My mom was really into making her own cards when I was little and she would emboss them. I LOVED helping her and watching the embossing powder turn shiny as the heat melted it. She recently cleaned out her office and found all her old supplies and it made me want to start doing it myself, so I made some heat embossed gift tags & cards! They are easy to make and add a fun bit of embellishment to your holiday decor.
This post is sponsored by Wagner. All opinions and ideas are 100% my own :)
I love the raised, metallic look of the embossing.
What To Use For Heat Embossing:
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Gift Tags and/or Cards
I kept it simple and ordered a "to" and "from" stamp as well as a stamp set of snowflakes. I ordered some gold and silver embossing powder. The shimmery white embossing powder is pretty and wish I would have gotten some of that too.
How to Heat Embossed Gift Tags & Cards
It really is so simple! Press the stamp onto the ink pad. The embossing ink is clear so on white paper it is hard to tell where it stamped until the powder sticks to it. You may want to practice on a piece of paper before starting on the gift tags or greeting card.
Pour a little of the powder onto the card or gift tag where the ink is and make sure the whole thing gets covered well. Dump the excess back into the powder container to use again later. I also like to blow on it to get any extra powder off.
Before being heated, the stamped image with powder will be rough. But once the heat tool works its magic, the embossing powder melts and will puff up a bit and get shiny! It is so fun to watch it transform!
You will need a heating tool to emboss. I used my HT400 Wagner heat gun because it is small and meant for crafts just like this. I used it on the lower setting which was perfect. It does not blow a ton of air (so it doesn't blow the powder away) and gets to the right temperature. I used the heat gun a few weeks ago to make icicle ornaments!
If you have leather or silicone gloves, you can hold the gift tags and cards, but if not, you can use the silicone mat that comes with the heat gun kit. It is so handy to have!
The metallic lettering really is a focal point of the gifts. This embossing technique is a great way to up your gift giving game!
I added some gold snowflakes to my Christmas cards this year. I also added an embossed touch to the envelope! It reminds me of a wax stamp with a signet ring. Maybe I should invest in a letter "R" stamp.
I'm excited to order some other color combinations and maybe make some homemade Valentines, name cards for a tablescape (it would be great for weddings!), or maybe Christmas ornaments.
Here is a video tutorial of the process:
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Commonly Asked Questions About Heat Embossing:
Can I use hairdryer as heat gun for embossing?
No. I don't recommend it. There is too much air and not enough heat to get the job done.
Can you heat emboss with glue?
I have heard of people using pure glycerin or mod podge as a substitute, but I have not tried any other technique. Embossing ink is cheap so I think for best results, it is best to stick to using that.
What is the best ink to use for heat embossing? Versamark ink is a popular brand but I think any embossing ink will work just fine.
What is the difference between a heat gun and a embossing heat gun?
In comparing the heat gun that I used with an embossing heat tool, not much. The reason I love the HT400 is it has two settings and a precision tip. It looks very similar to a tool used just for heat embossing but I use it for so many other things as well. When shopping for a heat tool for embossing, make sure that they don't blow too much air, they have a smaller tip, and that it has a high and low temperature feature.
Can you heat emboss on wood? Yes you can! It works just like it does on card stock paper! I think I know what my next embossing project is....
How do you heat emboss without a stamp? I have used a craft paint brush and pressed it onto the ink pad to draw a design on the paper to emboss. It is a little trickier than using a stamp, but it very doable. They actually make an embossing pen which would be perfect. I may need to add it to my Amazon shopping cart! They also sell embossing ink refills that you could dip your paint brush into.
How do you stop paper warping when heat embossing? I usually just flatten it back out after if it curls a bit, but I have heard that adding aluminum foil to your work surface can help stop it from curling in the first place. The theory is that it helps the paper heat from both sides.
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