Tutorial: Heat embossing in 3 easy steps

It's time to get your shimmer on one and all! With this easy technique you can  add subtle sparkle to your cards, texture to  tags and brilliant bling to layouts! Follow us on a crafty adventure...For the longest time I was scared of heat embossing. It seemed to involve technie tools (heat guns - eep!) and a certain level of stamping prowess that I wasn't sure I possessed. That's until I found a 'how to' guide in PaperCraft inspirations magazine. Turns out it's surprisingly simple, quick to see results and extremely addictive. Try it today and you'll never look back!

You will need...

  • A stamp of your choice (acrylic or rubber-backed will do)
  • Ink pads or pens (you can get clear ink especially for embossing, or it works with most ink pads - Versacolor and Colorbox are my favourites)
  • A heat gun
  • Embossing powders - these are inexpensive and come in all shades and shimmers - from twinkly to transparent.
  • If you're a tidy crafter, treat yourself to a magic anti-static bag - it gets rid of any stray specs of powder.

Step-by-step...

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Step 1: Stamp it up

Ink your stamp with a clear ink pad (a good one to use is VersaMark) and stamp an image on to card. Place scrap paper on to your work surface, then pour embossing powder all over the wet image.

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Step 2: Apply heat

Tap or shake off any excess powder on to the scrap paper and return it to the pot. Now heat the image using a heat gun and you'll see the powder magically melt in seconds in front of your eyes - the image will become raised and shiny.

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Step 3. Tidy up!

Now wipe the image with a magic anti static bag to remove any loose particles of embossing powder - and hey presto! Congratulations, you're now a member of the heat embossing club! Now you can have fun experimenting with different inks and powders and you'll discover a world of new effects for your papercrafting.

Top tips for heat embossing...

  • If you're a beginner,  try using a translucent shade of embossing powder such as clear or crystal. This will make any stray marks less noticeable.
  • Ink-up your stamps with a light tapping motion to prevent over-inking the surrounding rubber, as this can end in a smudgy effect.
  • Embossing pens are a girl's best friend! VersaMark also make an embossing pen with clear ink, so you can create your own designs without a stamp.

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