Monday, September 9, 2013

Embossing Powder

I have wanted to try out embossing powders since I first saw them when I was in high school (which was ages and ages ago in case you were wondering).  It's been only recently that I realized I already had some of the things I needed to make it all work.  I had lots of stamps and lots of pigment inks (as opposed to dye inks) that could be used, I just needed a heat gun (which I rationalized could be used for other things) and some embossing powder.  So when my hubby offered to make an Amazon order using some credit card rewards, I bought myself an inexpensive heat gun and a variety pack of powders.

On my first try (as depicted below), I used a white ink on a dark paper so that the image would show up nicely for photos.  Unfortunately I wasn't super careful about making sure the powder covered really well and ended up with the white ink showing through a bit in the final sunflower.

Using the heat gun was very easy.  I just put my paper on top of a heat proof surface (some cork trivets) and held it a few inches from the surface until the powder melted and turned shiney.  After a few tries I learned to make sure there's plenty of ink on your stamp, that the powder covers all of the ink (don't be stingy--you can always dump the excess back into the jar), and not to tap too hard to remove the excess from the ink (a very light tap works great--if there is any excess powder near the ink, you can remove it with a paint brush).  I also learned that if you are using colored inks with colored powders it works best for the two to be pretty close in color (not all that surprising really).

Now that I've figured it out, I can't wait to get my hands on some clear ink and clear powder to add to the versatility of my embossing.  Clear ink can be used with any color powder and clear powder can be used with any colored ink.

The next thing I tried out after figuring out the process was to try a resist technique.  I used a patterned stamp and my lightest powder to get a white on white design.

Then I stamped over the design using some small ink pads.  When I was done, I used a makeup sponge to wipe any excess ink off of the embossed areas.  It didn't turn out quite as bright as I had hoped, but the concept definitely works, and I can't wait to try it with watercolors or other types of inks.

When I was all done making my embossed patterns, I whipped them up into some cards.  After all this time, the whole project was pretty easy.  I'm so glad I finally got some embossing powder and a heat gun. :)

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