Using Wet or Heat Embossing for Scrapbooks

WET or HEAT EMBOSSING

large rubber stamp 300x226 Using Wet or Heat Embossing for Scrapbooks

If you already know the basics of rubber stamping, then half your education in this process is complete.

For those of you who are not familiar with stamping, we suggest our quick course to learn about:

The Basics of Rubber Stamping.

If, however, you feel well versed and experienced at rubber stamping, you can get started now to learn about this fun and useful embossing technique. You will surely add to your embellishing capabilities when you are finished. Remember this is a basics overview, but should give you enough information to get you started.

Heat embossing can turn a very ordinary stamped image into a stunning dimensional work of art. You can do this with the help of embossing powders and a heat source–usually a heat gun. Because of the versatility of this technique, you expand the breadth and scope of your ability to embellish your scrapbook pages and cards. With the right embossing powder you can get different finished images: glittery, matte, glossy or iridescent. You’ll need to experiment a little to find what suits you.

Supplies Needed to Get Started

  • Rubber stamps you want to use on your project.
  • Paper to stamp on – and extra paper to hold the excess embossing powder you shake off.
  • Ink(s) in ink pad(s) – one color only is recommended to begin.
  • A heat source – preferably a heat gun.
  • Small brush – a small artist paint brush works well to help remove excess embossing powder.
  • Anti-static medium.

The Heat Embossing Processdarcie supert heat tool 150x150 Using Wet or Heat Embossing for Scrapbooks

The paper you want to stamp and emboss may be loaded with static, which means embossing powder could end up sticking to areas where you don’t want it. To help eliminate some of this static, wipe your paper with an anti-static medium first–before you get started stamping. A fabric softener sheet works well, but there are products at craft stores you can purchase that also take care of this problem.

If you are using a heat gun as your heating source, having it plugged in and warming up will help speed your embossing process. There is more on heating further on in the article. One word of caution: don’t let your heat gun sit too long unused, or you may burn up your heating element. If you find you’re taking longer to get to the heat process than you planned, unplug or turn off your heat heater (this is if you are using a heat gun).

This is a good point to talk a little bit about what inks to use, their benefits and short comings. You can use most any wet/damp ink, but those that dry the slowest give you the most time to work with your powder and image.

  • Dry based ink, while usable, dries quickly. This means you have to work quickly–maybe too quickly to allow you to get your stamped image adequately covered with embossing powder and get your heat applied.
  • Pigment based (colored) inks work well. They do not dry as fast. The color of the ink isn’t as important because if you are using colored embossing powder, the powder’s color will become the dominant color–so choose wisely the embossing powder colors you prefer for your project(s).
  • Pigment free (colorless) inks also work well, and give your embossing powder a more true color once it is heated and melted because the only color showing will be that of the powder–again, choose your powder colors well. These are often referred to as embossing inks. They, too, dry slowly.
  • Watercolors and colored markers don’t work. Markers dry too fast, and watercolors are too wet–don’t dry fast enough and spread out too much.

With your rubber stamp and ink chosen, you are ready to begin. Place the rubber stamp you’ve chosen onto the stamp pad. Load your stamp up good…moving is up and down on your ink pad a few times to help ensure good coverage on your stamp. Place the inked stamp onto your paper, page or card where you want it. Press down firmly, but don’t wiggle the stamp around or you could get smudges and ink where you don’t want it . . . you could obliterate fine points of your stamp image with the movement. Lift the stamp straight up from your paper or card stock.

Next, take the embossing powder you have wisely selected and sprinkle it generously over the entire stamped image area. When you feel there is sufficient powder covering your image, lift up the stamped paper or card and pour off the excess power onto an extra sheet of paper–to be poured back into the powder jar. You could skip the extra paper part and pour it directly back in to the jar, but you have other things to do before your ink dries, so go the extra paper route to help speed the finishing–heat process.

Use your paint brush to brush off any powder that continues to stick on your paper/card where you don’t want it. Once you apply your heat, it will become a permanent item on your page . . .  so be forewarned.

With a heat gun (already warmed-up and ready to go) move the heat gun–keeping it an inch or two above your image. You may need to play with the distance from your powder. You want it to melt, but not burn your paper/card. Apply even heat to the image. The heat will melt the powder making it shiny, creating an elegant raised image of your stamp.

If you don’t have a heat gun (a preferred method):

  • You can use a bread toaster–on high heat setting with the handle down to turn the toaster on. Move your stamped paper/card over the toaster’s top–WITH THE POWDERED IMAGE SIDE UP. Keep your paper/card moving, and be prepared to lift it up away from the heat to avoid scorching as needed. The process is complete when all of the embossing powder is melted.
  • You could also use a hot plate, electric light or electric stove burner. Just follow the same process and cautions as for the toaster method above.
  • prohibition symbol Using Wet or Heat Embossing for Scrapbookshairdryer Using Wet or Heat Embossing for ScrapbooksDON’T USE A HAIR DRYER. In addition to having a blower that will spread your powder everywhere, they generally don’t give off the heat needed to melt the embossing powders (200 – 300°).

Recommended hand held embossing heater guns:

Beware that all heating tools are subject to burning out. If they get over heated for too long you could ruin the heating element. Be sure and read the manufactures instructions and safety rules thoroughly before using your heat gun. Also, keep the heat gun away from items that could burn or scorching.

All of the tools recommended are available at Joann.com! And at other craft and scrapbook stores. They run around $18 – $25 a piece.


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Debossing

DEBOSSING

debossing 150x150 Debossing
Image from A Shade of Blue Paper Crafting Forum

“Flip those dry embossed images over, and make something debossed.”

