What is “embossing”, and how is it achieved?
There are two kinds of embossing: heat-set, also know as wet embossing, and dry embossing.
Heat-set Embossing is a method of creating a stamped image with a raised, shiny finish. To achieve a metallic or solid color embossed finish, stamp the image with clear embossing ink, sprinkle on your choice of metallic or solid color embossing powders and return the excess powder to the bottle.
Heat with the embossing tool, and you’ll see the powder melt and turn into a shiny, raised image. To achieve a colored embossed effect, stamp the image with your choice of colored pigment inks (dye-based inks dry too quickly to “grab” the embossing powder), sprinkle on a clear or crystal sparkle embossing powder, return the excess powder to the bottle and heat with the embossing tool.
TIP: Try using kitchen parchment paper as a work surface – it’s great to emboss on, since the embossed project will not stick to the paper.
Dry embossing actually raises your paper. The look is achieved by tracing a stencil with a special embossing tool on the BACK of your paper.
- Position your stencil on a light box or window. A light box is recommended, but a window will work as well, provided there is good light and you can secure both your stencil and paper to it.
- Secure your stencil with a low-tack tape. If you only have regular tape, stick to your clothing first to remove some of the tackiness. Place your paper facedown on top of the stencil.
- Trace around the outside edge of the design with the embossing tool. Use a light touch - pressing too hard can tear the paper. To help prevent tears, or just for smoother tracing and extra ease with intricate designs, rub your paper with wax paper first. Only trace the outline of the design.
- Lift the paper to reveal the embossed design. If you want a more distinct look you can color your design with paint, blending chalks, colored pencils or markers. Depending on your level of skill, you may want to leave your stencil on your paper to color the design.
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