Paper Crafts Blog

The Handy Guide to Essential Heat Embossing Tools

Heat embossing is one of the most versatile techniques in a paper crafter’s toolbox. It can be used to add texture, dimension and even color to so many different types of paper crafts that once you learn how to do it, you’ll never run out of creative possibilities!

In this post, we’ll break this fun and adaptable technique down to the essentials and sharing the heat embossing tools and supplies that you’ll need to have a successful heat embossing experience, plus a few extras that you might want to pick up once you’re ready to take your embossing to the next level.

If you’re ready to give heat embossing a try but aren’t sure what you’ll need to get started, this guide is made for you!

Heat Embossing Ink

Heat embossing ink

What is it?

Embossing ink, also known as watermark or resist ink, is a very sticky and slow drying ink that is available in stamp pad and marker/pen form. Stamp pads can be used to ink up any sort of rubber or photopolymer stamp, and they can also be used to “smoosh” embossing ink directly onto paper. Markers and pens offer much more control for hand-drawn designs and hand lettering.

Why is it essential?

Because of its stickiness and longer dry time, embossing ink is perfect for holding embossing powder in place before it’s cured.

We recommend: the Hero Arts VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad

Embossing Powders in Multiple Colors

Embossing powder

What is it?

Embossing powder is made up of fine, powdered granules that quickly melt and fuse when heat is applied with an embossing heat tool or heat gun. Embossing powders come in a variety of colors and textures, and extra fine-grained powders can be purchased for projects that have elements with very thin lines and intricate details.

If you’re just starting out, regular grain clear, white, and black powders are your best, most versatile options.

Why is it essential?

When melted and cured, embossing powder creates a raised image or pattern on the surface to which it has been applied. In other words, it puts the “embossing” in heat embossing.

We recommend: Ranger Basics Embossing Powder

Heat It Craft Tool

Heat embossing tool

What is it?

A heat embossing tool, also known as a heat gun, is a quick-heating, electric tool that can reach 600 F or more. In addition to curing embossing powder, a heat gun can also be used to quickly dry inks or watercolors.

Why’s it essential?

A heat embossing tool allows you to quickly and easily melt and cure embossing powder on the surface of cardstock and paper. In other words, it puts the “heat” in heat embossing.

We recommend: the Ranger Heat It Craft Tool

Heat Embossing ToolsNon-essential (but recommended!) heat embossing tools

  • Anti-static tools, such as powder-filled sachets and powder-filled containers with brushes on one end, help prevent stray particles of embossing powder from sticking to paper and cardstock when brushed over the surface before embossing ink is applied
  • Plastic trays or coffee filters catch any extra embossing powder that you shake, pour or tap off of your paper or cardstock before heating. They make it easy to funnel extra powder back into its container for future use and can be used over and over again.
  • A small, dry paintbrush can be used to remove or loosen stray bits and blobs of embossing powder from the surface of paper and card stock before heating.
  • Craft tweezers help you hold paper and card stock at a safe distance from your fingers when you’re using a heat embossing tool.

You might also enjoy our post on how to heat emboss.

Take Your Embossing Skills to the Next Level!

vibrant stamping

Punch, stamp and emboss your way to memorable, smile-inducing Thank You cards with the online class Cardmaking Essentials, which features entire lessons on heat embossing, dry embossing & more!Enroll Now »

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