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Old 01-25-2019, 09:22 PM   #1
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Exclamation Emboss help - Versamark issue

Hello,
Thanks for reading. I was sitting down to create a Valentines Day card for a friend. I was attempting to raise one word in a background for emphasis using embossing. I used Versamark, I added the embossing powder and I applied heat - but I never had the powder change to the liquid look or raise. When I removed heat, I ran my finger on the powder and the powder fell right off.

Is this a product issue?
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Old 01-26-2019, 01:39 AM   #2
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Hello, welcome to Splitcoast!

Let’s see what troubleshooting we might be able to do on this. Is the powder you used a new jar or has it been around for a while? What brand is it? Are you somewhere with high humidity? What heat tool are you using? Did you pre-heat the tool (let it run for a minute before aiming it at your project)? Did you heat from the front or the back of your cardstock? How long did you aim the tool at the project?

Sorry, lots of questions I know but it might help to home in on the issue for you!
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Old 01-26-2019, 02:12 AM   #3
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The powder has been around for awhile. I store the powders in their own plastic bag in a drawer. Is it possible that the embossing powder needs to be replaced?
It is Stampin' Up! brand.
No, I am using a heat tool that isn't made for embossing, it instantly heats. I aim the nozzle down on the project from the front. I did it about 15 seconds and kept trying a few more seconds several times before quitting.

I am going to be sad if the emboss powder goes bad. I have a few stampin' up powders and glitter that have never been used.
Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-26-2019, 06:48 AM   #4
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Since your heat tool isn't made for embossing, is it actually hot enough? Hair dryers don't get hot enough. Embossing powder doesn't go bad; it remains stable until heat is applied.
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Old 01-26-2019, 07:01 AM   #5
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I’ve never had it happen personally but the topic of embossing powder going “bad” with age is one that gets discussed fairly regularly here and many others do seem to have had problems with old powder. So I guess that’s one possibility.

Sorry, more questions! What is your heat tool designed for? When you rubbed the powder off after heating was it still the same (grainy) texture as it was when you applied it or was it more like it was flaking off the paper?
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Old 01-26-2019, 03:43 PM   #6
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There you go, Meisu4. You hit it on the head, it was a hair dryer.

My husband listened to my issue over dinner. He returned from hobby lobby with a new heat gun. I had been using my mother's stapin' up heat gun last time I embossed, but she needed it back.


Hmm... I am considering that the powder is bad now, Angelnorth. I am going to sit down with my new heat gun and try all of the embossing powders now with the new gun. It was the same 'grainy' texture. It blew down the stampin up grid sheet and I had to wash my hands.

I am considering my Versamark isn't 'goopy' enough. I watched a few how to videos and they were pretty clear that it needed to be goopy.


I think I will head to Hobby Lobby with my 40% coupon and pick up some new Versamark. I saw that one company had a set of Memento, Versamark and Staz On refill for $15. Does that sound like a good deal?

I think Meisu4 may have something with my hair dryer just not doing the job. I had used the hair dryer for my Jamberry over buying the Jamberry specific nail heater, and it had worked. I suppose I thought Jamberry and emboss powder was the same concept, but I was wrong.

Thanks for your help, ladies! Getting back into this after a few years is bound to have some hiccups right?
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneField View Post
I am considering my Versamark isn't 'goopy' enough. I watched a few how to videos and they were pretty clear that it needed to be goopy.


Thanks for your help, ladies! Getting back into this after a few years is bound to have some hiccups right?
Hello Anne,

You've come to the right place to get rid of the hiccups, this is a great place to find help and guidance.

I don't think its your Versamark. Versamark's job is to act like a temporary glue to hold the powder in the shape you stamped long enough for you to heat it. Embossing powder will melt under heat even if its not being held by Versamark (usually just static). Since it didn't blow away with a hair dryer and you were able to brush it off with your fingers then your Versamark was probably fine. I also don't think you'd want the Versamark to be too goopy or you risk not stamping a crisp image.

BTW, I'm using a Versamark pad which I bought in the early 2000s and haven't reinked it yet. I probably just jinxed myself!

Welcome back to the wonderful world of stamping!

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Old 01-27-2019, 01:39 AM   #8
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I’d have my money in the hairdryer rather than the powder in that case! I agree with fifiwesfan that if the powder didn’t blow off then the Versamark was doing a pretty good job of holding it to the page. Do a little test piece with your new heat gun (your hubby sounds like a keeper, BTW!) and I bet the powder will melt just fine.

