Hello there! Today we’re here with a new scrapbooking tutorial for beginners. This time we are going to explain you how to heat emboss!

Heat emboss is a widely spread technique which consists on creating raised patterns or images in your projects to give them more dimension and texture. The concept can be a bit misleading since there are two main embossing techniques: dry embossing and heat embossing. What’s the difference?

Dry embossing

This is the type of embossing done with the use of Embossing Folders. You will need to use a pressing tool, such as Sizzix Big Shot or Sizzix Texture Boutique. You can create your raised patterns on paper, cardboard, foil, vellum…

Heat embossing

This technique is much more complicated but the results are astonishing. Briefly explained, heat embossing consists on adding embossing powders to an image which has been stamped with ink. Once dry the appearance is glossy and hard. The resulting effect is one-of-a-kind! The essential, irreplaceable tool for heat embossing is the heat gun.

How to heat emboss


  • Embossing powder: transparent, golden, black, white, silver…
  • Heat gun: this tool has nothing to do with a domestic hairdryer, so it cannot be replaced by one. Hairdryers apply more air than heat, so they will blow away the embossing powder and it won’t melt uniformly.
  • Transparent ink-glue: such as Top Boss or Versamark. The embossing powder will stick to this ink that works as a slow drying ink. You can also use other slow drying inks (e.g.: ColorBox) and transparent powder. You will achieve a glossy raised effect with the colour of the ink used on the background. Nowadays there are new glue formats, like the marker, which allows you to write and draw freehand.
  • Last but not least, you’ll need stamps. Whichever: small, large, silicone or rubber stamps.

Step by step:

Before starting with the instructions, here you have some pictures of wood embossing, which looks very nice too! To work on this surface, first you have to make sure that it is smooth and polished.

The first step is to ink your stamp with your Top Boss or any other chosen ink. If you’re using a silicone stamp you have to place it before on a methacrylate base for detachable stamps.

Stamp your image on the desired surface: wood, cardboard or paper. Put a sheet of paper under your material and pour embossing powder over your image to cover all inked areas abundantly. Don’t be afraid of using too much powder since all the leftover will be reused.

How to heat emboss

Then, you have to pour any extra embossing powder to your piece of paper. Remove any stray powder particles from the paper by firmly tapping or thumping the back of it.

When you’re done you can fold that sheet and funnel the extra powder back into its container.

It’s turn now to use your heat gun. You mustn’t put it too close or the powder will overheat and burn. You should start by an approximate distance of 10 cm and get closer slowly. You’ll see how all the embossing powder particles start to fuse, acquiring that glossy finish.

How to heat emboss

If you’re using a large stamp you have to start embossing from one corner and move as the powder goes fusing. As soon as you see that they acquire their special bright, you have to move the heat gun to another point to avoid it from burning.

And it’s done! You have a beautiful raised image or quote with a spectacular bright. Metallic embossing powders are a wonderful resource for invitations or cards. Clear or transparent embossing powder is widely used as well, since it offers you lots of possibilities when creating backgrounds with paint and inks (Distress or Gelatos, for instance).

How to heat emboss

You can now start practising and having fun with heat embossing!

We hope that you have found this post useful, mostly for those of you who are beginners in the scrapbooking wonderful world. If you have any question or doubt you can always comment down here or ask us in our social networks. See you soon!