Heat Embossing Basics

by Amber Rain Davis

Learn different ways to use embossing powder on your projects.


  • Black pigment ink (Altenew Obsidian Black Pigment Ink used here)
  • Other inks (WOW! Embossing Pad, WOW! Mixed Media Embossing Brush, WOW! Embossing Ink Pad Refill Conditioner, and Freestyle Tool used here)
  • Stamps (Altenew Mega Greetings 2, Weekend Doodles, & Sentiment Strips 2, The Stamp Market Mailbox Messages used here)
  • Dies (Altenew Mega Happy Die, Ellen Hutson Folk Hearts Die, Simon Says Stamp Awareness Ribbon Die used here)
  • Embossing Powder (WOW! Sugared Almond, Taffeta Pink, Jealous Guy, Earthtone Olive, Love is the Drug, Clear Gloss, Primary Ebony Super Fine, & Glassy Ocean from Dockside Trio used here)
  • Adhesive (Darice Double-sided Strips used here)
  • Stamp Positioner (Mini MISTI used here)
  • Paper (Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 80lb used here)
  • Die cutting machine (Gemini Jr used here)
  • Heat tool (WOW! Dual-speed Heat Tool used here)


  1. Step 1

    First Technique - Stamping

    To emboss a stamped image, treat cardstock with an anti-static powder tool. Apply embossing ink to the stamp. Stamp the image.

  2. Step 2

    Sprinkle embossing powder over the stamped image. Tap the cardstock gently to remove any excess powder.

  3. Step 3

    Pre-heat your heat tool for 45-60 seconds. Hold the heat tool 3-4 inches from the paper and melt the embossing powder. Complete the card with a sentiment strip.

    If using glitter embossing powder, heat the back of the cardstock to prevent blowing glitter away.

  4. Step 4

    Second Technique – Direct Ink to Paper

    Swipe and/or press an embossing pad onto white cardstock.

    Repeat Steps 2 and 3.

  5. Step 5

    Swipe an embossing pad over the previously heat embossed area. Repeat Steps 2 and 3. Heat embossing twice creates a smoother finish.

    Repeat Steps 4 and 5 in a different color.

  6. Step 6 (Optional)

    Die-cut the embossed panels and assemble finished card.

  7. Step 7

    Third Technique – Emboss with Pigment Ink

    Stamp the image and sentiment with black pigment ink.

    Pigment ink sits on the surface of the cardstock and is slow drying which allows for heat embossing.

  8. Step 8

    Repeat Steps 2 and 3.

  9. Step 9

    Fourth Technique – Color with Embossing Pen

    Fill in details with an embossing pen. Heat emboss with embossing powder (blue here). Fill in additional details with the embossing pen. Heat emboss with a different colored embossing powder (green here).

    The embossing pen can be used to heat emboss digital stamps and can also used with stencils.

  10. Step 10

    Fifth Technique – Draw with Freestyle Tool

    Draw 1 stripe with WOW! Freestyle Tool and repeat Steps 2 and 3. Repeat for desired number of stripes and colors. Finish card with stamped sentiment.

  11. Step 11

    Sixth Technique – Color Block with Embossing Brush

    Swipe the applicator brush over a card panel to create one block of embossing gel. Heat emboss with embossing powder. Repeat with different colors until 3 color blocks are complete.

    For a dry brushed look, remove the majority of embossing gel by wiping the brush against the bottle opening.

  12. Step 12

    Seventh Technique – Double Emboss

    Stamp an image on the embossed color block panel with black pigment ink or embossing ink.


    Use a stamp positioner for best results as the embossed panel may be slick. Do not overheat as the color block panel will start to melt and blend with the sentiment.

  13. Step 13

    Heat emboss with black embossing powder. Repeat if necessary.

  14. Step 14

    Use the embossed panels to complete cards or other projects.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Heat Embossing Basics. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

This is awesome, Amber!! I learned quite a few different techniques and I've been stamping for quite a while...TFS
jmhoffmann  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 4:26 AM
I don't do a lot of embossing because I don't get the results I'm looking for, but the trick of heating from the back may change that. Thank you for that tip.
VRother  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 5:32 AM
Great tutorial Amber. Great review and great new techniques to try. Thanks
Miss Kitty  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 10:36 AM
Thanks for all the tips!
desertdeb  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 11:54 AM
Great tutorial Amber. You showed some very basic techniques yet they were very informative and I can't wait to try them. I think several of these techniques will correct what I've been doing wrong before. Thank you!!
ksjudy  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 12:05 PM
Thank you great to have a refresher about embossing just what I needed.
LeapyLee  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 1:28 PM
This was awesome! I learned a whole lot! Thank you.
harrahx2  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 6:20 PM
Thanks so much, everyone! I was a little worried it might be too basic, so I'm thrilled to hear seasoned crafters are learning a trick or two.

Heating glitter embossing powders or any type of chunky embossing powder from underneath the cardstock first definitely changed my world. Much better results and less mess for sure!

If you're not getting clean results you may need a new embossing pad or it may need to be reinked. For best results reink often to keep the pad nice and sticky.

Thanks again! Happy heat embossing!
AmberRainDavis  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 6:39 PM
Outstanding video! Thank you for sharing your paper craft talents with us. These videos are so much work, but it's impossible to learn as much as I did without them!
momhom  |  Wed Jun 24, 2020 at 9:17 PM
Thanks Amber that was really helpful.
I'm going shopping for last 3 products!
Please more of these back to basic videos!!
4littlekittens  |  Thu Jun 25, 2020 at 9:31 AM
Loved the techniques. I have heard of most of them but never actually tried to use them.Thank you for sharing. I will try almost all of your techniques.
Golden'sdaughter  |  Thu Jun 25, 2020 at 4:50 PM
Thanks so much. I've only tried one of these techniques and am excited to try the others. Such an awesome video. Thank you for sharing~!
ddprather  |  Fri Jun 26, 2020 at 1:49 PM
Thanks for a great tutorial. I llove embosssing, but my results are variable.
annebellissimo  |  Fri Jun 26, 2020 at 1:55 PM
Thank You so much for your tutorial. Some very helpful tips & tricks!
merrilym  |  Sat Jun 27, 2020 at 8:59 AM
Wow, Amber! WOW! makes some great new products, and I love your tutorial and especially the video showing all the ways to emboss. We all need basics, even when we've been stamping for years. Love all your cards and really appreciate how professional your video presentation is. Thanks so much! You have whet my creative juices with this one!! Hugs!
CherylQuilts  |  Mon Jun 29, 2020 at 4:23 PM
Great job reviewing embossing techniques, several of which I had totally forgotten, other techniques were new to me. Thanks a lot!
jnsarna  |  Wed Jul 22, 2020 at 12:05 PM

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