Paper Crafts Blog

How to Use Embossing Powder for “How Did You Do That?!” Reactions Every Time

In the many years I've been creating cards, one of the most frequently asked questions I've received after delivering an embossed card is "How did you do that?" Non-card makers are always impressed by heat embossing, which is a basic paper-crafting technique used to create raised images or sentiments. It's easy and requires only a few supplies.

Closeup of completed heat embossed card

Use embossing powder to add dimension, shine and interest to a handmade card.

Embossing powders are available in a wide variety of colors, textures and formulas. Among the most common are white, clear and black. Powders are available in fine detail, matte finishes, sticky powders for use with glitter, foil, microbeads and much more.

Supplies Needed to create a heat embossed card

Supplies you'll need:

  • Background and sentiment stamps (I used My Favorite Things Garden Flourish background and Paper Smooches Pretty Phrases)
  • VersaMark ink
  • White and gold embossing powders
  • Heat tool
  • Powder tool or pouch
  • Card stock and vellum
  • Double-sided tape
  • Copic marker slightly darker than card stock
  • Scrap paper

FREE Guide: Innovative Ideas for Creative Paper Crafts

Creative Paper Crafts

Try these four trendy techniques for stunning projects that shine.Download your FREE guide »

Embossing powder tutorial

Step 1:

Cut card stock to 4" x 5 ¼". Liberally apply powder over entire surface.

Liberally apply powder to card stock

Step 2:

Apply VersaMark ink to background stamp.

Apply VersaMark ink to stamp

Step 3:

Lay paper over stamp and apply pressure over entire surface to transfer ink to paper. It may be helpful to lay scrap paper over the card stock and apply pressure using a bone folder.

Stamp design onto card stockPhoto of watermark design on card stock

Once paper is removed from the stamp, you should see a very light impression of the design (shown above). Be sure to clean the VersaMark ink from the stamp.

Step 4:

Sprinkle white embossing powder over entire surface of card stock. Tap off excess.

Apply embossing powder

Step 5:

Preheat heat tool for about 20 seconds, then begin to heat-set the embossing powder, holding the heat tool approximately 2 inches from paper and moving in a circular motion. As the powder melts, the color will become more vibrant and glossy.

Heat set background design

Step 6:

Cut vellum to about ¾ inches to 1 inch wider than card stock panel. Liberally apply powder to vellum and stamp sentiment using VersaMark ink.

Apply powder to vellum

Step 7:

Apply gold embossing powder over stamped sentiment. I place my card stock (vellum) on scrap paper or hold over a coffee filter before pouring.

Stamp sentiment using VersaMark and sprinkle embossing powder

Step 8:

Tap off excess powder. Use a small brush to remove any powder from unwanted areas. In very tight spaces, I used the tip of a craft knife to carefully push tiny specks of powder into or away from stamped/powdered lines.

Remove excess powder with small brush

Step 9:

Return excess powder to container.

Return excess powder to container

Step 10:

Heat-set embossing powder by pre-heating heat tool and moving heat quickly across the area. To minimize warping, it may be helpful to also hold heat further away from the paper.

Heat set powder on vellum

Step 11:

To add just a bit of dimension/detail to the background design, I traced most of the flourishes along the left side using a Copic marker.

Add shadow to flourish edges using Copic marker

Step 12:

Trim vellum to desired height. To adhere the vellum without adhesive showing through to the front, apply double-sided tape to the left and right back edges.

Apply adhesive strips to side edges of vellum

Step 13:

Remove adhesive backing, place sentiment in desired position and fold edges to the back.

Adhere vellum to card stock folding and adhering edges to backAdhere gold cord; adhere panel to card front

Step 14:

To finish the card, I adhered two lengths of gold cord over the top and bottom edges of the vellum strip, securing edges to the back with additional double-sided tape. The completed panel was then adhered to a standard 4¼ x 5½ inch card base using foam tape.

FREE Guide: Innovative Ideas for Creative Paper Crafts

Creative Paper Crafts

Try these four trendy techniques for stunning projects that shine.Download your FREE guide »

13 Comments

Wanda Bower

What power are you liberally applying to the card before you apply the ink?

Reply
Michele Boyer

Hi Wanda. My preferred tool is the EK Success Powder Tool (shown in Step 1 on the right). I apply the powder very liberally before stamping/embossing. To remove any extra powder that shows after embossing (particularly on darker card stock), I use a Xyron Adhesive Remover. It easily removes the powder without disturbing the embossing and leaves no marks behind on the paper. Hope this helps!

Reply
karen

I’m glad Wanda asked what powder you’re referring to. I would be interested in knowing too. I used to love embossing but I gave up because even if I used an embossing buddy or dryer sheet first, there was always some residue after I used the heat tool. As hard as I tried, it didn’t look “clean” to me. Thanks for posting your beautiful project!

Reply
Michele Boyer

Hi Karen. Since you and Wanda both had the same question, I’ve copied my answer here. I’m happy to answer any other questions you might have. 🙂

My preferred tool is the EK Success Powder Tool (shown in Step 1 on the right). I apply the powder very liberally before stamping/embossing. To remove any extra powder that shows after embossing (particularly on darker card stock), I use a Xyron Adhesive Remover. It easily removes the powder without disturbing the embossing and leaves no marks behind on the paper. Hope this helps!

Reply
Dee

What and how do you use the adhesive remover for? Is this some new kind of technique? Thanks in advance,Dee

Reply
Michele Boyer

The adhesive remover is sort of a gummy square that can pull glue/adhesive from paper when it’s dragged over the gluey area. It’s great for removing powder or even the shiny silver-ish marks left behind when using some brand new dies. Any time I have a small mark on my paper, I try the adhesive remover first to see if that takes away the spot. It’s a handy little thing to have.

Reply
Julie

In step 3, the picture shows the paper on top of the stamp. Wouldn’t you place the stamp over the paper? Because in step 1 you liberally applied powder to the paper and it would just fall off when turning the paper over onto the stamp.
Also, your response from above refers to the Powder tool, not the powder itself. What kind of powder is in the tool? Is it embossing powder?

Reply
Michele Boyer

Hi Julie. When stamping with the larger background stamps, I find it easier to place the card stock on top of the inked stamp. When using VersaMark, as in this sample, I use my fingers to add pressure over the card stock to transfer the ink to the paper. If I’m using a colored ink, I will place a piece of scrap paper over the card stock, THEN add pressure with my fingers. Doing so, keeps my fingers clean/ink free.

When “liberally” applying the powder to the card stock before stamping with VersaMark, there is not so much powder that it will fall off. If you’re using light card stock, you won’t even be able to see most of it. The only time I use the adhesive remover to remove the powder (after embossing), is if the card stock is dark and the powder is visible.

The powder tool does not hold embossing powder. I don’t know *exactly* what type of powder is inside, but it smells a bit like baby powder (but it is not as white as that).

Reply
Julie

Can you show a picture of the adhesive remover gummy square thing?

Reply
Michele Boyer

I cannot post a photo of the adhesive remover here but if you google Xyron Adhesive Eraser, you will see what it looks like. I’ll also try to include one in a future post.

Reply
Jean

Hi! Just curious, have you ever tried using the heat gut UNDER the paper stock? What were the results. I’m going to try. I’ll let you know what happens!

Reply
Michele Boyer

Hi Jean! Yes, I have heated from beneath the card stock. I often heat from both sides if I see the paper beginning to warp, or I want to heat the powder a little less indirectly. It works great!

Reply
Jean

Every time I try to heat emboss on Vellum, the powder just dissolves into a gluey mess. What am I doing wrong ? Any suggestions.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply