Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Heating Up May #2

Although I cringe to think of May actually getting any hotter, I'm all for turning up the heat in the name of embossing!  This week's foray into more stamping shenanigans began on Monday with Dina's bold and brilliant embossed ribbon stamps, and today, we'll take a closer look at how to add a bit of sheen and shine to your own layouts.  Embossing is most definitely a can-do technique, so if the idea of it seems daunting, think again.

For years, I've been using embossing as a go-to method for enhancing stamped images, but I wasn't always so comfortable with the idea.  Just the notion of having to incorporate any kind of gun into a technique seemed way too hard core, too intimidating, and a little too Tarantino to me.  Once I realized just how simple (and non-violent) embossing could be, however, I never looked back.

The layout that I'd like to share with you today includes an embossed border as well as embossed accents, and I'll share with you just how easily it all came together.

The basic supplies you'll need for embossing are a heat gun (no holster required), embossing powder, a watermark stamp pad, and the stamp(s) of your choice.  You will also want to set up a flat and open surface near an outlet (so you can plug in your heat gun), and cover the area.  I always save catalogs and magazines that have a crease in the middle, and use those as the surface on which I place my projects.  You'll see why later.

I began by using a pen and ruler to establish a kind of "borderline" (later to be covered by paper) where the edges of the seal stamp would peek out (thus the black lines below).  Using this line as a guide, I stamped a few images (about three at a time) with watermark ink.
While the ink was still wet, I dusted the stamped images with embossing powder...
and then tilted the layout and tapped it to remove the excess powder, which remained on the magazine/catalog pages below while I focused on the main task at hand.
I grabbed that heat gun, positioned it just over the area I wanted to emboss (and out of the way of any hands/fingers/chocolate) and turned on the gun.
That's it!  This is doable, am I right?

When you apply heat with a heat gun, in just a few seconds, you will notice the surface of the powdery image begin to change from a more granulated surface to a shiny finish.  Move on to apply heat to the rest of the image, and then turn off the heat gun.  This really is the easiest part of the process, even though it may seem like the scariest, at first.  Just follow basic gun control rules: never point it at anyone, no matter how much you would like to see them embossed.

Due to the heat being applied to the page, the paper may seem crinkly at first, but it will smooth out eventually.
As for that excess powder?  It hasn't been wasted, I promise.  Now this is why the magazine/catalog pages with creases underneath are so important:
The powder can be transferred cleanly back into its container through a simple gesture: fold the page, gathering the powder toward the crease, and tilt it downward back into the container.

On to the accents!

As I held a package of JBS star mini chipboard pieces in one hand and surveyed my JBS stamps, considering the possibilities, I noticed the patterns on the bunting stamps:
I loved the idea of adding embossed dots and stripes to a few painted and inked stars, so I decided to try it:

I used Chewing Gum and Stick Candy paint dabbers to prep the surfaces of each star, and then repeated the process mentioned above, stamping with watermark ink, adding powder, tapping off the excess, and then applying heat.  I really like how these turned out!

So...are YOU ready to turn up the heat? Emboss away!

Pin It!


  1. Beautiful LO love the embossing and the stitching! TFS

  2. Such a gorgeous LO Jill. I am in love with that medallion background!

  3. Love the embossed edging! And the layering! I just realized that there are three Jenni Bowlin blogs...I have never been to this one.

    Thank you for sharing!


  4. I absolutely LOVE the look of heat embossing but have never done any myself---
    Gotta get a Heat Tool