I love heat embossing, there’s something quite magical about stamping an image, sprinkling it with powder and watching it morph into a shiny, raised design simply by the application of heat. But while the theory is simple, results can vary and I’ve found that it’s definitely worth taking a little time if you want to get really good results.
My birthday card project today is all about the heat embossing and I reveal my top ten heat embossing tips along the way.
It’s no secret that I love purple and so I began by cutting and scoring a piece of Blackberry Bliss Card, folding it along the scored line and sharpening the crease with a Bone Folder to create the card base.
For my sentiment I took another piece of Blackberry Bliss Card and wiped it with an Embossing Buddy.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 1 – Always wipe your project with an Embossing Buddy to remove any oils and static from the surface. Then try not to handle the piece too much.
With the piece wiped I went to the Painted Glass Stamp Set from Stampin’ Up! for the ‘Have a beautiful birthday’ sentiment. I tapped the stamp onto a VersaMark Ink Pad and then stamped it onto my prepared card.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 2 – Make sure the VersaMark Ink Pad is not too dry otherwise there will be insufficient ink for your embossing powder to stick to.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 3 – Take care not to press too hard or rock the stamp on the VersaMark Ink Pad. Before stamping onto your project look at the surface of the stamp and remove any ink that is not on the image itself. If necessary clean the stamp completely and start again.
Back with my sentiment… I sprinkled the sticky ink with Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder, tapped off the excess and then checked the image. Even though I’d used the Embossing Buddy I noticed a couple of odd specks of powder where they shouldn’t be so I removed them.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 4 – Always take the time to check for and remove those odd specks. They may not look much now but believe me you’ll really notice them once they’re melted.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 5 – Large areas of stray embossing powder can be removed with a dry paintbrush, but take care not to catch the stamped areas. If that happens sprinkle more embossing powder, tap off the excess and carry on checking and tidying up the image.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 6 – Individual specks of embossing powder attracted to the card by static are also attracted to metal, so by gently touching the specks with a metal tool you can pick them up off your project . I usually use the point of a Paper Piercing Tool, but I’ve also used the tip of my tweezers and even my Paper Snips. After picking up one or two specks wipe off the tip of the tool you’re using and repeat the process until all the stray specks have been removed.
Once I was happy with the image I melted the rest of the embossing powder with my Heat Tool set on 2 (high) and set it aside to cool.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 7 – The Stampin’ Up! Heat Tool has 2 heat settings. Setting 1 can be used to dry or gently heat set ink. For Heat Embossing you need setting 2 which is much hotter. For best results make sure your Heat Tool is really hot before pointing it at your project (I often switch it on to warm up while I’m removing stray specks of powder). If the Heat Tool is not properly hot you’ll waste a lot of time pointing it at your project and the card may start to buckle and warp long before the powder starts to melt.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 8 – Sometimes when you first point the Heat Tool at the project you may find a few specks of embossing powder gets dislodged. I always look for this and if it happens I immediately put down the Heat Tool and remove the specks before they get a chance to melt.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 9 – Take care not to overheat the embossing powder. You want the powder to melt and become raised. If you overheat the powder it will flatten out and the shine will disappear, or the embossing may even look scorched. Check the embossing as you work and stop heating once there’s no more powder visible. If you notice an area that still looks powdery go back and quickly melt just that section.
HEAT EMBOSSING TIP 10 – Start heating in one place and as the powder melts move the Heat Tool slowly over the image, I think of it as ‘chasing the melt’. Waving the Heat Tool quickly over the image may simply dislodge any loose powder rather than melting it in place.
Now back to my project… once the embossed sentiment had cooled I punched it out using the Pretty Label Punch. I actually wanted the sentiment a little smaller so I used a post it note to add a ‘handle’ to the sentiment. I put the punched piece back into the punch and trimmed a little off the top. I repeated this a second time but this time trimmed a little off the bottom. Then I punched a piece of Gold Foil Sheet and fixed the sentiment to it using Multipurpose Liquid Glue (Tombow).
It was time to create the decorative element on my birthday card. This was cut from the corner of the large 12″ x 12″ Delightfully Detailed Laser-Cut Specialty Paper using Paper Snips. I placed it face up on a Silicone Craft Sheet and then pressed a VersaMark Ink Pad over the whole surface. Once that was done I picked up the piece by putting my tweezers through one of the holes near the corner and placed it face up on some scrap paper. Then I could cover the whole piece with Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder. I shook the excess powder off and then placed the piece face up on a heat proof surface so that I could melt the powder with my Heat Tool set on 2 (high). I Once done, I left the piece to cool for a minute.
Adding glue to the lacy piece was going to be challenging but I placed it face down on a clean Silicone Craft Sheet and used a piece of Stampin’ Sponge to gently dab liquid glue all over the back. Then I carefully lifted the piece onto my card base and pressed it into place.
To complete the front of the card, the layered sentiment was added with Stampin’ Dimensionals.
All I needed to do was decorate the inside of the card and the envelope. I wiped a layer of Whisper White Card with the Embossing Buddy and used VersaMark Ink to stamp the butterfly image from the Painted Glass Stamp Set in the centre near the top. I sprinkled the image with Gold Stampin’ Emboss Powder, tapped off the excess and checked for stray specks before melting the remaining powder with the Heat Tool set on 2 (high). Then I fixed the layer inside the card base with liquid glue.
Finally, using the same process I embossed the butterfly in the centre of the flap on a Whisper White Medium Envelope.
Despite the length of today’s blog post my project really was quite quick and easy to do. I love heat embossing and I hope that you find my my top ten heat embossing tips help you get great results too.
BUNDLE BONUS – The Painted Glass Stamp Set that I used for the sentiment and butterfly on my project today can be purchased by itself or you can also buy it as part of a bundle with the coordinating Stained Glass Thinlits (not used today). Buying coordinating items using the special bundle code will save you 10% off the cost of getting the same two items separately so I’ve included a link to the bundles below in case you want to look at this in more detail.