t control where or how precisely the powder sticks—but this adds to the beauty of it!
What you'll need
Embossing gun (heat gun)
Note: Embossing guns can heat up to 600°F/315°C so handle with care. I use tweezers for small projects and ensure my workspace is heat-friendly.
- Use baking paper as heat protectant and to help with mess. Lay it down on your table and place your heavyweight paper on top.
- Draw art using the watermark pen. Move quickly, this ink dries fast! Alternative: You can use a stamp and ink pad instead of a pen.
- Immediately pour embossing powder all over the entire image.
- Shake the excess powder onto the baking paper. Curl baking paper and return remaining powder to jar. Once clean, place baking paper back under your artwork. Tip: Do not touch the artwork with your hands as the powder will easily fall off.
- Hold the embossing gun about 6” (15cm) away from your image. Evenly sweep the gun over the image. You will see the powder melt and change to a glossy finish. Tip: Do not hold heat on one area for too long as powder can bubble and paper can burn.
- Allow a few seconds for the artwork to set and cool before touching.