Most of us have taken embossing (the raising of an image on a page) as very elemental. There are many articles on embossing, including several on this site:

So, what is “debossing?” No, it’s not unbossing! As the quote above indicates debossing is the reverse of embossing–simple enough. For our scrapbook efforts we would “push-in” (indent or depress) the images from the front of a page rather than “push-out” (lift up) an image from the back side of a page.

Another way to express what each method does:

Emboss (the most frequently used process) raises or lifts an image up from the paper’s level surface or face.

Deboss lowers or impresses (engraves) an image below the paper’s level surface or face.

debossed dogtags 150x150 DebossingMiltary “dog tags” are a good example of debossing.

We see the most use for debossing from a professional perspective . . . like invitations or business cards to name two.debossed business card 150x150 Debossing

debossed invitation 150x150 Debossing

These images are from Alden Grace fine Stationery

These two examples are created using heat, pressure and two dies (one recessed, the other a relief or accepting die). The deboss material is pressed between these two dies.

emboss deboss dies Debossing

This image is from Universal Metal Marking

This debossing provides a great affect on your page. It gives you greater flexibility and creativity. You add variety to accent your scrapbook pages by debossing. There is the ability to add a sense of elegance to your pages.

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Dry Debossing

DRY DEBOSSING

(Free Hand Method)

debossed thank you card 300x237 Dry Debossing

Image from eInvite.com

Debossing is the reverse side of embossing. The image is depressed into the paper or card stock . . . where the image is lifted up from the paper’s surface in embossing.

Tools and Supplies you’ll need:

  • Light table (a bright window is a good substitute)
  • Templates (Brass is the preferred type, but plastic will work –just not as durable)
  • Stylus Tool
  • Card Stock (regular paper is too light to hold an impression and tears easily in the debossing process.)
  • Note: Handmade paper works extremely well. Also our article on “Embossing handmade paper” may be helpful.
  • A lubricant on your card stock to allow the stylus to move easily. Rubbing your card stock with wax paper works well.

The Process

Follow these easy steps to complete your debossing project:

1. Lubricate your card stock as noted above. You only need to do this in the area you are debossing.

2. Lay your template on you light table (turned on) or tape it to a bright window.

3. Place your card stock face up over your template where you want your image depressed.

4. Using your stylus trace the outline of the areas of your template you want depressed.

5. Fill in the remainder of your template image with your stylus to the extent you want the area or image debossed.

6. Add additional debossed images as desired using the process steps above.

Your debossed image(s) will add creativity, elegance, diversity and variety to your cards and scrapbook pages.

We’d like to see some of your handy work. Send us a email with your examples you’d like to share.

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Scrapbook Embossing Using Mechanical Machine Tools

SCRAPBOOK EMBOSSING

USING MECHANICAL IMPRESSION TOOLS

Mechanical/Machine Embossing

With the mechanical or machine embossing method, you rely on the benefits and functions of a machine or tool to create your embossed impressions. This is similar to the hand held embosser only the machine will provide you with one or several embossed impressions on a page.

The use of these machines greatly expands your embossing capabilities. These machines, made for crafters, are easy to operate. The manufacturer’s have, for the most part, provided a great selection of inserts, dies or templates . . . with just about anything you’d want in the way of embossed impressions. Where they don’t have a die or template to meet your needs, there is still the Hand Tooled Reliefing you can do.

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Scrapbook Embossing Using Impression Tools

SCRAPBOOK EMBOSSING

USING MECHANICAL HAND IMPRESSION TOOLS

When the term “embossing” is used, most people think of using a press of some sort to lift an image on a chosen medium (paper, cloth and metal). This is true, but not the only method for scrapbookers–see “Wet Heat Embossing.

hand held embosser Scrapbook Embossing Using Impression ToolsFor this article we will focus our attention on the mechanical method of embossing–using tools to add the relief and rise to our images. For simplistic sake, what you envision in your mind when we talk about embossing, is the raised seal you see notary public’s affix to their signature using a hand crimping tool. This is the process–simple, huh?

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Chalking Technique and Tips

CHALKING TECHNIQUE and TIPS

chalk art Chalking Technique and Tips

Chalk Art

In the article “Chalk It Up!” we learn the basics of what chalking is and what to acquire in the way of supplies. You want to pay particular attention to the “Beginner’s Primer” in that article. Starting out right will be most helpful.

A couple of reminders about chalk as you begin to embellish your pages:

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Chalk It Up!

CHALK IT UP!!!

chalkboard Chalk It Up!

hopscotchlayout 150x150 Chalk It Up!When someone says “chalk” you probably think of the photo above or tracing a “hopscotch” on the pavement. Well there is another use for chalk–in scrapbooking.

If you are looking for an inexpensive way to dress up or embellish some of your scrapbook die cuts or pages? Chalking may just be the answer. Not only is the process a great way to add a touch of color, the process is easy. Chalking can add depth, highlight or shade an item, and let you create your own elegant background papers.

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Basics of Rubber Stamping

The Basics of Rubber Stamping

rubber stamp collage Basics of Rubber Stamping

Rubber Stamp Collage

This is a simple treaties on Rubber Stamping. It should give you enough information to help you in your scrapbooking efforts, and in doing some embossing. Please accept that this is not an all inclusive treatise on the subject. You will be well served to study the subject further–especially if you are going to do more stamping in the future.

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Scrapbook – Embossing

SCRAPBOOK EMBOSSING

(Sometimes referred to as “relief” embossing)

photo album wedding favors 2222 r Scrapbook   Embossing

Album Photo from HotRef.com

One of the Embellishment Effects You’ll Want to Use.

Scrapbooking is all about organization and tools. When you have the proper tools for the job, and your space is well organized, your project gets done right and quickly.

Embossing is one of those processes that adds a special appearance to a scrapbook page or card. There is a certain elegance produced by embossing.

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