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Embossing is creating a raised pattern or design either by using embossing powders and a heat tool, or by using embossing folders or an embossing board and tool. There are a wide range of embossing folders on the market both single and multi layer for use with a die-cutting and embossing machine such as the Grand Calibur or Cuttlebug as well as a wide range of embossing boards for use by hand with a tool. There is also a debossing technique where the design rather than being raised is sunken.
What embossing powders are used for
WOW embossing powders are used in heat embossing to create a raised and glossy finish. They are widely available in craft shops and online. There are a wide range of colours available as well as those with glitter. A pot costs around £2.50- £5 dependant on size and type. The WOW embossing powders are very fine powders and create a really beautiful finish glossy raised finish. They come in clear pots enabling you to see the colour contained and have screw top lids.
How to use
With heat embossing you emboss stamped or drawn images. You need to use a special glue ink pad to stamp such as the watermark ink pad and pen by Versamark which are clear or Tim Holtz Distress Ink Pads which are coloured. These are widely available in craft shops and online.
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To heat emboss you stamp or drawn your design onto cardstock with either Versamark or Tim Holtz Ink pads (or other water based inks- alcohol inks dry too quickly). You then sprinkle on your WOW embossing powder onto your design, tapping to remove the excess and use your heat gun to melt and set the embossing powder which will give a raised and glossy finish. It only takes a few seconds for the embossing powder to set and you need to keep the heat gun moving. It is very easy to see when the embossing powder has set.
I like to sprinkle the embossing powder onto my chosen design with a sheet of paper or card underneath so any not used can be returned to the pot.
The only thing to bear in mind is that your card must have been kept entirely dry, card which has absorbed water from damp conditions will bow when heat embossed. To avoid this you would be advised to keep embossing card in either airtight containers or bags.
I prefer to use clear embossing powder or clear glittered with my Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads. Firstly I already have a large collection of these ink pads and secondly when used with clear embossing powder the colour of the ink shows through so that my embossing is actually the colour of the ink. This then means that I only need the clear embossing powders rather than a wide range of colours and is therefore more cost effective for me. The other advantage of using the Tim Holtz to heat emboss is that you can then fully colour match to your project for example if you have used these inks on other techniques on your project.
However if you use Versamark watermark pens or watermark ink pad the only way for your embossing to be coloured would be to use colours embossing powder.
WOW embossing powders come in a beautiful range of colours and finishes and are so easy to use to create beautiful designs on your projects. They are widely available, inexpensive and a pot lasts well. Heat embossing looks beautiful on both cards and scrapbook pages and really makes a design stand out adding both texture, depth and interest.
However heat embossing is NOT suitable for children. A heat gun gets very hot, and could easily burn or start a fire if left close to paper or other dry materials.
A more suitable alternative for little crafters would be dry embossing. Dry embossing with embossing boards would suitable from as soon as they are able to hold a pen with ease. It is pretty much following an indentation on the board with a tool to create a pattern and something I imagine children who enjoy creative projects would love. Embossing boards are inexpensive, long lasting and widely available.