DIY Embossing

There are a few ways to emboss, some involve metal plates similar to letterpress, and some involve ink, heat, and embossing powder, but the results are essentially the same: adding a raised touch to paper goods, instantly upgrading them from standard to luxurious. 

In this DIY, I'm using a heat embosser to dress up the envelopes for my holiday cards. Read on for details.


-paper or envelope

-stamp (this monogramed one is available in my shop here)

-pigment ink pad (I like Color Box, also it's very important that your stamp pad is PIGMENTED ink, it won't work with other types of ink)

-embossing powder (similar here)

-heat embosser (mine is Paper Source, similar for less here)

STEP 1: Press your stamp into your ink pad. These pigments inks are loaded with ink, and the sponge is soft, so start with a light touch.

(paper makes me happy)

STEP 2: Press your stamp firmly onto your paper or envelope.

STEP 3: Working quickly, while the ink is still wet, place your envelope over another piece of scratch paper, and shake your embossing powder all over it. Use a generous coat of powder to ensure you've covered your entire stamp, and don't worry about wasting embossing powder, you'll eventually pour the unused portion back into the container.

STEP 4: The powder will have clung to the wet ink, and the rest can be shaken off. Do this while you sing along with Taylor Swift. Make sure you SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE really well :)

STEP 5: Turn on your heat embosser, wait a few seconds for it to warm up, and hold a few inches away from your paper while you melt the embossing powder to the ink. Move the embosser around your design slowly, and you can see the color start to change where it's melted. This gold ink and powder is fabulous that it has a slight sheen to it, almost like a foiling effect, perfect for holiday cards. 

Another tip here: place two heavy books on either side of your paper or envelope to keep the sides from folding up due to heat exposure. 

It's finished! Embossing is the most stunning in person, because you can run your finger over the design and feel the difference in textures. I love this technique and am excited to incorporate it on my Christmas envelopes this year.

Have you tried this technique before? Would love to hear your experience!

Photography in this post by Candice Hackett

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