Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rubberstamping 101: Embossing, using a Heat Gun

Embossing is a technique used to raise an image above the printing surface. While there are many embossing effects, the most commonly used technique for stamp work is called thermal (heat) embossing. Thermal embossing requires an embossing agent, usually a powder, which is heated with an embossing or heat gun (which blows hot air out of a pointed nozzle).

The heat gun is extremely hot, so use caution when operating.

pigment, embossing, or versamark ink pad
embossing powder
heat gun

1. Ink up the stamp with any pigment, embossing, or versamark ink, do this by lightly taping the ink pad until the image is covered with ink. For large stamps, flip the stamp over, rubber side up, place the ink pad directly onto the rubber and tap until covered.
2. Place the inked stamp down firmly on the paper or cardstock on a smooth flat surface, applying even pressure.
3. Lift the stamp straight off the paper surface.
4. Pour embossing powder over the image. This will stick to the image.
5. Tip the excess powder off onto a folded sheet of paper (or a tidy tray).
6. Tap the back of the paper gently to remove stray grains of powder. You can also use a fine brush.
7. Pour left over powder back into container.
8. Heat the card using a heat gun until powder melts.
9. It will be hot. Allow a minute for the embossing mage to set before touching it.

Note: Be very careful if you try and emboss on vellum or acetate, as the surface will warp if it gets too hot, so hold gun further away and don't rush.

Tip:When using embossing powder, place a couple of flattened round coffee filters on your work table to catch your excess embossing powder when you tap it off your card or artwork. It is simple to lift the coffee filter and pour the embossing powder back into its original container and the embossing powder will slide right off the coffee filter, leaving no residue. The filters can be continually reused.

Embossing isn't just for images stamped on paper! Try embossing on fabric, wood, tile, glass, mirrors, and even terra cotta pots!

That's about it...good luck!
Debbie Weller

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