Welcome back to stamping, have fun with it!
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:29 AM   #9
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Be sure you heat up the gun first by letting it blow away from the project for few seconds. Then start heating from underneath first, right when the powder starts to change move to heating from above. You can alternate back and forth if you want too, heating from both sides helps minimize warping of the paper.

... and watch where you point the heat gun while letting it warm up. You don't want to blow powder from an open container everywhere, ruin an ink pad or burn/scorch something.
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:43 AM   #10
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If your embossing powder is "chunkier" and your image is "finer" lined you will not get that nice smooth look....I have found my glittery embossing powder doesn't emboss as smooth and looks chunkier and lines are not nice when using an outline stamp....
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:31 PM   #11
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I have success! The pink embossing powder worked perfectly. Thanks for the help.

I did not see the new posts when I tried this, so I did not pre - heat. I am going to pre - heat for the batch of cards that I am making tonight. How do you hold your card while embossing? I was holding it down with a bone folder at the end.

I need to experiment with this Stampin' Up Glitter. I sprayed glitter all over the table and smeared the glitter with my finger while trying to move it around.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnneField View Post


I have success! The pink embossing powder worked perfectly. Thanks for the help.

I did not see the new posts when I tried this, so I did not pre - heat. I am going to pre - heat for the batch of cards that I am making tonight. How do you hold your card while embossing? I was holding it down with a bone folder at the end.


I need to experiment with this Stampin' Up Glitter. I sprayed glitter all over the table and smeared the glitter with my finger while trying to move it around.
Very pretty, Anne!

I usually hold it up with long bent nose tweezers so I can heat from both sides. It came in a tweezer set I got from Harbor Freight tools.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:08 AM   #13
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Pretty colour combo, the pink embossing looks lovely on the green!

Because it’s easier to heat from the back as well if it’s not on a surface, if my piece is big enough that I can keep my fingers out of the way I just hold it in my hand. Otherwise I do the same as fifwesfan - long tweezers.
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Old 01-31-2019, 03:46 PM   #14
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I use reverse tweezers, which stay tightly closed when they aren’t being squeezed. Having a bit of arthritis and a mild hand injury, they’re super comfortable. They aren’t long but I haven’t been burned.

And ditto heating up the heat tool for 15-20 seconds first, and not staying over any one area too long, to prevent warping. Occasionally I may heat the back of the cardstock. If you’re doing a lot of embossing, you don’t have to keep pre-heating, or may just pre-heat for a few seconds.

It also depends on the heat tool. I have two - one that’s very gentle, and can heat emboss more slowly but was just purchased for drying wet mediums. The other heat tool is super fast.

Tweezers that lots of craft shops carry:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Emboss help - Versamark issue

Hi Anne, I do a lot of heat embossing. And, I did have a jar of black powder "go bad" once. No matter what I did, I could not get it to melt properly. I'm not sure how it got contaminated, but it did. I doubt it's age, as I have other jars that are just as old and still work well. It couldn't have been my VersaMark as it worked well for other powders. I have a theory: Maybe it got ruined by the powder from my embossing powder bag. Maybe a large amount of powder got left on my card and when I poured the embossing powder back into it's jar, the powder from my bag got mixed in. That was the only idea I could come up with. Replaced the jar. Used the same stamping pad and heat gun and my next card was fine. Do you use some kind of embossing buddy or powder bag before you emboss?
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Old 02-01-2019, 10:17 PM   #16
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Thank you for the compliment on my card. It was a new design and I am still staring at the glitter deciding if it's good enough to send to Kim.

I am sorting out the embossing powder, glitter and heat and stick for a good and proper test. I have some one wanting to buy a Valentine's day & birthday cards so I can get every color tested while making samples. This white worked nice. I used the stamping up embossing buddy. I was a demo for two years and I bought a lot of powder and accessories like the piercing mat.



I am thinking about the powder being contaminated by the stampin buddy bag as you suggested. I store all of my powder upright in a plastic bag, in a cool closet in a storage drawer. Is there a proper way to store the powder? I am going to be tossing the excess powder instead of tipping it back in. I have very full jars and would hate to buy new powder.

I love all the trouble shooting you are helping me with. I appreciate it


Last edited by AnneField; 02-01-2019 at 10:21 PM..
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:00 AM   #17
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Glad you got it to work, Anne. Your card is lovely. Embossing powder can go bad. I've had to throw away a few jars in the past. And the VersaMark does need to be very sticky. I'm wondering why your embossing powder is in plastic bags. Didn't it come in little jars? I don't think it would matter much, but I was just curious. Also, I find that glitter embossing powder can be very disappointing. It doesn't raise much and gives very gritty results. Have fun!
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