DIY Embossing Without a Stamp

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Embossing stamps limit your design options.
Embossing stamps limit your design options. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

If you are looking for a way to dress up your greeting cards, invitations, scrapbooks or other paper projects, learn how to emboss. Embossing is a craft technique that often involves stamping an ink design onto paper, adding a special powder over it and heating the ink until the area that was stamped becomes glossy and raised with texture. If you do not wish to use a stamp, but would rather draw your design freehand, use an embossing pen that already contains the ink inside of it.

Things You'll Need

  • Embossing pen
  • Cardstock
  • Embossing powder
  • Embossing heat tool

Select the end of the embossing pen you wish to use. Embossing pens have two ends. One of the ends has a thicker tip to cover wider areas. The opposite end has a finer tip that is more conducive for writing words or notes on cardstock. Based on what you want to create, decide which side to use, or you can use a combination of both ends.

Press the tip of the pen onto the cardstock. Draw the design freehand or write the words you want to emboss. The ink will be sheer, almost translucent, like a highlighter. When you are finished creating the design or words, put the cap back on the pen so the ink does not dry out.

Pour a little bit of embossing powder over the area on the cardstock that was drawn with the embossing pen. Embossing powder comes in an assortment of colors. Allow the pile of powder to sit over the embossed area of the cardstock for a few seconds. Tip the cardstock over and tap the paper so that the powder falls off onto the working surface. Make sure all of the loose powder is no longer clinging to the paper.

Power on the embossing heat tool. The tip of the embossing heat tool will become very hot, so do not touch this section of the tool with your hands once the power is on. Hold the heat tool one inch from the paper, directly over the section that you are embossing with the ink and the powder. Move the heat tool back and forth, as if you are drying the paper. Keeping the heat tool in one place for too long can damage the paper.

Check the embossed area to see that the powder has melted. Embossing powder will melt into the embossing ink to create that shiny, textured spot on the cardstock. Do not touch the embossed area yet, because it will be hot and the melted powder can burn your skin. Move onto the next area of the cardstock that you are embossing.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can select embossing powder that matches the color of the cardstock you are using, if you wish, or choose powder colors that will contrast with the paper and stand out.

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