by Catherine Amo
If you are looking for a fun way to add style and flair to your art projects, try embossing. Using the technique of ink embossing, you can add shiny, metallic or pearlescent words or images to homemade cards, scrapbooking and crafts. With just a few ink embossing supplies, you can add a touch of professionalism to any creative venture and enrich the appearance of all your imaginative projects with a wide variety of designs.
Embossing supplies come in many different varieties. Depending on your project, you will need at least a few basic ink embossing supplies to get started. Embossing ink comes in several different styles. If you want a uniform look, you might choose to use stamp pads that are already prepared with embossing ink and rubber stamps with the design of your choice. There are also embossing ink pens that are perfect for anyone who prefers to do their embossing styles freehand. Embossing inks come in pigment, dye-based and clear varieties. Clear embossing inks will have to be colored with embossing powder. Embossing powder also comes in many different colors and styles, so you can choose one that will be perfect for your craft project.
Choose an item to emboss. You might have decided to take up ink embossing just for a specific project or you might want to try it without a specific task in mind. Cards, scrapbooks and gift tags are great for embossing, and if it is your first time doing any embossing, you might try decorating scraps of paper as a trial run. Eventually you might find that embossing with ink is so simple that you will want to add this professional decorative touch to practically everything you make.
Apply your embossing ink and powder. Practice care and patience when you are applying your embossing ink and powder, especially if you are new to the process. If you have opted to use rubber stamps, be sure to cover the entire stamp with embossing ink and press the stamp to the paper firmly. If you are applying your ink freehand, then you might consider practicing your design on scrap paper beforehand. Once your embossing ink is applied, pour a generous amount of embossing powder over the ink, similar to the way you would apply glitter to a glue design. If you are using dye-based ink, apply the powder quickly before the ink begins to dry. Tap the paper to release loose powder and put it back into the container, then use a small brush to remove stray powder particles.
Set your design with a heat gun. Once you have the exact design you want with embossing ink and powder, then you will need to use a heat gun to melt and set the powder. Be sure to hold the gun at least six inches above the paper to avoid burning it. Move the gun slowly over the design until the powder melts, then wait until the paper is completely cool, handling it carefully until you are sure it is no longer hot.
Wiping the paper with a dryer sheet before applying your embossing ink and powder makes it easier to remove stray powder particles, creating a cleaner and more professional embossed image.