What is Embossing: Everything Crafter needs to know

What is Embossing: Everything Crafter needs to know

What is Embossing: Everything a Crafter Needs to Know

Have you asked yourself, what is embossing?  If you’re not somebody who crafts all the time there are a lot of different crafting techniques that are out there. Some techniques are more complicated than others.  However, when you are tight on time and want to jazz up a quick project, we would recommend embossing on your craft project as an easy to do, but adds lots of pizzazz to any project.

You do not have to be a seasoned crafter to learn to emboss and it is great for all levels of crafters.  A lot of people use embossing to improve their projects with added texture, their custom designs with and distinct elements to projects such as invitations for parties and weddings, business cards.  You can also emboss on various materials such as paper, leather, fabrics, metal, and wood.  So, what is embossing?  We are going to tell you everything a crafter needs to know to get started!

What is embossing and how is it different from debossing?

Think of embossing as raising and debossing as depressing. Embossing is pressing an image or design onto a material of your choice such as paper, where it has a raised surface outward to give added dimension.  Debossing is similar to embossing but where it is depressing an image or design into the material where it is more indented or recessed inward.

What are the types of embossing?

Now that we have answered what is embossing, let’s discuss the two types. There are heat and wet and then there’s also dry. Heat and wet embossing are pretty much the same things it’s just the different terminology that different crafters may use to describe. Heat embossing is where you would use slow-drying ink and powder to adhere to designs images to your material.

Dry embossing is when pressure is applied to your material of choice to give it a raised impression of a design using a die cutting machine such as the Sizzix Big Shot.  These die-cutting machines do not require you to have any ink.  They use things such as folders, stencils, die cuts to impress your material.

What type of embossing should I choose?  

Depending on your project will help you decide what you need to do.  Remember it will depend on what you have available to you.  To emboss you will need your images on stamps, stencils, or a die-cut to be able to get the effect or design that you are looking for.  If you are a card maker, we think having a die-cut machine available would be great for you because of all the different options and designs that are available to you.  By getting a die-cut machine you will have the ability to use it with many other materials such as the Sizzix Big Shot Pro.

In addition to cutting paper, the Big Shot can also cut fabric, chipboard, cork, leather, wood veneer, craft metal and much more.  There will be a larger investment with the die cutting machine as you will have to buy die cuts and folders for embossing designs.

However, for a quick start and with the least amount of investment heat embossing would be the best start and you can use on small to larger-scale projects. If you currently have a lot of stamps available then you have a lot of designs that you will be able to already work with on your projects.

What materials do you need for Heat embossing?

Heating tool: Heats small areas for your powders and inks so that it sticks to your design impressions. Note that hair dryers are not recommended as they do not get hot enough.

Embossing ink: Slow drying ink or pigment ink (It will not give full effect of the stamped image that the powder needs to be able to cling to the stamp. You want your powder to be able to cling to the design.

Embossing Powder: These are colored powders or glitters that will stick to your ink and give your craft project the pizazz.

Anti-Static cloth: This is to protect your project from wandering embossing powder so it does not stick to places you do not want it to.

Material: Paper such as cardstock or thicker papers are best for embossing so they do not easily rip apart.  But you can also emboss on metals, wood, cloth, leather.  For our Paper Crafting roundup check out round-up post on the Top 15 Paper Craft tools needed in your Craft Toolbox”.

Stamps: Mounted stamps (which are attached to a wooden block) or Unmounted stamps.
Acrylic Block: Best to have for your unmounted stamp collections.

Tweezers:  You should have a pair of long-stemmed crafting tweezers so that you can easily handle small material when using your heating tool.

Embossing Pens: These are great for lettering on your projects.

Are you ready to learn how to do heat embossing?  Check out this great video on how to from Prairie Paper & Ink!

What materials do you need for Dry Embossing?

Embossing or Die Cutting Machine: For dry embossing with a die cutting machine, there are many options.  As mentioned previously we like the Sizzix Big Shot Pro because of its large base and ability to emboss multiple materials.  Also, check out the blog “How to Choose the Best Die Cutting Machines”.

Spellbinder Platinum 6 die-cutting and embossing machine is smaller and cuts with the same versatility as other larger machines. This is great for smaller projects.Folders are pre-designed folders that you use with the embossing machine that allows you to impress designs on paper.

Stencils: These are great for dry and heat embossing.

Die Cuts: Come in all different sizes and designs from words, images, and shapes. Easily use for cutting your materials.

Embossing Ideas

So you think you can do this, but do you need some inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board for embossing ideas that we have collected.

Here are a few to inspire you:

Cards are my favorite things to give and receive, because you can put true heart felt sentiments. This blog about leaf inspired from treeblogjayda.yesmissy.ru. Remember to use thick stock papers.

Do you enjoy jewelry making? What a great way to enhance metals with your custom designs. Check out this Sizzix embossed metal jewelry ideas.

Is it time to glam up your wardrobe pieces? Do you want to make custom tees or baby items? You can also emboss fabric. Lindsay Ballard from Makelyhome.com shows you how to do it.

Lastly, imagine the things you could do by with wood. This wall panel from Riverbend Home is inspiring!

Now that you know what embossing is, what projects do you plan utilizing your new acquired skills? We would love to see what you are working on. Tag us at #JK_CraftsCo with your pictures of your craft project on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Crafting Out!


Below is a Pinterest Friendly Photo so you can pin it to your Crafting Boards with ease!

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